I just created a new” film” depicting Ladakh and Zanskar. In July and August of 2013 I will be teaching a course on Visual Anthropology at Quest University Canada… well, the course is offered by Quest but the course will actually be taught in Ladakh and Zanskar. The course will teach students the use of cameras and video equipment such that they can create contemporary monographs attempting to bring a greater understanding to the human condition through the discipline of cultural anthropology.
I will bring to the process my 11 years of work with National Geographic to help guide the students to maximize their visual tools in the process of anthropological exploration.
This video provides a quick vision of what one can expect visiting this fascinating corner of the earth, virtually all of which, I might add, is above 11.000 feet of altitude.
The “film” was shot with the new Sony Nex cameras and lenses and edited using Final Cut X. Fantastic “tools” for anthropological work.
(click on the image for enlargement)
A year ago I was in a discussion with the president of my son’s University (Quest Canada) about the nature of their website. In my kindly and generous way I said I would fix it pro bono. Whoa… too generous but a commitment had been made – a huge job and a year later but it is done. The connection here is that the entire project, the videos, the stills were all created on these two Canon cameras. There were almost 40 videos and over a thousand stills. The quality and ease of use of these tools was and continues to be astonishing.
I stayed away from all the add-on tools that one can buy… I had an assistant part of the time but the imagery was created often on the go without a lot of pre-planning. I used the cameras’ monitors to focus and the sound was brought into the cameras as well (there are noise issues but it has more to do with the air conditioning and other mechanical “gray sound” in the background and I didn’t have the time or inclination to do something about it given the time constraints). Tools do not make great images or film obviously and I am not suggesting that this is great work. What I AM suggesting is that the tools were easy to use as always, substantial in terms of ergonomics. I never had to worry.
Canon 5D Mark II and its video capability: On a recent shoot for Intel which I was directing (and shooting as I like my images to look the way I want them) I employed the new Canon 5D Mark II its video mode. The Canon images were shot along with two JVC video cameras. The JVC imagery is excellent and very sharp, but unfortunately the ability to creatively use depth of field does not exist. When we finally completed the edit using imagery from all three cameras, the Canon images were the most widely employed. In a sense, they were almost awesome in character. It is also a wonderful aspect that the files from this camera can be dropped directly in the editorial timeline with particular relevance to the fact that we were using Apple Final Cut Pro.