Hey, it’s been a while. I’ve been working intensely on my Photography Banzai Youtube channel since around August 2017. I’m trying to see if I can really make something special out of it. Partly because I haven’t had much contracted software development work lately (freeing up time), but also because it is one of those projects I’m passionate about improving on to see where it might go in the future. It’s one of my hopes it will expand in reach significantly.
Since I started the channel in January 2011, it has had over 1.5 million views, though the public number is around 1.4 million due to me cleaning up the channel of past content I felt wasn’t that great, unrelated to the theme, or generated traffic in a negative way.
The one thing about my effort on Youtube is that the work I’ve put in has consistently given back. I can’t say that about every passion project I’ve worked on. It isn’t a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but it is at least consistent. I’ve neglected this channel at times over the years, but the work still gives back little by little. That’s something positive and something I’ve been trying to work more with. I look at some of my past content and cringe a little bit, but producing without remorse is something I’m okay with. I want to push forward with this and improve each step of the way.
My favorite new video is a somewhat simple video from a technical standpoint, but it includes an interview with David of Camera Craft (my local camera shop).
“Used camera equipment… is it worthwhile to go with used gear?”
I pushed my boundaries a bit here by doing the interview. I have collaborated on my videos once or twice in the past, but this one has a professional vibe to it.
For the lone talking part, I utilized a cheap roll-down window shade as a simple white backdrop. I bought that shade a month or two ago with the intention to use it for situations like this. It stays up on one small empty wall I have available. My challenge right now is a mixture of limited space to film, the cameras/lenses I have on hand, and the shade’s width not being ideal (I had to trim it to 44″ or ~112 cm). My Nikon D750 and Fujifilm X100F are really not ideal for doing these types of videos. I can’t easily get proper focus on myself, which wastes time and adds various issues to the process. The D750’s WIFI app is almost useless and the X100F’s app just barely has enough to make it kinda-sorta work. The issue with Fujifilm’s app is that in video mode the camera won’t allow me to control focus at all. At the very least I wish it would let me select an area to keep focus on (eg. where my face stays in the frame). All that said, I used the Fujifilm X100F for this even though it isn’t ideal because at least their app allows me to see what is being filmed and to start/stop recording. Moving forward, I’m going to research camera bodies to see if there is a decently cheap option available that check all of the boxes I need checked. Maybe even an all-in-one digicam is the best route in this case… not sure. I’d want 4K, a true flip-screen, a quality WIFI app that has solid video features, and probably a few other aspects I can’t think of off-hand. 1080p at higher than 60fps would be great as well.
“Promaster AXIS Stabilizer Review”
I put a lot of effort and techniques into this video. There are a ton of multi-cam scenes as well as ones with vocals while outside. All of that resulted in a time consuming edit process. Plus, I want to do more videos outside or generally on-location somewhere in the future, so that was a good starter. Again, each step in the process is helpful. This video had a lot to it.
“DIY video slider made from legos.”
I love “Macgyvering” situations by using what I have on-hand, so this video was fun to make. Everything came together nicely for the video and it wasn’t extremely time consuming to produce, which is ideal. The mixture of novel creativity and fun are some of the reasons it is one of my recent favorites.
“My mobile hands-on filming setup (v1 and v2)”
This was another simple yet fun video to produce. Lately I’ve been filming hands-on video content at my local camera shop. I’ve only done it three times as of writing this article, but I have already learned a lot. My first attempt was pretty bad given my choice of equipment that I had available. My second and third attempt have been a lot better. This video goes over those two setups and shows how the quality improved.
So far, the view numbers on my new videos are not looking great, but quality and content wise I’m happy with what I’ve been able to produce thus far. I have a lot of ideas, such as documentary work as well as getting out more for on-site, but those of course are especially time consuming and challenging. One step at a time.