Saturday, August 27, 2022

What do you think of vertical video?

 I don't do TikTok, but the Instagram platform is pushing us all toward TikTok-like short, vertical videos.

I've tried various ways of creating vertical videos, and I have to say I'm not a huge fan. Severely cropping a horizontal video to make it a 9 x 16 vertical loses a lot of content and detail.

I liked Instagram better when it was optimized for artists and photographers. But I guess it's a lesson to us that if we want to build our careers on social media, we've got to roll with the decisions of people who run these platforms.

Whether the gamble will pay off for Mark Zuckerberg is yet to be determined, but I have a feeling most artists, illustrators and photographers aren't too happy with the way he's forcing things.

What do you think? How are you adapting?


René PleinAir said...

Wait for the CBDC is comming to play, ...
after that it's just the art which is allowed by the big tech, big pharma or the one wold government and only when you have the jab and QR code to confirm it.

No conspiracy, .. it's all on the website of the World Economic Forum.

larry said...

James, I think it's about time for artists to give thought to how much social media is allowed to dictate their activities. I love your videos, but mostly hate all these short video clips of social media.

The worst are what I call "frantic artist" videos where a good photo of a piece of art is replaced by a 10x time-lapse that shows nothing, teaches nothing, and certainly doesn't present the artists products. Why?

All of this is causing me to spend far less time studying the art of others in social media of all kinds. The sad thing is that more and more artist time is being spent creating this slop rather than just posting their finished art as a graphic.

James Gurney said...

Larry, I hear what you're saying. I wish social media would let us interact with images like we do in a museum: where we look at a painting for as long as we like from far back or up close.

Time lapse has its place for showing a gradual process, but as you say it can convey a frantic or frenetic vibe that doesn't convey much info or feeling. I'm experimenting with all sorts of ideas, and I appreciate that we get such clear feedback in the comments and analytics about what's working and what isn't.

René, yeah, it's scary to think that some central authority, corporate or otherwise, could control content across the board. Maybe we'll need to go back to handmade leaflets on small presses.

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

I instantly disliked the changes in Instagram. Even when it's not art OI'm viewing, I look like an artist, lingering her and there to take it all in. I don't want to be dictated to!

Richard said...

I am at the same level with you James, I feel that the work gets lost in all the flashing video. I have tons of recorded video and I just don't have the drive to do anything with it. Even though it's a ton of content for social media it feels like it's just a waste of time. I think it also makes me want to do art less because I feel I have to record it. And it gets lost in the masses, even when you tag people in stuff because it's too much to deal with.

Not only that but doing stuff on Twitter, insta, reddit, facebook, etc is time consuming, and keeping up with the comments vs spam is numbing. And that fact that they want you to post daily and often multiple times a day. Leaves less time for art.

phistover said...

I also dislike the recent changes to Instagram. Right now I mostly use it for inspiration and to support other artists. However, I was hoping one day it could be a platform to market my art--now I am not so sure. Instagram's subscriber numbers are tanking, and this must be a desperate attempt to compete with tiktok. This is highly unlikely to pay off in my opinion. Instead Instagram risks alienating much of its loyal subscriber base--artists and photographers, as from what I gather many are unwilling or unable to accommodate the new requirements such as recording videos. Hopefully for those who are unhappy with the changes another avenue will open up. I recently discovered ello, an online community of artists which may hold some promise.

Wayne said...

I'm right with you. Ever since I read Encyclopedia Brown I've wanted to see real speedpaints, but aside from Dent, I've never actually seen any real speedpaints, just 4 hours sped up

Richard said...

@Wayne, You should look at Dennis Loebner who does spit paints, 30 minute or less digital paintings that are really amazing, not sped up. His link is

Kessie said...

Ugh, yes, I use Insta to follow artists and find new artists. Ever since FB bought them, they've been systematically destroying every good thing about the platform. I'm keeping an eye on Artfol, another up and coming little art app. It's kind of niche, for artists, but so was Insta in the beginning.

Unknown said...

Nancy & Marc:

James, My husband and I are artists and long time admirers of yours. We love your long videos and we love your statement above. We followed many nature photographers and illustrators who can no longer post due to the new restrictions. This is a huge loss.

karen said...

I'm glad you asked, because vertical video is a scourge.

I don't do social media at all, but I don't watch vertical video period. Or videos under one minute long. As for the comments about timelapse, I don't watch high speed video either, especially if it's a painting video. Not only are these formats annoying, I can't learn anything from them. They are all a waste of time for me. I hide all of them on my youtube subscription page.

Roca said...

I use Instagram less than I used to because of the move towards video, and the expanded stream of content I didn't ask for. But I'm almost 50 and not in their demographic. They want the young people. It's too bad, I liked the original Instagram much better when it was a visual playground of artists and photographers. I feel like I'm assaulted by video wherever I go.

Karen Eade said...

I do not like the new look Instagram and feel confused by no longer seeing the work of people I used to see, instead loads of weird videos that often aren’t even art-related. I have also gained quite a few new followers lately, whose accounts are ‘private’, with baffling names that include lots of numbers. Their photos and bios are always of clean shaven, well scrubbed men, younger than me, who profess to love God and family life. Who are they?? No idea.
My work and personality (probably a pathological introvert!) do not lend themselves to making sparky videos and I don’t own the kit anyway.
So I’m homeless. Thank goodness for your blog - love it - and your YouTube videos and Gumtree. I also liked your Instagram but it never appears on my feed now unless I specifically search for it.
We need a new forum, not conformation with how Insta now is.
Just my opinion and I am a bit technically clueless so take it with a pinch of salt.