You're here so start filming

I've been saving some clips as interesting points, milestones, on the evolution of photography. Starting with an old article I'd saved by Bert Keppler in Modern Photography's September 1981 issue, where in his SLR Notebook column he reviews the new F-1 Canon SLR.

To his surprise it wasn't electronic like the new Canon A-1, AE-1, etc. "Plastic has taken a back seat to all-metal construction of a very rugged professional nature - the new body is even more rugged than the former F-1," he writes.

ASA (or ISO) went from 6 to 6400, and new titanium shutter going from 8-seconds to 1/2000th.

"Canon engineers feel straight scale and needle is preferred by most pros over the newer-fangled indicators--needles take less battery juice," notes Keppler. The old F-1 didn't have a hotshoe for a flash you had to slide an adapter over the film rewind know, but the new F-1 had a hot-shoe ontop of the prism. That was the main reason to upgrade.

Those were the good old days.

Today we have reviews on five instant cameras coming out to look like old film cameras. Digital cameras that make small prints  Michael Hsu in the January 21 issue of the Wall Street Journal claims, " I blame my iPhone , which makes snapping (and hoarding) mediocre photos all too easy."

The instant cameras are like shooting film in a way, a cartridge is limited to 10-shots (70-cents per print) that is just 1.8 inches by 2.44 inches.

Hi-tech cameras are analog, no digital files. If you want to share the print Hsu suggests using Google's PhotoScan app to digitize the small print and share it with friends.

He sees these instant cameras as "a $50 crash course in photography." Because you see immediately the result and study it to better see the difference in exposure, compositing and timing.

This leads to Michael Hsu recent article in Saturday, May 13-14ths Wall Street Journal promotes "blurry, shaky videos are all the rage, but do you really want to preserve your precious memories as a pixelated mess?"

He shows how the "selfie-stick" can be used to slowly pan a scene using two hands and keeping elbows to your side.

The sidebar has quotes from professional filmmakers "for shooting superior smartphone videos."

Tip #1 - Eleanor Coppola advises to "move the camera smoothly. It'll feel like you are moving too slowly while shooting, later when you look you'll find it looks right."

Tip #2 - Barry Sonnenfeld says "panning is hard on the eyes." Instead, hold the camera steady and you walk towards the person or to one side, keeping the camera point forward. "Use your feet to be your own camera dolly."

Tip#3 - Kieran Crilly has my favorite tip, shoot horizontally! "Our eyes are side-by-side," she notes. "It"s infuriating as a cinematographer to see vertical."

Tip#4 - Director Morgan Neville sees, or hears, "audio is also key to distinguishing better video." He recommends using a plug-in mic. The WSJ plugs the AmpRidge MightMic than plugs into the headset port on most smartphones for $50.

These pros also  like simply playing with the smartphone, Coppola recalls running as fast as she could through a dry grassy field and Sonnenfeld likes a slow-motion film he made of his dog barking, "your dog making funny sounds in slow motion--that's a big one for me."

Video from Fort Worth Food Shelter's community garden shot with my iPad and edited in the tablet. Using iOgrapher's bracket/case to give me a better hold on the camera.

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P.S. - I'll be teaching smart photo photography beginning next Fall 2017 at Tarrant County College and cover along with digital the basics in seeing. 


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