Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I'm Upgrading to a Canon Rebel t5i

This beautiful little camera has been mine since Saturday and I love it. I've taken it all around, shooting random video of inanimate objects, people's faces, cats. Mainly cats.

This is the first DSLR I've ever owned so it still feels a bit like alien technology. I've been making do with cast-off camcorders for so long that having a DSLR feels like an incredible luxury. My Rebel t5i came in a bundle with two lenses. It has a stabilization feature on the lens. It has adjustable focus. It has a touchscreen. Honestly, it almost feels like too much.

But the video I've been getting is the crispest, sharpest, and clearest of any camera I've ever had my hands on and it is so exciting. Even though I'm a complete stranger to things like iso and aperture. YouTube has been very helpful so far and will continue to be my personal film school over the coming weeks.

I never thought still photography was very interesting but I've been (attempting) to take some pictures and it's actually more fun than I imagined. I've been using it to experiment with composition (and take cat pictures, of course.)

Pictured: the only two cameras I've ever bought.
The above picture will give you an idea of how big of an upgrade the Canon Rebel is for me. Of course I've had a variety of camcorders, ranging from Sony to Everio to the Canon I borrowed from Daniel Wilson to film Rachel and Steven's wedding. But the Flip is the only one that I've actually been able to call mine, and I stopped using that as a primary camera a little less than a year ago. The Flip video camera line has been discontinued for about three years, in part thanks to the improvement of iPhone video quality.

Notice the lack of options on the Flip camera? The big red button is for recording (in case you missed the subtlety of that feature) and that's about the extent of the camera options. The Canon Rebel on the other hand is a bit overwhelming in comparison. But it's going to be a lot more fun.

The Flip camera and I have had a good run, but now we're parting ways. It's going away to a good home where it will be put to good use.

Never mind, I'll find someone like you.....
I can't wait to shoot a video with my DSLR. I'm hoping to do some music videos for some musician friends of mine at some point. Music videos and commercials are two things I've always wanted to try. Music videos have so much potential for storytelling. I've started a Favorite Music Videos playlist to get a feel for what I like and what I want to emulate. 

Beyond that I may try to do some more sketches or short films, and I'll probably end up with some event videos whether I like it or not. It would be interesting to shoot another wedding with my better equipment and increased experience.

Also I can now take better cat pictures than ever before so that's a bonus. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Achievement unlocked: model status.

Want to see video mode in action? I've put together a video of some of the shots I've been taking.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Contra Dancing is Awesome and This is Why

I don't only do event videography but this seems to be a lot of what I film and edit these days (huge thanks to Ruth for doing 99% of the filming.) This was a costume party/dance/fundraiser that I organized for the Oregon City-based Hope 360 pregnancy resource clinic.

The majority of the dancing was contra dancing, or folk dancing as some people call it. We also had some swing dancing but unfortunately didn't capture it on video.

While I was organizing the dance I watched a lot of contra dancing videos on YouTube in order to find some new songs to dance to. Because the videos I found were so helpful I decided to film this dance to help anyone else looking to organize a contra dance.

If you're new to contra dancing (or only think of it as a slow, boring, and awkward pastime enjoyed by people in the late 18th-century) this website is a decent introduction. Honestly, contra dance can be a slow, boring, and awkward pastime, but if you're looking for a dance where you don't have to know all the moves (or any moves) then this a great place to start. If you can count to eight, clap, skip, spin, and run, then you can contra dance. When its done with enthusiasm (and the right music!) contra dancing can be incredibly fun (and an intense workout.)

Using modern music helps a lot. I'm really excited about how a lot of newer pop songs incorporate EDM music into their choruses or throughout their songs. EDM is dance music, and if you get one with the right beat it makes for some really epic contra dancing (this is technically called something like "techno-contra.")

My biggest goal for organizing and promoting these dances is to make it fun and exciting for all the kids that come. Contra dancing was a big thing at my church when I was their age, but it kind of faded out after a while. I'm hoping to bring it back in a big way while changing a few things that I'd always thought could use improvement (this is the beauty of volunteering, guys.)  I've changed it for the group of kids that are growing up going to these dances, and I can't wait to see how they'll change it when they're old enough to take over. It's a great tradition, and at its heart, contra dancing is a simple but fun activity that has more form and substance than the freestyle dances that are typical today. And it is awesome.

Just like Ruth's "Matchmaker from Mulan" costume.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...