On Assignment 101129-Steve Harvey Video

Recently I had an assignment to photograph the author-tv host-comedian-producer-businessman-radio host Steve Harvey at his offices in Atlanta.  The assignment came from USA Today, one of my longtime and most cherished clients.  What was different about this assignment was that in addition to the still photos they ordinarily wanted, they needed me to shoot a video interview for a feature they have called Five Questions.

Shooting video in addition to still photos is becoming an increasingly frequent thing for me to do and I must admit that I am still in the early part of the learning curve.  In many ways, I feel like I’m just starting out again as a photographer. With each assignment I do, I try to analyze what I did wrong and then formulate a plan for doing it better the next time. Sometimes that means buying new video-specific equipment.  More often, it means improving technique or just getting a better sense of what the video and sound gear is capable of doing.

Shooting video and still on the same assignment presents two problems.  The most obvious is that video require an additional set of gear. The second is that it requires a different mindset.  With a simple interview like this one, I did the still shots first then reset with video equipment to do the interview.

Here’s the gear I brought with me for the shoot:

  • Nikon D3S
  • Nikon D7000
  • 16-35mm f/4 VR
  • 24-70mm f/2.8
  • 24-120mm f/4 VR
  • 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
  • 3-Nikon SB-900s
  • 6 light stands
  • 3 umbrellas
  • 2 Softboxes
  • 2 reflectors
  • Nikon SU-800
  • 4 Pocket Wizard transceivers
  • extra batteries, memory cards
  • Think Tank Airport Addicted

Specifically for video:

  • Nikon D7000
  • Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with 501 HDV fluid head.
  • 2-Litepanels Micro
  • Zoom H4N Audio Recorder
  • Sennheiser MKE 400 Microphone
  • Sennheiser  ew 100 G3 Wireless Microphone System
  • Hoodman HoodCrane and HoodLoupe
  • Cool Lights LED light panel
  • Sennheiser headphones

So what did I learn on this shoot and what am I going to try and improve?  I didn’t like the way the lighting turned out.  Lighting for video is a whole new challenge for me since continuous light sources are required instead of flash.  I needed to have more light on the background so it wouldn’t fall of to black so severely.  So the next video shoot I do, I’ll try to do a better job on the lighting.

You can see the interview here– http://usat.ly/gdva5h

Michael A. Schwarz is a commercial and editorial photographer, digital photography consultant and photo workshop leader based in Atlanta, Georgia.
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