Last weekend was the annual Union County MusicFest a few towns over. Part county fair, part carnival, and mostly a free outdoor two day concert with bands such as Train, Spoon, OK Go, and The Bravery. I stopped by Saturday, hung with friends, and took some photos of the event. Here are some shots of OK Go playing the second stage Saturday Night:
Digital video and digital photograph formats are so close, and yet so far away.
On many cameras like the Nikon D90 I use, the difference between capturing one or the other is a switch or a button away, and destinations for the content like Flickr do little to distinguish the two formats. However, when you get the memory card back to the computer what you do with them and how you process the captured files is worlds apart. I don’t have a handy solution to process images and video in the same way, but here’s one way to help the management of the files by using a still reference photograph as a hook for the metadata though our workflow from acquisition right through publishing onto web sites.
Creating a Handle For Data — The Reference Photo
It starts with the still photograph. We don’t need this file to be pretty, but it will store shooting metadata in the EXIF info like focal length to capture time to keywords we need this handle and be used to transfer metadata from app to app. The habit I’ve gotten into is to take a still photograph at the end of a video clip. This can be a JPG or a RAW file, a JPG may save some time and drive space later on. Take the photo with the same focus, aperture, iso, lens, etc as part of your video. On the Nikon D90 its just a matter of pressing the shutter which will end the video and take a single frame shot. (A shot at the start of the video works just as well).
Copy both the reference photos and video files onto your drive and lets gets started with adding metadata. If you’re an Adobe Bridge user you can start right inside of Bridge and open up the folder with your files. Tag the images similarly, add titles or metadata presets, etc. Rate your videos and do other things you’d do here as normal. Then “group” the associated files as a stack to keep them together [Stacks > Group as Stack].
If you’re a Lightroom user you can import the reference photos and tag them, then open the video in Bridge and copy the IPTC Keywords field or other metadata from the photo to the video. Or if you don’t want the reference photos in your main catalog you can export your keywords list [Metadata > Export Keywords…] then load into Bridge to keep things consistant.
End result of either process is you should have a photograph and video similarly tagged, managed and searchable on your computer. Now you can search all your content – video or photo – for “rain”. Just as important, if you want to repeat a style you can look up what lens or aperture you used in a video by checking the associated reference photo!
Getting Video Metadata Onto Flickr
So we know how to export and upload our processed, titled, keyworded & geotagged photo to Flickr. However, uploading the finished video clip loses everything we’ve tagged.
To fix this we can upload both the JPG we’ve created for reference as well as the final video clip at the same time. Right in the Flickr Uploadr we can copy and paste some information like Title and Tags from one item to the other. If that’s enough you can delete the photo from uploader and only upload the video. However, if you’ve done things like geotagged the image, or want to sync capture time or other information you have to do that on the Flickr website proper [Organize > Your Map & drag the video onto the photos space].
Setting the uploaded photograph to private lets you sync the metadata and keep a still image with the video without showing the reference photo to the world.
End Results – Easily Managed Published Video Collections
The extra step of taking a reference photograph along with my video clips allows for easy management of collections like this Little Nature Videos set on Flickr, complete with map!
This is one article of 52 I’ll be writing in year 2010 on web design, technology, photography and probably some other topics. Please let me know what you think of the project and the topics covered.
In the vein of events like 24 Hours of Flickr and Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk a local photographer recently used Flickr and other local web sites to organize 48 Hours of Maplewood, an event where people in town were asked to go out on a nice summer weekend and document their suburban New Jersey neighborhood.
This Sunday, August 30, 2009 2 â€“ 5pm some of the photographs from 48 Hours of Maplewood will be show at an exhibition at 1978 Springfield Ave, Maplewood. You can also view many of the contributed images at the official Flickr group.
Taking a photo a day will make you a better photographer. Using your camera every day will help you learn its limits. You will get better at composing your shots, youâ€™ll start to care about lighting, and youâ€™ll become more creative with your photography when youâ€™re forced to come up with something new every single day.
I’ve thought about joining in each of the last few years — hey, I already take photos a few times a week, what’s a few more? But that’s why I never have. I already shoot a few times a week, carry one of my cameras almost everywhere and spend more time then most looking around for a potential photo op. In the end I just didn’t think taking more photographs would advance my skills.
Twisting It Around For 2009
So I’m not one to typically make resolutions but I have been thinking about what I do need to do to improve my shooting. And I don’t think its spending more time taking pictures or taking more pictures but instead spending more time taking the pictures and on the pictures I do take. My typical routine over the last two years has been go out for the day and shoot 200 or so pictures and skim through for the 10 or so shots I want to quickly tweak and drop on Flickr. But then I move on and don’t look back or look closer.
So my plan for 2009 is to twist the idea of Project365 on its side a little and try and come up with one photograph a week that I’ve spent some time in the field thinking about and trying a few things to get just right and then coming back and really giving it a good look when I get back in both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop in post production to make the image the best it can be. Like shooting every day, it should force me to get out regularly, spend time focusing on shooting in the field and coming up with something new. But I hope it also helps me slow down a little, pay more attention, and spend some time really critiquing my work instead of taking a snap and then quickly moving on.
Project52 – Week 1
I was at the local park again shooting primarily in two locations along the trail. The pine grove and its long shadows gave me some good candidates for the first week’s image, but ultimately is was the more iconic waterfalls shots that grabbed me. This photo of Black Rock Falls offered some shooting challenges [mix of lighting & harsh highlights] and a lot of things to try.
In the end I think the image right our of the camera was pretty good [though unfortunately a little soft] so I didn’t do too much in post, but a trip though LR and PS for a little cropping, brighting of the cascading waterfalls which was in shadow areas and a little cropping made the resulting image something I’m a lot happier with.
I don’t know if I’ll blog each week’s posting, but you can watch my Project52 set on Flickr to see how I progress and if I keep up with it all year.
A slideshow posted to the newpaper’s website entitled 2008 In Photos offers 50 or so of the top news images of 2008. Some really great work in there that holds up as great photojournalism regardless of the locale.
New Jersey 2008 on Flickr
On a less photojournalistic note, but none the less interesting, The Flcikr group Anybody Want OT Have A NJ Photo Outing? — which is dedicated to people from the internets meeting up in real life for photowalks and the like — has a thread asking us amateurs to Post your best NJ image from 2008. It is interesting to see the great images and read a little about why someone picked the image they did. As for my pick in the thread…
I think this is one of my favorite shots from the year. It just came out of a short time spent one afternoon in may – breaking the winter blues with some nice color and some active birds. I think ir has some good depth, color and i like the way it prints.