help a newbie make a short movie

Anonymous (not verified)


Hi all.
I am not familiar with filming and / or editing(did some really easy and short presentation with maker but thats all).
I want to make a video of myself to remember my intense training for an Ironman event. I will shoot small 5-10 second shots of training. I want to include macro shorts(not sure if that's the term used in video, I know there is a term for still pictures) and also music of course along with some still pix from the race itself.
I have an uncle with a good HD camera(not sure of the make and type I can give you that info if it's needed).
What I wanted to know was-
* is there an option of shooting "macro" video with all cameras? (i.e focusing on one object while another object is blurred). 
* are there special / recommended settings for a camera?
I want to make a file similar to this one:

(everything will be the same except there will be still pix of the race instead of videos).
thanks a lot!!

Brian Collins's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 02/12/2013 - 9:38pm

Shallow depth of field is what you're talking about and there are several ways to get that look.  Video and film cameras really work pretty much the same and the same techniques used in still photography can be used in video. 



  1. Just like in still work, the wider the aperture (lower f-stop number), the more shallow your depth of field and the longer the focal length, the more shallow the depth of field.  Depending on your camera, the lens, your setup, etc, it can get pretty tough to get shallow depth of field.  Just remember, move the camera back, zoom in and get the iris wide open.  Even in really bright conditions, you can reduce DOF.  Adding neutral density (essentially gray optical glass) on the lens can reduce the light input forcing the iris to open wider.  Also, cameras with larger sensors are generally going to be better choices when going for shallow depth of field.
  3. Another tool is blurring the edges in post.  Learn how to use garbage masks in your editing program.  While it's time consuming, post processing is often the only viable way.  Some shots will be quick and easy if there isn't too much movement but others can be a major PITA if you have to do much frame by frame rotoscoping to isolate the areas you want out of focus.
  5. You mentioned that your race shots will be stills.  I'd also play with long exposures and panning with the race action.  If you get it right, you can get some really sexy action shots.
  7. Keep in mind that all of these are pretty complicated techniques to master.  Practice, practice, practice.  Good luck!


Brian Collins

Atomic Pictures Inc

Birmingham, AL