Redefining hand held camera work

We’ll talk history later. Suffice it for now to say that,  a language of communicating with images, words, and later sound developed over time. The technology of each era had drawbacks or limitations.  Large heavy equipment combined with very slow acquisition methods resulted in a fixed camera position where the action took place in a single scene. Mise en scène.

We’ll get back to that.

We’ve got this tiny little camera and it needs supporting. We’re going to practice using it to document a conversation. One requirement is that the individual operating the camera be concerned about composition, framing the shot and dynamics, movement within the shot and/or  moving the frame.

Zooming is discouraged. It’s better to physically move the camera to where the point of interest is.

The wider the lens – the less disturbing the motion of the frame is.

Very odd angles, particularly of elevation (pedestal) are sometimes effective. Very high or low.

Long arms are a distinct advantage. Hold the camera out and away from you.  Can you get a 2 shot or just a medium shot of yourself? You will need to be able to ignore the camera while at the same time operating it.  How is this best accomplished?

Pans and tilts usually don’t work well. The motion stabilization handles slow moves better than fast ones, but they ain’t great either.

Placed on a table works for some interviews.

Sometimes, motion isn’t right. Stills are good. They can be used to convey a story just as powerfully as by using motion.

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