There are plenty of composition rules in filmmaking and photography and with them come many reasons to follow them. But there are often reasons to break them, too. Nerris Nassiri from Aputure talks about five composition rules you should follow but also teaches you when and how you should break them.
No matter if you’re shooting photos or videos out of the studio, location scouting is one of the essential steps. Ted Sim from Aputure meets Jeff Shepherd, a veteran location manager and a great professional at his work. Jeff has worked on the shows like Shameless, Parks and Rec, Straight Outta Compton and many others. In this video, he shares his top eight tips for location scouting like a pro.
People always go on about 3 point lighting setups. They’re a staple amongst photographers, cinematographers, and even CG work. Or people talk about shooting with just a single light source. The two light combo, on the other hand, is often neglected. Personally, 2 lights is the route I take most often in my own work, for both photos and video.
In this two and a half minute video, Nerris from the A-Team walks us through five different lighting setups. Each uses only a pair of lights. Many of them are quite common in higher end production from commercial advertising to Hollywood cinema.
Earlier this year, Aputure announced their upcoming monster LED light: the Light Storm 300D. And now, it’s officially launched. With impressive 142,000 lux @0.5m , it’s brighter than any light in the Aputure’s arsenal, and it’s comparable to a 2,000W tungsten.
But it isn’t just the brightness that makes this light so powerful. The 300D is precise, easy to shape, and it guarantees impeccable color quality. And all of its features are fit into a lightweight, portable light weighing less than 5 pounds.
We all make noob mistakes when we’re new to something. That’s why we make those mistakes, we’re noobs. While most of us try to avoid them now, who can honestly say they’ve never made hideous bevelled text in Photoshop? Or added a page curl to a document? Well, the same is true with video editing.
While learning editing, there’s a lot of things we try, because we think they look (or sound) cool. Then a few months later, we realise just how wrong we were. This video from Aputure talks about the 5 beginner editing mistakes that pretty much everybody makes at some point, and why you should avoid them.
A new light is coming from Aputure soon, and it contains a whole lot of brightness in the size of a credit card. Although it’s not officially announced yet, they showed off the prototype on Cinema 5D.
The light is named Amaran MX, and despite the size, it seems really powerful. It’s five times brighter than its predecessor Aputure M9, and it comes along with some other improved features.
The natural light entering our room changes quite dramatically throughout the day. The colour, contrast, overall tone and mood changes as our little planet spins about its axis. Creating artificial lighting setups to simulate those different times of day isn’t always that easy. But if you learn to recognise the characteristics of light, you can reverse engineer and rebuild it.
This video from Matt Workman at the Cinematography Database illustrates three cinematic lighting techniques. The bright daytime, the golden sunset, and the blue glow of night. Each different setup uses the same set, illustrating just how much of a different the light makes. The principles shown will work equally as well for stills or video.
A motorised gimbal is one of the most useful tools you can get today for camera stabilisation. They’re much easier to get to grips with than a steadicam style stabiliser, and their prices have come down dramatically in the last year or so. For mobile phones, action cameras, DSLRs or even big RED setups, they are absolutely invaluable. But using them effectively can be challenging.
The temptation is just to hold them static in front of you and shoot away. But this can lead to pretty boring footage. This video from DP Justin Jones for Aputure’s Four-minute film school goes through 13 essential movements that you should know. You don’t need to use all of them in every production, but they will give you many interesting and exciting options when it comes time to edit.
Adding a projector to your kit might seem a little old fashioned these days. But projecting images toward your subject or the background can be extremely effective. Whether you’re shooting video or stills, it offers results that would otherwise be impossible to create.
Doing it with video is relatively straightforward, and there are many different ways you can apply it. This video from DP Justin Jones and Ted Sim at Aputure shows us three great ways we can use projection in our work. Specifically they cover music videos, but the techniques can be applied to anything. When it comes to photography, it can be a little more tricky, but it’s definitely possible.
Another show, another round of new gear announcements. This time it’s NAB and Aputure’s turn to show off some new lights and modifiers. There’s the Lightstorm Mini 20C/D which has been shown of in a few videos recently. The Tri-8 is finally coming, and there’s a variable temperature version as well as the daylight one we showed you from Photokina. And there’s a new big 300 Watt S-Fit LED.
As well as lights, there’s modifiers. The first is a new softbox. Smaller than the Aputure Light Dome, the new Mini-Dome is cheaper and more durable. There’s also a new Space Light modifier, designed to replace things like China lanterns to provide a nice soft ambient glow. Tom Antos got a chance to have a look at them all, and had Ted Sim explain the new kit.