5 Things you can do right now to become a better cinematographer
This week in Zeferino Professional Lighting we want to give you a few simple tips to up your cinematography game. Whether professional or not, everybody and their mom is out shooting videos and photos. So, what can you do to make your images stand out from the rest? Well here are 5 simple tips that will help you become a better image maker, tips that primarily center around better ways to approach capturing a scene. Let’s take a look:
Shoot from different perspectives
There’s always another way to skin a cat. Capturing a scene from different angles can not only help you tell your story in a more dynamic way, but it can also help your work stand out from that of others. But the main lesson here, is to just be an intentional filmmaker—someone who thinks about their stylistic and technical choices instead of going with what they’ve always done or what’s easy and tried and true. Take 10 seconds and really think about how you’re going to shoot something.
Shoot through something, create depth, which is incredibly important to do when dealing with a 2-dimensional art form like film. Capturing objects in the foreground or background help create the illusion of depth. And allows your audience’s eye to look into the frame rather than just at it. You can do this by framing up your scene in such a way that there are foreground and background elements. And whether or not you want to shoot with a shallow depth of field to create bokeh, is up to you.
A good way to push the limits of your own creativity is to try to do something new. Thinking of how others tend to shoot a scene and just try to do it the exact opposite. For example, think about how standard dinner table scenes unfold: it’s usually a series of over-the-shoulder shots of two people sharing some dialog. The fact that the vast majority of these kinds of scenes are shot this way gives you a great opportunity to change it up and try something no one has tried before.
Lighting and framing
Technique is important. Lighting is often the biggest reason why an image looks either good or bad. And composition, if done right, is one of. If not the, the main workhorses of visual storytelling. One thing that will take you to the next level as a filmmaker is ensuring that both of these elements are effective. At making your shots look beautiful, but also, more importantly, at serving your story.