SLR HD Video Basics: Set the scene, get the message across

This is the first in a series of how-to lesson that I'll be posting on shooting HD videos with your digital SLR. Today's topic: Set the scene, get the message across.

There are several reason why this scene (a promo for the SLR HD video workshops that we'll be offering here in Croton-on-Hudson, NY) works:

- We knew the location and envisioned the end result in our mind's eye. In real estate, location is everything. When shooting videos, a cool location sure does help.

– Low contrast setting. We timed the shoot so that we and the waterfall (from the Croton Dam) were both in the shade. Shooting in a low-contrast is much easier than shooing in bright sunlight. In fact, high contrast can be a killer in video - as well as in photography.

- Interesting and not distracting background. The flowing water adds some interest to the scene.

– A slightly out-of-focus background, created by setting my 24-105mm lens to the 105mm setting.

- Filling the frame with the subject... "the name of the game is to fill the frame."

- Shooting at eye level so the viewer could relate to the subjects... "see eye to eye."

- The "talent" (if I may use that word) had energy. They kept the message short and sweet - and fun.

- The sound is well balanced. The sound of the waterfall in the background is not overpowering.

If you are into shooting HD videos with your SLR camera, or want to get into it, and have a question, post it here.

Explore the light,
P.S. Don't miss the video.