Birthday parties are a lot of fun for kids. But as a videomaking parent, trying to document the hoopla can be less than your idea of a good time... if you're not prepared. If you've never before videotaped a child's birthday party, I have good and bad news for you. The...
Minimal Investment of Time and Money Big Payoff in Quality and Convenience If you're like most people, you have a shoe box or two hidden away in a closet, carefully tucked behind an old pair of ski boots. Every year during spring house cleaning you pop open the lid and...
The Ability to See Light as Your Camera Sees It Puts Quality Control In the Spotlight With fast lenses and sensitive imaging devices, today's video cameras can record a picture with virtually no light at all. All you have to do is aim and record. So, why light for a...
When the good guys chase the bad guys, theater and television audiences know it's not the other way around. On the surface, the anatomy of any such visual sequence might matter little to the average viewer. In the trenches of successful film and videomaking, however, attention to image structure and...
Whether you're a hobbyist or professional videographer, live shoots can make the heart beat faster, palms get sweatier, and the mind go mad. Relief in the pressure requires belief in preparation. Be it niece Mary's wedding, Johnny's first Little League game, or the live seminar you've been hired to videotape,...
Tools and Techniques for the Sound of Success Concentrating exclusively on the video portion of your videomaking, ignoring the audio, is like believing that a car's front wheels are more important than those at the rear. But in almost every audio/video association, it's as if the audio is the passed-over junior...
Show your little leaguer the way to keep from stepping in the bucket as he or she rounds the bases. Use your own video footwork to get a tight shot of your favorite punter's golden toe as it impacts the pigskin. Or follow through with your documentation of the...
In these days of high technology, "special effects" usually means electronic effects. In fact, the one device that accomplishes many of the most common effects so familiar to TV viewers-wipes, split screens, and dissolves-is aptly named a special-effects generator (SEG). Wouldn't it be great to be able to achieve these basic...
Anyone who can master the essentials of video production may have what it takes to benefit from a money-making videomaking opportunity of a lifetime. Starting a new business is a highly desirable goal for many people; fulfillment lies ahead for those who succeed. The videomaking business is developing like the video...
Even though I have a background in aerial still photography and had a high-wing Cessna 172 at my disposal, shooting videos from the sky proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. With the advent of small, high-quality equipment, moving to video was a natural progression. I decided to use...

Essential Learning

Best Frame Rates for Slow Motion

How to Choose the Right Frame Rate for Your Epic Slow Motion Sequence

Until recently, directors didn’t have a lot of choice in slow motion without highly specialized equipment. 1987’s Panaflex Gold II for example, could only...
Image stabilization systems are very useful in reducing camera shake when shooting handheld and, with practice, you can learn to achieve smooth tracking shots.

How Does Image Stabilization Work?

There are various ways for a videographer to stabilize their footage. If your camera doesn’t need to move, a tripod is ideal. Where camera...
Make shooting RAW your default plan; you can always change it.

When to shoot RAW (and when to skip it)

A RAW image frame is like a film negative — different processing can give you different results.
A Primer on Live Video Production

A Primer on Live Video Production

Many people want to stream events across the country so far away viewers — whether millions or a select few — can enjoy. Live...
Digital ISO standard is measured by how sensitive your camera sensor is to light combined with how good your camera’s firmware is at interpreting the signal from the sensor

ISO: What It Is and How to Control It

Put simply, ISO is how sensitive to light film stock is. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive your film and the less time...
Time lapse videography: a new way of looking at things

How to Create a Stunning Time-Lapse — Even in Changing Light

One of the great things that video can do is show us our world in a way that’s impossible or very difficult for humans...
As cameras have increased their video resolution and framerate capabilities over the years, the SD specifications have evolved to include more space and faster write times.

How to Choose the Right SD Card

SD stands for “Secure Digital” — it’s a technical specification published in the waning years of the 20th century, created by three digital giants:...

10 Shorts every cinematographer needs to see

Orson Welles often had great ideas for movies and then spent years going from studio to studio in Hollywood trying to get someone interested,...
Camera Movement Techniques

Camera Movement Techniques

A static frame is not only boring to your audience; by keeping the camera still, you’re also missing out on one of the most fundamental storytelling tools in cinema — movement.
The Essential Video Shooter’s Toolkit

The Essential Video Shooter’s Toolkit

The big day has finally arrived — a video shoot for the biggest client to ever darken your door. You’re nervous, but excited and...
4x4 traversing rocky road.

3 Tips for an Effective Multi-Action-Cam Shoot

The action camera market segment, popularized by GoPro, has made point of view (POV) filmmaking accessible to the masses. There’s something compelling about watching...
Simply put, HDR is a color enhancement feature that allows the range of colors to be extended on both the light and dark ends of the spectrum.

Keeping Up with HDR — No Camera Upgrade Required

We’ve all had those moments in our lives when we are stopped in our tracks by the awe-inspiring beauty of the “now”. Magnificent morning...
Image illustrating Rule of Thirds

Composition in photography and film

There are actually shapes and alignments that people find pleasing. But photo and film composition also needs to tell a story.
It's important to understand your customer's needs and to illustrate how 360-degree will specifically help their business.

How To Make Money With VR and 360-degree Video

While the gear buy-in can be relatively inexpensive, producing engaging content is a bit more challenging. Let's take a look at gear, production and...

10 vintage lenses to add to your kit: an in-depth investigation

Using vintage lenses lends a unique character to modern images while breathing new life into old glass.
Which is the Right Image Sensor for me?

Which image sensor is right for you?

We all know light sensors make our cameras work, but what makes a good light sensor? Which camera and image sensor combo is best...
How to Compose Your Shot When Your Camera Can See Everything

How to Compose Your Shot When Your Camera Can See Everything

Something to remember when shooting spherical video is that everything is visible in the shot.  Even if you think you are being clever by...
5 Tips for Shooting in Log Profiles

5 Tips for Shooting in Log Profiles

Video can be an unforgiving medium, and without proper lighting it’s easy to lose data in both the highlights and the shadows. The most...
Understanding bit depth: the difference between 8-bit, 10-bit and 12-bit video

Understanding Bit-depth and Color Rendition for Video

A video camera’s ability to reproduce a smooth gradation between colors and shades is an important factor when seeking to capture filmic images. The...
In the real world around us, there are three hundred and sixty degrees of information, and it’s the directors job, along with the cinematographer, to figure out which very few degrees of that vista best help tell the story to the viewer.

Choosing the Right Focal Length

We’ve got this picture in our minds of a director holding her fingers up in twin L shapes, one inverted, and peering through the...
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