Video for Magnification (imag or image mag)

Big Christian events and churches often have a live camera feed to the screen to help people see the speaker.  The good reasons to do this is if the size or layout of the venue mean that many people can’t see and to get close to the facial expressions the speaker may be using.  In this first picture you can see the expression on Gordon’s face on the screen but can hardly make him out on the extreeme right of the image…


However, what I don’t understand is why live video is used when it doesn’t add anything.  It should never be used to give a wide shot of a stage which in effect adds nothing at all.  Look at this…


See the problem?

For both of these photos I was in front of the front row of this venue i.e. between the front row and the stage – but way off to one side (as mentioned in previous posts I was involved in the children’s programme at this event and this is the day that the children come in for the parents to hear what we have been doing all week).

So here is why I think this is a waste of time…


This photo shows that Jenny (who is leading the worship) is the same size (actually a little smaller) on the screen as she appears in perspective looking at the stage.  So what is this image on large screens either side of stage adding?

I’m not saying that live cameras shouldn’t be used.  They are very good for magnification of the speaker – as mentioned before.  But [I think] there should never be a medium or wide shot which visually doesn’t add anything.

The other problem is that because events have live cameras they end up using them during worship which totally baffles me.  Why do you need a close up of the worship leader singing, or a guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, etc.?  I don’t get it. Obviously, given this blog, I am very much in favour of visuals during worship but generally speaking I wouldn’t include live camera in that – there have been a few occasions I have used live camera but very very occasionally and thinking back on those events I don’t actually think they worked that well.

OK, so ‘rant’ over – if you are involved in this sort of event and find yourself projecting live video of the band please question why and if something else might be more suitable.

About grayza

This page is for me to keep links, photos, reminders, etc... I have no idea why anyone else would be interested in looking at it...
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2 Responses to Video for Magnification (imag or image mag)

  1. David Sheneman says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that it should be used for magnification and not general video coverage of an event, including wide or medium shots. We use IMAG for its intended purpose except when our pastor starts to move too much (or when he walks up/down the platform stairs, which he does constantly during a service).

    We don’t use IMAG during the worship part of our services, although I used to at a former church and I liked it. At that church we had a permanent lyric/PowerPoint screen in the middle and two side screens that were always IMAG. I liked being able to see closeups of the choir, band, worship singers, worship leader, etc., during the worship time. We don’t do IMAG at my current church during worship because the leadership doesn’t see the need for it and I haven’t pushed for it, even though we have the same setup with a center screen that’s always graphics or video and could do full-time IMAG if we wanted.

    • grayza says:

      Interesting setup thoughts. One of the reasons I don’t go for the idea of magnifying the musicians/choir, etc is the old argument about performance vs worship. It was about 10 years ago we moved the worship band from off to one side to on ‘stage’ this was enough focus at that time, actually sticking a camera on the worship leader or musicians would make it more like a performance and make the performers that center of attention not the one they are performing for.

      For me it’s not that big an issue as I would prefer to add abstract images, video of nature, etc. all of which would be pre-recorded and mixed live rather than live camera.

      – Graham

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