cinematography

Ignoring the Rule of Thirds: When and Why ‘Bad’ Composition Works

For many advanced photographers, the rule of thirds is seen as something of a beginner's trope or amateur construct, but learning how, why, and when to break it can be a challenge. This short episode of Brain Flick helps deconstruct that question and explain why and when "bad" compositions work.

The Wing is a Tiny, Ingenious Camera Slider with No Rails

Edelkrone's motto, lately, seems to be: "Why not? Let's give it a shot!" It's the spirit behind products like their StandPLUS, the "reinvented tripod", and the strange-but-probably-useful Povie smartphone necklace mount. And it's the same spirit that, today, brings us the Edelkrone Wing.

The Digital Bolex Camera is No More, Company Closing Up Shop

Digital Bolex burst onto the scene four years ago through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign for its first cinema camera. But despite the admiration they've earned from cinematographers since March of 2012, the company has announced that it will soon close up shop.

A Montage of the Best Drone Footage of 2016

Start your day off with a bit of high-flying inspiration, courtesy of some of the most talented aerial filmmakers out there. From extreme athletes to roiling volcanoes, this footage ought to get your heart pumping at least as well as that half-finished cup of coffee on your desk.

This Dizzying Drone Video is the First to Use the ‘Vertigo Effect’

You might want to take some anti-nausea meds before you watch this one. Balance, a film by Tim Sessler and Brandon Bray, is a dizzying, disorienting display of drone cinematography that may just leave you slack jawed. It's also the first drone film we know of to use the famous "vertigo effect," AKA dolly zoom.

To Get Better at Lighting, See Light Through the Eyes of a Cinematographer

Almost everything I do as a photographer comes back to this challenge: seeing light as a cinematographer would on set. I was recently reminded of this in conversation with a friend and fellow photographer as I was trying to think of the best advice I could give to someone wanting to step up their lighting game. So I’m sharing one of my lighting journals from film school, it was my sort of “ah ha” moment after several semesters of confusion and frustration when it came to lighting.

‘The Revenant’ Was Shot Almost Entirely with Natural Light

The Revenant is an upcoming western thriller film that's inspired by the crazy life of explorer and fur trapper Hugh Glass. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Glass, the rugged and violent movie has one quality that may be of interest to photographers: it was shot nearly 100% with natural light.

SteadXP on Kickstarter: An External Motion Recorder for Video Stabilization

SteadXP, which we first wrote about in September 2014, is a small box that is promising to stabilize some of your most problematic videos. By using an external system that tracks where in space the camera is currently positioned at any given time, stabilization software can do a more efficient job at making your video nice and smooth. No bulky steadycam or gimbal is needed for this lightweight solution.

Tangerine is a Magnolia Pictures Film Shot Entirely on the iPhone 5

Director Sean Baker’s latest film, Tangerine, features two transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles on a hunt to find a cheating boyfriend. If that premise isn’t interesting enough to attract your interest, then consider how it was filmed: the movie had a budget of $100,000 and was filmed entirely using the iPhone 5.

A Look at The Striking Low-Key Black-and-White Style of Film Noir Cinema

Cinema and photography are two close-knit relatives that help us to tell stories through the use of a camera and mindful composition. This week, we are taking a look at the visual style heavily relied upon by the film noir genre that was most prevalent in the mid 20th century. Through the exploration of Hollywood's film noir visuals, we can learn a bit more about the history of cinema while finding inspiration for our own work.

Sphericam 2: 4K 60FPS 360-Degree Video Optimized for Oculus VR

With every report of virtual reality news, we seem to step closer and closer to a world such as the one depicted in Ernest Cline’s Science Fiction novel, Ready Player One. Today is no exception as we report on the new Sphericam 2: a 4K 360-degree video camera for transporting minds through the power of audio and video. The product, launched by Jeffery Martin, is on Kickstarter looking to meet its $150,000 goal, and it is almost there thanks to 130 generous backers thus far.

Edelkrone PocketSkater2 is a Mini Camera Dolly You Can Fit In Your Pocket

Camera dollies can add beautiful and fluid movement to your videos, but they tend to be both bulky and difficult to travel with for extended periods. Edelkrone is here to try and fix that problem with the PocketSkater2, a product they are calling “the world’s most flexible fully featured camera skater that can fit in your pocket.” With an extensive collection of mini-dollies already available, what does the PocketSkater2 bring to the party?

Every Frame a Photo: Black and White Moments on New York City Streets

What would a black and white street photographer capture if given a cinema camera instead of a still camera? Perhaps something like this.

"Moments" is a short cinematography film that offers a hauntingly beautiful portrait of New York City in carefully framed slow motion shots. Each scene looks like a street photo unfolding before the eyes of a photographer.

Slow-Motion Masterpiece Captures Bags of Spices Exploding in Time with Music

It's only January 11th, and we've already found a piece of slow-motion cinematography that might just remain our favorite of 2014. Created as a commercial for Schwartz Flavour Shots, this slow-motion video dubbed "The Sound of Taste" is a beautiful combination of cinematography and pyrotechnics that creates what filmmaker Chris Cairns calls "an audiovisual feast."

Informative Tutorial on the Types of Light Meters and How to Properly Use Them

Mark Vargo is a big time cinematographer who has worked on too many well-known movies to list. He's credited as a second unit director of photography on everything from Deep Impact and The Green Mile to Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Ted. In other words, knows what he's doing, and now he's chosen to share some of that knowledge with his fellow photographers and videographers.

Did You Know: The World’s First Portable Motion Picture Camera was a 12fps ‘Rifle’

Here's a fun piece of photographic/cinematographic history: the first ever portable motion picture camera was invented by a French scientist named Étienne-Jules Marey, and it was in the shape of a gun. Sort of a great grandfather to the the Mark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera used by the British during WWI to train aerial gunners, the Fusil Photographique (or "photographic rifle") made its debut on the scene all the way back in 1882.

SnapFocus: An Innovative Follow Focus With Bicycle Brake Levers

Filmmaker Brandon Davis Cole's interesting take on the traditional follow focus does something that few, if any, products have ever thought to do -- integrate bicycle technology into DSLR cinematography. Cole essentially reinvented the follow focus. By instituting a "brake lever" system, the SnapFocus allows cinematographers to keep their camera steady and pull focus quickly and easily to wherever it's needed, all without ever moving your hands from the SnapFocus handles.

Incredibly Difficult Steadicam Shot From the End of the Movie “Hugo”

Over the last couple of weeks we've featured two very impressive cinematography shots, one from the movie "Contact" and another from "Sucker Punch." But while both of those required planning, expertise and, for one of them, some help from the digital age, the final steadicam shot from the movie "Hugo" is impressive in an entirely different way.

Animated Pirates Movie Made With One Million Stills From Fifty 1D Mark IIIs

High-end DSLRs have already made inroads into the world of professional cinematography, but the new animated movie "The Pirates" was actually shot using only Canon 1D Mark III's -- 50 of them to be exact. The movie, made by Oscar-winning British animation house Aardman (the same people that brought us Wallace and Gromit), is the first full-length feature film the studio has ever shot using only DSLRs.