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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.
One of the cool things about digital cameras today is they allow you to shoot video. Now you are probably used to shooting still photos with your camera. Shooting video is a little different. It's not simply a matter of flicking a switch to go to video. It can be very helpful to understand a little bit about the difference between still photography and video in order to get the most out of video with your camera. In this movie, we are going to look at a key difference between video and still photography and how you produce and work with individual shots.
This has little to do with equipment, but a lot to do with how you approach your subject. Think about it. You're out taking pictures of some great location or a subject like these swing dancers. As a photographer, you look for individual shots that really stand out. Perhaps scenes create a vision for you that will make a cool picture you could put on your wall. The point is that you are looking for single images and you are looking for single best images. You might use these images in a slideshow or something like that, but you are still going to look for that one key picture that expresses how you feel about a particular scene or subject.
You move around and look for the best angle, the best light, use the best focal lengths that can really bring the most out of that subject. Well, video is a bit different. With still photography, anyone looking at your pictures will look at them one at a time. The experience is always about the individual image. However, with video, you are looking at an experience of images or shots over time. Video plays out over time.
In fact, usually video will play out with multiple images or shots over time. It is rare that you can actually compose a scene for video and just let the camera keep recording minutes of video, because people are not used to that. They will get bored. They will get tired of watching your video. Video is about change over time, which is exactly what still photography is not. In fact, one of the strengths of still photography is to be able to distill a visual from a complex part of life into a single image.
The best of photography creates still images that are in a sense timeless. Oh, sure, if you wanted to put your camera on a tripod in an interesting location and just turn the video on, it will record that scene for many minutes. There is a problem with that. That's not how people look at video. People are used to seeing video from television and they are used to seeing sequences of images come together in movies from Hollywood.
So video has to be built from multiple images or shots that create an impression of the scene or the subject as the video plays out over time. Think of it this way. Photography is about stopping time. Video is about recording time and the convention for the way we look at video recording time is multiple little clips or scenes that come together in order to show something about a subject or scene.
Video is literally built from a series of individual shots. Now we will be talking very specifically about some ways that you can do exactly that in later portions of this course. But for now, it's helpful to start thinking about video as based on individual clips that come together to create a whole. You will be going out shooting and looking for a variety of shots that you can use to portray your subject.
This approach to a subject is very different than you have been used to with photography. But with a little time and effort, there is no question you will be able to start shooting video and explore this fun way of capturing the world around us.
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