Damien Lovegrove – A training video case study
Still River Films has had the pleasure to work with the world famous photographer Damien Lovegrove, a photographer of women & fashion, a presenter, educator, entrepreneur, blogger and writer. His knowledge of photography is vast and he shares much of it through his many training videos. This case study highlights what it takes to make a high budget video production that is aimed for global online marketplace.
The difference between information and knowledge
Has it occurred to you why video training continues to be an amazing success story? The most instinctual reaction is that learning is fun! We all want to get better; our desire to do something well is built within us and above all, it is tremendously satisfying in doing something that you love doing. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, they’ll be an audience out there. Education has never been cheap. Just ask any University student! However, there’s something about human nature that triggers our desire in wanting to learn more. And correspondingly, there’s also a desire in wanting to share more. Some believe it has something to do with how elders of a tribe pass down valuable knowledge to the next generation. Maybe part of that is true? However, bringing that forward a few thousand years to the present day, nobody expects University to be cheap or even free. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, we are all wired for learning.
All of us have a favourite teacher from our school days… There are many amazing teachers out there, yet how is it that we form a deep connection with just a few of them? The plain truth is that some people are somehow born to teach. Their desire to share knowledge is profound. They comprehend the subject in ways that are entirely unique and were most likely developed through years of experience.
The big difference with much of their teachings was that they understood the difference between information and knowledge. In a paper titled “A Unified Model of Dynamic Knowledge Creation” by Ikujiro Nonaka, Ryoko Toyama and Noboru Konno. They eloquently describe the relationship between information and knowledge:
"Knowledge is dynamic, since it is created in social interactions amongst individuals and organisations. Knowledge is context-specific, as it depends on a particular time and space. Without being put into a context, it is just information, not knowledge. For example, “1234 ABC Street” is just information. Without context, it does not mean anything. However, when put into a context, it becomes knowledge: “My friend David lives at 1234 ABC Street, which is next to the library."
Thus we learn that knowledge is information with context. In terms of Damien Lovegrove’s training videos, all of his information is communicated with a great deal of context. This sharing of “knowledge” is part of the reason why his training videos are so engaging and so successful. Photographers across the globe have a desire in wanting to learn from his masterful photographic techniques. However, knowledge is also deeply tied to who Damien Lovegrove is… Lets continue with that paper…
"Knowledge is also humanistic, as it is essentially related to human action. Knowledge has the active and subjective nature represented by such terms as ‘commitment’ and ‘belief’ that is deeply rooted in individuals’ value systems. Information becomes knowledge when it is interpreted by individuals and given a context and anchored in the beliefs and commitments of individuals. Hence, knowledge is relational: such things as ‘truth’, ‘goodness’ and ‘beauty’ are in the eye of the beholder."
Transferring knowledge into training videos
Seeing Damien on-screen teaching and sharing his knowledge is tightly coupled with how photographers worldwide learn from him. These qualities enrich the power of video training in an online marketplace with global reach.
However, even with all these great qualities and traits, the learning experience needs more when translated into a video format… The connection between Damien and all of us at Still River Films is one of friendship, trust, fun and laughter. This happiness contributes to the overall video production. Our cameramen work in harmony, as we are fully aware of how to capture the moment in a way that will cut well during editing. The audio guy continuously monitors the quality of sound because hearing Damien’s voice clearly is critically important to the learning experience.
A great deal goes into editing a training video. Every decision is focused around the education experience. The quality of visuals, the pace of the video, the sound quality etc… all matter. For example, when Damien takes a picture during the shoot, the photograph drops down as if it was a shutter release within the camera. The exposure details closely match how the photo would appear on the back screen. The photo is bordered with lens flare effects to keep it story relevant. The lens flare moves slowly, just like the sun moves slowly through the course of the day. The smallest details are considered and together with Damien’s amazing presentation skills, his vast knowledge, all contribute in making his training videos a success.
A few words from Damien
"Gwyn and his team of professional videographers have produced my last two full feature length productions. Illumination and Illumination 2. These are high budget films with a fast ROI from download sales. They are class leading and among the best instructional films ever produced. I trusted Gwyn from the start and together we have grown to become slick production partners. Gwyn has a canny way of knowing what is needed and when. He can take the ordinary and through careful editing make it extraordinary. I must also mention the fun, friendships and good times we share on location because these are in the DNA that winds it’s way through the final edit. Still River Films revived my presenting career and I can’t wait for our next production soon. Highly recommended."
Videos from Damien’s Training video productions
Damien Lovegrove has posted a few of the training videos online. The learning experience is paramount and if you have an interest in photography, I’m certain you’ll learn something new with these free videos. Damien’s enthusiasm and passion for photography shines through and this is part contributes in how you can learn from him.
Illumination 1 free chapters
This was the first high budget video production that Still River Films was involved with. It focused mainly on lighting on-location portraits with natural light as well as flash, over a total of 19 chapters. More information about the Illumination 1 training video series can be found on Damien’s website.
Rural under tree portraits
Damien shows how he uses a tree in a rural landscape to take control of top light to create stunning and simple exterior portraits:
Taking control of window light for portraiture
Damien shows how he takes control of window light to create stunning and simple interior portraits:
Under tree portraits
Damien shows how he uses a tree to take control of top light on overcast days to create stunning and simple exterior portraits:
Damien ventures into an English country garden to capture some stunning and dramatic exterior portraits:
Naturally lit portraits in the cellar
Watch how Damien ventures into a dark and gloomy cellar to find the light and create dramatic portraits:
Illumination 2 training videos
This was the second high budget video production that we were involved with. The training series covered 25 chapters of how to create beautiful urban portraits out on the street. More information about the Illumination 2 training video series can be found on Damien’s website.
Sample Chapter 1
Damien show how to make stunning and beautiful portraits in an everyday outdoor city location with natural light:
Illumination 2 – Sample Chapter 2
Damien presents how to make stunning and dramatic portraits using an outdoor city location using flash lights:
A simple taste of the spirit that makes a Lovegrove shoot so exciting with Damien talking about his photography:
Behind the scenes on a Damien Lovegrove video production
Here’s a look at how we go about it behind the scenes. These types of high budget video productions require two cameramen and an audio guy in a multi-day shoot. There is a great deal of collaboration during the day and there are always moments for fun and laughter. Capturing everything we need for the final edit is essential when working in a fast paced shoot day.