Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is Video OK?

With all my implicit/explicit criticism of photos as subject matter for art you might be wondering what I think of video. Well I'd never even thought about it until I bought 'Winged Migration' for less than $10 and played it tonight. As I did so I sketched.

For me it was great. I think because the video is dynamic it seemed more like drawing from life, better in fact in the sense that I didn't need to look through some sort of optics in order to see detail. I'd sure never want to substitute this for actually being outside. But for developing skill in drawing birds as they move about in real life, never holding still for more than a second, I thought it was really terrific!

I originally was alerted to the idea of this by someone on birdforum.net saying that they used it to study bird flight. Needless to say, at least if you've seen this, it is great for that purpose as well.


Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I love winged migration and have been wanting so to sketch from it!! Bravo!

Ken Januski said...

We'd seen it once when it first came out. But the comment on birdforum is what got me thinking about it. Then it went on sale.

I couldn't resist. I think you'll really enjoy both seeing it again and sketching from it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling us about Winged Migration, Ken. I went to Youtube to have a look and loved the one-of-the-flock perspective and all the beautiful landscape. I recognized Spain! Just yesterday I heard the geese and ran out to see them fly over my house. I didn't know the poor things had to make such an effort to flap their wings. Where does all the energy come from? Such a mystery.

Ken Januski said...

Hi Swallows,

I'm happy that you enjoyed it, and that you spotted Spain! I'm told that the extra parts of the DVD also have a lot of interesting material so when I have time I'll look at them too.

I first got interested in migration about 5-7 years ago I'd say. Because the film is primarily visual I don't think that it ever says anything about how far birds fly between stops in their migration. For some it's the equivalent of a human eating a full meal and then walking from Ohio to Spain without stopping for another one. It truly is a wonder of nature. This is even more true for the smaller birds, that often weigh not much more than a quarter. AND they often do it over open water!!