Turning Photography into Filmmaking: Making Images that Work Together | Micah-Daniel Lewis (ItsForGotham) | Skillshare

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Turning Photography into Filmmaking: Making Images that Work Together

teacher avatar Micah-Daniel Lewis (ItsForGotham), Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Welcome to Class

    • 2. Shooting Our Image: Select 1

    • 3. Shooting Our Image: Select 2

    • 4. Shooting Our Image:Select 3

    • 5. Shooting Our Image: Selects 4 & 5

    • 6. Choosing Our Selects

    • 7. Editing Our Selects

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class

Hey guys, good to be back after a 18 month hiatus, hope you're ready to learn!

I'd like to thank you for joining me for class number 4 on Skillshare. We are tearing through these! If you haven't already, please register and take the previous 3 classes, you will need to apply them when working on this latest assignment.

Your mission is to begin thinking like a cinematographer with your images. You have free reign to submit 3-5 images of any style, the only requirement: They Must Tell a Story! Not only must they tell a story, you should be able to submit one word to sum each image and then place those words together to tie a common thread. Essentially, we will be developing critical skills needed for basic elements of film production. If you can effectively create a mood or aesthetic and further communicate that to a paying client, you will be in excellent shape! I'd like to continue sharing these skills in order to help move forward in your career as a photographer/filmmaker.

In our previous assignments, we've focused on learning tips and tricks for editing and more recently, applying those skills in the field. I want you guys to put forth your own twist to editing, this does not mean I'll accept just anything, you need to plan and attack just like you would for a professional shoot!

Successful projects will include all of the previous themes we've discussed, intelligent composition, strong balance of environment and subject, and a cohesive style of editing.

Meet Your Teacher

New York City based ItsForGotham has been drawing from a unique brain condition known as synesthesia since late 2012. Using this subconscious ability to "see" sounds and "hear" colors has led to a development of a unique approach to capturing and evoking any given emotion. Pursuing themes such as neighborhood violence, corruption, silence and human psychology, he began pursuing the craft more seriously in his free time and would later develop a certain technical ability to shoot and edit various urban landscapes all within apps on the iPhone 5 and Canon DSLR equipment. Months of persistence, patience, and meetings landed him the opportunity to became a brand photographer for Nike and Jordan brands, and he hasn't looked back since.

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1. Welcome to Class: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my fourth edition of Skill Share curriculum. My name is Daniel Lewis. I am a photographer filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Thank you so much for joining me. I know that it's been a while since we've done a class, but we're just gonna hit the ground running and jump right into it. This class will focus heavily on shooting and creating a mood board aesthetic that we will then turn into basic elements for film production. What I expect from you guys is that you'll be able to take whatever images that you go out and shoot and you turn them into a cohesive aesthetic that you can explain to myself and the rest of the students. In the course, you can shoot really whatever you want. I'm not putting any restrictions on what you can shoot. You need to be able to explain your work and why you've done it. Have fun, get out there and shoot. And if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to send an email, a message on here for D M on Instagram. I will respond in a timely manner. And with that being said, we're gonna jump right into it. Let's get it, Theo 2. Shooting Our Image: Select 1: All right, So we are down here in beautiful Long Island City and Queens, the borough of Queens were looking out over wonderful Manhattan in Roosevelt Island of Midtown New York. And we got really lucky with the weather. Right now it's nice, overcast. It's not too clear. It's not really too cloudy. It's a nice light fog that we have. That's kind of trapping all of the life. It was clear. A lot of the light like you're going to see from the bridge or even the light that's reflecting off the water is gonna be shooting straight up. And you're not going to really capture that in the cameras. What we're going to do here to capture long shutter speed is to put a tripod on the bottom of our camera. You confined these guerrilla pods basically anywhere you could get them on Amazon B NH, order them, ship them to your house or whatever. If you have a camera store in your area, you can buy them. They're about 20 bucks US 30 bucks us if you buy a studio one, what I'm gonna do here is wrapped the bottom legs around this hand rolled right here gentle but firm, like you're holding a pair it make sure that you take the two legs of the tripod, wrapped them around whatever it is that you're holding, used the back and then put one leg up in the front and should be good. Sometimes you got a financial just a little bit. I'm using a fixed 28 millimeter lens. Obviously, if you have, like a 72 100 or in 85 might be a little bit too heavy for the camera, so just test it out. I should be able to let it go with no hands, and it should be able to do its thing. If you don't have an interval ometer. Another thing that you can do is use a shutter delay or the timer. Some cameras have a two second delay, a five second delay, even upto 12th delay for shutter speed. So if I wanted to let go of this and not have any vibration from my hand or body transfer into the image, I would set the shutter to delay for maybe two seconds. Push the shutter, take my hands off the camera, and once the camera stops moving on its own. If there's really no wind or anything, like right now, it'll take the image and it should come out the way it's supposed to. Since we have a lot of light. That's kind of just spilling out everywhere. I want to shoot between F stop of eight in 11. If you have a really starting tripod, you can flop that down, stop way all the way down. If you need to get a lot of detail and then compensate for the light by bumping down your shutter, you always want to change. The is so last. Isil is always gonna be the last thing that you want to change. You don't want to have a really high I s O because when you shoot long shutter speeds, you're gonna get a lot of extra grain, just a whole bunch of extra noise and artifacts that you don't necessarily want in your image. Usually, when I'm shooting longer exposures, I like toe have one that's a little bit under exposed and one that's a little bit overexposed, so you can usually split the difference between the two. So what would happen is when I'm editing, I would go through three, Select one. That's perfect. Or what I consider the perfect amount of light in the image. I'll have another one that has maybe a little bit more life. And then I'll go through the final one, which is maybe a little bit under exposed, and I'll play with the color space in all three. And just so I know that I have it, I'm going to stop down toe Anapa chur of 10. And I'm gonna bring my shutter speed to four seconds. So it's gonna make the water look a little bit more buttery when it moves. Yeah, that's the one. That's it. Yeah, it is. All right. Something to keep in line is a pro tip. When you're shooting longer exposures, it tends to drain your battery a little bit faster. So if you know you're gonna be shooting longer exposures and you're at night, make sure you just pack an extra battery in your bag. Just so you know, you don't shoot like 10 of these and batteries already halfway done and then you're kind of , you know, screw. So just pack batteries. You should know that already, right? It's common knowledge. Bring bad you back. I don't know. I like e tell people help you 3. Shooting Our Image: Select 2: All right. So here we are, about maybe five or six blocks from where we just were over by the bridge. And there's a taxi station right here. Something that inspires me about this is that the fluorescent light bulbs were kind of all working together to make this really nice, even shadow. It's a good contrast against, like the really, you know, nebulous kind of pitch black activity that we got going on over here for this sample. There's two possible compositions that I could use. There's one where I could shoot directly across the street, like right here. And then there's another one where I can kind of shoot, like, almost right here, kind of like this, and I'll shoot both. And when I'm in postproduction, I'll see which one that works a little bit better for me. I have a feeling it's gonna be the one that's a little bit more cancer off this way. Just because you get like the depth all the way down of the other side of the building will do both. We'll see what we get. I don't need to be too far stop down at the most. I'll be is like 63 or 56 depending on your camera in between that range I So it's gonna be pretty standard someone between the 6 42,000 range. I want most of the practical light to do work here. Shutter speed is probably gonna be around 1 62 to 50 depending on how dark I wanted to get . It's pretty good, but it's a little bit dark, so I'm gonna go ahead and bump. So do about 1000 still a little dark. Don't be afraid of bump down shutter speed. If you're not capturing something that's moving, I pretty steady hands. I can go down to about 1/4 of a second without having any shaking the image. Obviously, that's not recommended. But somewhere between, like 30th of a 2nd 50th of a second try to stay within that range. There's signs that are on here, and those reflects son directly off of whatever they're reflecting off of and directly into the sensor. Your camera. You'll get what's called an angle of refraction. What is it? Angle of a fraction. I think that's what it's called. Basically, that's when you have a light object or a light source hitting an object and you see the glare coming off of that image. So you don't want that. So most likely, I'm going to go with one that's a little bit under exposed rather than what I think is perfect. It smells like paint like Marisol. Someone getting high over here. It's about it. It's pretty good. All right, So there's one Whoa. Uh, here's second composition, where I kind of want a nice little canted angle right here of the other side of the building. Oh, yeah, that's definitely the one. There's a couple of obstructions that I have in the image that I did want originally make. There is a taxi that's sitting right here. That's kind of blocking 180 degrees that I wanted to get from across the street. I made it work by standing halfway in the middle of the street to kind of, you know, crop out that little bit. By the time I got the car out of the way, everything from the taxi sign to the top half of the shutter was gone. So for me, it's probably not gonna be the ideal image. When I did my second composition and I'm standing right here. I don't like the way that the lights work on the side of the building. However, I do like the depth of the three dimension that I can see from the entire block rather than just the other side of the building. So it kind of serves as killing two birds with one stone. I get a clean image with no obstructions in it and to I can see the entire block rather than just across the street. Which is fun by that is not as deep as I couldn't do. 4. Shooting Our Image:Select 3: Oh, it's magic, You know, Dima name in ink. So too easy. We're standing up on a train platform right now. This is a pretty iconic shot. People do it normally during the day, sunrise or sunset at night. It's gonna be a little bit more of an interesting take because the light just goes in different places. So it's not gonna be hitting exactly where would during the day the light that's gonna be coming out of it is gonna be coming from these translucent lights that are sitting up in the ceiling. I want to show motion off the train moving, but I also still wanna have depth. So if you shoot slow, make sure you know, stopping and you're not opening up toe like to waiter to me, too. You want to have, like, a 56 637 or eight? If you can get away with it, I'm gonna pop to Maybe let's say 25th 1 25th of the second. That was pretty good. I so want to get down at 1600. It looks pretty smooth. We'll see how that goes. We just gotta wait for a train. 90% of photography is sitting around waiting. Shoot a couple just so I don't have a test right before the train gets here. So that way it looks pretty good. It's important to be respectful of people's boundaries. Make sure you are making the most out of your night and your equipment and you're getting your shot. But you're not getting in people's way, especially when they're on the way. Coming up with new You wanna violate, especially in Queens, places you definitely don't want to violate. You go shoot long exposures. Everything look cohesive. Last thing we want is to capture a subject that looks either out of the element. It doesn't really fit the atmosphere that we're trying to create, so you have to be really particular about the subject that you choose. It's not like you just randomly shooting. You want to shoot with intention and with a purpose 5. Shooting Our Image: Selects 4 & 5: the reason for this choosing this composition is is pretty obvious. Even just the light itself, you see, is kind of already centered in, like, a letterbox 16 by nine. Really cinematic kind of frame. I just think there's something, like, really serene about shooting, you know, something that's like during the day. Something that seems so ordinary. And people somebody parked right in front of it. Someone literally part. Yeah, You parked in it. This is why you should never just talk about okay, This is why you should just shoot it and just be done with. Don't do what Mr Accurate just did in parking a little. My shot. Okay, so we actually lucked out really nicely. The shot that I couldn't get that was obstructed was actually next to something that I can get. We have two sets of fluorescent lighting situations during the day. Probably not that exciting. But at night, once you have, like, the darkness of the sky and black background that it's sitting next to those air acting is negative, Phil. And it makes the booth sitting by itself. This comes back to respecting your environment. I'm being recorded right now by the security camera that is here. It's blinking red because it's obviously like motion sensor here. You never wanted to hang out in an area like what we're doing right now. You don't really want to do this. You know what? We want to just get the shot and move on with your business. You know, whoever's accordingly is probably just gonna look at this and be like this. Kids and I don't want to shoot it directly level. I want to shoot a little bit lower, and it works out because there's a ramp that's directly next door and I can kind of shoot up through the gate and get that vantage point. Make sure that I eso is down low enough where the point you can bump it down and post, but not still have to worry about it while you're shooting it. Last thing you want is blown out. Highlights that you can't fix a second solution that I like. Is this right here that I said to not stand in front of? I'm not gonna walk all the way down to the bottom of that because that's stupid. I'm gonna shoot what I want from just standing up here. I'll stand far back enough to still show that it's night outside. But also be able to show this pretty good. I'm gonna keep us up a little bit harder. I don't have any direct practical sitting over this, so I can I can push. I saw a little bit. Be a little fancy. I was pretty good. I know I can push that up later. And I have too many troubles worrying about noise. Graner high. No noise. I sold issues with weight. 6. Choosing Our Selects: I've got my image is set up in here really quick and I don't really want to talk. Like I said, I don't want this to be a light from course I've already done that, but I will be throwing some shortcuts. Just help make your light room experience a little bit easier. Eso I've got everything set up in the library module already. Got a pretty good idea of. What I want to have is my final images. In terms of shortcuts, go if you hit command shift L This is a really cool shortcut that I just found out, and this has helped my postproduction process a 1,000,000 times over. It shuts the lights off, and it lets you just focus on the images so you don't have to worry about the editing tab or your library catalog or your side chick trying to hit you up in your diem's. You can just focus on the images, which I really like when you're taking a lot of photos like like we did earlier. It's easy to get kind of sidetracked of just editing everything, and that's not good. That's a habit that you want a break. So when I find a select, I'm gonna go ahead and hit six that will automatically give it a label of red. Or, you know, if you want to use seven, it gives you yellow. It gives you green light, gives you blew. Later, after the fact when you're editing, you can go ahead and filter all of your selects by whatever color you decided to label. So that will just help make things a little bit easier. Like I said, with my long exposure shots, I like to do one under, exposed, one overexposed, and then one where I kind of imagined to be in the sweet spot. So I'm gonna go ahead and just find one of each of these, so right away. That's just three images for my first sample that I know I can get done really quick moving on. We will go to our second composition. I had two unique points of view for this particular composition. I'm looking at this already right now, and I can already tell. Like I said when we were shooting that the one with the canted angle was going to be my favorite. And that is the case. I'm gonna go ahead and take the lights back on just so you can get a better look at this, I'll go ahead and mark one of each, just so I know that I have an example really burning through these really quick. I want to pick my selects and I want to get to editing right away. When the train stopped, I kind of got this kid who is looking at us. I thought it was cool. I've posted this already if he looked on my social channels so I'll go through like, a re edit on here. Just so you guys gonna look at that? The train was probably the hardest thing is shoot. And I'm not really 1000% happy with how they came out. Generally, when you're shooting long exposures, you always want to have some sort of tripod for just like using the base of your fist or your stabilizing just really guerrilla style. You're not going to get the best quality. That's ah, that's shame on me for not bringing out a tripod and free handing this, but I'm going to try to find still one or two selects that I can just pull out of here and I went with this guy right here. So let's highlight that as a select one of the second to last ones I took was this lady right here. Like I said, you always wanna have subjects that fit your atmosphere that you're trying to create. So I'm gonna go ahead and make a virtual copy bump into the develop module reset at it. Let's see, uh, this is from the market Are friends of the market. You can shortcut f for when you click on an image, it gives you full screen already. Know, I'm probably not gonna like the way that this looks The way that I saw this image originally was from across the street and the way that I shot this is halfway in the middle of the street. Just right here is all cut off. Looks kind of Jaenke doesn't really look like originally what I shot in my head, which is OK, but you know, not ideal. Here is my first choice of composition for the shack in the parking lot. I'll throw that in. Okay. The requirement that I maxing for you is that you're able to take whatever images that you shoot whatever. 3 to 5 images that you shoot and you can turn it into a book. I'm not really gonna be focusing and telling you guys really like all the editing and color theory and all this. This and that and what I want this class to do for you guys is to get you guys with a really good handle on being able to show a potential client whether you're doing photography or video. Hey, this is what I can do and you can take someone's ideas on words and put them in a paper. 7. Editing Our Selects: All right. So now that we have our selects picked weaken, jump into the develop module and start to mess around with the color space, I think I went with this one is my pick, so just throw it. Look on here, Cool this down a little bit and already I can tell. That's that's something sweet right there. I like the way that the water is kind of just pushing through here through the scene through a crop on that nice little 16 by nine frame. So I'm gonna take the color picker and just slide around a little bit. See what colors I like that you know, that work like a nice little green kind of Batman. Look, maybe flip the exposure up. Just a click. I don't want it to be too much. I get a lot of you guys asked me about green. Just be responsible with with the amount of granite you guys use. You don't want to have too much to where it's, like, disgusting to look at. But if it helps the character of your scene, you know, go for it. Right. So there's one. I guess I do. You want to be really quick with this. Okay, so that works for me. I'm gonna move on to the second image, and I have a couple of selects here. And the only reason why I probably will not go with it is a final is just because of this car that's sitting right here. It's it's just does too much for me to try to live with it. Let me see if I just pull this down here. Ah, I mean, I might be able to live with that again. It all comes down to making a respectful aesthetic. So you want to have something that all works together? That's the theme of this course is making images that work together. All right, so there is a second composition that I ended up choosing, going to synchronize your settings. So if you want to do that, you'll take the image whose settings that you would like to copy, and you're gonna command click the guinea pig image. And now you got him both selected. You're gonna get command shift s enter, and that's going to synchronize the settings. And right away This is way too hot. Pushed in the exposures just too bright So I'm gonna go ahead and take this down, get that looking where it needs to look. Kind of like I said when we were shooting Already. You're getting this angle of incidence or angle of refraction phenomenon that's happening on this signs right here. So you want to make sure that your highlights air down your whites air down the orange looks a little Cheeto eating me? Yeah, that's a little bit closer to the color, actually. Look like orange and yellow and probably my favorite colors to play within the slider. There just just loads of fun. The shadows had Teal working a little bit for me earlier, so I'm gonna push that in a little bit more of its He'll greenish direction, maybe a little bit lower. We don't want it to be overwhelming. And there you go. That's our That's our taxi shot. I like the subject who is standing right here? I'm not sure about the color space just because it looks a little heart. So I'll take some of the exposure out just a little bit and see if I throw a crop on that. How does that look? That's actually not too shabby. I'm going to give it that Tony Scott kind of kind of look that men on fire kind of vibe. I might scale in just a bit. See what we get. That actually looks pretty damn good. I think I might be able to get away with that this parking shot, even though I said I like this one when I was shooting it, I'm looking at it now and I don't really think I like it the way I did when I saw it, which, you know, it happens just for the classes sake. Let's go ahead and put some color on it, See if I can't change my mind. Ideally, I would have wanted to stand further back so I could get more space, probably without a 16 by nine crop. This probably looks pretty normal if it doesn't work for me, it doesn't work for me, and usually I'll just toss it. But, you know, or you never know, you could come back to it and you might like it later. You never know. I got a couple of shots for this right here. The shack. I'm looking at this sign. It's a little bit blown out appear so I know every highlight is gonna have to come down like a lot. Even though I said you're not supposed to expose for these highlights. I expose for the highlights and I'm paying for it now because when I take these highlights down all the way, they're still blown out in the top. So I'm gonna have to live with it this time. But generally you want to be paying attention, toe any sources of white light and make sure they're not taking over the scene. Let's ah, plop some color on this. Um, that looks pretty good. I like the way it looks. I'm gonna blew it out a little bit when I take the slider for tent towards the green direction. Let's see what the shadows look like. Almost like everything. Looking fairly even. I'll keep it on the green spectrum. Plop a crop. One of that. And I kind of like how this grading right here just kind of lines up. The grating in the floor leads all straight to this little oasis crop that, uh, like I said, I gotta live with these highlights. I made my bed. I got to sleep in it. now, but, um, yeah, you generally want to avoid doing this. What I did right here. Big No, no. We can actually go back and take our filter off. And what I'll do is I'll just hit, shift all the weight. So the rest of the images in this series, we'll synchronize the settings and see if I didn't properly expose Ah for another situation . Let's just check all of these and see if they look any better. I don't think so. You know, it happens. Yeah, that's doing it. It does something for me. Cool. So I don't want to make this too much of a focus on editing per se. I just wanted to get thes thrown into the computer and get you guys a look on this. You guys have already seen the editing classes I've done in the past. This should be nothing new to you guys whatsoever. Maybe a different way of looking at things, but in terms of the tech and making stuff work in light room. This none of this is new. So when you're ready to export, you'll go ahead. Command shift. E you have a folder that you want to put everything in. Go ahead and click that your dimensions, whatever you want to do. Go ahead and export that. And that's it. Those are our images for this class. So we're gonna change kind of the way that we apply this from a photo perspective to more of a film slash cinema perspective. And hopefully guys are along for the ride. So have fun. Thank you guys for jumping in on this and we'll see you in the next star module. 8. Conclusion: All right, you guys, That about wraps it up for me over here for the fourth edition of skill share. Thank you so much for joining. And for those of you who have taken the three previous classes, you guys are amazing big ups to you guys. If you have any questions about with the requirements for class are or any questions about shooting or filming, please do not hesitate to say me an email message on Instagram Twitter. Get at me. Whatever you way, you can. I will be more than happy to reach back out to you in a timely fashion With that being said , Get out there, start shooting and I can't wait to see all of your projects. Talk to you guys soon. Peace. Standing up on a train, shoot at a lower, um, in order to shoot at a lower What? What is the word? One more word like not