This is article #16 in the DSLR Video Weekly series.  If you’d like the whole thing in one shot, check out the book Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

Once you get the hang of video, be sure to monetize it by becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock.

When you start to get serious about shooting great-looking video on your DSLR, you’ll likely begin to disable several of the automatic features on your camera. Additionally, you’ll likely be attracted to the more artistic capabilities, like a wider range of contrast and shallow depth of field. Of course, these artistic options can quickly become frustrating limitations without a solid foundation of knowledge combined with a good deal of practice.

Shooting Outdoors

While shooting in the desert outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, I decided to capture the sunrise. Although the mountain range provided some interesting shots, I was drawn to the local vegetation. The light levels were a little low because I was shooting at dawn. So, instead of worrying about contrast levels in the camera, I shot “flat.” Making sure the image was in focus and exposed for the middle of the histogram, I was able to capture highlights and shadows. In postproduction, by using a Curves adjustment (see Chapter 11, “Editing Essentials”), boosting the contrast was easy and added a more dramatic punch to the image.

ISO 400 1/50 sec. f/2.8 50mm lens

Shooting against a bright sky is always tough, especially with video.  Unlike a raw photo, it’s difficult to recover the highlights and lift the shadows.  For this shot, I composed the shot so the sun was not in the frame.  I then carefully metered the shot (by looking at my histogram on camera).  I exposed so the tree and the sky were not over or underexposed.  This allowed me to darken the sky and lighten the tree in my editing application for a better end shot.

ISO 100 1/60 sec. f/11 28mm lens

Join us each Saturday for the next installment of this weekly series.

Once you get the hang of video, be sure to monetize it by becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock.