16 July 2016

Photography good. Video better?

I mentioned in my last post that I was intrigued and excited by the opportunity to use my iPhone's video as well as the still-image camera when digiscoping. It has taken only a couple of days for the advantages to become clear.

Take this short film of Swallow chicks for example. Taken right outside my office door just a few hours before they fledged from the nest, it isn't amazingly sharp or eye-poppingly bright.

But it does instantly demonstrate a number of advantages to video:

  • Insight: we thought there were three chicks; studying the footage carefully showed four mouths suddenly appear at feeding time.
  • Detail: this insight was possible thanks to some clever slo-mo technology applied to the video, extending the feeding episode from a couple of seconds to a more leisurely pace.
  • Timing: it is incredibly hard with a still camera, even with modern burst modes, to get four chicks with their mouth open. But video makes it a doddle - simply set it running, cut it to size later, apply the slo-mo to the key part (and extract a still image as well should you so wish, see examples below).
  • Quality: video simply demands less quality; for a photo to excite in this digitally perfect age it has to be pin sharp and compositionally perfect, but videos seem to engage audiences at a far lower quality.

There's undoubtedly more video to come on The Hornet's Nest, for all these reasons and more.

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