YouTube - My First Jump

On October 22nd, 2017 I hit publish on my first ever YouTube video.

I was unemployed at the time. I’d hung up my chef whites in mid-August and my family were in the middle of moving house, so I was holding off finding part-time work to help with the move and improving on my photography game. This included spending many, many hours watching videos on YouTube from the likes of Thomas Heaton, Brendan van Son, Peter McKinnon, Ben Horne & Ted Forbes’ The Art of Photography.

Honestly, I learnt more from YouTube than from any book or website. I mainly figured out camera features, shooting modes etc by myself through trial and error, but in terms of composition and a true understanding of the key elements of photography there’s no better format than video for learning (other than a workshop!). I realised how much I was learning through these channels and thought to myself, “this could be a great way of documenting my own learning, from a beginner’s point of view.”

So I splashed out, treated myself. I bought a knock-off Chinese £20 “GoPro” from Amazon and set to it.

I was heading to a gig in Manchester (Manchester Orchestra, actually from Georgie USA), so I packed my DSLR gear along with my new NoPro and set off. I’d never done any video work before, even on my DSLR (Nikon D3300). I couldn’t say a word to camera in public. And it rained. Boy, did it rain. My proper camera didn’t leave my bag once, not a single photo taken. I was soaked from head to toe. Oh and my car battery died, that was fun…

At least the gig was great!

On getting home I offloaded my videos and checked them out… the video quality was shocking, and the audio was dreadful and out of sync, but I was excited to start working with it!

I was using a 12” MacBook so iMovie was my editing software of choice (I wasn’t gonna pay for one). It took me a week or so getting to grips with the program as this was also my first time editing video, but I seemed to be able to put together some sort of story and along with some music I had a completed video!

After another few days of pondering over my creation, up it went, and I hit the publish button. And I’m so glad I did. The sense of accomplishment and pride hit me straight away and I was hooked. I immediately headed to Chester to film my second video.

Looking back I realise how far I’ve come, not only in my video work but also my stills photography. More than anything this video set a benchmark to work from. Still photos on my hard drive or Instagram get left behind and forgotten about, but this video still gets views and somehow even has 5 likes (how/why!?).

I’ll be first to say it’s utterly rubbish, but I’m also super proud of it and would recommend the process to anyone.

You can check out this first video below, and also find my channel here or using the button at the top of the page!

Ben