Addendum to zooming…

Some hints on good zooming.
First – know what you are aiming at. Have a purpose.
Second – prezoom. What that means is zoom in on your subject. This will do two things – it will help you set up your focus and allow you to practice the move. Unless it was a breaker I nearly always prezoomed. Newsies use totally manual focus, so it was a must.
Finally – and I learned this from Mahlon Picht somewhere along the way. While my zooms back then weren’t purposeless, they somehow lacked that professional feel. His trick was to start the zoom slowly, pick up speed, then slow down at the end. It’s a real trick – and requires much practice. Or do a creep zoom…very very slow. You can edit in the middle of a really slow zoom.
Once you’re good enough, try to follow motion and zoom. Many reporter standups are a combination of a zoom and pan or a zoom and pan with slight tilt. Usually the photog and reporter practice a bit before committing to tape…but once you’re used to it, you can pull it off the first time.

3 thoughts on “Addendum to zooming…

  1. Alex…
    If you take a look at the basic shots assignment (look in video category) or go to youtube and search for thinknews you’ll find my basic shots video. If I get time this weekend I’ll try to shoot and post a couple of examples.

  2. I’ve gotten to the point on standups that I won’t zoom at all, unless I want to reveal something. If the reporter is walking toward me, I just use the follow-focus technique. Someone on b-roll.net pointed out that zooming out as the talent walks toward the camera gives the illusion that they never get closer.

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