Producer Profile: David Thorpe

David Thorpe with camera
David Thorpe with camera

YouTube, as everybody knows, is the province of the young. It’s the home of the under-25s – probably the teenagers really – where the superstars of this new media go by the names of “Zoella” and “Thatcher Joe”.

Wrong.

71-year-old David Thorpe from London is proving that anyone of any age can be a hit. He has a secret weapon, you see: a combination of experience, knowledge and expertise.

On his photography channel (www.youtube.com/spogley), David tests and reviews micro four-thirds camera equipment though all photographers may find something of interest in his videos, with cameras, lenses, equipment and accessories all coming under scrutiny for uses, strengths and weaknesses.

He started the channel just three years ago and has amassed an impressive 8,000 subscribers. It began, he says, because he “felt that the general standard of camera reviews on YouTube was often uninformed and too opinionated.”

“It also gave me motivation to keep making pictures myself.” he adds.

Buying and reviewing camera gear is no cheap hobby so of course he’s sensibly enabled YouTube partner advertising but also pulls in some extra cash from his photographic ‘blog (and Amazon books). David says he makes “about £500 to £600 each month in total and rising!” which is not at all bad by anyone’s standard.

David Thorpe's shooting rig

David Thorpe’s shooting rig, testing a lens’ minimum focus distance (tablet used for WiFi control)

Equipment-wise, no surprises to learn that he uses micro four-thirds system cameras with a macro lens. His current favourite bit of kit for video is the Olympus E-M5 Mk2 because, he explains, “it has decent video capability but also a sensor stabilisation system which makes a tripod unnecessary under most circumstances, acting more like gyroscopic mount.”

Also used to good effect are a tablet or phone for WiFi remote control when taking product shots (see pic), whilst Adobe Premiere Elements is his choice for video editing.

David’s top tips to aspiring YouTube producers? “Specialise in an area few others do and NEVER narrate off the cuff. Always write a tight and accurate script for narration. It is much harder than making the video but when you are offering specialist knowledge clarity is all.”

And that’s good advice that, quite frankly, many of the teens on YouTube would do well to listen to!

Watch David’s videos at www.youtube.com/spogley

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1 Response

  1. Stuart White says:

    Have known and worked with this guy for decades. Multi-talented, world-travelled. I’ve been in a host of foreign cities and several continents with him, occasionally under fire – once in besieged Sarajevo. No surprise that he’s turned his hand to yet something else. His knowledge of photography must be unrivalled. Looks like Peter Pan too – bastard!!

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