That’s Dan Chung’s motto.
Dan Chung is a news photographer who shoots moving images with an HDSLR. Dan was recently at the centre of a bit of controversy over the use of what appears to be a dolly shot in the context of great devastation and human loss. A dolly shot is typically one where the camera moves sideways, as it is pushed along a track on a dolly. Since it takes 2 people to push a dolly, it implies there is a large crew of people. The implication is behind the camera is an industrial scale of cinematic film making in the middle of a disaster area. (Have these people no pity?) A dolly shot is a cinema move. It is not a news move.
In fact, it is a slider move. HDSLRs are tiny cinema cameras. Sliders are a solution to the problem of how to move the camera along a track, but instead of putting a camera, tripod, and operator on a dolly, and having 2 men push it, we can put the HDSLR on a tiny track mounted to the top of a tripod, and push it with 2 fingers.
For more on the debate.
I think it’s compelling that the language of moving images is changing. If a camera moves, it does not necessarily mean it’s a big production anymore. And I think it’s equally compelling that Dan wants to make news look as good as cinema. Why not? We don’t have to follow the conventions of old technology and old economic models when new technology and new economics come into play.
“We were going to shoot it on an iPhone, but then we realized it wasn’t going to save any money.”
Equally to the point: as a matter of human dignity, everyone should be represented as well as possible. If we are representing impoverished people, for example, there is no reason to impoverish the image. In fact, our purpose is invariably to make the richest, most powerful and affecting image we can create.
The children in the movie above are in Haiti. It is the first day school has been back since the earthquake.
Here is an earlier example of the ‘slider’ controversy by Khalid Mohtaseb, this time immediately after the Haiti earthquake.
A similar treatment of last week’s tornado in Alabama. I think this is the 1st time I’ve actually seen tornado damage. TV images are normally too low resolution to see details in the images. The destruction is really amazing.
Devastated – F-5 Tornado in Pleasant Grove, Alabama by Andrew Winchell