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Camera House : Better Pictures 6
“Most of the time, you are trying to make the best of a very unhelpful location. You have to learn to use camera angles, and lens perspectives to shoot around the problems. Aside from the great enjoyment of creating great images, the best satisfaction comes from turning the ordinary in some to something extra ordinary.” For de Vries, the essential ingredients for a great shoot are: “A decent camera with full manual control, good sound, and a sense of drama and enough shots and options to make the edit a joy rather than a salvage job.” To achieve this, Pieter suggests taking a short course “that will give you the confidence and the skills you need to enable you to concentrate on your story instead of the buttons on the camera.” With digital and high definition the norm these days, de Vries seldom gets to pull out his beloved film cameras. “I don’t see film being used very much now. I have my own Arriflex Super16 camera and as much as I love it, I have not used it in years. It’s still able to shoot the same high quality images today as it did more than twenty six years ago. But it’s pretty much all digital out there...” n 1. Using the Auto setting leaves you very little control and could better be known as the Average setting. 2. Pans will offer up helpful choices in the edit, so don’t be tempted to stop recording as soon as you arrive at your final glorious composition. Leave a good ten seconds static shot at the end. 3. A sequence made up of little more than a swag of wide angle shots taken from similar positions will result in a series of awkward jump-cuts which are tricky to piece together. 4. Zoom out when you are going to reveal something to your viewers. The end of the zoom should always be more interesting than the start, if not, you lead your audience nowhere. 5. As you cover action, keep the camera close to your subject and leave the zoom at the wide angle position. 6. Instead of using the pan/tilt handle on the tripod head to move the camera, grip both hands around the collar of the fluid head and use it as a fulcrum to turn the camera. 7. A technique that pros use is to compose an interesting shot on the tele-photo lens and then allow things to pass through the foreground. These soft-focussed foreground objects can reveal an ideal moment in your pre-framed shot – you’ll be impressed with how good this can look. Video School You can shoot great video with Pieter’s top tips Feature shoot to thrill 14 012_Bpics6_cinema_v2.indd 14 29/08/11 3:19 PM
Better Pictures 7