I’m a photographer. I have been creating outdoor and landscape still images for the past 16 years or so, and I have learned a lot. But there is a realm of visual storytelling which I have yet to really try, mostly because it’s so intimidating: video. Being able to learn videography would greatly elevate my ability to tell visual stories. While I will always love stills, for a long time I have wanted to be able to expand my skill-set to include various formats of video, because of all the creative and business development doors that it will open.
However until this point, I haven’t had the resources to learn videography. That’s where I’m so excited that these two courses are happening during the month of February:
I often hear that as a photographer, all I have to do is get comfortable pressing the record button on the equipment that I already have, but in truth, it’s a little more complicated than that. To me, the most intimidating part of starting to create videos isn’t actually pressing the record button on my DSLR, it’s what to do with all the footage. It’s figuring out how I can use that footage to actually tell a visual story.
I can press record on my iPhone and capture 10-20 second clips of my life experiences.
Similarly, I can press record on my Nikon DSLR, and my Sony Mirrorless cameras. In fact, I have been making a deliberate effort to actively do this more and more while traveling, adventuring, and witnessing video-worthy moments.
Lastly, I can create short time-lapse videos using hundreds of still images. In particular, I have done this a lot for night photography, and put those skills to use in order to create all the time-lapse videos in our Night Photography Week promo video.
Essentially, I have been doing my best do use the tools at my disposal to capture quality b-roll of visually interesting things.
Great, so I am able to capture a lot of disparate individual short video clips of interesting moments in my travels and adventures. What does this all amount to? At this point, without any direction, purpose, or ability to combine these videos into an actual storyline… basically nothing more than a “good start.”
I want to create actual videos that have a point and a story. I want to be able to convey a message, a feeling, and even generate a sense of envy. Basically I have a LOT to learn.
But that’s ok, because for the first time in my creative career, I now have a clear path to being able to actually learn videography. I am going to take the following two online video classes on CreativeLive, and I will learn all the things:
First, I am going to take this two-day course on how to plan, shoot, and compile footage that has a purpose. How to Shoot and Edit an Interview with Abba Shapiro will go into just the right amount of detail for a photographer like me to be able to understand the principles of videography, and to learn how to put together an interview, from start to finish.
Then, I am going to take this entire bootcamp: Final Cut Pro X Bootcamp with Abba Shapiro. Final Cut Pro X is a crazy piece of software, and for anyone who has opened up this program before, it can be incredibly intimidating. This class is going to teach me not just how to use it, and this class will take me through how to piece together the videos I have always dreamt of creating.
Here all all the things that I don’t know about video creation and editing that I am excited to learn from these two courses:
As I said before, there is a lot more to learning videography than simply pressing the little red record button. The acronym HDSLR might appear a bit confusing, but it’s actually just representing the DSLR you already own, but calling out the “hybrid” capacity of modern DSLRs to also record video.
The settings, formats, movement techniques, etc. of using a DSLR for video will all be covered in Victor Ha’s HDSLR filmmaking course. He’s the perfect person to teach this course, because he himself used to be a photographer, who made the transition to video and has been pursuing it ever since. Basically, he speaks our language and knows how to related these ideas.
Another crucial element to video creation that often gets overlooked, is all the factors of planning and pre-production. Creating shot lists, shoot schedules, and scripts feels like the more boring side of videography, but as Victor will demonstrate, it can save you endless hours and headaches down the road.
It’s one thing to capture footage. It’s entirely another to capture footage with the ultimate goal in mind of putting together a compelling edit. Understanding this key difference is something I look forward to learning.
This may seem trivial, but especially when creating short or educational videos, adding text in a visually compelling way to a video in Adobe Premiere can make the difference in a video’s visual appeal. This is even more significant in the age of Facebook, where most videos are muted by default until someone clicks on it. Meaning you have to make your videos stand out and communicate a message in a very short period of time.
A lot of the videos I capture are from a moving platform, like from an airplane during takeoff, from a moving car, a helicopter, or simply the natural camera shake of operating a camera hand-held. Learning how to properly stabilize video in Adobe Premiere seems like an invaluable skill to learn.
Learning this information will be all the more pertinent for anyone who plans to operate a drone for the purpose of creating video. Although I have never flown a drone, I would like to one day, and I have a feeling that my footage will inevitably be very shaky. We also have a really excited course on Learn How to Fly a Drone for Aerial Photos and Video with Blayne Chastain. Check it out.
One of the things that can make or break the quality of a video is the music and audio quality. All the videos that stand out to me are the ones where the edits and cuts match the beat of the music.
As I mentioned before, I am compiling a LOT of still images in the field, often shot with an intervalometer over the period of multiple hours. While I am getting pretty good at the image capture part, I realize that it is only half the battle. The second half is importing those series of images and compiling them into a video file into Adobe Premiere.
Additionally, adding effects, movement, and transitions between these video files is something I am very excited to master.
Have you ever tried to export anything out of Adobe Premiere? There are way too many options for file formats, settings, and a lot of other stuff I don’t understand. Please someone help… all I want to do is render and export a video in the right file format. Why is this so complicated?
There are obviously a LOT more things that will be covered during both the How to Shoot and Edit an Interview course, and the Final Cut Pro X Bootcamp course, but those are the topics that I am most excited about.
If you’re a photographer and learning videography is remotely an interest of yours, I highly recommend checking out those two classes.