Video Is Here to Stay and I’m Shooting It

Today’s Post by Barry Staver

Would you agree that video is showing up more and more frequently? In fact, I think it’s at epidemic levels. Once again we have the smart phone to blame or thank (depending on your point of view) for this, in similar fashion to the way these devices have impacted still photography.

Thinking it’s not going away, I’m embracing it and shooting lots of motion to become comfortable with it. Not only is the visual image important but I dare say the audio part of a project is MORE important. If you can’t hear it, why bother to watch it?


Yoga teacher Jess often plays her Tibetan Bowls for 8-10 minutes at the end of class. She agreed to recreate the experience in a shorter time span for the video. Even at 5-6 minutes, a one-camera capture could be boring, so I opted to set up a 2nd camera in order to edit the piece with more interest. I took it a step further and captured several still images of the scene to include in the video, but during post-production I thought it looked fine without them (plus I’m new enough to video editing that adding the stills would take more time to learn).

During a short dress rehearsal, Jess showed me how she picks up and strikes the bowls. Based on the sneak preview, I placed Camera #1 (Panasonic Lumix GH-4, with the Lumix Shotgun mic attached with an extension cable just out of frame) directly in front of her, capturing a wide shot. Camera #2 (Panasonic Lumix GH-3) was placed to the left using the Lumix 35-100 mm f/2.8 zoom.

Once the shoot began, I let Camera #1 run on it’s own and I operated Camera #2 for the B-Roll. Knowing that #1 was capturing everything, I could adjust #2 by zooming in and out, making focus and framing adjustments on the fly.

Once both cameras were running and before she actually began the performance, I asked Jess to tap one of the sticks onto the wooden floor very sharply. This sound allowed me to merge (sync) the footage from both cameras together using the “Audio Sync” feature in Adobe Premiere. It assembled both video clips and the one audio track together so I could make the edit cuts between the footage of both.