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September 2021

 
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Dear First name / Friend,


Wow, where did August go? I hope you were able to get out and take a lot of great photos this summer, even with all the crazy weather!

 

For me, the month ended with a quick trip to Canada to photograph/film Major League Show Jumping for Eye Candy Jumpers. We ended our weekend with a visit to Niagara Falls (Canadian side 🇨🇦, which is apparently WAY better - haha!). I almost brought my good camera, but am so glad I didn't - you get SOAKED when you go near the falls.

 

Well, I hope you've had your coffee, because I'm going to get pretty technical with this month's quick tip! 🤓 Let's dive in…

 

(Not so) Quick Tip - Creating Photos from Video

 
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Is the future of photography, video? I'm going to say MAYBE.

 

The above image is a still frame from a video I made at the show last weekend. The competition was two weeks long and my client had hired a private photographer team for both weeks, which opened up an opportunity for me to do video instead of still photography during the rounds of competition.

 

I'll admit, I was a little nervous. I've done video off and on for many years, but never fast action like this. I was worried about my camera focusing, overheating, draining my batteries too fast, and eating up too much card space. (Sheesh, now that I read that back, I understand better why I felt angsty all weekend. 😂)

 

My goal was to create great video clips, but also film it in such a way that if I did capture a great moment, I could pull a still image from the video. In order to do this, I chose to film in 120p 4k. 

 

120p is the highest frame rate on my Canon R5 (which allows me to do very slow motion) and 4K allows me enough resolution for the still photos I take out the video (and more resolution with the video!). 

 

Now, the general rule with video is that your shutter speed should be approximately twice your frame rate, which would mean I should film at 1/250th. But if I do that, the stills will not be sharp because I'm essentially taking action photos at too slow of a shutter speed.

 

To compromise, I filmed at 1/500th most of the time. Though I'll admit the image above was filmed at 1/320th and I got lucky to get a sharp image. After this, I bumped up to 1/500th and had better overall results. 

 

The downside to the higher shutter speed is a slightly choppier-looking video. But most people are not even going to notice or care. View the video clip to see what you think!

 

So let's get philosophical about this whole idea that eventually, we will no longer take still photos and only do video and pull stills from it.

 

Personally, I don't think video will completely replace traditional still photography. What I found most frustrating was that I couldn't deliberately frame my shots the way I can when I'm doing just still photography. With stills, you are aiming for that one perfect composition and can position yourself to be in the exact spot where the composition and moment collide. With video, I just felt like I couldn't eliminate distraction because the action happens over the course of time. 

 

There are upsides, though. Like a client could get both stills and video from one round without having to hire two people. And for this type of event, you don't need to have perfect jump timing. Just pick the perfect frame!

 

Now, if this was a portrait session where the light and background were nice and clean, then I could see more possibilities. The only downside at the moment is resolution. But with 4K video, you get an image that is 3840x2160 which is very printable, even to larger sizes. 

 

Where I think this idea will really come into its own is when cameras can comfortably do 8K RAW video. The Canon R5 (and some other systems) can do it now, but only a slower frame rates and you have to have gobs of card/drive space and deal with overheating. But eventually, I do believe it will become the norm. With 8K RAW you will not only have the resolution you need, you will have full editable files from video. 

 

Do I think you should be learning video right now? 100% YES!

 

The head of instagram recently came out saying that it's no longer a photo sharing app. They are shifting their focus to video, so that means if you are not posting videos to your feed or making reels, your overall reach will suffer. And if you have any business clients, they are going to start wanting video content from you. 

 

I'm not gonna lie, though, even with modern tools, video is technically challenging. And if you want to make more than just video clips, there's an entirely different thought process behind making videos that tell a story. But you won't know if you like it until you try it, just dive in a see what you can create!

 

That said, if you want to shorten the learning curve on videography, consider being part of my Equine Photography Mentorships next year. I taught video in Pegasus and we did an entire video shoot and editing demo at the retreat!

 

Here are a few more video stills from last weekend's event…

 

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Jacqueline Steffens on Freaky, Eye Candy Jumpers

 
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Paul O'Shea on Hellcat, Eye Candy Jumpers

 
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Paul O'shea on Spy, Eye Candy Jumpers

 
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Abby Ernst as “Miss Eye Candy” 
Follow Eye Candy Jumpers on Instagram if you don't already!

 

What I'm Reading and Listening To…

 

One of the phrases I hear most often from timid photographers is, “I am just not good enough.”

 

This notion is not rooted in humbleness; it’s rooted in arrogance.
 

Erica Mann

 

WHAT I'M READING

 

Apparently, summer isn't a good time for me to read entire business-related as this is the second newsletter without finishing one. 😂 I did finish a personal book called Breaking Free from Body Shame: Dare to Reclaim What God Has Named Good. It was actually a lot to digest, which is probably why it's the only book I read in the past few months.

 

But I will share with you two newsletters I not only open, but often save to reference in the future.

 

The first is from famed wedding photographers, Two Mann Studio. The above quote is from a recent newsletter, which you can view here. Go to their main web site and scroll to the bottom to sign up.

 

The second is from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits (and also a travel photographer). He sends out a weekly email with three ideas, two quotes and a question. You can sign up and read past issues here.

 

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO

 

Free Resources

 
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Photo of Maisy, just because!

 

Did you know there is a Free Resources page on my Mentoring and Education web site? You will find a free email course called “Four Keys to Growing a Successful Equine Photography Business,” a link to my free YouTube videos, past issues of this Newsletter, Podcast episodes I've been on, and an FAQ for photographers. 

 

I sincerely hope you are enjoying the Pegasus Journal. If you know of another photographer you think might benefit from these emails, would you consider sharing it email with them? Thank you!

 

And, as always, if there's anything I can do to help you grow as a photographer, please reach out by hitting reply to this email. 😊

 

Until next time…

 

Warmly,

Shelley

 

 

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