In 2008 I visited the Open University campus for the first time. They invited me to Milton Keynes to “Do cool stuff”. This was the communication departments way of asking me to experiment with social media.
Back then you could call it social media and it sounded fresh and new.
As long as a few of the right boxes were ticked, I had free rein to experiment, play and have fun.
From popping into science labs to shoot video on a Nokia N95..
..to introducing the world to some of the staff working behind the scenes. There has never been a dull moment.
It’s often pretty light hearted stuff.
When documenting on the fly the plan is work fast and capture digital assets for stock, or a later edit. Where possible, share moments in realtime.
Over the last 7 years the phones have better sensors and the cameras delivering pro video have plummeted in price.
For most things I can use the iPhone 6. For high quality audio I’ll use the Zoom H5 with the Rode NTG4+. For very high resolution video i’ll use a Panasonic GH4. Either with a Lav mic or onboard Rode Video Mic Pro.
When i’m asked to follow people around for a ‘Day in the Life’ multimedia study, I like to work as light as possible. In the past for images and the occasional audio, i’ve used a phone. Recently when asked to follow Open University graduate Sara Jolly, I captured some audio on the day before.
The following morning I was free to let Sara enjoy her day as I grabbed stills and video. I shot stills on the Fujifilm X100T. It’s silent and connects to my phone via wifi should I want to share images via 4g.
My brief is always at the back of my mind. I was there to help the Open University get the content it wanted. To spread their message far and wide. It’s always a pleasure. They are great at what they do. Wherever they send me inspirational stories are there for the picking.
I felt privileged to share in Sara’s big day. I’m sure I was not invisible. Perhaps I was part of the spectacle. Either way I thanked Sara for being a great subject. Also for tolerating me and my tech.
The day was filled with high points in continuing life stories. Sara had an amazing journey culminating right there in my lens.
I’m glad I got to capture the essence of it… And that I get to do this as my job.