Story Idea 11.21.2010

This week’s idea is once again geared towards the shooters on staff…still slackers and moving videots.

Everyone needs to sharpen up their skillset by setting up challenges to become a better visualizer. If all you ever do is the same ole same ole, all you will ever be is the same.

Let’s talk weather…windy weather. Not a gentle breeze. A gusty wind or stormy blast. How do you visualize THAT? (Hey, we’re back to seeing what isn’t there again!)

Story idea: how do you show weather when it is invisible?
Answer: show the effect of said weather, of course!

And this is where your excellent retentive memory kicks in. Every good camera(wo)man I know can pinpoint places where sunlight scatters, water puddles, and winds careen around corners. It’s all part of your repertoire…your bag of tricks. If the Desk So Wills, you have to know where to grab a weather scenic in less than 15. So while you’re out wandering the world on other assignments, your brain is busy clicking away and storing visuals for future stories.

In this case, think back to times you’ve been heading somewhere on a windy day and something danced past your vision and almost made you hit the brakes. A pile of leaves twisting a ribbon of orange into the sky or crawling along post-haste like crabs across the pavement. A corner where the unaware meet the hat-snatching, umbrella busting, hair ripping winds. That’s where you should head for this assignment.

The basics are: NO staging. Like a wizened hunter, take up position, set your shutter on high speed and aim. And wait. Sometimes it is better if you don’t go after the game, but let the game come to you. (It also helps if you plan your visit for when folks are heading out and around that corner or when the neighborhood hasn’t had leaf pickup yet.)

Did I hear someone ask, why set the shutter on high speed if I’m shooting video? If this is your first time playing with shutter speeds, give it a shot. Shoot once with shutter on 30fps, then ratchet it up to say a 1000th. Once you’re back in house, pop the video into your computer and play both clips back. There is a definite difference…the high speed clip is crisper. And should you decide to go with slo-mo, you will still have that crispness and not a blur as you would from same ole same ole. (For a real old fashioned visual trip, try shooting in a snow storm on high speed…WOW!)

Another great idea, brought to you by a sleepless mind…

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