Everybody can do videography? The question is, can they do it well?
Videography, like its cousin, photography, is not an exact science. It isn’t an exact art form either.
Good videography comes from a multitude of disciplines including technical knowledge, aesthetic sensitivity, sharpness of eye and various other ‘transferable’ skills.
Although it isn’t essential, it helps to have a background in photography before attempting videography as many of the skills are interrelated.
But videography also has its own individual skillset. For example, shutter speed is a consideration akin to both activities. However, the use of the time you expose the sensor to the light can be completely differently in each. Time-lapse is a classic example of this. In photography, this is often used to create a blended effect on the part of the subject that is in motion. One must handle this more carefully in videography in order to achieve the desired result. Too long an exposure and the video will lose detail but too short and it will appear too jittery.
There’s an expression often attributed to the halcyon days of photo-journalism – “f/8 and be there” – which still sums up the ethos best applied to certain kinds of videography. It epitomises the need for immediacy and a sense of spontaneity that resulted in some of the most iconic photos in history and, of late, some of the most impressive videos too.
Of course, videography isn’t always about amazing shots. Sometimes, you just need a good PTC (piece to camera). A talking head, a testimony a presentation. This doesn’t mean you can relax, though.
F-stop, framing and ensuring the correct exposure are still very important factors in achieving good results. Do you want the subject locked into a 3-d space with the background blurred out? If they are prone to moving about, that may present problems in focusing. Or perhaps the opposite. Getting all in the shot pin-sharp, foreground and background and all in between?
Gimbals, tripods and other grip equipment has developed a great deal over the past few years making experimental video shooting much more interesting. Today drone videography seems omnipresent. This opens up a new world of videography.
There is so much to discuss in modern videography, perhaps we should start a series.
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