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John Morrow
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 6:32 am 
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Just curious.  In trip reports, I prefer photos to video.  Am I out of touch?  Is it generational?  I have little patience for video.  I find stills provide me more of the info I seek, and can ignore the ones I don't need to see with the thumbnail view.  Occasionally the art of still photos even mesmerizes.
Preferences, everybody?

Worst off is drone footage.  I basically hate drones.

Here's to starting the new year with contentious debate, I suppose....

John

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
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texasbb
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 6:45 am 
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Yes, there will be debate and contention and righteous indignation and calls for diversity and whataboutism accusations and "false dichotomy" cries.  But none of that will change the fact that stills are better.
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neek
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 7:43 am 
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JM, I'm with you completely.  It's simply a preference; I have great respect for those who can create quality video.  There's the element of choice you brought up, and also time--I probably spend an average of 30 seconds on each TR I look at, way less than the typical 5-minute video.  Beyond photos is prose, which allows you to peer into someone's soul.  Maybe I read too much into it (no pun intended), but after a while I feel like I really get to know the people whose reports I read, even if I've never met them.  I'd be more inclined to view very short video clips--5 seconds to pan across a scene or show a tricky move, for example.
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Schroder
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 9:02 am 
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John Morrow wrote:
I basically hate drones.

I've seen some pretty spectacular stills taken from drones.

Ski footage is best with a gopro and a drone as well such as this one from Jim Dockery and Jeff Rich on Vesper


Vesper from Jeff Rich on Vimeo.
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RumiDude
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 9:39 am 
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Video is MUCH more time consuming and difficult to do well than still photos. But when done well video can be spectacular. Also video and photos function differently in telling a story, i.e. reporting on a trip.

I think drone footage is great, though a bit cliche nowadays. Same applies to panoramic and 360 photos.

Rumi

PS: I hope the makers purchased the rights to the copyright music used in the video production posted above by Schroder. Most amateur video makers don't purchase the right, which is illegal.

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Randito
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 9:50 am 
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Video requires significantly more effort to produce something enjoyable for others to watch.

There is tons of terrible ski videos out there.    I get a chuckle when I see someone skiing a groomed run at a ski resort with a "selfie stick"  -- who besides themselves do they think will enjoy watching such footage?

Most of the self-produced videos I've seen for hiking feature a lot of "talking head" footage -- these folks seem to enjoy the sound of their own voice -- and perhaps they wonder why their video hasn't gone viral and made them a YouTube star.
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williswall
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 10:27 am 
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For years I have done video and photos. A lot of my stuff is documentary in style but I got kick started in video by doing short films, two of which got into the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Some would argue of course, but an advantage I have in the video realm is the ability to write all my own music so I never have to worry about copyright. It's much easier to do something with 2.7 or 4K video when you have years of experience using Final Cut and have a full music studio. Both avenues (video and photo) fill their own niche, and there's still nothing quite like a well crafted photo to capture a moment. But then I have years of video, including when my kids were little....seeing them talk, or watching my daughter explain "the optimistic measuring system" when she was 8 Y/O; no photo can come close. Also, the newer GoPro (7 and 8) have such good software stabilizing that I have been using them for very watchable shoulder mounted video. Great for skiing and biking also.

When my daughter and I did the Inca Trail last year, we took thousands of photos while we were in Peru. But my shoulder mounted GoPro allowed me to capture a much more intimate part of the trip. Another advantage of video is sound; water flowing, birds, etc and the newer cameras have vastly improved sound quality over the older iterations. Wondering about your knees? Only video can capture the steps of the Inca Trail. Someone contemplating this trek can get a pretty good feel for what it's like with a combination of these two mediums:

https://www.williswall.com/willis-wall-blog/2019/5/14/inca-trail-to-machu-picchu-may-4-may-7-2019

I also think drone footage can be invaluable to capture scenes which in the past would have required a helicopter and film crew. Ski mountaineering and climbing come to mind as the best use for these. I never got one because I do so much hiking in restricted areas....but am I tempted to get low flying footage of the Carbon Glacier or do a ski follow shot on the Emmons? You betcha.

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"You run with me, not the other way around.” (Cassie re races)

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 10:46 am 
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I prefer stills.  I can appreciate a good video, but many aren't.  It's easier to get a good photograph.

I also prefer reading to video to get information.
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Ed Gerrallin-Poe
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:47 pm 
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Most folks enjoy pictures and videos of their own hikes and grandchildren. But only a tiny fraction of other people's videos are interesting. Photos are more tolerable but there's so many on line it's become like garage bands -- most are mediocre.

Photos of other people's reports are ok if heavily edited -- no more than 10 per report.

On the other hand, this very post on NWhikers is the most fascinating one ever written, so it's worth reading several times. I may video myself reciting it, and submit it for a Grammy.
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joker
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:48 pm 
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As Randy says, it's hard and time  consuming to create good video content. Most  of what I see on forms/social media is not super well  shot nor tightly  edited. I spent a decent chunk of my career working with video content, and I can tell you that the stuff that was engaging tended to  take hours to produce a very short clip.

BTW the very best documentary filmers get a ratio of something like 15:1 to 20:1 of "content shot":"content used in final piece."  This is for people who are seriously good at camera work, including  knowing  what  to  focus on  and  how best  to shoot it. While it takes a lot of time to shoot for a minute of great documentary video, it takes MUCH  longer to do the  required post-production editing  work. So  a nice 15 second  clip (IME  15-30 seconds can feel plenty long - much longer and you'll tend  to lose casual viewers in settings like social  media or the museum exhibits and interactive CD-ROM content I used to work  on) might take 4-5 minute of actual shooting  (plus "overhead" time getting  ready etc while out  in  the  field) and  then another hour or three of editing effort depending  on desired production  quality.

The factors that yield "engagement factor" include  not only attention to the visuals and tight edits, but also to the audio content, which makes  a much bigger difference  than one might imagine.
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nordique
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 1:37 pm 
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I am an old guy so I only do photos, not videos.  Most of the 98,000 photos on my Flickr site are hiking-related.  I used to take videos at Vertical World but I've been unable to climb on my fused right foot for many months now.  Taking photos on group hikes is interesting, especially if you are trying to keep up with the group--more so if you are the only hiker in a group who takes photos of fungi!  Taking photos is good for my fitness since I have to do so much catching up to the group!  When I started taking hike photos, it was all about slides.  Digital photography is SO much nicer!  I really enjoy looking at other hikers' photos--but my attention span usually does not extend to videos--but I make an exception for Mark Griffith videos!
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 3:37 pm 
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I don't like videos at all. Rarely look at them. I like photos. Easy to click on, view, think about, linger. A video takes commitment. But with photos, I can click off a page when I hear my boss approaching, and after she passes, by, easily flip back to where I was.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Tom
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 4:23 pm 
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Some things work better as video such as time lapse and wildlife. I took this video kayaking with dolphins many years ago.  Nothing spectacular but no way a photo captures that experience.


But I agree it can be a challenge to stay attentive in a 10+ minute video.
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silence
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 6:49 pm 
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Stills for trip reports, but video for the total experience. They are 2 different animals.

I enjoy trip reports that are thorough and backed up with enticing stills. But, I equally enjoy beautifully edited videos that capture the scenery and motion ... esp the wind.

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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Bernardo
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 10:34 pm 
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I like both and don't claim to know much about either medium.  I've certainly enjoyed WillisWalls' videos, and I remember a guy named Brian who used to produce videos of trips that I enjoyed watching.  Many on this site post incredible pictures.

One topic that I haven't seen discussed here are the YouTube "hiker celebrity" video makers who I also find quite enjoyable.  I am a fan of Dixie (Homemade Wanderlust) and Darwin (Darwin on the Trail) who produce weekly videos about their hikes or hiking.  Dixie has an editor and Darwin talks about putting in a lot of editing time.  BTW, I've noticed that besides good editing and having a good personality, two other factors are essential for gathering over 200k subscribers.  One, taking video of yourself while hiking by putting the camera on the ground and walking past it or using a drone.  This seems to be the one type of shot that the amateurs don't take very often.  Two, reliably produce content once a week at a reliable time (but that's a separate topic).
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