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In Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR, photographer and videographer Rob Sheppard provides the essential foundation that photographers need to make the leap from still pictures to moving ones. From technical considerations, such as audio and frame rates, to aesthetic issues, such as composition and story development, this course presents concepts and techniques photographers need to get the best results from their gear and learn the art of video-based storytelling. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this movie, we are going to go a little deeper with the idea of changing visuals over time. With video, you are looking for more than a single best shot and you look for images that play out over time. Looking for change has a lot to do with that. Think again about a still photo. We look at photographs one at a time. Indeed, a lot of our experience of photographs is based on individual images that we see on the wall, on page of a book, in an advertisement, and so forth.
You may have heard the phrase "the decisive moment." This comes from the work of photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer known for his impeccable compositions of street scenes. His photographs work so well, because he took the picture at the decisive moment where everything in a scene all came together in a great picture. That's something all photographers strive to do in a photograph. We want to find that decisive moment when dancers hit a peak action.
We want that decisive moment when light is just right on the landscape and so forth. While specific moments can be important in video, we are not looking for that one decisive moment to pull the trigger, so to speak, and take the picture. We are looking for groups of images that come together to create an impression of the subject, event or scene in such a way that it literally comes alive for the person watching the video. We are looking for shots that show off the area of a big scene and we are looking for shots that show of details of that scene.
We are looking for shots that show relationships of things in that scene. All of these shots are then brought together to make a complete video. That's what editing is all about. Editing video is not about software or any other technology, though obviously you need them in order to be able to do that. Editing video is about having a lot of different shots of a subject or a scene and then being able to bring them together to create a complete impression of whatever it is you are recording on video.
So, one thing that you will immediately be doing as you shoot video is looking for variety of shots. You are not going out and looking for the one shot at the decisive moment; you're going out looking for distinctive and different shots that will give you variety. With video, you will be looking for change over time, you will look for movement, and you will look for that variety in all of your shots. Editing video starts right here. If you do not have variety in shots, you say, "Oh, I am missing something.
Maybe I need a close-up of some feet," and now we have something. It puts it together. Because if you don't have what you need to put that together, it's very frustrating, and not having the shot is just-- I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating that is when you're editing. So, in one sense, you can never have too much variety for video. Now, I want to be clear. This does not mean setting up every shot in the same way that you would carefully set up a still photograph.
Often, when shooting video, pros will very quickly shoot all sorts of images around the main scene. They may be set up for a really nice overall shot of a subject, but as pros finish recording that subject, they will start looking for other details of the scene while they're still set up in that same spot. The fact is, the pro who is shooting video will always look for that variety. A very simple example would be an event like the dancing. A lot of people record events, but what do they shoot? They shoot the obvious action but not a lot more.
That's really hard to use for editing video. Suppose the photographer shooting video quickly got shots of faces of individual dancers, shots of feet, shots of the setting, and so forth. Now, that would be variety and that would give such a dynamic impression of what this dancing was really all about. Even if all you cared about was a specific dancer, having these other shots would give a richness of context and experience from the dancing that would make the video more interesting.
That's what video is really all about. It is about being able to change the visuals constantly as video plays out and the only way you can change those visuals as if you have shot them. So, start thinking about shooting variety and capturing variety quickly as you shoot video.
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