Video with your DSLR Week: How you recover

August 2, 2010


[Editors Note: This week is “Shooting Video with your DSLR” here on DPE with Rob Sheppard, Art Howard and Juan Pons. We will be bringing you a new article every day this week, make to sure to check them all out!]

For the past six months I have had the pleasure of touring the world shooting for a show called, “EARTH -The Operators Manual”. It is a show about man’s use of energy and the alternatives to oil that are available to use. Early on in the shooting the producer said to me, “you know, what you cover depends on how you recover”.

Boy, did a light bulb go off for me.

In my 30 plus year career I have had every opportunity to live that statement. You don’t think about ‘recovery’ when you talk images. It is all F stops, lights, cameras, etc. But recovery has as much to do with your images as the gear. Let me explain.

All shoots have issues that can divert your attention. Period. Gear is lost, permits are denied, wake-up calls don’t sound, gear is broken, you get arrested, shot at, producers change plans and plans change producers. All these things have happened to me in the past. All these things took my mind off the images, off the sequence, off the subject. Your brain goes into a circular function of solving the issue, getting frustrated at the change, or shutting down.

How you recover, like the producer said, may determine your next assignment. If you quickly and smoothly work thru the setback and get back to the business of images, all will be better.

Tension and preoccupation of any kind can take you away from concentrating on what you are there to do – capture images and sounds. If I am concentrating on the events of the morning, or what customs did to my gear, or the idiot at the hotel desk, I am not in the moment at hand. I move slower. I don’t listen for sound. I don’t look for new angles.

Things will still happen that we don’t anticipate, but it is how we react to the moment that allows us to continue to be creative with our images. It is how you control the moment, not how the moment controls you, that will allow you to get back to business.

In the end, it is how you recover that determines what you cover.

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- who has written 7 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

For 30 years, two time Emmy award winning photographer and producer Art Howard has helped viewers experience life through images from both poles, 49 states and 30 countries. Taking the viewer to places like the Gulf war in Kuwait, -30 degree conditions in the Arctic, or the ocean floor 3000 feet below the surface he pushes constantly for new ways to tell the story.

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