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Video Journalism: if it moves, shoot it!

by Dave Riley

I've been running a campaign to foster more image making onto the web. After years of attending many and various political events it nowadays annoys me that these occasions are not recorded in photographs. Here and elsewhere we try to showcase events by deploying whatever we can muster in way of photographs and video.

if you check out the Slideshow label you can access a a wide range of slideshows put together from aggregated photographs on Picasa or Flickr.We can now create a slideshow from any grouping of uploaded digital photographs so long as they are indeed grouped by folder or tag.
Trick:You harness the feed.
So if you want to ensure we can showcase your image snapping place your snaps in a folder on Picasa or with a clear specific tag on Flickr. LeftClick can do the rest.

Unfortunately you can go to a rally or demonstration and as the head of the march advances down the main street you are falling over photographers as the crowd proceeds. But so rarely do these, in the main, amateur photographers, think to put their skills to general political use. Today's small digital cameras are almost cheap and will slip into your pocket when you get into active mode.

It's easy to take a snap.

Video

But then there's also video and on the Left that's a new tool that few have embraced (unfortunately). LeftClick has been showcasing/sharing a lot of video material and now, as you see below this post, runs its own Internet TV Channel -- Channel LeftClick.

That's Vodpod for you -- a very useful way to snaffle videos from all over the web with one click programing.

But with my various multimedia ventures I've found that recoding audio at a rally or demonstration isn't the best way to represent the event. These occasions are always -- if they're working -- rather 'hot' and audio can often be rather 'cold'.

But video! Video bears up the verve and passion nicely and in very few minutes of recorded visual time can carry the meaning and substance very well indeed.

So if you were to step up from making single shot photographs next time you demonstrate (of course with the aim to showcase them later in a web slideshow) a video camera could be very handy indeed.

So there I was shooting as is my want and thinking I'd like to maybe one day go video. when I was making up an internet Video/TV section for the The Activist Toolkit I discovered that really if I was only interested in video for web screening I already had the tools with my Olympus FE-270 digital camera.

I was thinking ,"Gee,I'll have to get myself a costly DV Cam Corder as well." Not so. While I knew that many digital cameras will take short movies, my cheap Olympus has -- as my daughter informed her ignorant father -- a built in microphone. (She sells this stuff you see.)

video

And sure enough on one side of the camera (which can fit in the mitt of my hand) is a small built in microphone.

This ain't a great sound source. But what more do you want from a raucous rally or something of that ilk? So for starters I crudely shot the video above. Granted it is crude. But sound and picture quality is passable..for the web.

The Olympus formats in .avi which is a handy file format if I ever get around to editing up a magnum opus blockbuster type doco to rival John Pilger's or Mike Moore's efforts.

Miro

While in video mode over the recent period I have been using the Miro internet television application.

Miro is very easy to get and I'm impressed with its capacity to search the video cyberspace and pull in titles that may be of interest.

You can always go to the video source through Miro and downloading is a one click process. But the best feature is the video quality which leaves YouTube and GoogleVideo way way behind in the shade and grain. And that's the key element I think. We've been so YouTubed that its hard to sort the chaff from the grain when you sift through video on the web. Just because YouTube is there it doesn't follow that all you want is on YouTube.

The video universe is becoming more complex and diverse and I think Miro offers the keen explorer of Internet TV a very useful tool which, compared to Google, isn't corporate.

And Miro -- more so than any other platform I've used -- opens you up to the wonders of Bit Torrent. My son is a Bit Torrent junkie and that means he downloads a lot of very large files -- such as video files -- without bearing all the bandwidth cost of the download. You just have to be patient. Bit Torrent is a world unto itself.

Anyway....The main thing is that maybe you'll be seeing some home grown TV here at LeftClick in the near future.

Hardly cutting edge videograph -- but....

Shoot what moves. Then get the free Movie Maker software (it'smuch easier to edit video than audio I tell you!) and voila!




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