In film and video making, a good way to decide what kind of treatment a subject needs is to classify it according to its basic or inherent features or characteristics... Static or Dynamic...!
Let's take a closer look at this…!
When you're first starting to compose a shot or scene you must first decide what specific approach or viewpoint you're going to take in shooting the subject... in video terms this is called the Treatment.
A good way to start is to classify the subject of the shot according to its most basic characteristics or features. One of the most basic characteristics of any subject is whether it's moving or not. Is it Static or or is it Dynamic?
Classifying subjects as to whether they are Static or Dynamic...
Is the first broad step in deciding how you will approach the film or video production process regarding this subject.
Static and subjects that are Dynamic.
Let's break these two qualities down a little bit so that you have a better understanding of how to handle these factors.
The quality common to static subjects is stillness or immobility...
It covers the content of fixed images, such as paintings or still photographs, however it can also be used in film or video to great effect.
Static composition in a scene is usually unmoving, centered and balanced. This type of composition can convey serenity, solidarity, stillness, etc. to the audience.
They remain still unless moved by external forces.
Typical immobile subjects of this kind are, for example: Landscapes, seascapes, flowers and trees.
And... also inanimate objects such as...
Use static scenes to slow down the pace of your film or video or to orient your audience on what something is or what is the current location of the scene.
Static subjects allow you all the time you need to shoot your best quality video. A key to the successful shooting of static subjects is what is called "Contemplation".
This, of course, will influence both your approach to the subject and your choice of technique. You can take more time to study and shoot the subject from different angles and under different conditions.
You can also give more attention to the film/video technical problems of rendition than if you were videoing or filming a dynamic subject.
In addition... You can work with larger cameras which are usually too cumbersome and slow in operation to be used to shoot dynamic subjects.
In comparison to smaller cameras... The larger cameras have the advantage of producing pictures of superior technical quality. You don't have to rush…! You can take full advantage of the fact that your subject will not change, move or run away.
Be sure to study the subject carefully from different angles and points of view (literally as well as figuratively).
Pay attention to often-neglected factors such as...
And... if you and your audiences appreciate technical quality... then video your subject in the highest definition possible.
In videoing or filming a dynamic subject you must take into consideration the slow or rapid change of time and space in your shot. Moment-to-moment
change... However slow or fast!
This change or motion can be within a single shot ... and this includes camera movement and/or subject movement...
Or... it can also apply to a sequence of scenes created through editing.
Dynamic composition is active, off-center, sometimes unbalanced, and much more exciting to the viewer. It can have an off-center point of view, unpredictable motion, diagonal or zig-zag lines in the scene etc.
For example, one reason that mountains make for good landscape photography is that the horizon is rarely horizontal... They are unbalanced and off-center which gives the video a dynamic feel.
A quality common to all dynamic subjects is motion or mobility.
A consistent change of position in space and time.
Typical dynamic subjects are...
And that is just to name a few.
Dynamic subjects with their consistent change and motion are never exactly alike and once the significant moment (action) is past... It is gone forever!
Working with dynamic subjects means that you (the photographer, filmmaker or videographer) have to be prepared and ready to move fast to catch the proper shot.
When you must try to capture a single dynamic scene or clip it's a good idea to just... leave your video camera running as you sometimes cannot know in advance what will take place in the course of the whole event or when "it" (that one great shot) may happen.
You have to be aware that if you were to try to conserve film or video you might miss taking that one… Once-in-a-lifetime… best picture, shot, scene or clip .
In shooting dynamic subjects it is not wasteful to use large amounts of film or video to capture that one important moment.
A lot of times you don't know when these moments may happen and you may never be able to capture them on film or video again .
The "waste" would be for you to put in the time and effort to shoot the subject and fail to get that picture, scene or clip!
As a camera-person you must not only be observant and alert for the shot... But also, be able to anticipate when the significant moment may happen so that you will be ready when it arrives.
This presupposes that you have, at least to some degree, knowledge of the subject or event so that you know what to look for and, more or less, when it will happen.
In other words, you need to do your homework before you go out to shoot the scene or event.
Quick reaction and reflexes are necessary to be successful in shooting dynamic subjects. But even more important... you need to know how to operate your video camera expertly so that you're not fumbling with it if and when the shot presents itself.
The key to successful filming or videoing of dynamic subjects or events is... Figure out what you're going to do beforehand as once the action starts you'll need to be ready!
So...the old Boy Scout motto applies here: "Be Prepared".
That way you always get the shot you're looking for!
Knowing how to handle the filming or videoing of static and dynamic subjects will help you create scenes with real impact and interest... and...
Help you capture outstanding video you might not otherwise had been able to get...!
Have fun...! Dan
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