It was a bit of a weird stretch last week – the weather got flat out wonky on us out of nowhere, and we ended up getting a downright decent, warm spring day sitting right next to school cancellations and a few inches of snow.
So I figured I’d make a video out of it.
It was fun, actually – ended up sticking a little closer to home with the places I chose to shoot. Back when I was first starting out, I had this weird idea in my head that if I went someplace a little more grandiose – a city, or some place maybe more visually interesting than a quiet little suburb stopover in New Jersey – my shots wouldn’t be able to do the place justice. I think it’s a bit of a silly way to look at photography now, but it’s what kept me wandering around my hometown when I was still figuring out my camera – shooting almost exclusively in patches of woods by the roadside, old rail lines, scenic local ponds…
…it’s a vibe I feel like I got back to a little bit with this little edit…vlog….thing. But less because I’m skeevy about shooting in busier spots, and more because I like capturing the little bits of charm that shine through the cracks in this little town – bits that sometimes, you don’t even need to take a car too.
Anyways, here’s the latest upload on the Fernway Films Youtube channel. Hope you like it. 🙂
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about projects for the YouTube channel – different things to keep us moving along while we’re working on the more ambitious videos we’ve been bouncing around concepts for. We’ve got what we’re tentatively calling “trip” or “day” videos – like Night Ride and The Downtown Lap which are essentially music videos with a bit of a loose narrative that follow us as a group while we’re out and about on our little escapades – which are great, but I definitely don’t want them to be the brunt of what we do.
Then there’s the Tips Appreciated micro-series we’re working on, where every video shoots for somewhere under a minute. But even those are a little tricky to pump out because of the effort that goes into trying to center in on something snappy, quick, and catchy to shoot, cut down, edit, and post on a semi-frequent basis. Not to mention props – you’ll see what I’m talking about once we actually manage to get another one posted.
Vlogs are huge on YouTube right now. I was a big fan of Casey Neistat’s series while it was still on, and there’s no denying that the genre is still carrying a lot of weight on the platform. But while it’s tempting to jump on that wagon, I don’t think the whole deal would really appeal to me. And it’s not the act of putting a life on camera, or having nothing to post that’s really the issue – it’s more that I think that vlogs aren’t really personal enough in some regards.
Course, you also can’t really deny the kind of connection that some of these content creators have with their audiences, but I’ve always sort of felt that you lose…something the moment you step outside of just living your life and turn to the camera to address an unseen audience. There’s something about the physical act of putting what I’m doing on film on halt to talk at a lens that would really take me out of it – cheapen things, almost. It may be an odd opinion to have, but it’s a constant worry I’ve got while I’m working on projects. It’s constantly something I’ll circumvent with voice-overs or superimposed text, just because I don’t really feel as though it resonates with what I do.
But I like the odd sense of voyeur that comes with viewing a vlog – the (hopefully) unfiltered and genuine experience that comes with offering the events of a day up to the world, because you thought it was worth sharing in a certain form. Maybe I’ll find some way to tap into that without the “hosting” aspect of things…only time’ll tell.
…or you’ll come back here in a few months, and I’ll be zipping around Manhattan on an electric skateboard, wearing painted shades and shouting at a DSLR. In which case, feel free to quote this post back to me, yeah?
A big part of getting into photography, I think, is understanding the weight behind a moment. Not just the moments where you’re staring out at something that just demands to be shot, edited, and retained, but the quieter moments where your camera’s sitting on the bedside stand instead of securely around your neck. Where you’re going on your third hour in bed on a lazy evening with your girlfriend, and she’s giggling and getting quietly exasperated at the bottle flip game on your phone she can’t seem to get more than three points on.
You’re not always going to be able to catch that kind of moment of your camera. A photograph’s probably going to be the last thing on your mind in that instant. But if you can sort of grasp the kind of weight behind all time, all space, all memory – from the luckiest moments we burn into an SD card at the push of a button, to the simplest things that we don’t – I think that maybe, just maybe, you’d be good at this.
There’s an argument floating around out there that doing photography for the sake of memory tends to cheapen the moment. That going through the motions of dressing up an image with fancy editing tricks and going out of your way to shoot photos in these moments detracts from the very act of being there. Far be it from me to argue. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, right?
Everyone’s got their own way to try and make a moment immortal. Everyone’s got their own way to respect how short this all is.
It’s an interesting experience – going back to the first photo you took with photography as the intent.
This was right around the time we were filming the old Winter In Piscataway video. I didn’t even have a DSLR yet, and I was trailing around while Patrick was shooting video on his old Nikon. I had an iPhone out, and I was shooting with it in portrait instead of landscape, genius that I was.
Snow started falling early that December. There was already a nice blanket going by the time we hopped out of my car, trudging through the powder in jeans and work boots.
I remember wanting to catch the snow in the light. I remember wanting to remember how it felt.