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Posts tagged Video

Facebook Live from The Photography Show

Each Spring The Photography Show lands at the Birmingham NEC and I’m thrilled to front its coverage of live streams and video. For four days each year I get hands-on with amazing cameras and kit, and interview some of the world’s most influential photographers. For four days I am in camera heaven.

Over the last couple of years I’ve spoken with the likes of David Bailey, Sebastiao Salgado, Clive Arrowsmith and – personal hero – Chris Packham:

The Photography Show also shines a light on new talent, those pushing boundaries of stills and video, sharing what it takes to be successful on the social media stage. Following his presentation at the Super Stage this year I spoke with filmmaker and Instagrammer Louis Cole about an exciting upcoming project:

This year, for the first time, The Photography Show also broadcast to Facebook Live, taking to the floor to bring the show to a new audience. Here’s an interview where I speak to the creators of Palette, an innovative modular tool for editors.

Tickets for The Photography Show 2018 go on sale from The Photography Show website, dates are 17-20th March.

David McClelland's 2016 Tech Predictions

Top Technology Trends for 2016

Around this time I’m often asked what I think will be the big technology trends for the coming year. This time I thought it would make sense to get my thoughts together and share them on my YouTube channel.

As it happened the first opportunity I had to do this was while I was in Las Vegas for CES – rather aptly, the world’s largest technology show.

So, in no particular order, my top tech predictions for the year ahead:

  • Virtual Reality – 2016 is the year VR takes its biggest steps yet into the mainstream. Off the back of major investments and acquisitions by some of consumer technology’s largest firms, this year sees long-awaited releases from the likes of Sony (PlayStation VR), Facebook (Oculus Rift), HTC (HTC Vive). Virtual reality becomes actual reality this year, and Christmas 2016 will be a key battleground.
  • Biometrics – If the high-profile hacks and data breaches of 2015 taught us anything it’s that username and passwords are broken. Biometric authentication – whether fingerprint, retina or even voice – will continue to grow in 2016.
  • Mobile Payments – Apple Pay, Android Pay and more please – I for one am hoping it’s all change for loose change this year as these payment systems expand beyond premium devices into the mid-range. And while BitCoin took a bit of a battering in 2015, the underlying block chain technology is what is piquing the interesting of many mainstream players.
  • Internet of Things – Embedding everyday objects with computing power and connectivity; connecting people with their possessions and their possessions with one another (I may have unwittingly borrowed, condensed or paraphrased those definitions from others over the years). I really hope we stop talking about IoT in 2016 and start seeing it instead – more everyday stuff getting connected (notwithstanding safety concerns – VTech et al). A little less IoT conversation, a little more IoT action please.
  • Drones – in the beginning drones were about fun: the category breakthrough device was the 2010 Parrot AR.Drone, an augmented reality gaming device (hence the AR); however, the French firm soon realised the onboard camera was what got everybody excited and so the drone photography and videography revolution began. However, the next revolution here will be about non-camera payloads – how drones (eg Amazon delivery drones are a, ahem, Prime example) are able to carry small packages further and further.

The YouTube video was picked up by ITN Productions tech show N2K and cut into one of the January episodes – I haven’t seen the show yet but will be sure to share here when I do.

I rather enjoyed compiling my 2016 predictions, so I plan to do a debrief later in the year to see how close to the mark I’ve been, then to try again with my top tech trends for 2017.

International Business Times

IFA and Apple with International Business Times UK

September is one of the busiest periods in the technology calendar as manufacturers race to announce and release the consumer products they hope will make their Christmas a happy one.

Not only a great time of year to be working in technology but a great time to be reporting on it too. Over the last few weeks I’ve joined the technology desk at International Business Times UK to report on breaking news from Apple, Samsung, Sony and more.

Alongside announcements of new smartphones, tablets and watches I wrote about topics as diverse as Virtual Reality video and fallen enterprise mobile player Blackberry and its attempts to remain relevant.

However, I want to share a couple of video stories here. First up is my bite-sized take on the major announcements at IFA 2015:

New smartphone announcements by Apple are a highlight for many tech-watchers but, frankly, they do go on a bit. I produced an extremely cut-down version of the Apple press conference revealing everything you need to know in roughly three minutes – saving you about an hour and forty minutes of your life.

TechRadar Logo

Mobile Journalism and the UK General Election

Mobile newsgathering has come of age. 

Broadcasters and journalists know it, entertainment and social networks know it, unwitting citizen news-breakers and proud parents catching their 5-yo master their bicycle know it too.

Recently I wrote a feature for TechRadar on how mobile journalism will impact media coverage of the UK general election.

In the feature I speak to key mobile newsgathering practitioners from BBC, Sky News and Trinity Mirror to learn the role of mobile in the newsroom. Contributors (to whom I’m incredibly grateful) include Nick Garnett, Marc Settle, Harriet Hadfield and Alison Gow.

This came off the back of participating in MoJoCon 2015 in Dublin, the first international conference of its kind for mobile journalism and smartphone filmmaking.

Mojocon proved to the industry that mobile newsgathering – in all its forms – is now a primetime tool. It’s no longer a case of ‘why would you use a smartphone for video/audio/broadcast?’, it’s simply ‘why the the hell wouldn’t you?’.

Hosted by the Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ and attended by journalists and filmmakers from across the world, MoJoCon was a celebration of smartphone creativity and newsgathering ingenuity. It was the brainchild of mobile journalism pioneer and activist Glen Mulcahy.

I was particularly involved in the professional smartphone filmmaking stream, including hosting a session in the main hall featuring luminaries such as Neill Barham, boss man and Cinegenix, developer of go-to iOS videography app FiLMiC Pro (in my questioning I successfully ‘outed’ an upcoming and long-awaited Android version of the app); Taz Goldstein, author of Hand Held Hollywood (a book I downloaded when I first began filming on my phone); Newsshooter.com editor Dan Chung, and mobile film directors Conrad Mess, Michael Koerbel and Ricky Fosheim. You can watch the full session here.

Head over to TechRadar to read my feature on mobile journalism and the UK General Election 2015 and keep an eye out on the Mojocon Twitter feed for more details on the next Mojo Conference.

Photography Show TV 2015

I’m thrilled once again to be hosting Photography Show TV live from the NEC in Birmingham.

The Photography Show is the largest event of its kind in the UK, bringing camera and kit manufacturers together with photography professionals and enthusiasts.

I hosted the first live TV stream last year alongside Charlotte Holmes and, being quite the camera nut, was like a pig in muck all weekend long.

This year’s show will be the first chance for many to get hands-on with the latest cameras including the Canon 5DS, 5DSR and for video fans the C100 Mk II. Alongside those, I’m personally excited to see the Steadicam Solo in action (an extensible Steadicam rig and monopod all-in-one, of course), the Lytro Illum and Panasonic CM1 alongside all of the latest smartphone photography and videography innovations. See what I mean about pig in muck…?

This year I’m presenting the live stream with Andrew James, an industry professional and previous editor-in-chief of Practical Photography and Digital Photo. I’m also delighted to be working again with my good friends at Silverstream TV.

You can tune-in to the live stream of the show coverage (and highlights after the show finishes) by heading to the live stream page on the Photography Show website (taking a peek just here).

The Photography Show runs from Saturday 21st to Tuesday 24th March 2015 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Tickets are available from the Photography Show website.

How to Make Movies – and Money – with your Mobile

Earlier this month I was commissioned by CNET to write a couple of features on making high-def movies with a smartphone.

How to make HD movies on your iPhone 4 or 4S

The first of those features, How to make HD movies on your iPhone 4 or 4S, went live yesterday and right now I’m working on an equivalent how to make movies feature for Android based on the Samsung Galaxy S3 – watch this space.

In my iPhone feature I mention recently launched service called Newsflare. As mobile journalism (‘MoJo’) is a particular interest of mine, I find the Newflare concept very interesting indeed. The Newsflare app lets you upload video footage from your iPhone, either on-spec or in response to an ‘assignment’, which Newsflare will then try to sell to a media outlet for you (obviously taking a cut of your cash for their troubles).

I haven’t submitted anything yet to Newsflare, but I’m certainly curious to give it a go. I’m not at all convinced that it poses a serious threat to professional video journalists and cameramen but I suspect it could lead to more of the ‘good enough’ shots of breaking new stories airing before professional news crews arrive to capture broadcast quality footage.

A shot in the arm for citizen journalism?

 

Augmented Reality Heads Up Display Concept

Enterprise Augmented Reality

Augmented reality - heads up display concept

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Question: What do you get if you cross a Microsoft Kinect controller, some 3D glasses and an augmented reality platform with an Enterprise SAP HANA in-memory real-time big data-ready database?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post for Computer Weekly in which I questioned whether Augmented Reality really is ready for the masses, concluding that while the technology and platforms themselves are getting close, a lack of real purpose and compelling content may be AR’s Achilles’ Heel.

You can read my original story in Computer Weekly here.

Augmented Reality for the Enterprise

But then last week, while filming an item for the SAP Innovation Show at an event in London, I saw perhaps the most innovative application yet of AR for business.

As part of my original story I interviewed Matt Mills, Head of Innovation at Aurasma, part of Cambridge-based/HP-owned firm Autonomy and one of the main software houses developing commercial augmented reality platforms and applications.

While the offerings from the likes of Aurasma and Blippar are primarily consumer-focused (typically around marketing campaigns) Matt was also able to share with me some tantalising and genuinely useful applications of augmented reality in education and business, as in this example of using AR to install HP networking equipment.

But then last week at an event I had naively considered an unlikely candidate for showcasing gadgety innovation, I stumbled across what can truly be described as Augmented Reality for the Enterprise.

Spatial Operating Environment

Keytree is a UK-based outfit who, in partnership with SAP, has developed a unique product called CEO Vision which it showcased at the SAP Forum event in London last Tuesday.

CEO Vision combines an Augmented Reality platform with Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect controller to deliver a distinctly futuristic-looking data visualisation tool.

Aimed at non-technical executives, CEO Vision sources its data from an SAP HANA in-memory database and using an assortment of 3D eyewear, motion control and display technologies presents what Keytree calls its “Spatial Operating Environment”.

Viewers wearing the headset can peruse and interact with rich, animated datasets retrieved in real-time from the back-end database.

(and if you have some red/cyan specs handy there’s a 3D version of the video just for you)

Parallels will inevitably be drawn with Google Glass which last week also released a sneak peek of some footage filmed using its AR goggles, although CEO Vision perhaps scoops top marks inasmuch as anybody can try it for themselves right now.

Big Data means Big Glasses?

Personally I believe that technologies such as these from Keytree and Google will be essential tools as we attempt to visualise, digest and capitalise on ever-growing volumes of both business and personal big data.

But wearing my actual reality glasses for just a moment I don’t see that the technology is mature enough quite yet. The CEO Vision user interface boldly aims for Minority Report but credibly lands somewhat closer to Lawnmower Man.

Nevertheless it’s still impressive to see it in action at all and, as with Google’s intentions when announcing Glass, I suspect it acts as more of a signpost to the near future than a genuine stake in the ground for now.

 

Note: A version of this post also appears in Computer Weekly.

Data is Dull! Make Challenging Content Interesting with Online Video.

A few weeks ago I was invited to give a talk to the good people at Reed Business Information, publishers of titles including New Scientist, about how to turn challenging material and ‘dull data’ into interesting online video. It’s a great topic to talk about and there’s no shortage of examples, both good and bad, all over the web. I’ve posted my presentation (minus one or two RBI internal videos) here:

NB – Unfortunately, the SlideShare embed code here hides the presentation’s speaker notes which is where there the real good stuff for this presentation is (I try not to crowd my slides). If you’re curious, do click on this link to my presentation on the SlideShare site and then on the ‘Notes on Slide’ tab to see the more interesting presentation content. And if anybody knows of a better way to embed a presentation and its speaker notes, please do let me know.  

The talk was the opening event of a launch day for ‘RBI Visual’, marking a significant investment by RBI in terms of personnel and facilities, ensuring that this global publisher is capable of providing top quality video output in-house. Other speakers on the day included Adrian Mills, Scot McKee and Pasa Mustafa. RBI’s titles are largely aimed at the business market and, as such, are perceived as featuring ‘dry’ content. What’s more, some of its publications are data-heavy and, whilst providing trusted facts and figures that industries have come to rely upon, they don’t automatically lend themselves to an engaging video experience for their audience. This is where talks from me and my fellow presenters on the day were positioned, encouraging the staff at RBI to:

  • understand their content (how they wanted their audience to act upon it, data > information + intelligence > knowledge > action and decision)
  • understand their audience (personas > viewing habits > attitude to content)
  • understand the medium (online video, types of viewing device, modes of viewing, attention span, technologies and corresponding challenges)

before investigating some techniques that we can use to address and enliven so-called ‘challenging content’. Finally,my presentation briefly touched on distribution and analytics (analyse > refine > repeat).

While preparing my talk I was particularly excited by some intelligent and creative examples of YouTube’s annotations feature to create an in-video navigation, and wonder why I don’t see more of it out in the wild online yet. There are some interesting case study videos in the presentation that suggest emerging patterns for how content producers (or the creatives they employ) are choosing to approach getting their information-rich content and message across in with online.

The good news is that many of the techniques we discussed throughout the day don’t require big-budget motion graphics, just a clear understanding of content, message, audience and medium – plus a little imagination.

Spoiler alert – here’s how the presentation ends:

“A picture is worth 1,000 words. How much is a video worth?”

“A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words” Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research (Forrester, January 2009)

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