Andy Dickinson Andy is a Senior lecturer in Journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University where he is the program lead for the MA Multimedia Journalism.

The difference between pro and amatuer? 90 degrees

Reading Time:

A tweet from the @themediabrief caught my eye today:

‘Holding the camera the right way’ is a bit of an issue for me. In one of my modules I set shooting video as a little test and it was enough to get you a fail.  But as @davidwrightdop pointed out, in the days of Vine and Instagram, does it make one bit of difference?

In my defence, the end result of the test was meant to be uploaded to YouTube; a shame not to use all the space available. So it’s not a ‘blanket ban’

I’m sure academics could have a field day with a ‘chicken and egg’ type discussion about the impact of one medium and another, remediation etc. etc.  Clearly the impact of social media has more of an impact than TV.  So perhaps this is a tipping point:

In some respects it’s already happening. With more consumption on mobile, especially of video, the shape of TV has already changed. Of course, TV was just as influenced by film aspect ratio when it was designed for mass use, so what goes around.

You’re holding it wrong for a journalist

What interests me more is the definitional nature of the debate:  Of course anyone who knows anything about video would shoot the right way.  Wouldn’t they?  The difference in this case between amateur and pro is literally a 90 degree turn. (hasn’t that always been the way of it!)

Even more telling is that it’s a definition that lives and breathes in the way we hold kit.  Imagine that debate being levelled at the way you hold a pencil to take notes. That says more about the way we define ourselves than anything else.

After thought: An easy solution to this is to put the camera lens in the bottom corner of the phone rather than the top. That way if you were ‘holding it wrong’ you’d always have your hand over the lens!

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