Drone photography and videography are being used in dozens of fields, including commercial and residential real-estate photography, insurance assessments, land use surveys, event photography, marketing, and construction-site monitoring. Creative niche applications are being explored every day.
The Adorama Drone Experience is a digital hub of inspiration and information for photographers and videographers who want to take their drone photography to the next level. The website includes jaw-dropping aerial content, gear guides, tips and techniques from experts, and the latest on flight rules and regulations. The content was developed by Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, audio, imaging and electronics retailers.
“Drone photography and videography is a rapidly evolving trend that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon,” states Lev Peker, chief marketing officer, Adorama. “Unlike other aspects of digital imaging, there are far more complications, rules and know-how to safely and successfully use drone gear.”
For four decades, Adorama has been a leading authority in the field of digital imaging, Peker adds: “We are deeply rooted in the community and have extensive partnerships with artists and manufacturers.”
The Adorama Drone Experience is an immersive environment designed to make you feel as if you are seeing the world through the eyes of the drone. In addition to stunning footage, the hub offers drone gear buying guides for all levels, product reviews, videos, and tutorials to help you successfully navigate each stage of evaluating, purchasing and using drones.
Drone Photography Experts Share Insights
One Adorama Drone Experience contributor is Nils Granholm who has worked with remotely piloted vehicles since 1986. Granhom’s diverse aerial imaging work includes Hollywood productions, commercial entities like Volkswagen, and agencies such as the US Department of Homeland Security.
Designer, educator and photographer Dirk Dallas, who has taken the aerial photography and cinematography world by storm, will also be among the A-list contributors to the Adorama Drone Experience.
“After making images for 10 years at eye level, I needed a new challenge,” says Dallas. “Capturing photos and video from the air with a drone has fulfilled that need because it allows me to see the world in a completely unique way.”
A fan favorite from Adorama’s “Through The Lens” series, Dirk’s knowledge and creativity can be seen in recent AdoramaTV videos and Adorama Learning Center articles.
If you need a fast way to produce explanatory videos for your blog or website, check out Explory. It’s a new app for iPads and iPhones that lets you blend images and/or video clips right on your phone. Adding narration is as easy as talking on your phone.
Explory offers an easy way to make “how-to” videos or tell “behind-the-scenes” stories about photo shoots, your art or design project, or research for your book project. You could use it to create promotional videos, document special events, or tell the stories behind selected projects in your portfolio.
“Many of us want to share experiences that are more in-depth than what can be conveyed with a single photo or a six-second video clip. At the same time, few people want to take the time and effort required to edit a video,” said Peter Goldie, one of the founders of Explory. “Explory makes it fun for anyone to quickly create rich, interactive stories, right on their phone.”
Even better, your audience can control the pace at which they view the story and the level of detail they want to explore.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun with Explory, sharing stories with family and friends. It’s easy to use and creates great results quickly. I know my clients are going to be excited to use this to craft their business stories in a compelling and cost effective way. It’s really the next evolution of corporate video,” said Chuck Easler, owner of Easler Communications.
Creating a story with Explory is simple and fast. The “Story Ideas” feature automatically creates stories for you by analyzing the time and location data of photos and videos on your device. Just edit the draft, dictate some narration, and add text and music if you wish.
Or, you can start with a blank canvas and pick content from your photo library. You can also choose to use Explory’s camera to record a story as it happens.
Each story can be as long as you wish; you are not limited to short video clips. You can zoom in on high resolution photos, and play high quality video without aggressive compression.
Explory’s blended media story has a “play” button, but it’s not a traditional video: it’s interactive. Explory allows viewers to easily swipe ahead to skip sections, or explore details that would not normally be part of watching the main story. Your stories won’t bore anyone because they choose the length!
Explories can also be embedded in a Web page or blog, just like a traditional video. Or, you can share your “explories” privately with friends and family via email, messaging, and social media.
If you publish your “explories” publicly in the Explory gallery, people don’t need the Explory App to view your stories; they can use a mobile or desktop Web browser.
Explories are stored in the cloud and optimized for playback on your device. You can share your story immediately and continue to refine it over time. Explory’s cloud synchronization feature lets you work on the story from multiple iPhones and iPads.
Creative pros will undoubtedly find all sorts of ways to use Explory — either to tell their own stories or to tell stories for their clients.
The creators of Explory envision that “makers” will use the app to share step-by-step, how-to instructions for assembling, repairing, or cooking. Digital journalists can use Explory to quickly assemble a story that combines photos, videos, and audio. Small businesses that don’t have the time, skill, or money to create corporate videos can use Explory to demonstrate products, answer frequently asked questions, or provide technical support.
The app is also being promoted as a tool for students, educators, people who want to share special moments in their lives with family and friends, or anyone who wants to describe the world around them and share it with others.
Explory is a free download in the Apple App Store. It requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6 or better. Once you’ve installed it, tap on “Story Ideas” and see your stories! If you want more than the 50 MB free storage Explory provides, you can sign up for a month-long or annual subscription.
It’s always fun to see how creative professionals are integrating new technologies into their work in some unexpected ways. This story is a good example.
The GoPro Camera is a small, durable camera that was originally designed to capture a first-person perspective of extreme sports athletes in action. Now it is emerging as a staple in mainstream video productions — including the extremely competitive sport of business.
The Boston based video production company McElroy Films recently started making the GoPro available for use in corporate video productions. They believe the GoPro will open new possibilities for corporate clients who want to create distinctive, high-impact video while reducing the size and costs of on-site production crews.
McElroy Films LLC is an award-winning producer of high definition video for corporate, educational, non- profit, wedding, music video, and independent film use. Serving clients throughout New England area, their goal is to keep high definition video affordable without sacrificing quality. McElroy Films strives to push the creative envelope for corporate and wedding videos while maintaining traditional production values.
According to McElroy executive producer and videographer Evan Perry, the small size and functionality of the GoPro camera is ideal for small and large productions because it limits the amount of equipment and manpower needed on the set.
“While the GoPro will never replace professional videography in the field, it does provide a quality, innovative addition to a video that can allow unparalleled access into previously un-filmable and expensive details of a wedding or corporate project.” said Perry.
Ben McElroy, founder of McElroy Films adds that, “The camera works really well during corporate shoots, because it captures high-quality images from an array of perspectives, without a videographer or rig obstructing the integrity of a meeting, presentation, or conference.”
Capturing footage with or without a camera operator in unconventional settings and rigging positions enables viewers to experience a product or setting up close and personally. The first person “GoPro” perspective can take the viewer on a remarkable and intimate exploration of a product or service.
McElroy clients can use the camera as a web camera for meetings with clients in remote locations. Clients can participate in the filming by wearing, holding, or mounting the camera, depending on the footage or mood they hope to capture.
McElroy Films premiered the GoPro at their open house in October. The footage captured on the GoPro was edited together with footage captured on the Cannon C300 to create a unique highlight video souvenir for their guests.
Easy access to high-resolution video capture, projection, and display devices has generated a surge of interest in creating and displaying artwork based on moving images. At events such as the Moving Image Art Fair in London and New York, international commercial galleries and non-profit institutions present single-channel videos, single-channel projections, video sculptures, and other larger video installations. Degree programs in video art or moving images are popping up in art schools.
Video art is also becoming increasingly popular in corporate workplaces, bars and restaurants, and hospitals and health clinics.
Display Your Video Paintings at Open Gallery
One enterprise that has pioneered a form of video art is Open Gallery, which originated as a division of TVF Media in London. TVF Media is an independent multimedia company that was founded in 1983 as Television and Film Productions by the filmmaker, philosopher, and video artist Hilary Lawson.
After publishing a theory of “Closure” in 2001, Lawson began shooting video in a way that supported his theory that art offers a way to avoid closure of thought and approach openness.
Escaping the narrative traditions of documentary filmmaking, Lawson sought a subjectless frame, kept the camera static to avoid introducing meaning, and allowed the camera to roll for several minutes. This type of art is now known as a video painting.
As Lawson began to shoot more video art, a collective of artists formed around the video painting format.
In a video painting, there is no subsequent editing or manipulation of the image. There is no dialogue or sound. It is about as far removed from the limitations of narrative filmmaking as you can get.
Open Gallery was founded in 2006 and works exclusively with video painting and practitioners of video painting. Today, Open Gallery works with well-known artists such as Sarah Turner, George Barber, and William Raban who have created video paintings as well as rising stars such as Roz Mortimer and Sidsel Christensen.
Joe Smith of Open Gallery says the gallery doesn’t officially ‘represent’ the artists whose video paintings are shown their site: Instead, “We collaborate with them on commissioned projects.” Some projects are group series, which are curated around a certain theme. Others are solo artist series.
In addition to showing video paintings, Open Gallery designs and installs custom displays for video paintings. Open Gallery has created public art installations as well as installations in corporate and hospitality environments.
Clients who purchase video paintings can have them displayed in wall-mounted digital frames or as larger-scale projected-video installations.
Open Gallery offers an assortment of handmade frames in a variety of sizes and finishes. The frames are built to accommodate a display screen and the compact “Laluna” device that stores the artwork and plays the video paintings in a non-linear, intelligent sequence.
Laluna Technology Overcomes Repetitive Loop
Endlessly repeating the same sequence of images in a permanent installation of video paintings would become annoying. In 2003, Open Gallery created technology to overcome the problem of the ‘repetitive loop.’
Their proprietary “Laluna” technology enables video paintings to be combined and titled to form bodies of work that never repeat in the same sequence. Yet they still retain the structure determined by the artist. As a result, says Smith, “Artists working with video painting can incorporate themes and direction in their work without reverting to traditional narrative formats.”
“The artist has full control over the curation of a solo series or of the works included within a group series,” says Smith. “Artists also control the scheduling of a number of different series at exhibitions or festivals.”
But for permanent installations, the software and hardware of the LaLuna computer system ensures that an extended sequence of videos are fed in a way that encourages openness but in a nonlinear way in which the changes are subtle and non-abrasive.
If you check out some of the collections in the Open Gallery, you will see that some series of video paintings will run for hours without repetition.
According to Smith, clients are attracted to the abstract, non-narrative imagery and the subtleties in how the series are curated and the morphology of the sequencing. Open Gallery has installed video paintings in architecture firms, asset management companies, private health clinics, private clubs, bars, and hotels.
“Not only do video paintings provide a genuine fine-art addition to individual homes, clubs, and corporate workplaces,” says Smith. “But they also represent a long-term investment. The works can be swapped out with new material, subject to the terms of the client’s contract with Open Gallery.”
Smith acknowledges that the idea of collecting video art can be a little tricky, because a video painting isn’t quite the same as an “art object.” Having the right environment for screening a collection is also essential to presenting the art as it was conceived to be presented.
Artspace recently published Rachel Corbett’s interview with Pam Kramlich, a pioneering collector of video art. Kramlich says that as video art has an increasingly important place in museum exhibitions, there is likely to be more interest in collecting it.
Open Prize for Video Painting
To raise awareness of video painting as an art form, Open Gallery works with artists who want to exhibit at fairs and festivals. The gallery also sponsors the Open Prize for Video Painting to help discover other artists who are creating video paintings.
Artists with an interest in showcasing their video paintings are encouraged to contact Open Gallery.
The gallery is planning an online screening of a series the first week of September. The details will be announced via Twitter (@OpenEyeGallery).
Businesses that plan to create multimedia productions have a new resource for locating and hiring freelance audiovisual professionals. AVgig.com allows businesses to post job listings at no charge and receive bids from AV freelancers such as web video creators, video editors, voice talent, animators, graphic designers, live event technicians, actors, and other creative professionals.
“What makes AVgig.com unique among freelance job sites is the ease with which businesses can post projects,” says Tim McLaughlin, founder and president of AVgig.com. “Completing audiovisual projects often requires a variety of creative professionals – a videographer to shoot and edit video, a graphic designer to provide logos and other visual elements, an animator, a voice talent to record narration.
With AVgig.com a company can post one project and list each type of creative they need to complete the project. They can specify the budget, details of the project, starting and ending dates, and the number of bids they want to review. Once a business has reviewed the bids received through AVgig.com it can contact the creative freelancer directly, discuss additional project details and make payment arrangements. Unlike some other freelance job sites, we don’t stand in the way of negotiations and don’t collect any project fees from either the business or the freelancer.”
McLaughlin notes that many creative freelancers have more than one specialty. “I know people who shoot and edit film and video, but are also writers, voiceover talents and on-screen or on-stage actors. We allow people with multiple specialties to advertise all their talents on their profiles and bid on any projects for which they feel they’re qualified,” he says.
Once a business has created its profile, it can post an unlimited number of audiovisual projects at no charge. Creative professionals can also post their profile on the site for no charge. But in order to bid on projects, you must pay a yearly membership fee of $299.
The freelance job market is booming because many companies are looking for specialists to work on short term gigs. The number of people becoming freelancers continues to boom as well. It’s been estimated that one-third of Americans earn some or all of their income through freelance projects. By 2020, that number is expected to increase to 50% or more.
McLaughlin created AVgig.com to better serve creative professionals whose skills were being lost on the ultra-large freelance job sites or under-represented on or smaller freelance sites that cater only to a single specialty such as voiceovers.
While the technology used to produce films and videos is changing rapidly (putting more power in the hands of more people), the core principles of visual storytelling have not changed.
For an intense, educational overview of the artistic elements and core principles of cinematography, check out The Visual Storytelling Tour. This series of full-day seminars (9 am to 9 pm) will be presented in 31 cities from June 3 to August 4.
Oscar nominee and Director of Photography of the Saturday Night Live Film Unit Alex Buono will show you how to dramatically increase the impact of your films.
“I’ll show you how I deal with working in a fast turnaround environment like Saturday Night Live while still delivering my best work,” says Buono. He says you can do the same whether you shoot commercials, movies, documentaries, weddings, corporate videos, or live events.
Designed for both DSLR and Cine-style camera users, the workshop will teach you advanced techniques for lighting, lens selection, blocking, camera movement, audio, workflow, camera settings, visual structure, and more.
The seminar lasts from 9 am to 9 pm and covers topics such as
Shotlisting and Storyboarding
Equipment and Crew Lists
Camera Settings and Camera Movement
Microphone Types and Placement
The Media Management and Workflow
Getting a Cinematic Look with a DSLR Camera
Shooting with a Cine-Style Camera
Visual Design in Filmmaking
The Visual Storytelling Tour will be presented in the following cities:
Minneapolis, MN: June 3
St. Louis, MOi: June 5
Columbus, OH: June 7
Chicago, IL: June 9
Detroit, MI: June 13
Boston, MA: June 15
New York City: June 16
Newark, NJ: June 20
Philadelphia, PA: June 22
Washington, DC: June 23
Charlotte, NC: June 25
Ft. Lauderale, FL: June 27
Tampa, FL: June 28
Atlanta, GA: June 30
Baton Rouge, LA: July 7
Houston, TX: July 9
Austin, TX: July 11
Dallas, TX: July 12
Phoenix, AZ: July 14
San Diego, CA: July 16
Irvine, CA: July 20
Los Angeles, CA: July 21
Las Vegas, NV: July 23
Denver, CO: July 25
San Jose, CA: July 27
San Francisco, CA: July 28
Salt Lake City, UT: July 30
Portland, OR: August 1
Vancouver, BC: August 2
Seattle, WA: August 4
If you can’t enjoy the experience in person, you can order a set of DVDs that includes the entire content of the tour’s Cinematography Workshop and Visual Structure Seminar. The DVD set also includes the book “The Visual Story” by Bruce Block.
Vimeo® is a high-quality video platform for creative people. Founded in 2004, Vimeo wants to empower people around the world to create, share and discover videos. Vimeo has over 15 million registered members and reaches a global audience of more than 93 million each month.
Through their new Vimeo On Demand service, VimeoPro members can sell their works directly to their audiences and retain a 90 percent of the revenue after transaction costs. As a creator, you can choose your own price, select country-by-country availability, customize your page design, and offer content on Vimeo, your own website, or both.
“Vimeo is committed to empowering creators with tools to display and distribute their work in beautiful HD quality,” said Vimeo CEO, Kerry Trainor . “With the addition of Vimeo On Demand, creators can now use Vimeo to control the way they earn revenue and retain a significant portion of the proceeds.”
Videos purchased through Vimeo On Demand are accessible across devices, including desktop PCs, mobile devices (Android/iOS/Windows), connected TV devices (Apple TV/Roku/Google TV/Xbox Live), and major smart TV platforms (Samsung/Panasonic/Phillips).
“What used to be a confusing and labor-intensive process is now open and simple with Vimeo On Demand,” said Blake Whitman, vice president of creative development. “We always strive to provide our community and visitors with the best experience possible, and this opens up a new world of viewable content and support for creators. We are proud of this first phase of Vimeo On Demand, and we’re already working on another suite of creator-focused features to release in the near future.”
Vimeo On Demand launched at the SXSW Interactive + Film Festival with a screening of It’s Such a Beautiful Day, the latest work by Academy Award-nominated animator and self-distribution pioneer Don Hertzfeldt. Vimeo On Demand is offering the newly re-mastered and expanded version of It’s Such a Beautiful Day for a $2.00 rental fee or $6.00 sale price.