I recently shot and wrote for a two part blog series with Sigma. For the video/photography portion of the posts, I had to write the scripts, shoot stills and videos, record soundscapes, tweak sound, edit and grade everything. It was literally a one-man crew project. It was a wild experience but an extremely rewarding one.
“Lots of beginning photographers and filmmakers buy the ‘best’, newest, shiniest camera body they can and then think about which lenses they can afford with whatever money they have left—if any. This is a flawed strategy, and I staunchly practice and preach an entirely opposite approach: get the best glass you possibly can and then match the camera to your workflow, project, budget, or client’s specifications.”
7 great Tips for Hybrid Shooters:
While there are many similarities between photography and cinematography, there are key aspects, like sound and camera movement, to name but two, that are uncharted territory for most photographers.
1. Don’t obsess over gear Tools are just that: tools. Invest more time learning the why’s, not the how’s.
2. Time everything. Time every step of the process. Knowing how long something takes enables better
collaborations, more accurate budgets, and fewer surprises.
3. If possible, use two cameras: one for stills and a matching one for video.
4. Think about camera support. Avoid handheld whenever possible. A monopod can be an amazing tool.
5. Record sounds of everything! “The ear, not the eye, leads the senses.” Record as much clean sound as possible.
6. Test your workflow. Test every piece of hardware and software you are planning to use before departure.
7. Research extensively before departure. Have a clear concept, rough itinerary and dream shot list for every location. It is hard; I’m not going to lie. It takes a lot of prepping, walking, shooting, and editing to get a decent 1 or 2-minute piece out. But once I have it, I can’t wait to start all over again!
“I [was] extremely satisfied with the five Sigma lenses I chose to accompany me to Istanbul, Brussels, and Paris. If I had had only one lens on this journey, there is simply no way I could have come home with such an intriguing and dynamic variety of stills and video images. Each lens is a different tool, just like a brush for a painter, and each one allows us to capture the world in different ways to better shape the story we are trying to tell. While there are always details that can be improved with any tool, at the end of the day these Sigma lenses I used on this project are fantastically capable and dependable and I’ll continue using working with them on my future assignments.”
Eduardo Angel is an independent Technology Consultant, Educator, and Visual Storyteller based in Brooklyn, NY. He currently teaches at The School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography, and mentors the photography program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
He is a co-founder of the idea production company The Digital Distillery, author of popular filmmaking courses on Lynda.com, and regularly shares his thoughts on technology, photography, and cinema on his website eduardoangel.com.