Questions from readers often concern my photography and video work with more than a few wondering “if I have equipment like yours, can I produce images like you?” Equipment is good, particularly good lenses and graphic chips that produce high-definition detail in images that capture attention.
But the best graphic chip rests in our eyes and the visual parts of our brains that let a photographer or videoographer compose an image that brings a smile or shock to the viewer.I use the best equipment I can afford to shoot photos for news media use and moving images for both news and documentary projects.
I appreciate the kind comments about my photography but please understand that I have been shooting photos for media use for more than 60 years and experience plus luck play more of a role than talent. I’m a self-taught, journeyman photographer, nothing more, who is just plain lucky in most cases.
Let’s remember that what some consider a good photo may strike others as routine. I won a photography award from the Illinois Press Association with a photo that I considered unfit for publication. In another case, a photo rejected by the newspaper I worked for in Illinois was picked by Rolling Stone to illustrate a concert by Credence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty, one of the founders of the group liked it so much he asked for a 16×20 print that I’m told he has hanging in his home. Fogerty has also given me blanket permission to use his music in videos because of that photo.
I shoot many images or video footage to give editors a wide selection of shots. My Canon EOS-IDX shoots more than a dozen shots a second in high-speed mode and that lets me capture the exact second I need for a usable sports photo.
For video use, I normally depend on a Panasonic shoulder mount Electronic News Gathering (ENG) shoulder mount video camera for news footage or a Canon C-100 camera with interchangeable lenses for film and documentary use. The C-100 is considered more of a digital film camera.
For lenses, my “go-to” ones are Canons: a 24-70 MKIII f:2.8 and the 70-200 MKIII f:2.8 zooms for sports use, sometimes supplemented by 300 or 400mm telephotos.
The footage of street music on a Friday evening recently was shot on a C-100, using the 24-70 zoom:
A sports shot of Lady Buffaloes below provides sharpness and detail when shot on a EOS 1Dx with a 70-200mm zoom:
Shooting music is a challenge in video or still photography. In settings like FloydFest, I often utilize more than one camera for detailed filming:
Getting a good image means dealing with unpredictable action and varying light.
Sometimes, a good photo is a case of being at the right place at the right second:
Sometimes, a grab shot of someone on stage turns out to be a portrait:
Using video and photos to help tell a story: