Shooting GRITTY for TEDxGramercy

GRIT Logo.jpg

One of the steps I took to start building connections when I arrived in big, bad New York this summer was to stalk all the TEDx events this fall in NYC listed on the TED website. I sent messages to each organizer just saying that I was a shooter and if they needed an extra hand with their event or another camera, I was interested in helping out. After a couple months went by and I forgot about it, one of the organizers of TEDxGramercy returned my message and we spoke briefly about their event on September 27th and their need for a promo video.

The team I ended up meeting with in Washington Square Park this week was a ton of fun to work with and we spent Sunday afternoon in the park just hanging out, talking to people passing by about the event and encouraging them to tell us what they thought of the theme of this years event, "GRIT." In a corner of the park's central sidewalk hub we set up red and white wooden letters spelling TEDxGramercy and passersby wrote their thoughts on the idea of GRIT in chalk on the sidewalk.

The event gave me a chance to really put the 70D through it's paces for the first time since I first acquired it back in June. One of my hopes when I bought the camera was that I could use it for jobs where both photos and videos were needed and the ability to switch back and forth between those two modes was critical. I can't express how liberating it was to be able to flip back and forth between video and stills mode knowing that at any time, even if I was in the middle of filming a clip, I could just hit the shutter trigger and the camera would stop what it was doing (even pausing the video recording) to take the photo(s) I wanted (before resuming the same video file I was recording a second earlier).

I chose to stick with my 40mm pancake lens all afternoon, mostly because I needed to record audio with my video and favored the silence of the STM lens on the 40mm to the slightly louder USM focusing motor of the 50mm. I found myself fighting to keep the footage stable without any Image Stabilization but that promo video I pitched to the group was meant to be rough a shaky cam look worked perfectly fine. This was actually the first time I shot a people-oriented video since moving to the US and I have to say that the whole common language thing still feels like a warm fuzzy luxury after three years of working with Hebrew and Arabic speakers.

That being said, here is the promo video. You can find out more about TEDxGramercy at as well as links to their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where I hope to contribute more content in the next couple weeks.