Camera Exercise #1: Test Drive Your Camera

Summary: Ryan gives you a filmmaking exercise to help you to better understand your camera, terms covered in previous videos, and help prepare you for the next videos.

Length: 3:08 minutes


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Video Lesson

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If you’re like me, then you probably don’t want to wait any longer; you just want to go out and start shooting. If you’re the more studious type, then you’ll probably wait until you get through all of the videos first before going out to film. Well regardless of who you are, in this video I’m going to challenge you by giving you an exercise I’d like you to complete before proceeding any further.

After completing this exercise, you will be better familiar with the terms we just discussed, and you will be better prepared for what we will be covering in the next videos.

Goals Of This Exercise

This exercise is all about getting familiar with your camera and seeing how the terms we just discussed affect the images you create. The importance here is that you experiment. Don’t worry about right or wrong–that isn’t the point. I want you to go out and create images that reflect the pairs of words that I’ll be giving you.

As you go out to record your footage, here is what I’d like you to do: start by using a clean memory card that doesn’t have any other footage on it. Or if that isn’t possible, then at least know where on the card your footage starts. And bring a note pad, or some easy way for you to document all camera settings before you record each exposure. The point of documenting these settings is so that you can reference these settings later on. If you stumble across an image you like you’ll be able to create it again. Or if you don’t like it you’ll know what to avoid.

So here are the camera settings you need to record:

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
4 replies
  1. Gabriel Morgan
    Gabriel Morgan says:

    I believe I am having issues identifying “focal length” for each clip. Is that the distance between the camera and the subject?

  2. Filmmaker1979
    Filmmaker1979 says:

    Hi Ryan,
    great exercise to work on. I will definitely do this. i´m almost pretty deep into camera and editing work but a critical look over can´t be wrong at all.

    With kind regards

    Tariq Alexander / Germany,Hannover

  3. Ahmedsalem
    Ahmedsalem says:

    Hi Very cool stuff
    Just i have a question may explain to me these terms fast slow , smooth textured with some photo examples even you can add some links to envision it .
    Another demand how you will be able to see the metadata for any photo ?


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