The Ken Burns Effect: Bringing Photos to Life

Jason Boone

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
9 Videos (32m)
    • Intro

    • Resolution and Pixels

    • Setting up your Project

    • Framing, Composition and Movement

    • Basic Animation and Keyframing

    • Writing the Script

    • Editing Your Sequence

    • Export and Share

    • Final Thoughts


About This Class

Filmmaker Ken Burns is known for his documentary series on PBS, including The War, National Parks, Baseball, and numerous others. Burns signature style includes camera movements across photographs, including pan and zoom moves. This method is a great tool for filmmakers, helping to bring life to a two dimensional still image. Learn how to bring photos to life in your video productions following in the footsteps of this great documentary master.

In this class you will create a short documentary video sequence (1 minute in length) with the provided photographs utilizing the Ken Burns effect in your editing process. I will be using Adobe software products for this course, specifically Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop. However, the fundamental skills discussed in this course can be executed in any video editing program. A very basic understanding of video editing is helpful, but not required for this class.

The assignment will teach you how to bring photographs to life through composition, framing, and movement. You will develop a better understanding of cinematography, video editing, and storytelling.

The subject matter for the short documentary sequence is JFK’s moon speech. Photographs are provided, as well as an audio narration for you to edit with. You don’t need to edit the audio narration, only the photographs.


30 of 31 students recommendSee All

Wonderfully done and highly educational!
Thank you Jason for this very clear class and tutorial that goes through all the process ! Very useful :)
Very helpful, and great step by step instruction. Thanks!
Franklin Taggart

Write your own song, then sing.





Jason Boone is a video producer and avid traveler. He has a BA in Television Production and an MA in Digital Journalism and Design. His work has been featured on PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, Yahoo! and Current TV.

See full profile