When the technology for shooting video first began creeping its way into my cameras a couple years ago I was open to, but not enthusiastic about, the possibility that I’d ever use it. I have seen many instances when a story was told both in video and in stills and I have almost always found the still image more compelling. For me, photos that rise to the top – the ones I’d hang on my wall – are the ones that scream content and composition but are silent when it comes to context or meaning. My favorite images draw me in visually but leave me with a lingering sense of wonder – something I have never experienced with video.
But today, I’m singing a different tune. Well perhaps I’m not singing it yet, but I am at least trying to clap to its beat thanks to a story I just finished on Wayne Pearcy, a 24-year-old trumpet player at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has been playing for 12-years, he has been told by Wyton Marsalis that he has a “very soulful sound”, he has perfect pitch. He is also blind. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently wrote an article about Wayne and the technology that blind students at Berklee use to become successful musicians. I shot the stills for the print edition, and after some convincing they allowed me to see what I could do with a video for their website (the finished video is below).
Despite the fact I have been working intimately with two very talented videographers (I think they hate that word) Dylan Trivette and Dina Rudick, I was still shocked by how different the process of shooting video was than shooting stills. I’m still waiting to be convinced that a moving image is capable of producing the same sense of wonder that still images can evoke in me. But I am pretty captivated (and a little intimidated) by all the possibilities that video possesses for story tellers like myself. As a photographer I’ve gotten very good at interpreting the world through a specific set of tools – somewhat like Wayne at Berklee. Now I’m kind of daunted and amazed by being able to look out at the world in a completely different way.