How to Video Capture more than 29 minutes with a Nikon D5

Fuji X-E2, Fuji XF 55-200mm, ISO 1250, ƒ/5, 1/100

Last night I photographed and video captured the show Oklahoma!. Just a last minute push to encourage you if you are in Roswell, GA to come and see the play. Runs through the weekend. Go here to buy your tickets or at the door.

For video capture I attached to my Nikon D5 using the HDMI output the Atomos Ninja Blade 5″ HDMI On-Camera Monitor & Recorder.

Why did I do this is a great question. Most all DSLRs that record video have a 30 minute time limit. I understand this has to do with avoiding a double tax in some countries.

So how do you record a musical as I did that goes an hour and half for just the first Act? This is where the Atomos Ninja Blade comes to the rescue.

Atomos Ninja Blade 5″ PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

Key Features

325DPI, 5″ IPS 1280 x 720 capacitive touchscreen monitor/recorder.

Waveform RGB & luma parade, vectorscope with zoom, and test pattern generator.

Adjustable gamma, contrast and brightness.

HDMI input and output.

Real-time monitoring, playback, playout to a PC or Mac with QuickTime, and edit logging.

Focus peaking, 0-100% zebra, and two modes of false color monitoring.

Records 10-bit, 4:2:2 in ProRes or DNxHD.

S-Log / C-Log recording.

Trigger REC/STOP from camera (Canon, Sony, ARRI, Panasonic, RED, JVC)

Timecode from camera.

2.5″ HDD/SSD media storage.

It records up to 1080 30p/60i resolution via HDMI to an available HDD or SSD using either Apple’s ProRes or Avid’s DNxHD codecs. Recording at 10-bit with 4:2:2 color sampling, this unit provides you a monitoring and recording solution in one compact battery powered unit.

Now I bought the ADATA Technology 256GB Ultimate SU800 SATA III 2.5″ Internal SSD card.

This setup worked great for last night’s opening night performance.

Fuji X-E2, Fuji XF 55-200mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/4.7, 1/100

While the Nikon D5 will record 4K I don’t need this most of the time, so the Atomos Ninja Blade 5″ was perfect.

If however you would like to record at 4K you can get the Atomos Shogun Flame 7″ 4K HDMI/12-SDI Recording Monitor. They make other higher end models as well.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 5000, ƒ/5.6, 1/250

If you are not a video shooter and are more of a stills shooter then for capturing video you need to be a little more hands on technically.

What I mean by this is that the exposure and sound vary through a production and you may need to adjust this as you are recording.

With the Nikon D5 attached to the Atomos Ninja Blade using the HDMI port just siphons this off before it hits the H.264 encoder and you are recording in ProRes format. This isn’t really recording in RAW video but more like a TIFF file than say a JPEG.

Now I cannot share the Oklahoma! video because of copyright. [I am recording it for the Shuler Awards in Georgia]

The cool thing is right now you can buy the Atomos Ninja Blade 5″ for $395 without a hard drive which gives you the 5″ monitor. I would recommend buying a SSD hard drive of your choice in size.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 5000, ƒ/5.6, 1/250

There are three more performances for me to tweak my exposure and sound on to capture the best quality possible out of my setup. At the same time each performance traditionally gets better each time.

Fujifilm X-E2, Fuji XF 55-200mm, ISO 2000, ƒ/5, 1/100

By the way Aunt Eller is my daughter Chelle. This is her senior year and last production. She also taught the choreography to the cast.

Fuji X-E2, Fuji XF 55-200mm, ISO 1000, ƒ/4.5, 1/100

I hope these tips will help you thinking of ways to use your DSLR to do more than just take photos. I know I wanted to use the high quality CMOS chip to get a wonderful keepsake video of our daughter to cherish for the rest of her life.

Lesson Planning & Games are Keys to Effective Communication

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 360, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Communications professionals need to know more than the 5 Ws.

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. Where
  4. When
  5. How
I believe understanding games and educational lesson plans can make you a better communicator. 

If you do not understand and know the rules of the game you will most likely not be any good, but most likely will lose the game.

A game is only as good as its rules, and how well we play the game is defined by how well we follow the rules. What is so fascinating about many of the games we play today is that there are often no instruction books included—yet we somehow know how to play them anyway. We learn from family, friends, teachers, and coaches.

We also know that it doesn’t matter if you follow the rules that the game came with or if you make up your own rules; it really just matters that everyone agrees on what the rules are.

Fuji X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/7.1, 1/750

The core to a good game is understanding the objective of the game, the subject matter, materials, the procedures and score.

Creating a game is really no different than that of creating a educational lesson plan.

Five Parts of a Lesson Plan

1. Objectives
2. Subject Matter
3. Materials
4. Procedure
5. Assignment

Objective – A statement of purpose for the whole lesson. It tells us what the students will be able to do by the end of the lesson. It will determine the activities the students will engage in.

Subject Matter – This will be the sources of material to be studied.

Topic for a lesson

Materials – Necessary teaching aids to be used for instruction

Procedure – This is the body of your lesson plan where you outline the steps to be taken by the teacher & student.

Assignment – where you insure good recitation, which tells us

What needs to be done
How it is to be done
Why it is to be done

Humanitarian Work

As a professional communicator for humanitarian work I am helping organizations tell their stories so that the audience will get involved. These organizations need financial support, but also volunteers to help make the work happen.

Looking at a project as a teacher would for writing a lesson plan you start with the objective. Many communicators may figure out that this is the why in the 5 Ws, but it is much more because with humanitarian work you have a call to action with the audience. When telling a journalistic story you are not telling the audience to take an action you are just informing most of the time.

Having an objective also helps you focus your questions while gathering the story that will help you meet that objective. Too many times I have been overseas capturing a story that when we go to the final step of how the audience could get involved through the call to action the organization finally realized they helped to tell a story for a local person and didn’t have a great way for the audience to get involved that helped to fund the organization. They were chasing human interest stories without an objective in mind.

When doing a story you will go down many rabbit holes. If you know your objective it is much easier to redirect the subjects back on track. You know that when they started they were answering a question that then they took in another direction. You redirect them by clarifying and helping you find the supporting information which is helping you achieve your objective.

What many storytellers are lacking when it comes to using their skills for humanitarian work and for business is a purpose to their story. That purpose is a call to action. Did your story engage the audience? You must be able to measure this.

Just like at the end of the game you will know the score, great communicators with organizations know if their communication engaged the audience to action. They have the last step of the lesson plan written into their communications plan–the assignment. That is the action plan the audience will take after hearing their story.

Romanians Winning Their Jerusalem

Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 12800, ƒ/8, 1/320

Meet Rob Krieg, IT Director, who was one of the workshop participants in Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop in Bucharest, Romania.

Rob had been a news photographer earlier in his career. He loved photography and wanted to add to his skills the ability to tell stories.

Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 1800, ƒ/5.6, 1/500

Rob had the smallest camera system out of everyone doing the workshop. Rob shot his entire project using the Fuji X-T1 or the Fuji X-E2.

photo by: James Dockery

Rob was just knocking it out of the park getting b-roll. He understood the visual side of storytelling just fine.

What Rob worked on the most during the workshop was understanding the audio portion of the project. He had never been responsible for asking the questions for the interview and helping to direct the story.

What made the story more difficult for Rob was while he was getting the story concept the subject really didn’t see how they fit into the bigger picture. No matter how he sequenced the interview there was just something missing.

Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 360, ƒ/8, 1/500

After taking some time to talk with Rob about the story James Dockery, Jeff Raymond and I advised to interview our host and missionary Tom Graef. Tom is here talking with the priest for the Orthodox church in Herăști, Giurgiu, Romania.

Now the most difficult thing was to then intertwine Tom’s comments with the subject Simon Bayrakcioglu. It would be easy to just stay with Tom’s comments because he was more articulate, but the comments of Simon gave the story more power.

You see the one thing that Rob learned was the whole point of getting someone’s comments recorded is the power of the first person narrative gives authenticity to a story.

Listen and watch how Rob was able to blend the visuals of Romania with the interviews of Tom and Simon.

Rob discovered through the process that he had to have someone speak into the story. What also Rob learned was the importance of persistence.

By the way Rob was one of the perfect candidates for the workshop. He had already mastered photography and was looking to add the skill of storytelling using multimedia.

Send me an email if you are interested in taking a multimedia workshop next year. Here is my email address for you

Turning into a Bird Watcher

Fuji X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/4.8, 1/500

Do you feel like a little kid all excited about a subject you get to photograph? I know I do and lately since we have a nice bird feeder and have been blessed by a variety of birds at the feeder.

Here we have the male purple finch and the Red Headed Woodpecker on our feeder. This is something that connects me to the past. My grandparents loved their feeders and I remember them talking about the birds as they visited.

Fuji X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/4.8, 1/500

I was surprised the woodpecker stayed for so long on the feeder just chillin. It was lightly raining and I guess just like we enjoy a shower to relax us maybe the bird was relaxing to all the rain.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S,  Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Another thing I really get excited about is sports photography. As I was going through my college negatives the other day I noticed how much more I shot at a typical game than a typical assignment. Well it is much more difficult to get a good action shot than an environmental portrait.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S,  Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/1600

When you find yourself totally absorbed and lost in something take note of it. This is most likely where your strengths lie. This is something you need to nurture.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S,  Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 14368, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Sometimes as I have found you don’t have to go any further than your own backyard.

What to include or exclude in a photo

Nikon D4, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 140, 1/100


A great place to practice your craft is in the theater. For this production of Steel Magnolias at Roswell High School I sat on the back row and for a good reason.

On the back row you are able to see the feet of the actors whereas on the front row you often find the angle has you missing their feet. Another great reason is you are able to shoot above the heads of the audience and be somewhat out the the view of the audience.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1250, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

You can use your long glass for more than a football game. Here I am shooting on a monopod and sitting on the back row. I am shooting zoomed in with a 600mm lens at ƒ/5.6.  You can see from the first photo to this one I am able to get pretty tight on the actors on the stage.

So do you shoot wide or tight? The answer is simple—BOTH.


The good news is the stage crew and lighting crew have taken care of just about everything for you. Here I just set the white balance to tungsten and found the correct exposure and just shot away. The lighting changes just once in the production to a darker scene, which made the color temperature a little warmer.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

I prefer shooting with a cinematic approach. This is where you are thinking of filling the frame that the viewer will experience the photos, which is assuming more of the size screen in a movie theater. The size is more about proportions of 16×9 or 3×2.  You are not thinking of cropping to a square or vertical.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1800, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

I choose to fill the frame of my Nikon D4. This means I am watching the frame edges to see what to include or exclude. Here in this photo I am letting the actors on either side determine the width and I am watching the curtains and the feet to be sure they have a little room. Too much higher and you see the top of the set.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1250, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Now I am also thinking about what the play is all about. They are in a hair salon and when I think of this place I think of the gossip that goes on. So in this photo while I could have cropped in to just show the two on the right a lot tighter. I am letting the actress sitting and the photo up on the wall both show how this is a place for eavesdropping.

Nikon D4, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 140, 1/100

Sometimes I am including more around the edges to help establish the scene, which is inside a High School theater. I am intentionally showing the audience as they watch the production.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Now in this last photo you can see that the bottom of the photo is just including the bottom of the chair and the top is including the photos on the wall. Those photos are then proportioned left to right to again keep the full frame filled. Now if this were for a print piece I may crop a little on the left and right, but this is a great example where you make the very best you can of the composition. I tried to go tighter, but thought the bottom of the chair helped to anchor this photo much better.

Fuji X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/4.8, 1/500

I went back the second night to get some photos with the second cast of the show. I decided to shoot some of these photos with my Fuji X-E2 with the FUJINON XF 55-200mm ƒ/4.8 lens. This worked great.

Fuji X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/4.8, 1/500

Here is a small collection from the show. Can you see why I composed the shots as I did for these? Maybe you would do something different.

Shooting 11 assignments in 4 1/2 hours

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/7.1, 1/100

It is very common when I call photo assistants that I have to tell them I am not sure all that we are doing today. We may be setting up and taking lights down all day long as we go around a college or school campus.

It is very common for me to shoot what would normally be about 10 to 12 assignments all packed into one day. On this assignment I packed in 11 locations in 1/2 day.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/640

Here was my shot list for Thursday 1/2 day of shooting at a Catholic High School:

  • Science Lab
  • Helicopter Aerial Photo Shoot of Campus
  • Students by statue of Mary & Jesus
    •  Female by herself
    • Male by himself
    • Male and Female
  • Drums from around the World Class
  • Spanish Class
  • Computer Class teaching Adobe Illustrator
  • Small group in the Library
  • Priest Teaching class
  • Priests with students and talking in lobby
  • Calculus Class
  • Robotics Class

Here are some of the photos
Click here to see the photos in slide show larger.

The skills I give to my clients is to walk into any situation and come away with photos that will engage their audience. Any situation can require special lighting skills to shooting available light and even knowing how to shoot aerial photos of a campus.

I am not give time to brain storm and come up with lots of ideas. I am given less than a couple minutes to come up with an approach and then execute it in about 30 to 40 minutes. This includes setting up studio strobes and taking them down to go to our next location. I work with two assistants to make this go quickly.

The hardest part is the client who has not worked with a professional who is going to make each location look the very best by creating light may not be aware of the time it takes for each location. They may be use to seeing the local newspaper reporter come in and take a few photos and then they write a story. Those photographers typically use no flash or on camera flash due to the speed they need to work and the fact that most of the time the photo is reproduced Black and White.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 250, ƒ/5.6, 1/500

 With 30+ years of shooting for colleges, national publications and major brands I have enough experience to see the big picture from a high altitude for my clients. If you need a big perspective to pick the best visual approach for your storytelling, give me a call. If you just want to learn how to do this yourself call me to schedule a class.

Storytellers know thy purpose

The shortest distance isn’t always the best route

Know Thyself

“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
― Lao Tzu

We are familiar with the saying to “Know Thyself” because through understanding yourself you are able to accomplish so much more. You learn your strengths and limits which will help you navigate life.

Storytellers need to know the purpose of a story. Why were you hired to tell a story?

I have been driving many times in the Atlanta traffic when all of a sudden my GPS will alert me to traffic and alternative route to my destination.

Knowing your destination the GPS helps you navigate and get you to your location in the quickest amount of time.

Great Teachers

One of the best examples I experienced over and over growing up was when a student would ask my teacher a question. The teachers I have the fondest memories are the ones who could take almost any question and use it to engage the class on the subject. My worst memories are the teachers who like in the top illustration use that red line approach to everything. They somewhat answer the question, but are quick to say something like “now lets get back to …” and in the process shut down the class.

The difference is the great teachers know their subject well and know their lesson plan. They know the goal and purpose for the lesson that day. They are willing to take a question and like the GPS use this alternative route, which is better than proceeding into what will be a traffic jam.

Great Storytellers are Great Listeners

I have traveled with some of the best writers and loved learning from them. These were all journalists and we were working together on stories. I was capturing the still images and video while they were responsible for the text.

I have also watched too many writers who are so self absorbed with where they think the story should go that they kill the story. I remember more than once with more than one writer where they asked a question and didn’t listen either with their ears or eyes and missed the traffic jam taking place and hearing the subject helping to redirect them to an alternative route.

Chick-fil-A Cow out on Marietta Street in front of the new restaurant that is adjacent to the College Football Hall of Fame. [Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 800, ƒ/8, 1/800—Off camera fill-flash using the Nikon SB-900.  The Flash is on the Pocketwizard TT5 and being triggered by the Mini TT1 on the Camera with the AC3 to control the output of the flash]

Today I am sent by news outlets and corporations to capture stories for their audiences. Just this week I was covering the grand opening of the Chick-fil-A at The College Football Hall of Fame. My audience was the internal staff and franchise owners. The Associated Press photographer was there covering the story and his audience was the public.

Associated Press photographer, Dan Goldberg, interviews a couple. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/6.4, 1/140]

How does the new Chick-fil-A restaurant impact those audiences was my assignment? The AP Photographer and I both are covering the same subject, but because we knew our purpose we were able to adjust throughout the story as the subjects in the story helped to inform us of new content that was relevant to the story.

My primary concern in all my storytelling is the subject. I know that if I aim to please the subject that they would be pleased with the story then the accuracy is much greater than if I was focused on what someone else told me the story was all about.

Just like the teacher who knows the purpose of their lesson plan is able to adjust to bring the class along, I too must adjust to be sure I capture how this new restaurant will impact my audience.

Dan Cathy with one of the staff members from the College Football Hall of Fame reading the story of “A Better Way Ministries” person who built the table. [Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/8, 1/200]

As you can see in this photo I was thrown a curveball when Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A crawled under a table and then started to talk to everyone from under the table. Just like when the teacher gets a question from a student which can help engage the classroom even more into the story, this was my question moment.

Plaque on top of the table tells about the story of the table. [Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 1000, ƒ/5.6, 1/160]

You can read about the table in the photo above. Dan Cathy talked about how this partnership with A Better Way Ministries was also being done with their new coffee company Thrive Farmers. The process of picking Thrive Farmers was the realization there was a story there of the farmers. The artisans who made the table have a story and they were asked by Chick-fil-A to take a Sharpie and write their story under the table.

The artisan’s story. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/500]

This unexpected detour actually helped me get to my destination better than without the detour. You see the story of how Chick-fil-A was interested in impacting the lives of the artisans and coffee growers by buying their products is how they were impacting those communities. It did a great job of setting up the story of how this restaurant will impact the community near the College Football Hall of Fame.

Highways vs Back Roads

Great storytellers know that those detours are like comparing the interstate highway to the back roads. Interstate highways are like the straight line from point A to point B, but rarely are they as scenic as the backroads.

I know that when I am the passenger on a drive on the interstate I am much more likely to take a nap than when I am on the backroads.

The lesson here is simple. If you know why you are doing the story, then you will know how to navigate and take advantage of the opportunities the subjects give to you which make your story a success.

The most under utilized setting on a camera

Your photos may look a great deal better if they were in focus in the viewfinder. This is how you make sure they are in focus.

Most cameras today have a diopter adjustment dial near the viewfinder. This arrow is pointing to the diopter adjustment on the Fuji X-E2.

The camera is equipped with diopter adjustment in the range –4 to +2 m–1 to accommodate individual differences in vision.  Rotate the diopter adjustment control until the viewfinder display is in sharp focus.

Fuji covers this in the basic setup of the camera, right after you set the date and time for the camera. It is more important than all the other settings like: ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed and Focus settings. Why? You need to see the subject and know if it is in focus and also read all the information that they provide you in the viewfinder.

First Steps 

  1. Attaching the Strap 
  2. Attaching a Lens 
  3. Charging the Battery 
  4. Inserting the Battery and a Memory Card 
  5. Compatible Memory Cards 
  6. Turning the Camera on and Of  
  7. Basic Setup 
  8. Choosing a Display 
  9. Focusing the Viewfinder 
  10. Adjusting Display Brightness

The great advantage of the mirrorless Fuji X-E2 over a conventional DSLR is when looking through the viewfinder you can do everything through it. So once you adjust the diopter you don’t need your glasses to review images or change settings in the menu, just use the EVF instead of the LCD screen.

Photographing Concerts I Prefer the Balcony

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.6, 1/45

From a higher perspective I can see everyone that is performing. While I am back much further the angle to see everyone is much better than when on the floor.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.6, 1/50

As you can see from the second photo I am missing seeing everyone.

From up high I chose some overall shots with my Fujinon 18-55mm, but I also spent a lot more time using the Fujinon 55-200mm lens and picking out performers.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.4, 1/25

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.5, 1/45

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.7, 1/40

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.6, 1/45

As you can see you can clearly see people’s faces from shooting slightly above them. Now if the performers were on risers then you may get away from shooting on the main level with them.

While I prefer the upper shots they are not the only ones I take. You see I do like to move around and shoot some variety.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/30

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/40

 The lower view you pick up the audiences heads which lets you know their is an audience. This also gives a layering affect so you create more depth into the photograph.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/45

From the floor I had to move more to find a shot in between the audiences heads. If you like to just pick a seat and shoot from there, go to the balcony. You will be more pleased without moving as much as I had to do to get the variety you see here.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.5, 1/45

Storyline involves a Plot

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.6, 1/250, custom white balance with ExpoDisc

A plot “insures that you get your character from point A to point Z.”

The shooting of the story is often not in the order that the story will be told. It is quite common in Hollywood when they are making a movie to shoot a story all out of order for budget reasons.

You may need to go ahead and shoot the ending because it takes place in the spring and you are now in the Spring time.

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/9, 1/45, custom white balance with ExpoDisc

Yesterday I was working with my intern/photo assistant. I sat down for a few minutes a couple of times to talk about what I was doing and why. He is going to Lisbon, Portugal with me and will be shooting his own visual story.

One thing I talked to him about was how every situation I shot as if it were a stand alone story.

Fujifilm X-E2, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4 D AF, using Nikon G to FX adapter, ISO 500, ƒ/1.4, 1/60

Yesterday I photographed a Georgia Tech Management student. I followed him around for the day. When I was in the classroom with him I photographed each situation as if the whole story had to come out of it. I was shooting stills and video. I shot overall shot of the classroom, some of the teacher and some of the student and everything else you could think of in between.

Nikon D4, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4 D AF, ISO 1100, ƒ/1.4, 1/250 Custom white balance with the ExpoDisc

The reason I shot each situation as if it were a stand alone package was because it is easier to sequence the over all package with the best photos to tell the complete story.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/6.3, 1/500, custom white balance with ExpoDisc

If you didn’t shoot the variety then when you finally were editing you might end up with all closeup shots. Then the variety of the photo is starting to work against you. By shooting to get good tight, medium and overall shots and varieties of each of those you then are picking from each situation and then putting these into a sequence that moves the viewer through the plot of events to tell the story.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 8000, ƒ/4.8, 1/250, custom white balance with ExpoDisc

Unlike the fiction writer who can create their content, the visual storyteller that is capturing the story, they must capture the story pretty much before it is sequenced and told. The writer can create and make it work and not worry if they have images to move you through the plot. They just create it.

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/10, 1/500

I even did the environmental portrait as a safe shot to have of the student in front of the Georgia Institute of Technology sign.

During our interview with the subject he mentioned that this coming summer he will be working with Wells Fargo Securities. Just to have something that we could drop in for a visual we found a sign to put him in front of for the story.

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/10, 1/180 and -1 EV on the pop-up flash

The bottom line is you need to have a storyline in mind as you are shooting. Then for each point of the outline, you shoot it like it will be the complete story. You create another sub outline of the outline that makes this a complete story.

It is almost impossible to over shoot for a visual storyteller. Those who undershoot will have to rely on other communication like text or audio to help tell the story.

The best way to tell a story is to show the audience rather than tell the audience. Don’t be caught without enough visuals when you are putting the final package together.