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Ntege Eric

One of the biggest differences between a photograph and a video is that you¶ve broken the event down into a single instant and yet for a video, you¶ve got the beginning, the end and everything in between. It doesn¶t leave much up to the imagination. To me video is more of watching the reality of life, so the way we present any video work should be in no way different from the way God has his work moving on in His planet. One of the best way we can get the best video work ever is to take a close look at what nature presents. Lighting, positioning of elements and Sound in the natural world are very balanced depending on the situation anyway, which is not the case with videos, since we work at set-ups which call for more attention. All Video work begins with the way you use your camera, it does not matter how good the editor is, and once footage is bad we have no alternative but to do it all over again. It¶s just like mum adding too much water in the milk for breakfast what can she do to correct the error. I will not pretend to tell you how to do anything but still, picking the mind of a professional television producer will help you get better results every time you pick up a camera for a shoot do not forget that some rules are made to be broken.

A Camera operator should take note of the way they use the camera since all shots are used to express ideas and moods in video. The camera operator should look at the camera as a communication tool rather than as a device for reproducing a picture.

Before you get to the shoot, do consider your needs and while on the shoot you will need to be aware of everything that is going on so that you keep an eye on what may come into your frame and change the shoot unnecessarily. Framing for a video is infinitely more flexible and versatile than any other medium, through slow planning movements you can imply a vast open canvas using tight shots from close in you can make the viewer feel a part of the action ± a technique exploited in many martial arts and action movies. Before you start shooting you will have to be familiar with the various types of camera shots.

A long shot gives the viewer a frame of reference, the context and surroundings since it shows more of the scene, these shots are relaxed leading the viewer's eye and mind to take in a general view. Long shots are used to establish shots that let the viewer become more familiar with the environment and comfortable with the evolving shots that follow. We could have an Extreme Long shot too.

Close-Ups visually indicate familiarity and home in to point out details; we would expect to see a close-up shot in a talk show during a moment of tension or crisis in a dramatic presentation. We could have an Extreme Close-up too.

This is where the subject is closer with more detail but the frame still has the whole subject which will fill the frame with this shot. We could have a medium close-up too.

This is a shot other than the subject, away from the main action. You can refer to it as a B-roll

This is a view of some part of the subject in details, like a CU of hands shaking.

This is what some of these shots look like: EWS (Extreme Wide Shot)
The view is so far from the subject that he isn't even visible. Often used as an establishing shot.

VWS (Very Wide Shot)
The subject is visible (barely), but the emphasis is still on placing him in his environment.

WS (Wide Shot)
The subject takes up the full frame, or at least as much as comfortably possible.

MS (Mid Shot)
Shows some part of the subject in more detail while still giving an impression of the whole subject.

MCU (Medium Close Up)
Half way between a MS and a CU.

CU (Close Up)
A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.

ECU (Extreme Close Up)
The ECU gets right in and shows extreme detail.

CA (Cutaway)
A shot of something other than the subject.

This shot shows some (other) part of the subject in detail.

(OSS) Over-the-Shoulder Shot
This is a shot looking from behind a person at the subject.

Point-of-View Shot (POV)
Shows a view from the subject's perspective.

Weather Shot
The subject is the weather. This shot can be used for other purposes, for example background for graphics.

A shot of two people, framed similarly to a mid shot.

Noddy Shot
Usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and reacting to the subject.

A camera operator should combine his needs with his skills to capture usable footage not forgetting the needs of the editing process. The camera operator should have the ability to anticipate likely action, rapidly and precisely focus, get steady camera shots and be aware of exposure consistency.

Let¶s look more at what we need to know for the best camera shoots; this still falls under shot composition.

In movie making perspective is far more than simply the point of view. It links the person¶s perceptions with their position. Perspective puts the viewer in a position to experience, not merely view and since we are using the camera as a communication tool, the way it views the subject plays an extremely important visual communication role, for example a snake approaching the camera lens as if pointing to the viewer is so much effective in expressing fear than a side view. Perspective can be looked at under these three modes;

The Exposition mode is where people present themselves to the camera like in a television newscast. Here the director keeps the camera relatively stationery and uses a medium close-up keeping the camera at the subject¶s eye level.

The Subjective mode is where the camera is put in the position of a person simulating their vision under a variety of situations like the Point-of-view shot such as the over-the-shoulder shot.

The Observation mode is where the camera is a surrogate person (a person deputizing for other in a specific role). It¶s you as you accompany the police on a drug bust. However to create a scene of dynamism and continuing action in video, the shoot will benefit from the videographer moving around freely.

Now that we know the various types of camera shots, a camera operator must shoot in a way that reinforces the idea in the shot so as to make his message to the viewer as clear as possible, a well

composed shot is one that presents accurate details providing appropriate visual balance. I have seen all these things work together while on location only when am so careful and very observant and because of this I recommend that you go out and shoot some video first, and then read through these tips while reviewing your footage to drive home what you need to avoid.

Talk over your shoot with other members of the production team and make sure you're clear on what shots you need to tell the story, writing up a list of shots you will need while thinking about what is going to look good visually, and how your shots are going to come together sequentially. Try viewing your piece as a skeleton, and you are shooting the flesh for all those bones.

Before you start shooting, roll your tape for 30 seconds at the beginning of your tape with the lens cap on if not with color bars. This will avoid having any crinkles at the start of the tape appearing in the video you want to shoot.

Be sure to plug a set of headphones into the camera and check your audio to make sure you're getting an audio feed. Audio is just as important for your final film as your video.

When you press the record button, shut up already! Keep in mind that when the camera is rolling it picks up all the ambient sound, not just what you're focusing on. And you will not be able to separate the unwanted audio out in the editing process. Don't talk while the camera is rolling, either to yourself or with other members of your team, and no humming. This is especially important when you're shooting B-roll like natural sound, such as the noise of a busy street or a nature scene, where the sound is critical to the shot.

You need to combine your shooting skills to capture usable footage for your movie bearing in mind the needs of the editing process. Some of the shooting skills include the ability to anticipate likely action, rapid and precise focusing especially for unexpected changes in action, a steady camera hand thus why it is best to work with a tripod for smooth tracking of irregular movement and awareness of exposure consistency.

Be aware of what you're shooting when the tape is rolling, try to think before you shoot and do not roll tape unless you're taking a shot, for example, do not roll tape when you're changing from one shot to another or focusing. Wait until you have the shot you want to roll tape.

That way you'll save a huge amount of time later when you're capturing your video into a computer and you will not have to go through an hour-long tape with a lot of junk to find the 20 minutes of shots you want. And you'll save money by using less tape.

Hold your shots for at least 15 seconds, before you pan, zoom or go onto another shot. That way you'll be sure you have enough video of a scene to work with later when you do your editing. When you are starting out to shoot a shot, silently count 15 seconds to yourself to make sure you have held a shot long enough. Remember that you can always take a 15-second clip and make it a 2-second clip during editing, but you can't take a 2-second clip and make it into a 15-second clip.

This is especially true when shooting B-roll such as crowd scenes or nature shots, rather than a static shot of an interview with someone. Remember that you will be determining what the viewer sees and how the story unfolds, so try to shoot discrete segments that you then can assemble into that story when you're editing.

Here's an example:
Think of different scenes, as in a movie. Each of those scenes is made up of sequences. In each sequence, you need to follow the action, and shoot wide, medium and close-up. Say you want to capture a person arriving at work in the morning on her bicycle - that's one sequence. It could be made up of the following shots: the person pulling up to the building, getting off the bicycle, chaining the bicycle to the bicycle stand, taking off gloves, taking off her helmet, tucking gloves into the helmet, and walking into the building. Every little detail is important. You can't shoot enough details. In fact, a good ratio to shoot for (literally) is 50 percent close-ups and extreme close-ups, 25 percent medium shots, and 25 percent wide shots. It might break down like this: a wide shot of her arriving. A medium shot of her getting off the bicycle. A close-up shot of her pushing the front wheel of her bike into the bike stand. A close-up shot of her chaining the bike to the stand. An extreme close-up shot of her taking off her gloves. An extreme close-up of her eyes as she looks at her hands while she's taking off her gloves. A close-up shot of her taking off her helmet and tucking her gloves into it. A close-up shot of her straightening her hair and looking at the building. A medium and wide shot of her walking into the building with the helmet tucked under her arm.

Don't constantly pan from side to side or zoom in and out with the camera - hold your shots and look for the one moment that's really captivating. If you're constantly panning and zooming, the one shot you'll really want to use will lose its impact with all the movement by the camera. Instead start with a static, wide angle shot, and hold it for 15 seconds. Then make your move to zoom in or pan, and hold the next static shot for an additional 15 seconds. This will give you

three useable shots - the wide-angle, the close-up and the zoom in between - to choose from in the edit room. This is especially important for video you're using on a Web site because video with a lot of movement - such as what's created with panning and zooming - doesn't display well on the Web. Video clips need to be compressed to play on the Web, and that means if there's lots of movement in your clip - such as pans and zooms - it will appear choppy and slow. Similarly, to get a close-up it's better to keep your camera set to a more wide-angle view and move the camera closer to the subject of your shot, than to have the camera farther away and zoom in for the close-up. A telephoto shot using the zoom feature will accentuate movement by the subject and make the shot appear shaky.

Any camera operator should have it in mind not overfill the screen when shooting yet not forgetting that too-distant shots, lacking detail, do not communicate energy and they appear amateurish. Always make sure that you are close enough to the subject to produce accurate details that can be perceived by the viewer. Be careful of zooming in too tightly on the subject such as graphics where losing a small portion of detail will distort the image since what you see in the camera¶s monitor is not what you will get when the picture is transmitted to a home receiver.

The horizon is the part of a scene, usually a flat graphic, in which the important information must be contained. Unless it¶s done for effect like if you are creating a Point-of-View shot of a child that is stepping off a wild amusement-park ride, a tilted horizon makes the picture look awkward and amateurish so, when setting up the tripod use care not to skew the horizon.

One of the most important aspects of an aesthetically balanced shot is that important details usually appear on the lines that trisect the frame thus the rule of thirds. Like in a portrait the eyes of the subject generally fall on a line one third from the top, the eye often finds a picture uninteresting when the main elements are located directly on the horizontal center. That is why we frame the TV picture with the eyes about a third of the way up from the top. When two people are in the frame such as in the over-the shoulder shot their heads are typically on vertically trisecting line. The rule of thirds is not applicable to every circumstance because rules are frequently broken in art but it does serve as a starting point for good shot composition.

Whenever a camera operator is shooting a talent looking to one side, proper composition requires what is often called looking space, eye-room, nose-room or some similar term. When a person is on camera walking or running, we provide room called leading space to show what the performer is moving into. I think you can get to know what I am talking about when you watch a football broadcast on your television set.


Be aware of composition in your shots and how you frame your shots, particularly with interviews. For example, avoid a shot of a person with a plant or pole in back of them. It will look like the plant or pole is growing out of the back of the person's head. When shooting interviews pay attention to your surroundings and don't be reticent or shy about rearranging furniture, moving things on a desk, pushing plants out of the frame of your shot all done to improve the setting, or asking the subject of your shoot to change positions so you properly frame the shot. And if you're having technical problems, don't be afraid to take charge and stop the interview until you can properly set up the shot.

Leave the proper amount of nose room and headroom in front of and above the person you're shooting. For example, don't have a shot where there's excessive empty space above a person's head. That's just dead space. There should be just a little room above a person's head in a shot. It's better to have that room below the person's face, space you then could use when you're editing the video to add a title with the person's name. But don't have the shot too low where you crop the top of the person's head. And if you're shooting a person standing, don't chop them off at the knees but try getting their entire body in the shot. One approach is the rule of thirds: One third of the frame should be above the person's eyes One third of the frame should be the person's face and shoulder area One third of the frame should be the person's lower torso And if the person is looking to the side, add space in the direction in which the person is looking, in front of their nose.

Whenever we shoot a video, we will always have motion of either the talent or the camera its self, this brings us to two primary points to be considered when discussing the new motion available to the producer: 1. Motion is a mixed blessing that creates problems that must be dealt with in advance of shooting. 2. Each moving camera shot conveys a different aspect of visual communication it is crucial that all on air motion should not convey a mixed signal to the viewer. Motion can present a number of problems like when people or the camera move, your focus may have to be changed so its advisable to check your entire field of focus while setting up a shot and anticipating whether you will have to change focus on air when the subject moves or by blocking (which essentially means putting your performers through their on stage motions so that camera angles, shadows and any other problems can be worked out in advance. Blocking should be done with care to avoid objects being juxtaposed into the shot. Nevertheless even in the presence of motion, camera operators can still use motion to their advantage like pulling the focus, a skill perfected through practice, a method for compensating

for motion. It is a powerful tool for directing attention where the camera operator refocuses the lens on the second subject pulling the initial subject out of focus. Light weight camera are poor choices for shooting with but an extra weight gives stability which helps to deliver a steady picture

This is a magnification of an image and does not visually translate to moving toward the talent. It can be used such as in a news footage where we establish an overall perspective and then zoom in on the detail. The excessive use of zoom is the mark of an amateur camera operator and quite distracting to the viewer. A zoom says let¶s take a closer look at a detail in this picture.

This involves the physical motion of the camera towards or away from the subject. It conveys the visual idea that the person is moving towards and confronting the person holding the weapon.

This is an up or down movement of the camera and serves purely utilitarian function like when a person stands up we must do a tilt to keep their face in the frame. This conveys a visual message like in the subjective mode where a tilt would be used to mimic our eyes¶ method of assessing for example stature.

This is a steady, rolling shot in which the distance between the talent and camera changes. It imitates a person¶s eyes following action: for example a camera operator would have to do a pan for a runner running across a field to keep him in frame not forgetting about the nose room.

The camera will need a mobile platform for this; the camera follows the path of the subject, moving parallel and keeping the same distance. There are a couple of more camera movements and all these can be combined to make the best of what the produce on your project does not expect. I want you to imagine for a while how many camera shots and movements you would have if nature presented an earth quake in your village, I cannot write them for you because me as a video editor would have too much to work with that it would slow my work rate looking through all that footage.


The strength of a movie¶s narrative line depends on its continuity; this does not mean that changes from one scene to another should move the action on but follow the logic of the story and above all not distract the viewer. However for now we look at continuity in camera work and not screen play. When shooting a video you are expected to maintain continuity in all your video work especially in areas of color, exposure, light and contrast, focus and framing shots.

Changes in white balance signal to the viewer a change in circumstances in line with the variations in lighting and hence creating the principle of motivating light, it is for this reason that a camera operator should maintain a proper white balance during shooting.

You need to maintain an even exposure level between shots which is difficult to achieve if you are working in different environments like indoors and outdoors, poor exposure consistency is often a cause of poor colour which may spoil continuity due to colour variations.

Whenever shooting different angles of the same scene you need to maintain the lighting style and the contrast, this is important when an interview shoot is to be continued at another date hence position of lights, height of lamps, and strength of light should be noted. Prior to your first day of shooting you need to gather all your talents and crew together and do a run through a few scenes, this is known as blocking the scene. Lighting is one of those situations in filming where you have to come up with creative ideas of how to solve your problem this is something that you have to practice on. Through the use of different lighting techniques you can endow your video with a scene of time and place, imply mood or feeling and even create a visual style. A great camera operator is at all times aware of the light and when lighting a set there is need for us to take note of:

Diffused or soft, light is recognizable from the effect it has on the scene. It may manifest its self in weak blurred-edged or non existence of shadows. One of the direct ways to impart a visual style in your movies is through the use of different lighting styles like predominately spooky, even, steady and side lighting.

There are generally three sets of light direction: Above or below, in front or behind and left or right, the elevation, strength and direction of light offer information about the season, time of day and direction of travel. Let¶s take a close look at the three sets of light;

Light from above emulates the light of the sun and so tends to look the most natural while the light from below with its unnatural connotation is used to indicate the unknown. In between horizontal light from just above or below head height can signify domestic lighting and safety of the home.

A subject lit from the front appears the most list threatening and most comforting because it displays the greatest clarity and details. In contrast a subject lit from behind appears in silhouette

Oh well I could write so much of what I have read from other pros but now lets look at what terminologies we are most likely to encounter in lighting of course we need to know what is what for any given light setup.

This refers to light already present in a scene, before any additional lighting is added and is usually referred to as natural light upon which most shots rely largely, nevertheless ambient light can be a good friend or an enemy on any give location especially if it conflicts with what we want to achieve. For example, ambient light may be the wrong color temperature, intensity or direction for the desired effect. In this case we may choose to block out the ambient light completely and replace it with artificial light.

Colour temperature is a standard method of describing colours for use in a range of situations and with different equipment. Colour temperatures are normally expressed in units called kelvins (K). Note that the term degrees kelvin is often used but is not technically correct since colour temperature means the temperature of an ideal black body radiator at which the colour of the light source and the black body are identical. For video operations the relevant temperatures range from around 2,000K to 8,000K which are the common lighting conditions. In practical terms this usually means selecting lights, gels and filters which are most appropriate to the prevailing light or to create a particular colour effect. For example, a camera operator will select a "5600K filter" to use outside in the middle of a sunny day.

The difference in brightness between the brightest white and the darkest black within an image*******

Then God said, ³let there be light!´ And light began to shine and here God had made what is known as the key light; then God said,´ Let there be lights in the sky«.They will be in the sky to shine light on the earth.´ And right here my great God made fill lights this brings me to three pointing lighting.

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