I use my DSLRs for video; I also teach a course I developed on shooting video with DSLR cameras (see here).
Today, a tip from that course: Audio. Audio is very important, and I recommend a few simple things:
One: turn off auto level. Set the audio recording level manually, else every time no-one speaks the noise goes up.
Two: use an iPhone in your pocket if you have no lapel microphone. An iPhone gives you great audio quality at an incremental cost of zero, if you already have an iphone.
And three: use a clapper board app such as Digislate (thank you, intern Daniel, for this one). Using a clapperboard allows you to synchronize this iPhone audio with the video from your DSLR.
Done. Professional audio from an iPhone, a simple camera, and free iMovie software. Simple, innit?
The special on headshots is still on. Buy this week; take the headshot in my studio by August 14, and get a pro headshiot for much less than the regular price. See http://learning.photography or scroll down to yesterday’s post.
Shooting animals, there is one thing you have to take into account. Namely, that they have snouts, where the nose and eyes are far apart in distance when they look at you. Unlike in the case of humans, where our eyes and nose are quite close.
This is important why? Because of focus. Where f/5.6 may be enough for a face to be in focus, in an animal, invariably it isn’t, and you will get either a sharp nose, or sharp eyes. Anyone who has taken pictures of their pet will know this. Especially when using fast lenses indoors.
There’s the usual suspects: to get more depth of field, you need any combination of:
a wider angle (shorter) lens, i.e. “zooming out”, or
you get farther from your subject, or
you use a smaller aperture (higher “f-number”).
Or, perhaps the simplest solution: you do not shoot them straight on.
See. we have narrow depth of field, but it is not annoying us here. Both nose and closest eye are in sharp focus.
Bonus question: what about the light?
I am bouncing my flash behind me. You can see that by the catch light: a circle on the ceiling behind me, lit up by my flash.
Want to learn video with your DSLR? Come to my 3-hour seminar in Oakville on Sunday, 30 March. This seminar is limited to no more than 6 people. In this three hour lesson, Michael teaches you:
Perfect camera settings for each situation
The secret to achieving focus
Additional equipment to consider
Avoiding the 5 common mistakes
Audio: The forgotten essential.
Three ways to Make It Better.
Composition of your images
Types of shot and how to use them
Storytelling in a video: using B-roll, script, and storyboarPost-production tips
I a teaching video with DSLR to a high school for a few days. Fun stuff: you can do so much movie stuff with a modern DSLR. As long as you know the limitations, you can do pro work—and then some. Today, a few randomly selected tips to give you a taste. Worked all day, up at 6am, so a very quick post. Don’t worry, I will make it up to you all!
One of the DSLR video limitations is focus. Tip: generally, do not try to focus during a scene; instead, focus before the scene on where the subject will be. Shoot short clips. Re-focus for each clip. If you must focus during a clip, use manual focus only.
Another one is sound. The built-in microphone is not very good (to say the least). Here’s a cool tip: use one or more iPhones to capture sound, and in post-production, mix that with (or use that instead of) the camera’s captured sound.
Finally, with a CMOS equipped camera, avoid the jello-cam effect:
This is due to the fact that the sensor is read from top to bottom. While it is being read, the prop moves. Weird effects ensure.
Anyway: get ready, More to come about video. You have a great video tool: let’s use it!