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Shooting for movement over time

From: Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR

Video: Shooting for movement over time

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.

Shooting for movement over time

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR
Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR

33 video lessons · 25179 viewers

Rob Sheppard
Author

 
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  1. 2m 43s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. What video can do for you
      1m 27s
  2. 23m 13s
    1. Stopping time in photography vs. recording over time with video
      4m 14s
    2. Shooting for movement over time
      3m 58s
    3. Composing for constantly changing visuals
      4m 42s
    4. Adjusting to shooting for a non-RAW medium
      3m 26s
    5. Understanding resolution for video
      3m 36s
    6. Choosing a video frame rate
      3m 17s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Comparing DSLRs with traditional camcorders
      6m 18s
    2. Comparing sensor sizes among DSLR cameras
      5m 26s
    3. Considering noise when comparing sensor sizes
      3m 8s
    4. Choosing memory cards and batteries
      3m 33s
    5. Understanding video tripods
      6m 10s
    6. Working with other camera supports
      3m 19s
    7. Using focusing aids for shooting video
      5m 29s
    8. Choosing lighting gear
      3m 58s
  4. 26m 23s
    1. Adjusting how you shoot
      6m 11s
    2. Limited "fixing" of images
      3m 42s
    3. Understanding the challenge of shutter speed
      3m 56s
    4. Getting the right exposure
      6m 59s
    5. Setting the right white balance
      5m 35s
  5. 19m 39s
    1. Understanding the importance of audio
      4m 5s
    2. Learning to work with sound
      4m 54s
    3. Gearing up for audio
      7m 19s
    4. Recording with external audio gear
      3m 21s
  6. 33m 56s
    1. Basic shooting
      6m 12s
    2. Shooting video to tell a story
      7m 27s
    3. Shooting for coverage
      4m 52s
    4. Understanding how to shoot movement
      4m 10s
    5. Shooting the moving subject
      4m 17s
    6. Creating movement
      6m 58s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Preparing for the edit
      6m 57s
  8. 1m 47s
    1. Stay focused
      1m 47s

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