Battling the modern mindset…

…and its deep rooted trust of technology.

I’m an old geezeress. Got my toehold in news in the waning days of film, shifted to 3/4 tape and took off running and never looked back.

One thing that was embedded in my nerve system was to always use manual controls…never trust the machine. This was especially important in the early days of tape. Even with manual control of audio the gain control on those rinky dink cameras and record decks would flatten out loud sounds. So say you were taping a gun battle or explosion…all you’d get would be a Whoosh! Capped off the high points.

Same thing with auto focus and iris. Trust the machine and your aperture would open and close with each passing white t-shirt and your focus would track whatever hit its sweet spot. Kind of like being on a trip to hallucinationland…your camera on auto was like a happy hippie on hemp.

And white balance…in the early days there was a single setting on the camera. Auto White. Now that was a mite confusing because the Auto White actually required you to push a button to set the white balance. Skip the Auto White and your video would go green or blue.

Years later some smart geek added in what is now called Auto White…where the camera does all the work. Most of the time acceptably.

So what’s the deal? Well today I had a facebook posting interchange with a former student about LED lights (and their lack for full spectrum color) and the need to use warm cards to white balance.

His response…white balance today is good enough you don’t need to manually balance.


This young man is part of today’s video revolution where good enough is good and you trust your camera to give you that. If the camera doesn’t get it right on, save it in post.

I suppose I should take hope in his raw talent…but if he aspires to become more than a wedding videographer he is going to get that hard slap of reality when he attempts to transition to the very real and professional world of cinematography and movie making. I’m not pushing it, but am gently (and not so gently) nudging and giving advice.

Yeah…just call me a geezer and leave me to wander back into my own world of how to do it the right way. I’ve had this conversation before with others and “good enough” ain’t good enough for me.

3 thoughts on “Battling the modern mindset…

  1. “Good enough is good,” makes me shudder. I am seeing this more and more with younger people. I too am a geezeress and want to see high quality in everything that is produced. So many of the local news shows are so poorly done any more. There is such a lack of editing skills out there. “It’s good enough, let’s use it.”

  2. Pingback: Trust the machine? A keen eye is what you need | The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

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