Cinematography: Take Control of Your Video | Zoë Davidson | Skillshare

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Cinematography: Take Control of Your Video

teacher avatar Zoë Davidson, Software Engineer & Cinematographer

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Shutter Speed


    • 5.

      Shutter Angle in Cinema Cameras


    • 6.

      Shutter Angle in DSLRs


    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.

      Fast and Slow Lenses


    • 10.



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About This Class

This course has been designed by Zoë Davidson, a cinematographer and professor of Digital Media.

The class will provide you with a quick, but thorough understanding about camera exposure as it applies to cinematography, by going over the less discussed aspects of ISO, shutter speed, shutter angle, and aperture.

The goal of this cinematography class is to leave you with a more nuanced understand of how to use your cameras, whether they be DSLRs or cinema cameras.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Zoë Davidson

Software Engineer & Cinematographer


Hey! I'm Zoe, a software engineer, filmmaker, and former professor from Toronto, Canada. I have an MFA in Film from Howard University, and also do work as a software engineer.

In the past, I've worked for the University of the District of Columbia, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Lionsgate, Huffington Post, and I'm a member of organizations like the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.

The films that I've worked on have been featured at festivals around the world, including Sundance, ABFF, Trinidad Tobago Film Festival, and CaribbeanTales.

Check out my latest work, here:

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm so a cinematographer and professor. My horses are designed to take you from introductory level cinematography to an advanced level. Do you see yourself shooting short films, documentaries, interviews and getting paid for? Do you see yourself becoming the next big cinematographer? Maybe a Bradford Young moral phones Aguado toe Level up your cinematography. You need to master the basics. This lesson is designed to teach you just one of those basic exposure. Being able to control and manipulate exposure to get the desired look that you want is essential to becoming an excellent cinematographer. And although you may have seen other videos like this one before, this course will take an in depth look at exposure and leave you with a more nuanced understanding off What aperture, shutter speed and I s Oh, really? Do not only in your DSLR, but also in cinema campus. Do you hope to be an excellent cinematographer one day? Stick around and let's learn a little bit more about exposure 2. Exposure: exposure is the amount of light that reaches a sensor of your camera, and it's measured in three parts. I s O shutter, speed and aperture. Each of these parts play a significant role And how your image looks once it gets into the camera. The goal of this course not to tell you exactly how to use exposure. But it's to give you the tools to understand the difference between I s O aperture and shutter speed and allow you to make a more nuanced decision. 3. ISO: I s a When you turn up the Aiso of your image, you are essentially increasing your camera sensitivity to let However, what that also does is create a thing called digital noise. Maybe you've noticed a picture that looks particularly grainy or not as crisp as you would like it to be. Oftentimes, that's because the i s so it's set at a level that is not conducive to the environment of the camp. Many cameras have ah, high made of I S O or so they claim, however, your common DS a lot. When you push it to 16 or 3200 you'll start to notice this great as well. It all depends on the quality of your camera. I also is a very simple and effective way off increasing the brightness of your image. However, it does come with some caveats. Most young filmmakers and photographers go straight. I s O when they notice an images to duck. But I would caution you against jumping toe. So if you still have other tools at your disposal, what are those other tools? Well, let's talk about shutter speed 4. Shutter Speed: shutter speed is the amount of time that your camera sensor is exposed to elect. Whether that is second, half a second quarter, a 2nd 1 250th of a second. This decision will greatly impact the amount of light that hits your cameras. You could double it or half it as much as you would like. However, you have to understand the impact that this makes on the overall image in digital photography. When you lengthen the time that your shutters open, you potentially decrease the sharpness of your image. Typically, when you're looking at your shutter speed, especially if you're not using a tripod, you don't want to go in less than 1 2/100 of a second because you have to take into account the fact that you are moving as well as potentially your subject. If you are your subject moved too much, you will have blur in your image. Now that's your desired effect. Don't worry about it. But if you are trying to go for the Christmas image possible, even if it's just the crisp outline of your subject's face with a beautifully blurred background, you want to make sure that you don't go under one over 200. So not 1/50. But you want to see your war towards one. Over 2 50 etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Now shutter speed first specifically to photography. But we can take the same. Understand that we have a shutter speed and talk about shutter angle as well. 5. Shutter Angle in Cinema Cameras: Let's talk about shuddering. What is shutter angle? Exactly? That's different from shutter speed. Shutter angle came about with the film camera. Film cameras usedto have a rotary disc shut in order to allow light to hit the film stock or block light from hitting it entirely. The angle of the piece that was missing from the rotary. This shutter would be what we call shutter angle. Shutter angle is used in digital cinema cameras today. Most of these cameras don't actually have a rotary disc shutter in them. Shatter annual now corresponds to the amount of time that the electronic sensor is exposed to life. Typically, 180 degrees is considered a standard shutter angle. To maintain, however you can increase or decrease is number as you wish. Why would you want to change your shutter angle? If you're shorter is smaller. That means that more of your film is being exposed to let, so that not only increases the amount of light that it's the sensor, but it also increased something called motion blur. Essentially, instead of having the motions in your film appear more rigid, you can increase the fluidity by using motion blur typically This isn't something we want to mess around with too much, unless there is a technical reason or an artistic reason that we want to use it. Sometimes motion blur is used to take care of flickering light or additional clock or screen in the background of an image. You could also decrease your shutter angle. Teoh get a more choppy look, one that has longer periods of black on screen. Play around with shutter angle and see what works best for you statistically. 6. Shutter Angle in DSLRs: Now, if you're using a DSLR, you might notice that you don't actually have the shutter and talking what you do. In that case, well, you might not have the shower angle option, but you do have a frame rate. Decades ago, it was decided that the frame rate that most resembles what are human eye sees is 23.976 or 24 frames per cent. In the future, most cameras will have the ability for you to select 23.976 And if you're trying to replicate regular in life, I recommend you go with that. Well, what does that look like when you're trying to translate that to shutter angle? To figure out what your shutter angle would be on your DSLR, but essentially double the frame. So if you're shooting at 24 frames per second, you wouldn't want to have a shutter angle or this case really shutter speed of 1/48 or 1/50 is probably what's your camera has. This will most closely replicate 180 degrees shutter angle on your DS a lot, and then you can follow the same principles off either increasing your shutter angle or shutter speed or decrease in your starter angle or short of speed in order to play around with the results that you get while you're recording additional video. 7. Aperture: averages. Aperture is my favorite way of manipulating a digital. What is actually aperture is the whole inside of Poland. Increasing or decreasing the size of your aperture essentially allows or prevents more light from passing through the lens and hitting your camera. Sensor culture is measured in stops and increases on a lager with mix cape. On typical lenses, you'll see an aperture ranging from about 1.4 to 22. However, there are lenses that go lower than this, and some that go higher than 22. 8. f-stops: now, what does it mean by going lower than and higher in 22 1.4? Well, essentially 1.4 and 22 are both measurements off the size of the hole in the lens, you can have an aperture of 1.4, which, while being a small number, is actually quite a large hole in your lens. And you can have apertures all the way up to 22 which is actually quite a small hole in your lens. So a lenzen has an aperture of 1.4, allows a lot of light to pass through. However, as you go up on the scale, the amount of life steadily decreases, having each time you go full stop and F stop off. 1.4 has twice the amount of light as an F stop off to, and then an F stop of two has twice the amount of light as an F stop of 2.8. Not only are these major stops ways of measuring how much light, but these stops air actually broken into thirds, so you can have an F stop of two and 1/3 2 and 2/3 or 2.8 9. Fast and Slow Lenses: what benefits come with manipulating an F stop. Not only can you manipulate your aperture or change your F stop in order to increase or decrease the amount of life hitting your camera chip, another aspect of aperture is changing your depth of field. We'll go into death feel in a later video, but essentially changing your depth of field allows you to get the film look that so many artists are after. Having a lower F stop or faster lenses they're called is essential to being able to get that blurred background with crisp subject and focus that you might be looking for. When you're watching videos and reviews about lenses, you may hear somebody say, Oh, a lens is really fast or that limit is kind of slow. Valenza as fast actually has a lower number as their base aperture, so essentially the wide asshole they may is quite large. A less a slower is a lens that has a higher number as their base aperture, or essentially the widest hole they could make, is much smaller. You want a faster lens in order to be able to increase your flexibility and control over image Ah faster lens can always become slower when you change your aperture. However, ah slower lens cannot become a fast so a lens and has a maximum aperture of 2.8 cannot become a lens that has a maximum aperture of 1.4. But a lens that has a maximum aperture off 1.4 can stop down and become a lens that has an aperture of 2.8, giving you the ability to have war looks in one lens. 10. Conclusion: and that's our video on exposure. I hope that you've gained a more nuanced understanding of what exposure is and that your experiment with these tools on additional camera. If you want to see more videos like this that take you from a beginner cinematographer to an advanced level, check out my page where we'll be talking about different ways for you to get the film look that you're after.