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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.
By now you know about shooting video with variety. Now I am going to give you some specific ideas on what sorts of things to shoot to help you get that variety. Video is a great way to tell a story, but I don't want you to think that you have to do some Hollywood type of story. Story is simply the bringing together of separate shots in video to tell something about your subject. Story and video comes from the combining of these separate shots, not a single shot.
Story begins with three things: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Something is happening and something happens first to get the action going. That's the beginning. There is some sort of ending to what is going on and obviously that's the end. Everything between that beginning and end is middle. So as you are deciding what shots to take, you can look for a beginning, keeping alert for things happening during the action, and then look for something that shows an ending also during that action.
Then as you record everything else, that becomes your middle. The beginning, middle, and end structure of story helps you look for specific things happening. However, not all stories are going to be obvious. So here are three ideas that you can think about that will help you find stories. First, there is the coverage of an event, something very specific going on. That's pretty obvious and it could be as simple as a birthday party or it could be a larger event such as a dance contest.
The difference in such events is the total time from beginning to end. You are still looking to find those beginning shots, ending shots, and something that ties them together through the middle. There will be an order to the finished video, but the beginning, middle, and end do not have to arbitrarily fit a timeline. So here is the look at an event video. (Female speaker: All right, let me get it straight.) (Male speaker: So it's two swing outs and then the prep, right?) (Female speaker: Yes, it's two swing outs and then the prep.) (Male speaker: Okay, and then we're going to hit it for the count of 7ths and 8ths.) (Female speaker: Uh huh. And three triple spins.) (Male speaker: And three triple spins, okay. I got it.) (Male speaker: I think the hat will stay on.) (Male speaker: I think we're good to go, babe.) (Female speaker: All right. Let's hit it.) (Music playing) (Applause) Rob Sheppard: Second, there is a story about who or what a subject is about, details that tell you something about a location or an individual.
Now we are going to watch a short story based on one of the dancers and this is based on an interview to provide the basis of the story and then showing details around that story that help tell it. There are still a beginning, middle, and end, but it is not the same sort of story at all as an event. (Music Playing) (Kim Clever: Swing dancing brings you together, brings you to the simple time where the rules were defined.
One person follows, one person leads, and there is only three things that matter, and it's the music, the dance floor, and your partner, and you just forget everything else. My great-grandmother owned a clothing store in her 30s, 40s, and 50s. Since I was little girl, she started giving me those clothes. So I started collecting vintage clothing when I was just in elementary school. By the time, I hit high school, I was already wearing vintage clothing on a regular basis. I wanted my social activities to match what I was wearing.
So I learned all the dances from the 20s to the 50s, and which outfits should be worn while performing those dances, and I found other people that were like-minded. Swing dancing is bigger now around the world than it ever was. The actual swing era was so short and was so quick. The second coming of swing has lasted longer. (Music playing) Rob Sheppard: Third, there is narrative, the traditional story of Hollywood or television.
Narrative has a very strong beginning, a very strong middle, and a very strong end. But what makes it different than an event story is that there is a very specific sequence of shots that must be shown in order once the video is edited in order for the story to make sense. Each shot, from beginning to end, builds on previous shots. Narrative tells a story about something happening and changing over time.
Let's look at a narrative based on our dancers. (Music Playing) Now you have just seen three illustrations of stories and there were certainly different ways of shooting them and you saw like all kinds of things that are related to even photography that you know such as lighting, and shot angles, and so forth.
But all of them, if you cut down to the core, were basically about a story from beginning to end in terms of having a beginning shot, some sort of an ending shot, and then some things in between, and any of these stories really can be as simple as you saw there, or if you want to shoot a lot more that's a lot more complex, go for it. But when you first start thinking about story, it's probably a good idea to keep your story pretty simple.
Keep focused on finding something that begins the story, something visual that's going to get your viewers' attention. Then something that carries the story along through the middle and something visual that really says here is the end of the story. That's a great way to get started in capturing a variety of video for story.
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