Transitioning to video from photography and need a few quick tips? You've come to the right place! We live in an incredible time in history and our digital cameras are powerful production tools capable of capturing amazing still photos AND super high quality HD videos. It's all within that little black body sitting on your shelf. Let's examine 10 quick tips to make moving into video from photography smooth and enjoyable!
1.) The exposure triangle still applies. If you're moving from still photos to videography, and you already understand exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO), that's a huge check mark in your tool belt. It's all still relevant.
2.) Shutter speed limitations. With photography we have a wide range of shutter speed options; ranging from over 30 seconds to as fast as 1/8000 of a second. With video or filmmaking, we are largely limited to the rule of doubling the frame rate (frames per second) to equal the proper shutter speed. This rule applies so that scenes are captured as the human eye would naturally perceive them. So, knowing that you can break the rule to produce alternative looking scenes.
3.) Frame rate (frames per second) Vs. shutter speed. Frame rate refers to the amount of images burned into the sensor or film per second. Shutter speed is a tool for adjusting exposure, the amount of light entering through the lens.
4.) Video resolution (screen sizes). The size of the frame we are capturing is referred to as video resolution or screen resolution. One important trick is to shoot at a higher resolution then your final project. Shooting at a larger resolution than final output will allow the opportunity to crop in on your scene with out losing quality. So if you shoot at 4k, creating a scene at 1080 will give you plenty of room to crop and adjust the scene. The same holds true, though not to the same extent of quality, if you shoot at 1080 but have your final project or sequence size set to 720.
5.) White balance. One important thing to keep in mind when transitioning from photography to videography is in still photos, auto white balance often works great. However, if we are shooting auto white balance in video, and we are moving through a scene, the color of the scene can often change shades. This happens as the camera adjusts to what it thinks is happening within the scene to predict the correct white balance. Set a custom white balance or at very least use one of the white balance presets such as: outdoor, cloudy, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, etc.
6.) Use a tripod. Often times when we are shooting still photographs we can shoot handheld, so long as there is ample light. However, with videography we are shooting at relatively low shutter speeds and we are shooting 23.976 frames (images) per second, so this means we need to be stable in order to get a clear shot. So it's important to use a tripod to keep our scenes steady.
7.) Add camera movement to your scenes. Camera movement adds interest and raises the production value of your videos and films. There are numerous ways to add movement, such as: sliders, shooting handheld, drones, jibbs, glidecams, Steadicam.
8.) Use an external microphone. The internal microphones on modern digital cameras are average at best. To capture professional audio, you'll want to use an external microphone. There are many options and you don't have to spend a lot of money to capture excellent sound.
9. Constant lights VS speedlite (flash). With photography we work with bursts of lights and speedlite or flashes are excellent for this. However, with video as we shoot long scenes we need lights that will stay on constantly. Here, we discuss the difference between the two. Something important to keep in mind when moving from photography to videography and filmmaking.
10.) Video editing software. If you are a fan of the Adobe Suite, then as a photographer you will be using programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. As you move into video editing you will use programs like Premiere Pro, Audition and possibly even After Effects. Other popular programs include: Final Cut Pro for editing and DiVinci Resolve for color grading.
Final Thoughts - Feeding Our Brain
I'm a big fan of listening to audiobooks and podcasts that encourage growth, self examination, positivity and pursing our natural divine calling. Every episode I'll share with you a piece that's impacted me during the week
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
After being held prisoner for years inside Nazi concentration camps, after his mother, father, brother and wife all died or were killed in the gas ovens, Frankl not only survived but went on to create one of the most revolutionary branches of psychology called Logotherapy.
As professional psychiatrist, Frankl entered the concentration camps with a unique vantage point. He studied the lives and will power of his fellow prisoners. It's a very matter of fact way he speaks of how even in the most desperate horrors man still has a choice, to "be worthy of his suffering". To bare their suffering and live on for a higher meaning greater than themselves or because of a lack of will or physical ability, die.
Frankl says "to live is to suffer and to survive is to find meaning or purpose in the suffering." Buddha also said "life is suffering". Jesus said "take peace in me, the world will bring you troubles and great sorrow.