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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pro Tips For Making Multimedia

HD video in DSLRs is a hot topic, and more nature photographers see the potential for creating a new way to display and share images. OP went to a seasoned pro for the secrets to a first-rate production.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

As it’s used in this article, multimedia is any final video product that incorporates the use of multiple or mixed mediums for storytelling, i.e., still photos, video, sound, music, graphic design and animation. While the medium has been called many things, at the end of the day, we aren’t creating glorified slideshows and we’re not creating television shows. We’re creating short-form web presentations with a variety of mixed media that enhance and further a story or experience.

Sound, music, stills and video—these are tools of the storyteller. The key to a strong multimedia piece is to make every single shot count. Every piece of footage must enlighten viewers in a way that carries them further along the arc of the specific story you’re trying to tell.

As a multimedia storyteller, you also face a new judgment—no longer are you just displaying a still image for criticism; you’re creating a product that’s judged by the same criteria as a still photo but also, and perhaps more so, for the entertainment factor that the short film provides. You’re part photographer, part filmmaker, but at the end of the day, you’re still a storyteller.

Capturing In The Field: Photos Vs. Motion Vs. Both
Multimedia can be assembled with just still images, with stills and video or with just video. Stills easily can come to life once you’re sitting at the computer and can be brought to life easily with captured sound or sound after the fact. For your first project, I recommend shooting all video, which will make the final assembly easier and help familiarize you with the postproduction interface.

Video works in ways that photographs do not. With the ability to capture motion, shots that haven’t typically worked for us as still photographers may now work for us as videographers. For instance, if you see a field of grass blowing in the wind, it now suddenly may work better under poor lighting than a still shot; additionally, this peaceful scene also furthers the experience of what it’s like being there, advancing the story.

Keep The Scene Brief
With any video or multimedia project, it’s a good idea to start off with an establishing shot, something wide that shows the scope of the scene. This gives viewers a sense of the setting; it puts them in the place. From there, you can transition to close-ups or get into motion. The establishing shot itself should be mostly static.

Ready For Your Close-Up?
A good video or multimedia project should have a variety of perspectives. On the previous spread, we talked about the importance of an establishing shot. Here, we see the close-up. Close-ups are usually the most visually compelling shots in the project. This is where you’re showing your audience the details and letting them see what’s happening deep within a scene. This shot also shows the importance of having some extra lighting. Even a compact LED panel can make a big difference in letting your subjects pop in a close-up.


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