8 Photography Skills Transferable to Filmmaking
As photographers become more adept at their craft, many become open to trying new things and immerse themselves in the world of filmmaking. You can do this for several reasons; maybe you want to diversify your toolbox, or maybe you’re interested in creating a YouTube channel to document your photographic adventure.
Whatever your reason for considering becoming a filmmaker, there are several skills you’ve learned as a photographer that you can use to give yourself a head start. Are you curious to find out which ones we are talking about? If so, keep reading and we’ll reveal all to you.
1. Good storytelling
Every great movie you watch has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and the same goes for the YouTube videos you keep coming back to. You won’t necessarily think of a beginning, middle, and end if you’re a photographer, but you will need to tell a compelling story in your images.
Having gained experience with your camera, you will already know how to present your message in a visually appealing way. Once you’ve started capturing moving images, you can use techniques you’ve learned, such as showing your subjects’ emotions, and expanding on them.
2. Color classification
When you’re new to photography, you’re probably pointing your camera at what you find pretty. But as you grow and start thinking about how you can stand out, colors will play a more vital role in the images you take.
Whether you use Adobe Lightroom or Capture One, color grading is a powerful tool for transforming the look of your photos. Beginners make a lot of mistakes, but you’ll learn how to make your photos stand out over time.
Do you remember those hours spent experimenting with color grading on your stills? Good news: all this learning will also help you achieve fantastic results with your videos. Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro all have color grading features to give your videos that extra punch.
3. White balance
Once you are comfortable with your camera settings, you should consider learning more about white balance. Keeping these skills in mind when you’re on the go is key to making sure you get the right colors in your photos, and you’ll save a lot of time in post-production.
In cinema, white balance is just as crucial as in photography. You can use your camera to change the Kelvin temperature, use white balance presets, and more. When editing your content, you can choose white space in the image to automatically correct anything that looks incorrect.
4. The Exposure Triangle
The exposure triangle is one of the most fundamental theories of photography; balancing your shutter speed, ISO, and aperture will dramatically improve the look of your photos. You can use multiple settings on your camera to achieve the right balance; many photographers use manual mode, but changing aperture and shutter priority can do a similar job.
When you start making movies, those exposure triangle skills you learned will come in handy. Videography, like photography, is all about light and you will need to control all three of these when shooting your moving images.
You will still need to learn a few more terms, such as mastering frames per second (FPS). However, a good exposure will automatically improve the quality of your video.
5. Location scouting
If you’ve ever been to a photoshoot, whether professional or with friends, you’ll know all about the importance of choosing appropriate locations. Where you capture your visuals, as well as the time of day, can dramatically change the mood and message of your photos.
In the cinema, tracking becomes even more critical. If you watch a blockbuster movie, you’ll quickly notice that the producers and people behind the camera have thought carefully about adjusting each frame.
When shooting video, you’ll also need to think about the sounds of your surroundings, not just visual appeal. But if you already have experience finding great shooting locations, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Composition is arguably the most crucial visual art skill you will ever learn. In photography, the framing of your photos shows the viewer what to focus their attention on.
When you take your camera to shoot movies, composition is just as essential. Luckily, you can use many of the same tricks you learned in photography; the rule of thirds and guidelines are two excellent examples.
7. Focal length
Anyone who picks up a camera (and sticks to photography for a long enough time) will quickly learn focal length. You’ll soon realize why you can’t replicate those fantastic wildlife close-ups with your kit lens, and start thinking about which lenses you should upgrade to when the time is right.
In film, the focal length you use will have just as much of an impact on the shots you capture. You can use zooms to get specific shots that the prime lenses can’t, and you can choose the latter to get closer or further from the scene you’re trying to shoot.
In video, you can use many of the same lenses as in stills, so you don’t have to worry about buying an entirely new set.
8. Post production
You don’t need to strictly edit your photos after you’ve taken them, but you’ll often find it hard to achieve the look you want without doing so. And when you enter the cinema, you will quickly learn that the same is true for this profession.
You can transfer many of your photo editing skills to video post-production. Sliders you can use when processing your movies include:
- The graphic curve in your editing software
When editing videos, you can add presets just like you can with photos. Videographers call them look-up tables (LUTs).
Leverage your photography skills in filmmaking
If you’re a photographer and have remained committed to the craft for any length of time, you clearly have an eye for aesthetics. Videography is a great skill you can use to complement the photos you capture, and becoming a filmmaker can open up many new avenues you never imagined.
You’ll need to learn several new videography skills, and you shouldn’t expect a straightforward learning curve. However, many of the fundamental traits that you have already learned as a photographer will serve you well.
Wondering what to choose between Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve? Take a look at this comparison and decide which editor will meet your needs.
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