'No Future in Photojournalism' Interview: Dan Chung

Dan Chung is an award-winning photojournalist who made his name
shooting for The Guardian newspaper in the UK. In recent years he has
shifted his focus away from still imaging and towards video.

Dan, you made your name as a stills photographer but you’re mainly shooting video now, what changed?

'Photojournalism as a profession has taken a bit of a nosedive in recent years. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to be in continuous employment, I’m not immune to the longer-term trend, which is pretty desperate if you’re talking about make a living. I took a strategic decision to get more into video and it’s been reasonably successful.'

Aftermath - The Japanese Tsunami from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

What sort of work are you doing now?

'Initially I was shooting a lot of web video for The Guardian which I still do, but now I’m shooting more and more for TV, news, plus the odd advert here and there. I took the decision to stay basically within documentary and news shooting rather than go off and try and be a Hollywood filmmaker just yet!'

'I don’t really see a future in photojournalism, if I’m completely honest, as a way to earn a living. But also there are a lot of creative opportunities with moving images that you couldn’t possibly dream of doing with stills. I’m surprised though that relatively few other photographers have made that conversion.'

Why do you think that is?

'I divide my time between the UK and China and it seems to me that photojournalists in the UK have been really slow to adopt video whereas China and in fact Asia in general there’s a much higher take-up and the same is true of the US.'

'A lot of it has to do with what editors are asking photographers to do and my impression is that editors are basically asking for video more in the US and Asia than they are in the UK. I’ve been running DSLR video workshops in the UK now for a year and they’re always packed out, so there’s obviously an appetite there, but it’s early days.'

North Korea's Military parade in Slow Motion from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Was moving to video a hard choice for you?

'It wasn’t really a choice at all. The way I look at it is convert or die. It’s a very steep learning curve but once you get into it, it’s like anything - you get into your stride and away you go. I’m constantly amazed by the fact that amateurs seem to do a much better job of adapting to new ways of working than professionals.'

'If you look at Vimeo.com there’s a lot of really good stuff on there, shot by amateurs. A lot of them have come from a stills photography background, and might have never shot a movie before, haven’t been to film school, and don’t know one end of a video camera from the other, but that doesn’t stop them from going out and shooting great-looking videos.'

What does the future hold?

'The arrival of DSLR video has been a great creative revolution and in the long run I think the beneficiaries are actually amateurs. Maybe they don’t know it yet, and maybe not all of them realise the potential of video. Things like Nikon’s Motion Snapshot mode on the V1 and J1 might seem kind of wacky right now, but maybe in a few years time functions like that will be perfectly normal.'

'I’m very upbeat about DSLR video actually, and I think it’s here to stay. The functionality is getting better and better, and it’s giving lots of people an opportunity to start doing some really creative multimedia shooting, mixing stills and video and everything else.'

Mongolian Racer from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

'We're looking at the tip of the iceberg really. Broadcast professionals have already figured out what to do with this technology and are using it, and are investing in a new generation of more expensive, pro-oriented cameras. For the rest of us, the increase in quality in DSLR video from a new generation of cameras like the Nikon D4 and the Canon EOS 1-DX means is that you don’t need to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to compete.'

'Increasingly, as an enthusiast or semi-pro videographer, the quality of DSLR video is getting so good that it really doesn’t matter what you shoot on. The technology isn’t the barrier any more, the barrier is imagination.'


About Dan Chung

Award-winning photojournalist and videomaker Dan Chung made his name working as a staff photographer at both The Guardian and Reuters news agency, and has since pioneered the use of DSLRs in filmmaking, particularly in news coverage.

Iraqi families leave Basra via a bridge manned by British soldiers, in March 2003. This photo earned Dan the Photographer Of The Year Award at The Picture Editor Awards 2004. (Dan Chung, Pool Photo)

Dan's many accolades include the Picture Editors' Guild Photographer of the Year 2004, the Nikon Press Photographer of the Year awards in 2002 and he also won the Digital film category in the 2011 Press Photographer's Year.

Dan now lives and works in China, but travels the world on assignment. He also runs the industry blog www.dslrnewsshooter.com

Comments

Total comments: 278
123
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

Chung insinuates that the traditional photographer must offer his editors video as well, or be dropped from photography as well. Traditional print media has been under threat for some time, without web media assuring prosperity either.

Anyway, the manufacturers and reviewers are probably 100% spot-on to improve the video performance of traditional cameras.

A whole bunch of fuddy-duddies complain each time a new camera appears with greater video support. The truth is that most simply can't tackle the challenge. Good video is hard, well-edited video is even harder. Meanwhile, although a great still shot is an achievement, nearly any fuddy-duddy can occasionally obtain a good picture, which will look snug or cute in its frame.

In private gatherings, still pictures will always be preferred to video, since the still shot requires a polite glance of a few seconds or so, after which the viewer can expound on whatever cabbages or kings he wants. Video is not like that.

2 upvotes
gs0161
By gs0161 (Feb 11, 2012)

I would like to transport you back to 1985 and see you shoot 16mm film with sync sound and then edit with all the shots hanging on pegs and five separate sound tracks on magnetic film. Then mix the sound in real time. Then we would see who can't tackle a real challenge :)

Or see you edit on a three-machine video edit suite where an entire half-hour programme had to be assembled shot by shot in strict sequence.

Technically it's a piece of cake now. But the creative skills are still the part that people are too lazy to learn or can't due to a basic lack of ability.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
galone
By galone (Jul 2, 2012)

I cannot imagine the death of photojournalism as long as printed newspapers are published.

0 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Feb 10, 2012)

works for The Guardian ?

Must be good then, he's free from the devil Murdoc

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
golfzilla
By golfzilla (Feb 11, 2012)

Grow up.

0 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Feb 10, 2012)

All IMHO

1 - Dan Chung is right (he knows from the inside) about what contents "news media" want, and how contents are wrapped and lately displayed, video in this case. That just the way it is, so we (I am in the same boat, well one with a 2 horse power motor) should make the best out of this awareness.

2 - Sometimes is dangerous when a reporter/photojournalist aesthetisizes (not sure this word even exists) news/catastrophes/pain/etc. Not that I have the urge to separate things and putting them in different drawers, but i.e. the first video shows an approach to the events too cool FOR ME. I am not expecting anything from/as after-earthquake-devastation footage, but… some pretty nice (btw) cinematic travelings and a lick of non-intruding music… mmm. I do not feel I am given a sense of "reality" or if you want I am given too much a sense of who is behind the camera and his technicalities. I know in my guts this is not it

0 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Feb 10, 2012)

3 - Thans dpreview 4 the interesting article, looking forward to the dslr-video-gear thingie.

4 - Another example of bad mix (2 worlds colliding) is Chung's (see his vimeo page) Bob the Aviator. My god what an obscure grading!!!

gashô

1 upvote
rusticus
By rusticus (Feb 10, 2012)

'The arrival of DSLR video has been a great creative revolution and in the long run'

Yes!!!
I now use both: video and photo - and have no problem

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

You are clearly a person who is able to adapt and evolve in response to changes in your environment. That's the way to survive and flourish. The others who can't, or won't adapt and evolve, will be like the dinosaurs who one day wake up and say, "Where the heck did all these mammals come from!?! They don't belong here! This world is for dinosaurs! It always has been, and always will be!"

0 upvotes
Tony Sleep
By Tony Sleep (Feb 11, 2012)

That's the prevailing wisdom, and is propaganda with its own blind spots. You assert stills+video confers ability to survive as a pro, but there's no actual evidence for this. Of pro's I know who have retrained and adapted and invested in video equipment and software, I don't know any who have found it noticeably more viable than stills. They hope it will pay off, but it hasn't, and it is by no means clear that it will because - as Dan says - the demand is not there in UK. And lets not forget that video is a well-contended area, already overcrowded by experienced operators - many "gone freelanced" from the BBC. Your shiny new mammals could just be investing in a new way to starve.

1 upvote
aeolos
By aeolos (Feb 10, 2012)

there must be something wrong with me.. I liked the photo an infinite amount more.

4 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

Let me guess: you're a photographer. Obviously, as photographers, we are naturally going to have an emotional, aesthetic, and visual bias in favor of photos. That's what drew us to the field in the first place. So asking a photographer which if he prefers-- the video or the photo-- is not exactly the best person to ask for an unbiased opinion or an opinion that reflects what the average person prefers.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

Yes, it's easy to shoot a video, decide it looks bad, and prefer to stick to still photos only. It's extremely difficult to emulate the video one sees in every prime time ad or sports broadcast. Viewers won't appreciate the exponential increments of effects, edits, and whatnot needed to attain the margin of quality that miraculously keeps viewer attention more than 10 seconds.

2 upvotes
jijo272
By jijo272 (Feb 18, 2012)

As a person who works for a newspaper, I know first hand why photojournalism is dead. Newspapers are going out of business because of the internet. All people, especially younger people, are checking the internet for news instead of buying a newspaper. Sad but true.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Feb 10, 2012)

"'It wasn’t really a choice at all. The way I look at it is convert or die. It’s a very steep learning curve but once you get into it, it’s like anything - you get into your stride and away you go."

I think that what he say's here gives an example of the opposite Kodak did in fact.

They were having trouble going the steep learning curve and to convert properly.

I think the videos Dan is doing are amazing And if I had a DSLR or any camera at all right now I would be going into my valley to record a video.
But seeing as I do not even have a compact camera due to the economy that will have to wait for maybe a year or two.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

No need to wait. The key ingredient in video is not money, but time.

You can get a Kodak pocket camcorder for <$100. Starter editing software sells between $60 and $150. Most of the learning curve is in the basics and the editing. You'll learn whether you like video, or whether you are any good at it, soon enough and without need to win the lottery.

1 upvote
audijam
By audijam (Feb 10, 2012)

moment of true!

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Feb 10, 2012)

Cy Cheze where can you find a camcorder at such a price? O.o and do they have image stabilization?
Also despite one costing 100$ the end cost will be 200-250$ when it arrives in my country.
Beside the fact having an empty bank account is not helpful so I have to wait non the less but would be interested in seeing a link to such cheap video cameras and see how the image quality is.

0 upvotes
johnsword
By johnsword (Feb 15, 2012)

Despite its ubiquitous nature, someone proclaims the death of photojournalism nearly every day. While I applaud the ever-expanding use of video to interpret our world, its use in no way implies that still photography is on the wane.
Both still photography and video are visual expressions of reality achieved through the selective perception of the photographer.
Individuals may choose one means of expression over another – poetry over prose, novels over short stories, jazz over rock and roll, movies over television, video over still photography. But to eliminate one means of expression in preference to another is to narrow our vision. That won’t happen.

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Feb 10, 2012)

I am not a professional photographer. but i am an avid consumer of news particularly on the internet, one of the biggest news site's out there is the Mail, and they feature some excellent photographs, and very little video. aside my dislike over politics and celeb tittle tattle, it still an good site which features constantly high quality images and occasionally great photography.

1 upvote
bladerunner912
By bladerunner912 (Feb 10, 2012)

If you are refering to 'The Daily Mail' then you may want to look up their use of unlicensed photographic content. It is particularly relevent here as they are often accused of re-using others' images that have been posted on the web for no no financial compensation.

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2145296/telegraphs-picture-editor-caught-copyright-infringement-blunder

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/1686331/daily-mail-accused-copyright-infringement

2 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Feb 10, 2012)

Thanks for that, does't surprise me, theft is theft and should be judged according;y
I think it is remarkable however that there site, which is a big one for internet traffic, is dominated by high quality still photography (albeit some is stollen) and text.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Feb 10, 2012)

That has become a "weekly" event in Iceland for amateur and professional photographers to see they're photos being stolen by the media and used from simple news article to advertisement to even like happened to one guy TV Commercial where his photo was the background drop for a Christmas TV stations commercial!

0 upvotes
Desifinado
By Desifinado (Feb 10, 2012)

Seems to me Mr. Chung caught the movie bug and is extrapolating too much from his crush. The videos shown, while technically beautiful, are not exceptional journalism and look more like exercises in cinematography, verging on art. None of them have the impact of his Iraq shot.

As for still photography’s place in journalism, news consumers are primarily seeking information, and quickly. There may be a place in the news cycle for meditative studies like these videos, but they are no substitute for the classic aggregate of striking images and text, or information-based and street-level video. Next stop for Mr. Chung: Hollywood. He almost says as much.

7 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Feb 10, 2012)

I agree with much of that. I think there is a fine line between "adapt or die" vs the well-worn sentiment of "selling out," and I wonder if he actually has done more of the latter than the former.

I'm repeating myself, and maybe it's apples & oranges, but I love what John Mellencamp did with his recent album "No Better Than This." He recorded an album that was very much NOT "radio friendly," very folksy, but said in no uncertain terms--this is what I want to do, & I'm doing it. If you like it, fine, if you don't--I don't care. I'm not going to do music I don't like to do.

I just LOVE it that he did that, rather than trying to do whatever's hip for the moment. Granted, it's easier to do that when you're a multi-millionaire as he is, but many other singers do what's hip for the moment even after they're filthy rich. Not Mr. Mellencamp, and I really respect him for that. I wish photojournalists who don't want to do video (OR STILLS) could do likewise.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

"Seems to me Mr. Chung caught the movie bug and is extrapolating too much from his crush." --

Yeah, the ability to make a living obviously has nothing to do with any of this, right? LOL. He is merely "extrapolating too much" about the economic realities of the market, right? In other words, his observations and personal experiences in the market are just figments of his imagination, or overblown *extrapolations*, right?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

Editor asks: Can you bring back video too?

Desafinado: Why? Photos are what count.

Chung: Video? Sure.

Editor: Well, Mr. Chung, you got the job.

Desafinado: Vou chorrar. De verdade, estou desafinado!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Linnin
By Linnin (Feb 10, 2012)

Dislike.

1 upvote
audijam
By audijam (Feb 10, 2012)

sad

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Feb 10, 2012)

http://www.leica-oskar-barnack-preis.de/en/submissions/leica-oskar-barnack-award/17-peter-harrap-1/1

I am still a documentary photographer, but ceased even trying to earn a living from photojournalism many years ago. And I do mean a long time ago-in the early nineties.
I had lived in France and was involved there and thinking of moving back. My friend's brother-in-law was a TV journalist, and had many contacts, but it was impossible to get any work because all the main regional newspapers were not taking on staff, but letting those there leave in frustration, or retire, whichever came first.

This because 1 man with a TV and a tripod was in their main office grabbing stills off the TV. Of everything the groups of regional papers needed.

But the work produced now is better than it ever was when it was in demand, and there was work. My targets are publication and the Tate, minimum, because papers are too cowardly to publish my work-citing "privacy". Ha!

0 upvotes
nicolas guilbert
By nicolas guilbert (Feb 10, 2012)

Here in Thailand a local newspaper that also does local tv broadcast only uses frame grabs for the printed newspaper. They say they know the pics look bad, but it is much easier for them that way and they don't need to hire a photographer.

0 upvotes
ksievers
By ksievers (Feb 10, 2012)

Newspapers slight the power of the still photograph at their own peril. It's the one thing they have that separates them from the rest of mass media. Video is only the latest trend. It is shallow and fleeting and few really take the time to really watch, especially when news orgs tack on ads and long intros. Don't get me wrong, there is some very fine and amazing video work out there, I shoot it myself when it is appropriate to telling the story, but, news organizations abandoning stills for video is about as smart as giving your product away for free on the internet and calling it a business model. I offer these as examples:
Thomas Franklin's raise of the flag at Ground Zero
Rich Lam's Couple Kissing During Vancouver riots
Eugene Smith's Minimata
Eddie Adams' Saigon Execution
Robert Jackson's Ruby Shoots Oswald
Joe Rosenthal's Iwo Jima
Stuart Franklin's Tiananmen Square
Stanley Forman's Fire on Marlborough Street

4 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

"Newspapers slight the power of the still photograph at their own peril. It's the one thing they have that separates them from the rest of mass media." --

Huh? Last I checked, all other forms of media, aside from radio, had the ability to show still photographs too. In other words, the still photograph does *not* separate them from the rest of mass media. It's not their ace in the hole. Not by a long shot!

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

Newspapers, whether printed or on-line, might like to think that their strength is in analysis or depth of information. However, the sponsors rate them on the basis of circulation or hits. If that means posting videos like "Charlie Bit My Finger!", then so be it. Root, hog. Or die.

0 upvotes
ksievers
By ksievers (Feb 10, 2012)

True, perhaps I should have said talented still photographers. The other forms of media don't have and are not pursuing talented still photojournalists. Newspapers on the other hand, have them in their pocket and oftentimes don't realize that talent is what separates them from the crowd.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

@ksievers - The problem is that the "talent" pool of good photographers is pretty wide and deep these days. I see amazing photos from non-professionals every day. A good photo is just not such a special thing today as it might have been in the past.

Digital photography is a victim of its own success: it has made photography so much more accessible, bringing so many more people into the world of photography, so many people have honed their skills so much more quickly, that the ability to produce great photos isn't nearly as rare as it used to be. Back in the day when you had 36 shots per roll of film, the talent to know when, where, and how to press the shutter button was a much more valuable and rarer talent. These days, just about anyone can get on scene, shoot dozens-- if not hundreds-- of photos, and out of that pool of photos, pick the few photos that are truly great. It's not such a rare commodity anymore.

2 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Feb 10, 2012)

It's true that lots of people are taking great photos, yet probably most of those won't have the timeless quality he mentioned. Even if it is hip, video has certain shortcomings. One thing is its low detail, at only 1080p max for now, there is nowhere near the subtly of a photo in there. I've bee. To galleries of photojournalism. It may be a dying art in many cases, but it is still incredible and beautiful in a certain way video currently can't be (well, maybe one day).

Also despite giving a vivid sense of the scene, there are usually adds and an intrusive Voice-over with these Internet videos. Maybe it is true that news organizations are more likely to pay for video, or a mix with photos, but video still can't replace the quality or moving power of stills to capture a situation yet, for me anyway. I suspect the future is a fusion of them like Nikon's moving snapshot, not just video alone. Until we have 4k video as a norm, it's resolution just can't compare.

1 upvote
ksievers
By ksievers (Feb 11, 2012)

@T3- Reading people, anticipating the future, earning the trust needed to gain access, placing yourself in the just the right place at the right time with the right optics all come before you even think about pressing the shutter button. The technical stuff is the easy part. Peter Turnley has a few examples of what I'm talking about here. http://www.peterturnley.com/moments/01.shtml#pic ..... Have you looked yet? Okay, now that you have seen what a real pro can do, try and tell me he just traipsed into those scenes, used his motor drive to spray and pray and came up with a few gems.
Go ahead now, get in that last word, that seems to be your thing on this forum.

0 upvotes
Rehabdoc
By Rehabdoc (Feb 10, 2012)

A huge part of the reason that photojournalism is dying is not so much video.

It's that there are so many cameras on the scene in most places a photojournalist might go now. Sure, there's still opportunity to take great and important photos... But the opportunity to have FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT is deeply impacted if a large percentage of your regular money making opportunities are already heavily covered by high quality camera phones and amateur photo loggers with feet and eyes on site.

I think he's emphasizing the diversification into video as a way of surviving financially... (which is of course going to financially squeeze the "traditional news video cameraman" when there are thousands of people who can shoot great professional video trying to scratch out a living)

I bet traditional paparazzi are also gonna by squeezed hard.

Very difficult to make a good living SELLING photos of events, when HALF THE PEOPLE will be bringing an excellent camera.

8 upvotes
moimoi
By moimoi (Feb 10, 2012)

Yes I totally agree with you. The fact that non-professional (but it does NOT mean non-talented) photographers can capture photos as good as professionals has logically impacted on the dynamic of photojournalism.

One thing is sure, I would not like to be a pro photographer those days, because competition has become very rough...

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
chkproductions
By chkproductions (Feb 10, 2012)

All this change, whether for better or worse, is here to stay. But really, hasn't it been the technology that has driven this change and not really the need of the process (visual communications)? It seems just because we "can" we "do"

I've been working as a photographer/producer/director for many years and remember well the days that an editor and I would be in disgust that we had to shoot and edit a project in video and not film.

Now a vid is cut in Starbucks in an afternoon.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

To edit analog video or film is expensive and cumbersome. It limited the amount that could be distriburted, benefitting no one but the guild member crew in charge of the cutting room. To edit digital video is a dream.

0 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Feb 11, 2012)

In an afternoon? Just over coffee! (If that's what you call the stuff they serve in Starbucks! :))

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Feb 10, 2012)

Right, video is just a fad like the internet. In a few years youtube and Vimeo will be gone and they will remove video mode from iPhones and cameras.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
bladerunner912
By bladerunner912 (Feb 10, 2012)

The reason many working photojournalists are struggling to earn a living from photography is not just the explosion of video that is demanded from news outlets.
It is also due to almost everyone carrying a camera of some description on them at all times.
Image quality and composition are less important now than they used to be for news outlets - both still and moving.
Video is following this same trend as photography, and therefore it should be obvious to most that it too will become as ubiquitous as the phonecam pictures we see from many news outlets.
This will at some point lead to a dwindling income for those who seek to make a living from videojournalism.
Just as it has for the interviewee with regards to his stills output.
Where to then?

1 upvote
Atlasman
By Atlasman (Feb 10, 2012)

This need for motion also existed in the 1970s. After I opened my photography studio, I found my self working with Super 8 film. I think still and motion images are, and have always been, inextricably tied. The big difference today is the unification of the instruments.

2 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Feb 10, 2012)

This is just one person's (with all due respect) interpretation and experience of a 'new trend'. Trends come and go, markets are different everywhere and it seems to me the real trend is people spending less and less time on the web, they want to be informed in a few seconds. Pictures can do that, more than anything else.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

I don't agree at all. I find a few seconds of video to be easily as informative, or more informative, than a static photo that only captures a fraction of a second of an event. Video offers so much more information: movement, sound, sequence, context, speed, etc. Just review any of the video from the 9/11 attacks of the airliners slamming into the WTC towers. Those short video clips give you so much more information than a single frame...because they are comprised of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of frames that contain visual information.

If you shoot a shot at 1/125 of a second, you've only captured 1/125th of a second of an event. What happened in the other 124 fractions of that second? What happened in the seconds before and after that fraction of a second that you captured?

1 upvote
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Feb 10, 2012)

Speaking as a semi-retired journalist and photojournalist, ammie, I have to say Dan is calling it like it is. He is not sullying /anyone/. He is simply saying the myriad outlets for stills pix aren't there any more and the reality is that there are many more pix than anyone is ever going to print or even see. It's reflected in the price -- I now get less for total copyright sale of my pix than I was paid 30 years ago for a single use in a limited geographic area. On the Internet, you can use either stills or video -- and in the end, video wins. And you don't get paid!

I started my journalistic career in radio 50 years ago when nearly all radio news was still scripted. Nowadays, your radio news journalist goes out to report armed with a digicam, recording both audio /and/ video -- the audio for broadcast and the video for clips and captured stills for the website where your local audience can go for further information and an audience from around the world can 'tune in".

4 upvotes
Vicenzoni
By Vicenzoni (Feb 10, 2012)

Anybody remember the famous excecution photo made by Eddie Adams in Vietnam ? There is also filmfootage of the same scene by Vo Su from NBC.
Everybody remembers the picture and not the video.
I think video is for your information while photo's makes you think.

4 upvotes
deagleman
By deagleman (Feb 10, 2012)

I think it had more to do with the fact that the video showed a man dying with blood spurting out of his head. Definitely won't go mainstream. A counter example would be the guy that blocked the tanks at Tiananmen Square. Both mediums are equally powerful.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Feb 10, 2012)

I still think that a moment frozen in time is more stunning than most videos. And I say this as someone who has worked in video for most of my life, and now tries to capture as much as I can in stills.

Dan's own photo in this article is an example. That photo is stronger than a video report.

0 upvotes
ktzuguttenberg
By ktzuguttenberg (Feb 10, 2012)

DSLR/mFT-Video is awesome
The combination of video and still picture is great. For "normal" documentation is a great field
thanks Dan Chung for Statement

0 upvotes
ammie
By ammie (Feb 10, 2012)

I think it is irresponsible for the authors at DPreview, in using this title, to equate the views of Mr. Chung with the practice at large. Mr. Chung fails to make any serious arguments challenging the journalistic or artistic importance of (stills) photojournalism, merely his own ability to make a living out of it. Therefore his view in my opinion sullies the large number of people around the world who are putting their lives at risk everyday to visually inform us about the planet's state of affairs.

Perhaps a better title for this piece would have been "Dan Chung: No future in photojournalism FOR ME". Maybe in the future, when Mr. Chung realizes he no longer has the talent, desire, or ability to shoot in the documentary, advertising or narrative industries, he will come back and try to convince us that there is no value in capturing moving images either.

5 upvotes
Rehabdoc
By Rehabdoc (Feb 10, 2012)

Don't take it so personally or to attack Mr. Chung or dpreview. It's just a very legitimate opinion from a guy whose career is photojournalism.

He knows what people are paying for photos, and the trend is not good for making a good living through photojournalism alone, anymore. There does not seem to be any technological or social trend in sight to reverse it either.

Just less money, and tons of competition... from people who are doing it for free. why pay a guy $500 to cover an event, when they're "crowdsourcing" it for free?

Yes a photojournalist can find some opportunities to make money, but they are less and less. So he has to diversify at this point. Video is the natural way to expand your business, given your equipment and skillset. Though that is gettin crowded too.

2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

People have to understand that the changes in photojournalism are partly in response to the changes in magazine/newspaper distribution. As we move forward, fewer and fewer magazines/newspapers will be in print form. More and more of them will be digital magazines that are distributed to tablets such as the iPad. I get several magazine subscriptions on my iPad, and all of them have multi-media content integrated into their pages (ie, video!). So when you read an article, you don't just have a static photo accompanying the article. You also may have a video clip, or even a video story that rivals or surpasses the article in content, that accompanies the article.

It's been a while since I bought a print magazine. I would much rather get a digital magazine on my iPad because there's less clutter, it's more environmentally friendly, and the content is so much richer because I can not only read articles and see photos, but I can also watch video and hear audio. It's a new world.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Dafffid
By Dafffid (Feb 10, 2012)

Video is here to stay and I have no problem with that, it's another tool. But I do have a problem with the lack of imagination shown by editorial staff in their handling of stills and online newspapers, and their slavish assumption that if you stick a video into a report you've automatically achieved something worthwhile. I had an argument with some Guardian bods as far back as 2005, that the direction they were taking was utterly unimaginative and half-hearted, they were trying to dump a newspaper on to the internet, rather than start with an appreciation of what the net can do and build a new format from the ground up. And here we are in 2012, and online newspapers are still laid out abysmally, the navigation is still hopeless, and more and more we're offered video even when we would prefer to read in silence - something the still image complements perfectly. I think with the growth of tablets we'll slowly see an improvement, but there's a real lack of vision.

7 upvotes
Angelfire
By Angelfire (Feb 10, 2012)

I totally applaud the new age of photojournalism which realises the potential to illustrate a story much more effectively through video than purely stills. The headline should perhaps have been "The end of photojournalism as we know it".

Dan Chung is absolutely right about the benefit accruing to amateurs as well. I find my self shooting video as well as stills at family events or when doing long walks in the countryside.

The beauty of video, as realised by Nikon, is that excellent stills can be captured from high quality video, stills which capture more accurately a moment in time that even a very experienced pro would have difficulty capturing with a stills shot.

Photo-books are an excellent way of showing stills captured from video. The same applies of course to news media.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Third Eye Focused
By Third Eye Focused (Feb 10, 2012)

These days what matters most in visual journalism is immediacy. With every other member of the public carrying a camera of some sort it is no surprise that photojournos are getting thin on the ground. Most of the newsworthy pictures shown on television and the web, be they still or moving, are from amateurs who just happened to be there. Lack of cinematic quality is no bar if you are lucky enough to be on the spot.

1 upvote
gogo2
By gogo2 (Feb 10, 2012)

Sounds like doomsday for Digital Photography. Sooner or later, dpreview will be reviewing videography equipment instead of photography like right now.

0 upvotes
Rob Rossington
By Rob Rossington (Feb 10, 2012)

It's people like him who are destroying traditional photojournalism. by Diversifying he's basically saying its not worth saving.

We need to try and save still imagery, it works so well on things like the Ipad etc.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

"Diversifying he's basically saying its not worth saving."--

Non-sense. By diversifying, it actually means he can continue to work as a photographer. It means he can continue to *survive* as a photographer. Would you rather that he no longer be able to make any kind of living, so that he has to sell all his equipment and go buy a hotdog stand? LOL.

3 upvotes
pdcm
By pdcm (Feb 10, 2012)

So if he can't find work in photogjounalism, you expect him to starve then, what for is art? Get intot the real world my firend.

2 upvotes
Rob Rossington
By Rob Rossington (Feb 10, 2012)

no its not nonsense, if he was particularly bothered about his proffession then he would try and do his bit to save it, instead he is jumping off the sinking ship instead of trying to plug the tiny hole that video has caused.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

"plug the tiny hole that video has caused"!?!? We're talking about a massive change in media and technology, not just some tiny hole that "video has caused." Consider that, back when magazines and newspapers only came in print form, a photojournalist only needed to submit photos. But today, magazines and newspapers come in digital and internet form, where content isn't just limited to a static photo. Digital magazines and newspapers distributed to the internet, tablets, and smart phones aren't just limited to static photos anymore. Their content now includes audio and video. The printed magazine and newspaper is giving way to new distribution forms. That's not some "tiny hole." That's actually a massive sea change. Time to join the 21st century!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
trungthu
By trungthu (Feb 10, 2012)

I think Mr Dan Chung is right.
When in our hand, the camera with both posibilities: still and movie.
And we can do both without having to change the camera or the lenses.
The main ideas are "what we think" and "what we do to take it".
Thanks for sharing. Very impressive.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Feb 10, 2012)

Dan has nice insights but every time he says 'video,' he prefixes it with 'DSLR.' A good impartial interviewer (that is, dpr), can notice this right away and ask a followup question the likes of "do you prefer DSLR?" As the interview stands now, Dan is expressing or pushing a bias, and without some elaboration he comes across as a sponsor or a guy who speaks for a sponsor. So I take it he is not all that independent. His comment about amateurs doing some 'great videos' is then in line with the courses he is giving, too.

I also think dpr should've asked a question on the shoulder room he gets in China and elsewhere and, of course, if his awards have helped him to get access to NK.

1 upvote
Dapple 101
By Dapple 101 (Feb 10, 2012)

I guess your post goes to show that it's always possible to find a negative angle (or two).

There's nothing 'biased' about saying 'DSLR video'. Try reading the article removing the term 'DSLR' and see how much sense it makes... And great work turning a fairly transparent compliment about amateur videographers into a sales pitch for his courses.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Feb 10, 2012)

My post goes to show it is always possible to make a good interview better.

0 upvotes
raztec
By raztec (Feb 10, 2012)

Yes, a picture makes a bigger impact. However, a picture needs a good story behind it and hence a good writer. Those are getting more rare too.

The power of photojournalism was greater before the internet, during vietnam and in places that few people could go. But that's when a simple Manual SLR and a handful of lenses is all you needed to get publishable photos. But good broadcast video quality required a much bigger camera which wasn't so easy to get in the back alleys of Thailand to get people to tell their story about child prostitution for example.

These days people don't read long articles. They would rather see a 3-5 minute video than sit down and read a 5 page article. And the small DSLR are putting out broadcast vidoe quality.

It's a combination of factors and good on people to embrace change. Moreover, I know it's an anathema for some, but one could always look through the video clips for a good still. O:

1 upvote
PaoloBosetti
By PaoloBosetti (Feb 10, 2012)

Three videos and one still in this article. And the only one that sticks in my brain is the still, that lil girl with the war fog in the background.
I am the only one thinking that way?

18 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Feb 10, 2012)

You're right! A picture (well taken) is much better than any video you can ever make. It makes a much deeper impact and it does it in a second.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
Martin Datzinger
By Martin Datzinger (Feb 10, 2012)

Absolutely agree. And the best part of a well done image: It doesn't run away from you. You can explore it.

7 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

I think the videos and the still are equally powerful, but in different ways. But the point of all this is that tomorrow's photojournalists will be able to capture *both*. Sometimes, you'll be able to capture video images that are very powerful, and sometimes you'll be able to capture still images that are very powerful.

I think the market simply wants and expects tomorrow's "photojournalists" to have the flexibility and versatility to capture either one. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. After all, sometimes I see scenes that I prefer to capture as a compelling video shot, while other times I see scenes that I prefer to capture as a compelling still shot. Or better yet, you do both, and decide afterwords which one serves your purposes best.

You also have to understand that we, here, on these forums are photographers-- so we obviously have a visual bias in favor of photos! But the general population may not necessarily have that same bias.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
EOS Photographer
By EOS Photographer (Feb 10, 2012)

Yup, its well known in psychology, that pictures stay in the mind while video goes by. Its the way your brain works.

Looking back at memories of your life in past. Feels much more like looking back at pictures, never as video (unlike a dream, which is more of the opposite).

I say pictures are here to stay.... but video will certainly become more important in digital media.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
delastro
By delastro (Feb 10, 2012)

The photo is more impressive but the video he can sell.
Is photojournalism in the future the work of amateurs and videojournalism the job for people getting money for their work ( profi)?

The death of photojournalists is fact and parallel the increasing number of digital photos worldwide. Times change.

But universities like Hannover in germany www.fotostudenten.de produce jobs in death...

1 upvote
tornwald
By tornwald (Feb 10, 2012)

A good video/film makes a thousand times more impact to me than a picture. A picture for me is always somewhat shallow. A great movie can get under your skin like great music can.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

@tornwald - Yeah, people here tend to forget how impactful movies, films, and cinema imagery has been throughout modern history. With video or "moving" imagery, you can incorporate movement, sound, and a longer sequence of time and history to put the viewer at the scene of the event. I think a lot of photographers just don't know how to incorporate these other dimensions, so they are too quick to dismiss them as superfluous or less valuable.

When I think back to the tragic events of 9/11, I'll never forget the horrifying video images of an airline jet flying at, then colliding with, the World Trade Center tower, resulting in a shocking explosion. It's that entire sequence of video that had to be seen, not just a fraction of a second of that sequence. And when the towers collapsed, it was that entire sequence of video that was so shocking, not just a single frame of that sequence.

Or if you look back to the JFK assassination, it was the Zapruder film that everyone remembers.

0 upvotes
BelePhotography
By BelePhotography (Feb 10, 2012)

I find the videos quite impressive actually. Some of the images in Mongolian Racer definitely imprinted on me. But I do agree that a stillimage gives us more time to reflect and ponder, hence I believe still images will be around in print as well as online media for a long time...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
WesternSage
By WesternSage (Feb 10, 2012)

I don't think the argument was that video is stronger than a photo. The argument is that no one can make a living anymore with just still photos, you need to up the game with video too.

0 upvotes
deagleman
By deagleman (Feb 10, 2012)

It was only more powerful because it was a terrible comparison. Given similar circumstances, I would wager that both mediums will be equally well at conveying the situation to the viewer.

And to those saying videos are forgettable and doesn't make an impact. Are you actually telling me the videos of the Japanese Tsunami, 9/11, Moon landing, JFK assassination, Tienanmen Square, etc made no lasting impressions on you and that all you can remember from those events are the pictures?

0 upvotes
Felipe Rodríguez
By Felipe Rodríguez (Feb 10, 2012)

I'm glad I have not to earn a living as photojournalist... I'm not good with video at all! I realize the creative opportunities of DSLR video (I own a Canon 5D2), but I find very hard shooting video and, more specifically, editing it...

3 upvotes
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Feb 10, 2012)

I suppose im out of touch with the youtube vimeo generation for whom video is more captivating.
Though when i think of my favorite movies, only specific scenes, moments become vivid.

Youngsters these days are supposed to have shorter and shorter attention spans (as do many adults). Is it something like 3sec to grab a persons attention before they become disinterested.

Too much info overload can numb.

Maybe present both.
Video and a captivating still.

1 upvote
VadymA
By VadymA (Feb 10, 2012)

Journalism is about reporting of events to the public. For this particular purpose (reporting of events) a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand pictures. That's just it. A picture may be more powerful emotionally but a video will tell much more accurately about what really happened. And if you need stills, you can always clip them straight from the video footage. The demand for video is exploding due to rapid transition of news reporting from paper to electronic format which is much better suited for video. Which news channel would you rather watch on your iPad - the one that only shows stills from the all events or the one that has video? This is just an evolution of news reporting. Those photojournalists that deny the reality may end up like Kodak. The photography will be left for art IMO.

2 upvotes
Raven15
By Raven15 (Feb 10, 2012)

Dang! I was at the same place on the same day as the Mongolia Racer video! I could tell by the color of the light first. Now that was strange to see...

0 upvotes
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Feb 10, 2012)

First, it's all "electronic photography." One imaging sensor, one CPU. Motion, stills, audio, text, time and position data in a small, hand-held device. One investment in lenses, a common memory storage device. Stills darkroom plus audio/video post in another compact and portable device. We can document the world with one little bag of gear.

Ignore this convergence if you will, but if you do, you're restricting your creativity, and the ability to use the right tool for the job - motion when it's called for, stills when that's called for, and often both, because there are several ways to tell the same story.

I started shooting stills over 40 years ago. Within a few years I was working in radio, television, and film, eventually online and web, print publishing... It's not hard, it's all about communicating. Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses. If you can be eloquent in one, you can be eloquent in several. It's not one vs. the other, it's all for one and one for all.

4 upvotes
trungthu
By trungthu (Feb 10, 2012)

"" because there are several ways to tell the same story. ""
I like it.
""" Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses. """
I agree with you.

1 upvote
mauritsvw
By mauritsvw (Feb 10, 2012)

Well said, DaveMarx. I agree that multimedia makes a photojounalist's work more interesting, and provides more opportunities to be creative. Whats not to like?

1 upvote
bladerunner912
By bladerunner912 (Feb 10, 2012)

I think the premise of the interviewee was that he had to diversify to put food on the table.

Since video is becoming as ubiquitous as photography is now, he and will soon have to diversify once again for the same reasons.

Nobody should doubt the power of the moving image as a creative medium, but as a sole means to make a living, it too is in decline.

0 upvotes
Sebastian Z
By Sebastian Z (Feb 10, 2012)

Isn’t that main goal of many people?, Remove ability to share the news in uncontrollable way? Photojournalists were always on the guard of freedoms, photos are much harder to manipulate than articles, those days it is simply not convenient, so it will get removed...And you can't stop it.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 10, 2012)

You don't have to look any farther than all the citizen journalists, vloggers, the role that people with video cameras played in the popular uprisings like the Arab Spring, or keeping law enforcement honest at OWS protests, YouTube, Vimeo and the tons of amazingly creative work on display there to know that multimedia is here to stay and it's role cannot and should not be minimized. I'm not sure how the contrary can even be seriously argued. This fact doesn't lessen the impact the still images will continue to have. Anyway, I seen Dan Chung's work on Vimeo prior to this piece but didn't realize all the cool things he has done.

0 upvotes
bladerunner912
By bladerunner912 (Feb 10, 2012)

But how many of them are getting paid for their video work ;)
What is happening with the democatisation of photography has been happening to video since the invention of the DV carmera in the 90's. There is a small delay between the two, but soon video journalists wil be looking again for a way to put food on the table.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Feb 10, 2012)

Last time I read news over the Internet, it still includes photos.... I still see photos out number videos. I think it's just the number of videos is increasing, and that's good. Video and photos are different formats, they have their own places. When TV came, books didn't die....

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Feb 10, 2012)

I think what is really happening with stills is that they are getting them for free more frequently. As for video, I almost never click on it as they take forever to get to the point.

1 upvote
rttew
By rttew (Feb 10, 2012)

Daniel's entitled to his own opinion, but as a journalist working for a local community paper, I can tell you that contrary to popular belief, print is not dead. People will always want and appreciate a well-written local newspaper covering local events that never make TV or the larger publications/websites. Now, do journalists have to pull double duty these days and be both writer and photographer? Yes. But that is just the modern trend in these days of limited advertising revenue. Personally, I will take one still that tells the story rather than 10 minutes of video shot by a top notch director and $100,000 worth of equipment.

1 upvote
Dennis
By Dennis (Feb 10, 2012)

Very sad ... the videos are good, but they don't have nearly the power of a good still. And more generally, I'm not sure why people enjoying watching videos so much ... of more mundane things. Like a video of a talking head reading you something that you can read without hogging bandwidth or turning up the volume if it were printed on the page in the first place. I think right now, we're in video for the sake of video mode. We're seeing so much of it just because it can be done. (And maybe it's too hard to read on an iPhone, I don't know).

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Feb 10, 2012)

I don't agree. I think video has been important for such a long time, but compared to now wasn't as easily integrated, manipulated nor readily viewable by the common man. Today it is.

Any Joe with a decent computer can import, edit and export vid with professional results. The same is true with someone with less than $5,000 worth of equipment as opposed to what was financially required a decade ago to get the same (or worse result).

Although I like the instant news via text with one photograph- the impact isn't the same as say, video of an U.S. Air Force A-10 rolling in for the kill, and the sound of the gun "burrrrping" bullets; the sound reaching the camera long after the plane has come off the target.

A photograph doesn't convey the weirdness of hearing the gun spew bullets AFTER the plane is gone; video does. A photograph doesn't convey riots in Iceland like video does form uploaded as an iReport while the riot is in progress. I like stills... but the public likes video.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Feb 10, 2012)

Explains why video in cameras has become so important in recent years. Even Canon was taken aback by the success of video implementation in their 5D2. The pros who make use of this feature know what they're talking about: after all, they rely on it to make their living.

On the other hand, we have many ignorant and loud-mouth amateurs and enthusiasts who go around screaming why video is not important on their cameras. Some pros like Thom Hogan just do NOT get it and they frequently make disparaging remarks about Canon's efforts in this department. This is also why Thom's predictions are so WAY OFF in the last couple of years.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Feb 10, 2012)

Well I agree with Thom. Look, I have no problem with people who like to do both. If you like to do photos & videos, have at it. If you see it as a way to make more money & wish to do that, go right ahead.

My gripe is this: people who don't want to do video are not necessarily being "old fashioned" or "lacking in imagination" & it's wrong to label them as being such. It may just be that photography is who & what they are & they want cameras that facilitate that.

You may say "apples & oranges," but I think it's telling that, for instance, no one asks George Strait to do rap music, even though he came of age in the 80s when rap music was exploding. They accepted him as a country singer ONLY. It had nothing to do with "lacking imagination" or "resisting change." It's just that rap wasn't what he WAS, & hey--it's all music, right?

In like manner, people need to accept that persons who specialize in stills, that's just who they are. Accept them on their terms or go with someone else.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Feb 10, 2012)

There is nothing wrong with folks who are only interested in still photography or video, but not both.

From a company perspective, the issue here is survival. The more products a company sells, the better. This is especially true in a changing landscape where sales of photographic gear is expected to decline slowly over the years as the growth period has nearly peaked. If a product can appeal to both photographers and videographers, and that helps to boost sales, then why not? If the 5D2 was not such a roaring success (for an expensive FF camera), why do you think Nikon bothers to include so many video-related features in their D800?

Thank goodness folks like Thom are not in the driver's seat for Nikon, otherwise they'll be in deep financial trouble now. Thom seems to think cameras should NOT include features for videographers. Now, that is discrimination.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

@larrytusaz - "people need to accept that persons who specialize in stills, that's just who they are. Accept them on their terms or go with someone else."

Well, that's going to be exactly what's going to happen. Fewer and fewer people who can *only* deliver stills, or refuse to deliver anything but stills, are going to be able to find work in journalism, because the market will "go with someone else." Sure, there will be photographers who will be able to survive just shooting stills in this market, but there will just be a lot fewer of them who can do that.

So the question is, do you adapt to the changing market, or do you refuse to adapt because "that's who you are", and eventually find yourself getting fewer and fewer jobs. Stubbornness and lack of adaptability in the face of a changing market generally don't lead to a happy ending.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Feb 10, 2012)

Well again, I agree with Thom, and you are overlooking a big thing--he has acknowledged that "video in d-SLRs is here to stay" & that the market has changed exactly in the way you & others are saying. He has said that when he bids on projects that they want his quote for what he'd charge for video as well, if I read his comments correctly.

His point is that camera makers risk not innovating more in the stills area if they're too focused on video innovations. Mine is that in making cameras able to do video you compromise the ergonomics for a stills-only shooter. The otherwise excellent Nikon D5100 is a great example. That red dot button for videos located near the shutter release could instead be used for ISO (the D5100 has no dedicated ISO button) but it's not customizable, so as a stills-only shooter it gets in my way. I don't like that. At least give the option for a stills-only shooter to re-map such buttons, as my Olympus E-PL1 does for its red-dot button.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

@larrytusaz- your fatal flaw in thinking is that the DSLR is only for stills-only shooters, or that the stills-only shooter is some person whose needs or wants are sacred. That's simply not the case anymore. And the "red button" issue you keep harping on is a perfect example of this. You seem to think that putting that red record button anywhere near the shutter button represents some violation of the stills-shooter's sanctity. The reality is that as we move forward, the needs of the stills shooter and the video shooter will reach greater and greater parity or equality. Dan Chung's insights into the changes in the photojournalism industry is simply evidence of this! Being able to shoot video is now just as important, if not more important, to a photojournalist as shooting stills!

0 upvotes
Ilkka Nissilä
By Ilkka Nissilä (Feb 10, 2012)

I don't personally know anyone who uses the video feature in a DSLR. I know there must be some that do ... and I get that photojournalists shoot some video now. But I think it's a case of a video shooting 1% minority who wants the 99% to pay for the development of their tool since if it were up to video shooters' money, well, you can see that the large sensor video camera cost is astronomical. So the only way to make large sensor video cameras affordable is if the still photographers pay for its development. Unfortunately no one really asked us. (Like I said I understand that in photojournalism things are different. But they push it on other cameras not intended for PJs as well. Yet ultimately to make it truly workable all the lenses will have to be redesigned to focus silently, have power zoom, focus gearing etc. and again the still shooter who doesn't use these features has to pay for it.)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
J Parker
By J Parker (Feb 10, 2012)

There will always be room for excellence in both still photography and motion video. Both can enhance the other -- and both can have a powerful impact on their own. If Steve McCurry had shot his famous Afghan girl image in video, it no doubt would have been powerful -- but it was the viewer's ability to see that moment in time captured by the still photograph that would make it one of the most profoundly powerful images of the 20th century. (McCurry states that single photograph drew responses from all around the world from people looking for a way to help a girl thousands of miles away -- a true testament to the power of a photograph, even years before the internet).

By the way -- for those who choose to focus primarily on still photography, ironically, some of the most elegant films still rely heavily on traditional photography (i.e. Ken Burns' work).

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Feb 10, 2012)

You are what you are. Be true to it, and those who can't appreciate it--screw them. But I suppose it's easy for me to say when it's not my profession, which I'm glad of frankly.That way no one is twisting my arm to do video when it has never interested me, it never will, & it's not about being "resistant to change." I am what I am.

No one demanded Magic Johnson moonlight as a football player. No one demands LeBron James know how to play baseball. Michael Jordan, great as he was, tried to--oops, didn't work out too well did it? And hey, all of those are sports-activities, are they not?

In like manner, no one is demanding Rhianna sing a country song, or George Strait learn how to rap--and hey, George Strait was popular in the 80s just as rap was exploding. George Strait is a country singer, period.

I myself like to do stills, that's what my interest is. If video isn't part of my interest, why should I have to do it? Have reasonable expectations.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 10, 2012)

"No one demanded Magic Johnson moonlight as a football player. No one demands LeBron James know how to play baseball." -- Those are horrible analogies that don't fit at all.

A better analogy would be if Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan could be able to adapt to a new style of play due to certain changes in the game of basketball. If they couldn't adapt to this new style of play or new expectations of play, then they would find themselves being replaced by players who could adapt to these changes of play. Likewise, that's what's going on in "photojournalism"-- there's a new style of image capture that is coming into play. It involves capturing still images and video images. If you can't hang with this new style and expectation of play, you get sidelined or get less play time.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 10, 2012)

GM and UAW could thought it was OK to make Pontiac, Olds, and Saturn. GM and the UAW also went on and on blaming eachother for losses. Detroit now has lots of guys bellyaching about the past, imagining the world will ask them to make Firebird again. Ain't gonna happen. Ditto if any Kodak loyalist thinks that "film will riiiiiise agin'."

0 upvotes
DonM999
By DonM999 (Feb 10, 2012)

It is also a cost cutting measure, having one person doing stills and video. I have seen local TV news people setting up the video camera and then talking in front of it.

1 upvote
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Feb 10, 2012)

Great interview with a real pro. The videos are superb and the information is very timely.

I remember tons of naysayers here on these forums yapping about what a waste of time it is to put video capability on dSLR cameras.

Sadly, we have a lot of very unimaginative people who get cranky and ultra negative about new things because it is not of much interest to them. I suspect there is a negative correlation between how arrogantly opinionated one is and some measure of one's overall smartness.

Thanks for this very interesting interview!

Dan

3 upvotes
Fred Mueller
By Fred Mueller (Feb 10, 2012)

its the number of carried cameras that dilute the income stream of the "professionals" - it's people/amatures with IPhones who are present at newsworthy events and they, by virtue of just being there, dilute the need for the pro journalist.....

stills images are by a fair margin what the mind remembers - they are objects - video is narrative, and meaningful, but seldom memorable in the same way a still image is....

images are like logos - video is like add copy - think of how you remember video, if you remember it at all - as a sequence of stills - a good still is the distillation of events..... the imprimatur of history

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Toddles
By Toddles (Feb 10, 2012)

Well said Fred. Walter Cronkite said in one interview that video cams will change the news world. Walter is right. We all can remember vivid footages of 9/11. But still images of a fireman's exhausted looking face and the dis-orientated look of people walking in a cloud of ashes still linger in my mind.

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