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5 Handy Tips That Have Helped Me Improve My DSLR Filmmaking Skills

Posted on May 5, 2016 in Education

By Aditya Ramteke:

photographer-791269_960_720Filmmaking is a lot more than just capturing movements. Owning a DSLR camera doesn’t make you a good filmmaker. There are numerous entry-level videographers who don’t know how to use the advanced features in such cameras; I am one of them. When I first bought the camera, I was massively confused. It made me realize that having an advanced camera is not enough for effective filmmaking. Besides having a high-quality camera, the skill to use it effectively is also important and that includes both the technical know-how as well as the fundamentals.

As far as technical skills are concerned, you can easily learn this from experts. I am lucky that I got support from the highly qualified faculty at SACAC who helped me throughout my creative documentary course. What about the fundamental skills? To create a beautiful film, you need to focus on every aspect. Here are five fundamental tips that helped me dramatically improve my filmmaking skills and hope will help you as well.

Understanding the Camera

It might sound obvious, but you really cannot shoot a good film until you know each and everything about your camera. It has numerous settings to improve the quality of your documentary. Some of the common settings include shutter speed, white balance, frame rate, and aperture. Along with these features, you should also be aware of the limitations of your camera. For instance, if your camera shoots well in daylight but works horribly bad in low-light, you should avoid using it for evening shoots. It took me a lot of time to understand all these differences, but ultimately helped me also.

Using DSLR like A Film Camera

The features and ease of shooting in small spaces with the DSLR camera compelled me to take it for granted. Actually, I forgot to treat it like a professional camera. In reality, you should treat it like a film camera and follow all the rules your teachers taught you during DSLR filmmaking course. Follow all the steps you will while shooting with a professional filmmaking camera like rigging it up, mounting it with the beautiful glass and using a follow focus. Don’t be in a hurry to capture the shots. Move your camera at the same speed, as you will move an RED EPIC camera to capture more cinematic images.

Don’t Zoom

The DSLR cameras have automatic zoom settings. Zooming for the shooting of a football game might be a good choice but for a film, it can prove to be a wrong decision. Modern filmmakers give the least importance to zooming. Just watch a few movies and you will understand why I am saying this.

Avoiding Jitters

Jitters are the major drawback of shooting with these cameras. These are difficult to notice when shooting, but when you look at the footage you will be able to notice the shakes. By paying attention to your shooting technique, you can easily avoid these and improve the quality of your film. Tripod and lenses with built-in image stabilization worked as the real life savers for me and helped me shoot the perfect shots without any shakes.

Using ProMist Filters

Though DSLR cameras are already equipped with many features that help you be sure about getting the perfect picture quality, sometimes these can prove to be unuseful. For instance, extreme sharpness of the picture can spoil the beauty when you don’t need it. So, in such a situation, you can use ProMist filter. These filters are the best option to reduce sharpness and make the images look soft only in the area where you want it.

These are just a few tips, which I learned from my experience and thought of sharing with you to help you improve the quality of your film. If you are a beginner, it is better to take admission in professional classes. Search online for the right college offering courses as per your requirements and register to kick start your career in filmmaking.