Following the feedback in this thread, particularly from PolaroidSky, I have given more thought to competitions as a means of encouraging photographers to see their digital camera’s movie mode as a creative tool rather than a novelty. Firstly, I dislike the term ‘movie’ due to its association with Hollywood blockbusters. Although the Canon EOS 5D MkII has been used in the making of many movies and TV series, that degree of use requires extensive editing skills and is probably best left to cinematographers.
To stand alongside still images in a competition I believe clips should be perhaps no more than 10-15 seconds long, which would minimise download times and require minimal editing skills. If 10-15 seconds seems too short please bear in mind that many TV advertisements convey a powerful ‘buy our product’ message in a 15 second slot.
Clips of that length would also complement, rather than overpower, still images if PolaroidSky’s suggestion of competition projects based on a ‘slide show’ approach is adopted. 10 seconds is a reasonable amount of time to view a still image in a slide show so moving images of similar length could be inserted between stills without imbalance. The dynamics of movement and sound could be introduced without taking away any of the power of well executed still images. (This would work equally well using a flat screen hung on a gallery wall). I personally prefer this integrated approach to one of ‘here are some still images and now here is a video’.
In competitions perhaps a general rule should be that the same camera must be used for still and moving images, as press photographers already do.
To kick start this sort of competition a tutorial or two from PhotoRadar would not go amiss in providing guidance on the procedures necessary to use moving images in this way. As mentioned before, moving images are an area where online photographic magazines like PhotoRadar have an advantage over those on the shelves of WH Smith.
Any further suggestions/comments would be very welcome.