From Stills to Video

Since I got my Fuji X-E1 I’ve had fits and starts with producing video. There was some difficulty getting the video files to work with anything, so I relied on my iPhone in Macedonia and at other shooting opportunities; then, with a bit of frustrated googling I found out about the codec needed for Windows Movie Maker that allows anyone to edit their DSLR video files, no conversion necessary. Hallelujah.

This video is part of my “Summer Challenge,” where I force myself to make 7 videos in one week. The videos can be ANYTHING- meaning a tutorial, a time lapse, video art, a music video, whatever- but I need to learn something new and challenge myself to improve on them each time.

This video, “Jonathon’s Pueblo,” was shot on a Saturday night and Sunday morning July 26-27. I had no plan and no idea what the soundtrack was going to be, so the imagery had to be something I found around Phoenix. As a still photographer I’m used to wandering and getting inspired by whatever I come across- except I’ve gotten very far from street/ cityscape/ nature photography, and mostly work with people. These were very creaky muscles.

The locations ended up being Arizona Falls, Rio Salado Nature Preserve and the former “Way Cool Hair” salon in downtown Phoenix. Any use of natural elements- water, wind, light etc.- is a good strategy when you don’t have any people to move around in the video, and I was also blessed to come across a few critters and a bunch of landing airplanes.

Since this was the most video shooting I’d done on my 6-month old camera, I tried out some of the internal film presets including the “black and white w/ red filter.” It really didn’t matter since I ended up converting everything to my own high contrast black and white preset in Adobe Lightroom. The final video mix was done using the free Windows Movie Maker.

The song I chose was an edit of an ambient track I made last year called “Jonathon’s Pueblo.” I tried to let the song guide the editing process, and where the music gets strange I did a little slowing down of the water. Not sure if that completely worked, but this video is about trying new things and seeing what sticks.

I am really excited about making videos, and using them in an expressive way that merges the imagery I use in still photography with animation and the music/ soundscapes I make. It’s no secret that video content is prized on sites in ways that still photography or music simply isn’t, so if it’s another marketable skill on my toolbelt, then faaaaabulous.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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