Tip of the Week | Don’t let new “toys” compromise your craft

Steve Rhodes is a national award winning special projects photojournalist for WTHR in Indianapolis, IN

Don’t let new “toys” compromise your craft

Written by Steve Rhodes

First let me be clear — I love everything that is available to us as storytellers now. DSLRs, GoPros, sliders, micro jibs, iPhones, led lights — the list goes on and on.

The potential of this ever-smaller, ever-evolving camera technology is truly remarkable — and a little dangerous at the same time.

I say this not to discourage use of any of the above tools — but ask that you proceed with caution.

For example: how many stories have you seen and said too yourself “looks like someone just got a GOPRO.”

I love this camera — and use it a lot — but it can be overdone, and often is.

I have also seen photographers (myself included) spending so much time setting up a slider shot, or switching a dslr lens, or setting a GOPRO to the right mode that they miss the story going on around them. A story that their trusty broadcast camera (that they left in the car) could have probably gathered quite nicely.

I see this occasionally on our air, or when judging contests — the overall visual content or quality of a story sacrificed to get in this “really cool shot.”

So while we all look for ways to expand our craft — and I truly believe all the things listed above can do that — just remember to put the story first.

Ok, stepping off my soapbox now — I have a 5-GOPRO time lapse to setup — it’s gonna be AWESOME …