Patrick really likes to stuff that long-focus lens into the faces of his subjects, no matter how blurry of a macro it may make.
We all have our jobs to do around the Perplexing Times offices, and we all do them, time permitting, to the best of our ability. Well, maybe not the best of our abilities, but certainly to the best of our interest in doing so. staff Videographer we hired, however, is really mooking up the works with his inattention to detail.
The most basic principles, technically, include holding the camcorder in your hand, pressing the "record" button and pointing it in the right direction. He usually manages at least two of those three things, but from there, it's anybody's guess.
He gets so darn excited he bounces like a Tigger, which doesn't ruin the recording but it does push the capacity of the Anti-Shake protection to its limits and usually a bit beyond. I get excited too but the bouncing has got to end.
From there his struggles get a bit more peculiar. As you can see from the pictures, conveniently taken by another staff member dedicated to locking the moment down for history, he's got the basics all misunderstood.
Left - is a fine example of almost everything, except for how to actually use a video camera. Here you can see Patrick holding it not just unimaginably close to my head while bouncing up and down, but also sideways.
You can't turn a camera sideways and expect a decent video. It's not like photographs where you can present them in portrait or landscape modes. I know the finished image may look right on the screen, but our television doesn't allow playback in sideways mode unless we climb up above the mantle and manhandle the whole, 100-pound contraption on its side. That's no good for a clip that only lasts a couple minutes and unpredictably switches from wide-to-tall.
Then comes the whole zoom issue. I know I've opined on the matter of zoom before, but I think he was out the day we had that meeting. Word to the unwise: Back up a bit. You can't put a long-focus camera four-inches off my face and expect to get anything other than a sharp shot of my pores. They're clean and closed and that is in and of itself commendable, I know, but let's try to focus on the bigger picture if at all possible.
At point he's been reprimanded, but not in writing or verbally and I've made up a handy pamphlet for him to study on the common art of not ruining family videos.
Has he learned his lesson? No. Sadly he can't read my squiggles, and once scribbled neither can I. I think the lesson implied is implicit, even if just by definition so I'll count as a victory all around.
When traveling, it's okay to let the youngsters handle the video camera, especially if you aren't doing it. At the very least you'll get more footage than you would have otherwise (and tape is cheap), also you'll probably catch some candid moments you never would have thought of… even if it does end up being pretty terrible footage.
Above - Even with the handsome smile of at least one of the junior journalists in most uncommon place, Patrick still can't be bothered in all his pre-third-grade wisdom, to hold the camera straight. No matter, we love him all the same and that much more for it.
Above - Despite the fact that we never got much more than a few seconds of useful footage, is a fine example of Patrick using the camera properly.