Motion Tour Rolls Through Toronto

Were you one of the several hundred photographers who attended “The Get In Motion Tour” yesterday at the Ontario Science Centre? If not, you missed one of the best training days this year!

Here’s the pitch: 40 cities, 4 1/2 hours of education, $49 = one life-changing experience. Okay life-changing is over the top but if you’re a wedding or special-event photographer who is introducing video into your sales mix the Tour will change the way you shoot and do business.

If you’re really in a hurry, there are videos available of the workshop.

Even if you’re just interested in getting better video from your family Christmas, this would have been an excellent workshop as it’s not overly technical (some are) but focuses on creating better video.

Why? Because the presenters Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow who are the principles of CineStories are real filmmakers who focus more on what makes great video as opposed to what lens to buy (although there’s enough of that in the second half of the workshop and honestly even I learned a few new things. Very cool. Here’s a link to their blog.)

These guys teach the same way I do. They’ll don’t hold anything back and the whole afternoon is non-stop information with very little infomercial tied in. Heck they even showed up how to use Adobe’s Premier Pro editing suite in about 60 seconds flat. Okay it’s not a whole day on video editing but for our purposes of telling a story by dragging clips onto a timeline it was perfect. Took a lot of the fear out of using a heavy-duty video editing program like Premier. (That’s Jeff in photo to right setting up for part two of the afternoon workshop.)

Henry’s Cameras (This is where I buy my stuff and I buy a lot of it according to my wife.) along with OneOnOne Software and SmugMug (Here’s my SmugMug gallery. Stable, pretty, customizable and inexpensive. What more can you ask? Oh yes, the middle level of service allows you to post videos while the top level allows you to sell right off the site. Tres cool.)

Best part of the day? The lessons on how to shoot video to tell a story which is called filmmaking as compared to recording everything in sequence which is called video recording and is boring as crap.

Best tip of the day? Buy a $400 Manfrotto 561BHV1 Fluid Monopod with head and weld it to your video camera. Add an external mic and shoot pro-level video.

Okay so the Motion Tour has moved on for this year (The boys are off to Hawaii where they’re ending the 2011 tour.) but there’s next year and once I get notice of it I’ll post the information here.

This is one workshop I can fully recommend for anyone who wants to stop shooting boring old videos and move into shooting short films that will amaze your friends and clients.

Random Act of Kindness

It was a great pleasure to photograph Random Act of Kindness Day in Oakville, Ontario.

Emerson Forst, 4, was given a piece of chocolate at the RAK kickoff held at Oakville Place on Friday. Nov.4.

There are more photos up my professional gallery at Peter West Photo.

The idea behind the day was simply to make our community a better, nicer and kinder community with hundreds of volunteers committing random acts of kindness in their schools, workplaces and homes.