Having the latest equipment does not mean you get the best photographs or video.

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By Keith Lupton

Back when we were all allowed outside of our homes, social distancing wasn’t an issue and no one had even heard about coronavirus, were you one of those people who queued outside the shops for hours to get your hands on the latest gadget or gizmo?

Does having the latest camera and equipment get you the best photographs or video?

I attended a friend’s wedding in the middle of summer; the sun was high in the sky and not a single cloud could be seen. It was a great day to be getting married, it could have been anywhere in the world it was that perfect.

My friends had booked a photographer and video production team to capture their special day, but they asked if I would also take some photographs of their special day from a more personal perspective which I was thrilled to do.

As I arrived at the bride’s house the main photographer and videographer had already arrived. The videographer was upstairs interviewing the bride, the bride’s Mum and the bridesmaids while the photographer was struggling to get through the door with all his equipment. He had a case for his lenses, his tripod, separate lights with their legs, a large reflector, props and the latest DSLR camera with all the bells and whistles.

I was impressed, the bride’s house had been transformed into a mini camera shop! There must have been thousands of pounds worth of the latest equipment in the room. I was feeling a little inferior, but I was excited to see the end results.

After the wedding, several weeks went by before I received a message from the newlyweds, asking for me to look over the images and the video footage they had received from the photographer on 3 CDs via post. At first, I thought this was “quite strange” but as I said, I was excited to see the results.

I picked up the CD’s and opened the first on my computer. There were hundreds of images! I opened the second CD…hundreds more!  I opened the third CD to find a three hour video compiling all of the shots from the day, placed back to back with a music track that had been ripped from YouTube to drive the video (I could tell this was the case as it still had the music video introduction on it).

I was shocked; I dread to think about how his new wife reacted when she saw them.

90% of the images were either overexposed or out of focus. The composition was off, people where cropped from an image, it was an absolute disaster! I managed to do something with the video footage chopping it up into a highlight video which turned out quite well in the end, but for the images, not even a Photoshop wizard could have salvaged them.

There is a lot more to photography then people think. We will cover camera settings another day, but my point is this, you can have the best equipment in the world but if you don’t know how to use it, you might as well use the camera on your phone and save your money.

Familiarise yourself with your camera, understand apertures and the focal length, know your equipment and its capabilities. Do not take your camera straight from the box and expect it to do all the work. Read over the manual to understand what each control or button does. Do your research and know your camera and equipment inside out.

When you are looking for a photographer or a video production team be mindful of the business that talks about having the ‘latest’ camera or even the history of the business. Instead, you need to be looking their portfolio, latest projects and testimonials to back up their work, because as I witnessed first-hand, having the latest equipment does not always mean you will be getting the best work.

Be mindful of the business that talks about having the ‘latest’ camera or even the history of the business. Instead, you need to be looking their portfolio, latest projects and testimonials to back up their work, because as I witnessed first-hand, having the latest equipment does not always mean you will be getting the best work.

If you would like help with photography or video production, please contact the Yellow Team today.

 

 

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