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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.
When you start shooting video, remember this important concept. Photography stops time, while video records over time. In this movie, we are going to look at another key difference between video and still photography that is also related to time, but in a different way. Now we are going to look at movement over time. Since still photography is about stopping movement, you cannot actually show movement in a photograph. Well I know some of you are thinking "Gee, I could shoot with a slow shutter speed and show a blur to capture movement." That's true you can, but you can't actually show the movement in action.
All you can do is show an interpretation of the movement, but it's still stopped. There is nothing moving in a finished photograph about stopped action on the sports field or dancers on a stage. They will both show something about movement in the photograph. On the other hand, video shows us movement in action actually happening. We can watch as dancers make their moves to the music. We can watch a football play develop on the field. We don't have to wait for action to pause at a key moment.
We simply record video through the entire movement. We don't have to worry about missing the action because we timed the shot wrong for a photograph, because video is continuously recording that action. This is a very important difference between photography and video. Many photographers miss this point, because when they start shooting video they simply turn on the video and record the scene. They aren't necessarily looking for movement. Yet because movement is so important to video, viewers have a tendency to get bored if video has no movement at all.
This gets to be very interesting when you compare two versions of movement: a stopped action versus action in progress. Suppose you see a nice still photograph that shows off a bit of stopped action such as these dancers here. This is a photograph that will catch your attention, and even if you don't care a lot about dancing, you'll still find it a very interesting and dynamic image. So, even without anything moving in the photograph, that image catches our attention. Yet if you put an image or video on screen without showing the movement, the viewer would quickly tire of it.
Viewers want to watch the movement of the subject. The difference is obvious. We want to see the action going on if we're watching video. We'll be working in-depth with movement later in this course. But for now it's important to keep in mind this very significant difference between video and photography. Movement. Right away, you have a take away for shooting video: look for and record movement. This does not mean that video has to be constantly moving.
Movement just to add movement can create images that are hard to watch or even make your viewer feel a little seasick. What you do want to look for is touches of movement. For example, you are shooting some action like these dancers, but it is in between action. Look for something happening that might give some sort of movement, such as a gesture while they are talking. Even that little touch of movement can give a feeling of something happening at this place and that you're not showing us a still photograph.
Movement that is obvious, such as someone dancing, is pretty easy to deal with. Finding movement in other situations is not always so easy and often requires you to simply be patient. Watch, wait, and record as the subject or the scene changes. Often something will occur that will give just a little bit of movement that will change your visual from being a photograph to being something more interesting for video. So be aware of movement, understand its importance to video, and you immediately gain a good start on thinking about shooting video with your DSLR.
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