Three Things I Learned about Filming Videos …

Video is the way of the future. The newest cameras all feature the coolest new video settings. Videos are all over social media. More and more often as new graduates we are expected to know video, because this is what clients are asking for. When the industry changes, we have to change with it. This is great because it allows for creative growth and exploration!

“But – I’m a photographer,” I found myself saying. “I take still pictures.”

Well I found it’s not all that different to record movement! Here are the most important things I found out doing my first independent video assignment:

Number 1: The Settings
So I actually found this part to be the most intimidating. I had only done video one other time before, and I had a lot of help with it. A friend of mine sent me this article on Nikon’s website which gave me all the information I needed. There’s five main settings to worry about: Frame Rate, Resolution, Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO. The Frame Rate is how quickly your camera is recording the images, or how many frames per second. Typically you’ll want to shoot at 30FPS unless you’re going for a specific look. Resolution is the quality at which your’e shooting. To get full HD, you’ll want to set your camera to 1920 x 1080. Shutter speed orgs a little differently with video than when you’re shooting stills. With video, you’ll want to work with a fixed shutter speed. To calculate what you should shoot at you’ll double your frame rate. So if we’re shooting at 30FPS, our shutter speed should be set to 1/60th. Since you’re working at a fixed shutter speed, you’ll need to control exposure with the aperture and ISO settings, both of which work pretty similar to when you’re shooting stills. The aperture will still control how much light you let into the camera. How wide your aperture is will give the same visual effects as it does in stills – the wider the aperture the thinner the focal plane. ISO will have the same effects too – the higher the ISO the more noise you’ll see.

Number 2: The Technical Aspects Are About the Same
Once you get the settings figured out, the technical stuff works pretty much the same. The rules about composition, light, and angles, all work as you would expect! What makes a good composition is no different in video than it is in photography. Same with exposure. OS keeps doing what you’re doing to get those interesting perspectives.

Number 3: There Are So Many More Possibilities
With photography you can’t move your camera for the picture because everything you capture is stopped in motion. That’s the nature of taking still photos. With video, you can creation motion in so many different ways – you can move the camera, change focus in and out, move objects, or capture actions. This gives you so many more avenues to tell your story. What’s more interesting is when you add video to your toolbox, you aren’t just limited to one or the other. With Cinemagraphs, you have the capability to add movement to still photos. Lindsey Adler has some cool examples if you’re looking for inspiration!

Next week I’ll have the behind the scenes video compiled to show you, and some cool tips about editing. So stay tuned for some cool videography exploration.

– KS

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