roddyrod.jpg

So I bet you’re asking, “What’s a video guy doing as a guest blogger on a (primarily) digital photography site?” Well, I’m here to tell you why you need to jump on the online video bandwagon… and do it now! But first, for all of you that would feel a little cheated that you came to Scott’s blog today and you didn’t get a cool tip or trick to take with you, here’s how to turn Timelapse Photos into beautiful video in Photoshop CS3 Extended in just a few easy steps:
1. Choose File > Open and direct it to your folder of images. Make sure that they are numbered in sequence.

2. Select the first image and then click the “Image Sequence” checkbox (as shown below).
1image-sequencesm.jpg

3. Select your Frame Rate. This will also determine the overall duration of the clip as it makes this calculation based on the frame rate.

2-frame-rate.jpg

4. Click the Play button in the Animation timeline or simply hit the Space Bar to render the video clip into RAM.

Here’s a video clip where I show the technique and talk about it in a little more detail: (click here).

If you’re using a 10-15 megapixel camera, then your images will allow you to create 4,000 – 5,000 pixel wide video files. This is many times larger than Standard Definition or High Definition video files. In fact, you can go out and shoot once, and then chop up the resulting monster video file into 30-50 Standard Definition video files for sale as a collection on DVD or website. You can see me demonstrate this technique with one of Moose Peterson’s files by viewing this video clip here:

Why Online Video
Now on to my main discussion point… the reason Photographers should jump on the online video bandwagon as soon as possible. To say that online video today is exploding in both business and consumer spaces would be the understatement of the year. Just take my buddy Scott as an example: Five years ago all he had was a gracious and benevolent friend (me) who would create, edit and/or animate the occasional video clip for him to use at his seminars or at Photoshop World. Today he has half-a-dozen full-time videographers recording, editing and post-processing video for both online and DVD distribution, and another half-a-dozen web designers compressing video and creating sites to distribute all of this video content, along with several dozens of the world’s top industry professionals creating video content for both the NAPP and Kelby Training websites. In the last 18 months alone, Scott — the digital photographer, trainer and businessman — has acquired enough video content to create his own television network… which is exactly what he’s doing, only he’s doing it online.

Does that mean that you should abandon your still camera for a video camera and never look back? Absolutely not! What it does mean however is that you should package your best images into a compelling slideshow, add a little music, save it out as a video file, and then distribute it on the web. Every decent program that can create a slideshow also has the capability to save out that slideshow in either Apple Quicktime, Windows Media or Adobe Flash format. And this is all you need to upload to a potential audience of millions. At WORST, your video slideshow is an inspiration to another aspiring photographer. At BEST, you’ve just doubled your marketing and picked up a wealth of new clients for your photography business. If you’ve ever seen a slideshow presentation set to music at Photoshop World by the likes of Moose Peterson, Vincent Versace, Jim Divatale, John Paul Caponigro, Eddie Tapp, Laurie Excell, Joe Glyda, Ben Willmore, or any of the many, many others… you know just how powerful it can be for both inspiration and for sales. Just ask any one of them how many more books, DVDs, or seminar tickets they sell after a showing! :-)

Where You Can Distribute
So the next step would be to upload your video to one of the many video sharing sites that have exploded onto the web in the last couple of years, but which one? Everyone’s heard of YouTube, but is it the best choice for you? Well, for the last year I’ve been researching and answering those exact same questions for my clients who hire me as a consultant and as a distributor of their online content. In that time I’ve compiled a list of the Top 12 sites I like for distributing video online. It’s a lengthy report I usually only share with clients, but I’m going to share some of the key points with you today, including a little bit about each site’s web traffic and audience demographics (compiled from Google searches and TubeMogul analytics) so that you can decide if the video distribution site is a good fit for you. Here we go:

Rod’s Top 12 Video Distribution Sites

YouTube
Description: The GrandDaddy of all video distribution sites
Traffic Averages: 69,329,000 monthly unique visitors; 74 pages viewed per person; 0:55:52 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Evenly female/male audience, largest age cluster in 20-40 year old range.

MySpace
Description: Primarily a social networking site. The video component is not promoted, but is widely used.
Traffic Averages: 12,576,000 monthly unique visitors; 12 pages viewed per person; 0:07:03 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Surprisingly, the audience only slants slightly younger; roughly even male/female; relatively less educated.

Revver
Description: Despite owning YouTube, Google’s intuitive video site is a success in its own right.
Traffic Averages: 8,094,000 monthly unique visitors; 16 pages viewed per person; 0:08:07 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Slightly more male viewers; age slants relatively older.

DailyMotion
Description: Popular video sharing site out of Europe.
Traffic Averages: 5,388,000 monthly unique visitors; 10 pages viewed per person; 0:04:49 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: International audience; high age and income level; slants white male.

Yahoo Video
Description: A sleek, entertainment-oriented video site. Not yet fully integrated with all of Yahoo!’s community destinations.
Traffic Averages: 3,185,000 monthly unique visitors; four pages viewed per person; 0:02:76 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Slightly more male viewers; slants older in age.

MetaCafe
Description: Popular worldwide video destination. Prides itself on quality over quantity.
Traffic Averages: 3,584,000 monthly unique visitors; 15 pages viewed per person; 0:07:10 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Almost 3:1 male to female ratio; relatively even education and income.

Blip.TV
Description: Publisher-friendly video sharing and distribution site.
Traffic Averages: 1,265,000 monthly unique visitors; three pages viewed per person; 0:02:43 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Slightly more male, educated and higher-income.

Veoh
Description: Focused on full-screen video programming for anyone with a broadband connection.
Traffic Averages: 3,627,000 monthly unique visitors; 30 pages viewed per person; 0:41:29 minutes spent on site.
Demographics: Slightly more male viewers; even distribution across age categories.

Vimeo
Description: Hip, user-generated content.
Traffic Averages: Approximately 1,311,000 monthly unique visitors; five pages viewed per person.
Demographics: 2:1 male to female ratio; high-income and college-educated.

Google Video
Description: One of the first video sharing sites to offer ad revenue sharing with publishers.
Traffic Averages: 436,000 monthly unique visitors; three pages viewed per person; 0:02:34 minutes spent on site.

Viddler
Description: Newer site with cool features like comments tied to a particular time in the video and automatic webcam synch.
Demographics: Slightly more male; college-educated.

FaceBook
Description: Another major social networking site with over 100 million users. It’s also the 4th most trafficked website in the world. Need I say more?

The Wrap Up
So what can video do for the Digital Photographer? It can expose your art to a whole new audience that might otherwise not see it. It can inspire others as it inspires you. It can encourage collaboration with artists from other disciplines. And it can increase your business and sales so that you can continue to do what you love most… take great pictures.

I hope I’ve been helpful to at least one of you. Thanks for reading. :-)

-Rod

[ed. You can check out the public beta of Rod's DV Confidential site, by clicking here.).