Once again, our shooter spotlight features something a bit different. Although Dave Dugdale does take photos, he’s known more for his videos. But don’t let him fool you, as he’s refreshingly un-pretensive despite the quality of his productions. Dave set up a website as a way to chart his progress as he learned DSLR video. But along that way, he’s become something of an authority himself, amassing a following as others learn from his mistakes and progress. He took the time to answer some questions about his life, work, videos, and more. Dive in below!
Name: Dave Dugdale
Hometown: Superior, Colorado
Tell us about yourself: I run a bunch of different websites that range from solar power to real estate and my most recent site is about me learning how to shoot video with a DSLR.
What made you take up DSLR video? Many years ago when I was starting my websites I thought it would be fun to create videos for each site. I quickly found out that getting great video quality was not easy which made me even more interested, because I knew that the barrier to entry for my competitors would be high for them to get great looking videos that people would be interested in watching. So I over the years, I have tried to make each one of my videos just a little bit better than the last to keep my competitive edge.
Favorite camera and lens? Why? I guess it would be the Canon 5D Mark II, I got to test it out for a full month and I really enjoyed the low light performance compared to my Canon T2i 550D. My favorite lens might be the 70-200 2.8 that Canon makes, boy that lens can make you look like a pro even if you are not.
What’s the hardest thing about making DSLR videos? For me probably composition and lighting. I am all self taught, so while I feel that the composition on my shots is getting better, I know from looking at other people’s work that I have a long way to go composing more interest shots. When it comes to lighting I have always used natural or available light because it’s easy and that’s what I know best, but I have a ton to learn when it comes to studio lighting.
Do you still take photos much these days? If so, what’s your favorite thing to shoot, and please share a couple of your favorites with us. I shoot at least 200 or 300 photos a month, mostly of my kids, they are my favorite subjects to shoot. I try to carry my camera everywhere I go. I like to try time lapse and some HDR as well, but I can never get the results I want from those specialties.
On your website, you state that it’s only a hobby. Has that changed since you’ve gained so much traffic? Is this becoming your job now? No, while it makes a little bit of money from advertisers on my site, I still think of it like a hobby since my other sites make much more money. I would love it if learningDSLRVideo.com was my main money maker, that way I could make higher quality videos. I enjoy sharing what I am learning, and I am humbled that so many people are watching and learning with me.
If you could shoot anything, what would it be? Actually I have a fun project coming up that I think will be really fun. I am going to pick a local photographer and make a 2 or 3 minute high quality promo piece for them. Since it is my project and I will be doing it for them for free, I will have all the creative control and I think it will be a ton of fun and I am sure I will learn a lot along the way.
What’s your most memorable shooting experience? This past summer my daughter and I went camping in the mountains, before we went to sleep for the night I set up my camera outside the tent and did a time lapse of a mountain and the stars. I wanted to get at least 15 seconds of video for the time lapse so I had to stay up pretty late while my daughter was a sleep. At night I could hear the coyotes howling and the elk waking past our tent. When I finished the time lapse back home, I was able to see hikers climbing Long’s Peak at night with their headlamps on, it was pretty cool.
What does the future hold for you? I want the quality of my videos to keep increasing, so I hope to make much better videos at least a year from now. I also hope to introduce more videos that are more entertaining as well.
Some of your favorite videos?
Some of your favorite shots?