Zoom in, zoom out! Whether we shoot stills or videos, at some point we all try to get in closer or back up to include more, or less, in the frame. For you zoom lens aficionados, this means a simple rotation of a ring on your lens. For you prime lens users (whom I call “Primates”) this means setting your feet in motion and moving forward or backward. However, today, as a result of the Coronavirus, zooming has taken on a new meaning. It’s the new way we attend camera club meetings. It goes like this…
“Hey Bob, what’s up?” “Hi Marge, are you back from Florida yet? I can’t tell by looking at your background.” “Am I muted? Can anyone hear me?” “We see your name, but not your face. Turn on your video.” “How do you do that?” And the beat goes on, and on and on…until finally we hear, “Okay, I’m gonna mute everybody and then we’ll begin the meeting.”
So, are Zoom meetings a bad thing? Here’s are some pros and cons:
Some say they’re great because they don’t have to get up from their couch to attend. Others say they miss the socialization that in person meetings offer. I find there’s actually more socialization on Zoom because at the “real” meetings, everyone gravitates to their same four friends and never interacts with anyone else. On Zoom I see people talking to others that they never sit with at the meetings and rarely talk to. Also, on Zoom, I can finally associate faces with names. (“Oh, that’s who Bernie Flotz is!”)
I find the competition images look much better on Zoom than on the screen at the live meetings. They look more like they do on my computer, mainly because there are no variables such as the quality of the club’s projector, the laptop the judge is looking at etc. Then there’s the convenience of not missing a meeting in the middle of a February blizzard. Lastly, I love being able to make some rude comment (as loud as I want) about a judge’s remarks about an image. But I alway check first to make sure I’m muted!
I could go on and on. I’m certainly not advocating the abolishment of live meetings. There may be, however, some place in the future for Zoom meetings to become a part of camera club activities.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go down to my basement home gym, put on some Salsa music, and do a self-motivated Zumba routine. After all, I must maintain my cardio fitness so I’ll be physically able to attend the next Zoom meeting.