Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Memory of Christmas Past?

By Tom Sullivan, Video Guru and Penn Camera Partner
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Its Christmas morning before all the kids are up, and you’ve set-up the camcorder and adjusted the lights. You get your second cup of coffee and wake-up the kids to start the magic of the day. The kids squeal with glee and immediate attached the presents that at one time where so strategically arranged under the tree. They perform present opening acrobatics that defy gravity. You’re about to record the best surprise face you have ever seen. You zoom in, adjust your focus and hit the record button. The viewfinder screams “Memory Full” and your camcorder will not record. The moment is over and you hit replay to see why your card is full, and there sits your daughter’s spring dance recital still on the memory card. You forgot to clear it, or worse, you forgot to upload your last great moviemaking adventure into the computer.

I hope my little drama has not happen to you, and if it has, here is a simple little trick to make the day of moments live on in family history. Have more then one memory card, and format your old memory cards after uploading your old footage to your computer. For you persons that have not reached geek level status; formatting is when you erase all the information on your memory card permanently; on purpose. I know it’s hard to remember to erase your memory cards after you transfer the video. You get mesmerize in your latest cinematic masterpiece and just plain forget. Even the pros forget, but the difference is they have extra cards ready to go, and they make it a habit of checking the camera to see if they have a clean card ready as part of their camera set-up regiment. Memory cards are cheap and the best part is you get to keep using them over and over again. Remember the film days when you had to wait to see your results and the cost of film, processing and prints were prohibitive? Now you can see your results in real-time, and guess what, there’s no cost beyond the price of the present days cheap memory cards. You got to love technology.

Not all memory cards are equal and the one the majority of pros use is SanDisk. I personally use only SanDisk, because I know they won’t fail, and they have a great mix of different sizes and speeds; yes, speeds. For you videographers that are using the new DSLR’s camera’s to shoot video; speed can be a critical factor. So pull out your manuals or check with your favorite Penn Camera associate. They can help you with the right cards for your type camera, speed and shooting style. If you need help in getting your video into your computer or other devices look for one of Penn’s video class in January and February. These classes will cover this element of video and other aspects of the complete video production workflow for amateurs and professional.

Remember, memory cards are cheap, but family memories are forever, so get that extra card.

Happy Holidays
Tom Sullivan


Tom Sullivan is a photography and videography professional with 25-plus years of experience in all aspects of video production on a local, regional and national level. His work includes video production for such clients as the Moscow Ballet, the National Parks Service, ESPN Sports, and PBS. Tom’s background in both still and video photography makes him an ideal instructor for bridging the knowledge gap between the still and motion fields. Visit his website for more information: http://gravitymediapro.com/