Intro to Film & Video - Exposing your Images | Tyler Donley | Skillshare

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Intro to Film & Video - Exposing your Images

teacher avatar Tyler Donley

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.

      Basic Terminology


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Shutter Speed


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Focal Length


    • 7.

      Depth of Field


    • 8.



    • 9.

      White Balance


    • 10.



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About This Class

In this class you will learn the basics of exposing video. It's very similar to photography in many ways, but there is a clear separation between shooting film or video and shooting photography.You'll follow along with Tyler Donley as you learn how to take any camera on the market and how to use the basic functions of your camera to control the exposure and color of your images. 

What You'll Learn

Basic Terminology. Within the film world you have to learn the lingo. We are going to focus on a few easy concepts to get you started on the later lessons in the course. Learn about Exposure, Frame Rate, and how photography applies to video.

F-Stop. The first way to control the exposure of your images. Understanding F-Stop can be tricky but we are going to cover what it means to stop down a lens, the mechanics behind it, and how understanding it can be essential to capturing the images you're looking for.

Shutter Speed. Another key mechanism to getting your images looking the way you want them to. With film, it's an aesthetic preference but super important to understand if you're going to shoot video. 

ISO. Where the magic happens; at the sensor. In this lesson we will talk about how the ISO can come in handy when shooting, but also how not having control over this element can be catastrophic to how your video comes out.

Focal Length. Finally, we now know the basics of exposing our images. In this lesson we talk about lenses and how their focal lengths can affect what and how our camera sees our subjects.

Depth of Field. Another amazing composition tool used by photographers and videographers. Learn how to make your subjects pop from the background! Using depth of field we can control what our audience sees and make our images truly stand out from others. 

Filters. A videographers secret weapon. Filters can be used for a variety of different reasons. In this lesson we are going to talk about three kinds - The Neutral Density, Polarizers, and UV filters. 

White Balance. Learn how different light sources emit different color light. We have to make sure our camera knows what color light it's receiving. In this lesson - you'll learn how.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tyler Donley

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: What's up, everybody? Welcome to my intro, the film production Skill Share class. I hope that through this course you'll gain the skills and the knowledge that you need to take something as simple as a phone or something more complex, like a DSLR, and just create awesome video content. Now my name is Tyler Donley. I'm a videographer based out of Rhode Island. I went to college and studied film media, and I've been freelancing in this industry for many years. I film narrative pieces, weddings, commercials and other content to being an educator has been a passion of mine. Ever since I was in college, I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant. I'm thrilled to be able to create this class because it's allowing me to really fall in my passion of teaching. In this course, you will learn all things video. We're gonna go over some of the basic fundamentals, like aperture eso, shutter speed and how to control the exposure of your image. By the end of this course, I know that you'll have the confidence to pick up your phone or your DSLR and just produce quality video content. I really look forward to working with all of you. And I really just can't wait to see all the awesome content that you create. Thanks. 2. Basic Terminology: in order to understand some of the topics in this course, we first need to go over some of the very basics and really to understand video or film. We need to talk about photography and the still single image. The world around us is filled with tons and tons of light light from the sun or from a lamp explodes out in a 1,000,000 different directions, and eventually that light comes to our eye. And that's how we see and photography were capturing light in a similar way, except instead of using our I were using a lens and a camera. So light enters through the front of the lens passes through the aperture and the shutter, and then eventually it makes its way to what's called the sensor and that the sensor is where the images recorded and photography. This would be the end of the creation of your image. You'd end up with a photograph, but in video or film, we're doing this many times per second to give the illusion of moving images. It works very similarly to this flip book. Inside, we have all these unique images which are great by themselves, but when you pair them with other images. You get the illusion of movement. The number of images that you're capturing every second is called your frame running, and in traditional filmmaking we usually try to stick to a frame rate of 24 frames per second. This number gives us a high enough frame rate where our eyes can be tricked into seeing fluid motion anything lower than this, and the image becomes very choppy and very disorienting. Toe watch that you could go higher than 24 frames per second, and there are reasons you'd want to do that, such as doing slow motion. For now, Just know that the frame rate is the number of frames your video camera is recording every second. As filmmakers and photographers, we use a variety of different tools to control how our image looks. The most simplest thing that we can control is called the exposure or in simpler terms. It's the brightness of a photo. Look at these examples. The photo on the left is clearly very dark. We call this under exposed, whereas the photo on the right is kind of bright and white, and we call this overexposed and the photo in the middle is properly exposed, and by the end of this course, you'll be able to get perfect exposure in all of your images. Next, we're gonna talk about the first tool that we have to control our exposure up. 3. F-Stop: the first way that we're going to learn to control the exposure of our image is using something called the F stop Now. The F stop is a number that equates to the amount of light that is passing through the lens , and this is controlled by a mechanism called the iris, which is inside of the lens. The iris is made up of a number of blades called aperture blades, which replicate a circular opening, which can open or close and change how much light is actually passing through the lands. The whole that the iris creates is called the aperture. The wider this hole, the more light comes through the lens. Now, as we said earlier, aperture is written in terms of F stops. So if you have an F 1.8, the aperture is actually very wide and you're letting in a lot of light. Contrary to that, if you're at an F 22 the aperture is very small and you're letting in much less light. If we look at this chart, we can see that at enough 18 we have a wide aperture and we can move up between 182 f 24 and so on until we get to F 22 where the aperture is very, very small. So let's take a look at this in real time. As you can see, as I stopped down for increased the F stop, we're letting in less light. An image gets under exposed. The opposite happens. If we lower the f stop or open up the lands, the image will become overexposed because you're letting in more light. 4. Shutter Speed: so we understand that video is just a serious of photographs played back to give the illusion of motion. So when the camera is recording those individual frames, what's happening is light is entering the lands, but it's actually not hitting the sensor where the images recorded. The reason for this is because there's a mechanism called the shutter, which blocks the light from actually hitting the sensor. Now, when an image is recorded, the shutter opens for a period of time. It allows light to come through and in the shutter closes. This is happening to record all of those individual frames that make up your video. Now, when you're looking at the shutter in terms of speed, that number is representing how long the shutter will be open, exposing the sensor toe light. So a shutter that's 1/25 is gonna be open for 1 25th of a second shutter. That's one over 250 is gonna be open for 1 250th of a second in video. The lowest shutter speed that you're able to achieve will be whatever your frame rate is. So if my friend is 24 actually can't get my shutter any slower than 1/20 4th of a second. That's because there just isn't enough time because the frame rate is how fast the camera is taking photos so we can't have a shutter speed. That's longer than how fast the camera is taking photos. Now. It's also important to take note how shutter speed can affect the aesthetic quality of your image. Having a low shutter speed, meaning the sensor is being exposed to light for a longer period of time can introduce ah lot mawr Motion Blur. Let's take a look at this example. So what I have set up here is just a roll of black tape on a string and I'm gonna rock this back and forth. We're gonna take a look at how shutter speed affects the motion blur of our images. Now, if I freeze this right here, we can see that in this frame there's a lot of motion blur happening, and that's because the shutter speed is set to a very low shutter speed. Now let's take a look at this again at a much higher shutter speed. Now, if we freeze this right here, we can see that the frame is actually a very crisp frame, and there's not a lot of motion blur. That's because the shutter speed is much higher now. Let's look at this in real time. Here's an image, and as I lowered the shutter speed, we can see what's happening to the exposure. As we lower the shutter speed, the image seems to get brighter, and this makes sense if we think about it, because the shutter speed is a number that correlates toe. How long sensors being exposed as we lower this number were actually letting more light hit the sensor in turn. That's gonna allow us to have a brighter image if we raise the shutters, be the opposite happens as you can see in real time here. As I bring the shutter speed higher and higher, the image gets darker and darker now. In filmmaking, there are no rules per se, but there's definitely common practice, and with your shutter speed, we typically don't use the shutter to adjust the exposure of our images. But we definitely use the shudder to change the quality and introduce or eliminate motion blur Now common practice to achieve the film look per se is to keep your shutter twice. What? You're framer. It is. For example, if I'm shooting at 24 frames per second, I want my shutter speed to be won over 48th of a second. And if I'm shooting at 60 francs per 2nd 1/20 So that's just a good rule to keep in mind if you're going for that film. Look now, some cameras don't allow you to have precise control over their shutter, But as long as you get your shutter speed close to double what the framer it is, it'll still look pretty darn good. So to review the shutter is the mechanism that controls how long the sensor is exposed to light. And you typically want to keep your shutter speed twice. What you're framer is to give the film. Look, in the next video, we're gonna talk about the last method to control your exposure, which is called I S O 5. ISO: Now that you understand how light passes through the lens and interacts with shutter, let's talk about the sensor itself. If you recall, the sensor is where the light information is actually recorded so that you can get an image . Theis so is a function that controls the sensor's sensitivity to light. The higher the I S O number, the more sensitive the sensor will be on the lower the number, the less sensitive it will be. But manipulating this number can come at a cost. Typically, you want to keep your eyes so as low as possible, because if you push it up very, very high, you'll start to introduce noise or grain into your image. Take a look at these two examples. This first shot here was shot on A I S O of 100. You could see it looks very, very clean. But if we crank the I s so up, we can see that there's a lot more grain and noise in the image, and it just doesn't look as clean and nice. It's also important to get a good grasp on your camera and understand at what I saw. The image becomes unusable because every camera handles noise and grain a little bit differently. This function can be a lifesaver, especially if there isn't a lot of available light for you to use when you're trying to expose an image. Now that you understand the three ways that you can control your image, I really encourage you to take your camera. Go outside, go wherever just play around with these different functions. Play around with the aperture, play around with different shutter speeds. Crank that I so try to get it as low as you can. The same time, really get a firm understanding and how your camera handles all these different functions and just practice exposing your images properly. 6. Focal Length: Now that we've gone over different ways to expose your image, let's talk about other ways to control your image. Specifically, in this lesson, we're gonna talk about focal length. The focal length is a number that describes the field of view that your lens can see. Every lens has a focal length. Some are fixed like this 85 millimeter lens. Here. Other lenses are variable, which means the focal length can be changed between a range of different focal lengths, depending on what you need. Generally speaking, fixed lenses or prime lenses tend to be much faster, which means they can open up their aperture much, much wider. But their focal length will always be whatever the lenses focal length is. For example, the lens that I'm filming on right now is a 50 millimeter lens, and if I wanted to change how much this lens could see, I'd have to physically move the camera closer or farther away. But if we were to swap this lens out with zoom lands, we would be able to physically zoom in or zoom out on our subject without having to physically move the camera. Let's take a look at some examples. Here are a series of photos, all taken a different focal links of the same subject, So it's clear to see that the lower the focal length, the wider the lens will be. And as we move up and higher and focal length, the more punched in the image becomes now. These photos were all taken without moving the camera and without moving the subject. Now here's another series of photos now, at first glance, they might all look the same, but they're actually enough. This is caused by taking a photo, swapping the lens out for a different focal length and then physically moving the camera closer to the subject so that the subject appears to be the same size as the photo prior. The reason. I want to show you these photos so you could get somewhat of an understanding on how compression changes between all these varying focal lengths. No compression is actually a type of distortion, and as we move up in focal length will see that bits of the background become a bit more distorted or larger than they were before. This is really apparent if we look between the first photo and the last photo in the Siri's . The simple take away from this lesson is to just understand that focal length is a number that describes the field of view off the lens that you're using. The lower this number, the wider the field of view that you'll be able to see on a larger the focal length, the more zoomed in the lens will be. 7. Depth of Field: depth of field is a tournaments used to describe how your subject in the frame is in focus and how the rest of the frame may or may not be out of focus. Depth of field is something that happens in the lands, and it's dependent on three different factors. Your subject to camera distance, your focal length and your aperture or F stop to achieve a shallow depth of field where your subject is very crispin and focus while the rest of the frame is blurred out, you're gonna need the following. The subject should be close to the camera. The focal length should be fairly large, and your aperture should be wide open to achieve a wide dip the field where your subject is in focus. But the backgrounds probably also in focus, and maybe some of the foreground elements to you're gonna need the following parameters. A small focal length or a wide lens. You're gonna want to stop down the lens so that you're not letting a lot of light through. The aperture is very small, and your subject should be very far away from your camera, So if you're taking a shot of a landscape like this, for example, you can see that most of the elements in this photo are very, very in focus, and there's really not a lot of depth to it Now. We know that depth of field is dependent on the three factors that we mentioned before, and even changing just one of these factors can affect the depth of field pretty drastically. Take a look at this example. Thes two images are exactly the same, except the Onley parameter we changed was the F stop. The photo on the left was taken at an F 1.4 in the photo on the right and F 22. As you can see left, 22 has a much wider depth of field, and we can see a lot of the elements are in focus. But the F 1.4 has a much shallower depth of field, and the subject of that photo is very isolated and separate from the background. Depth of field and filmmaking can be used to help draw the audience towards a specific section of the frame for even draw them away from certain elements of the frame. We can also do this in real time, and this is called Iraq. Focus. As we're filming, you can see in this shot here the depth of field is very shallow, but we're actually changing the focus point in real time. Using this method, weaken direct the audience's attention to different parts of the frame as the shot happens . So the take away from this lesson is depth of field can be used to help direct your audiences attention and is dependent on the subject to camera distance, the aperture or F stop and the focal length. So I encourage you to take your camera. Go try to shoot some stuff with a shallow depth of field at why depth of field mess around with it. Get a good feel for depth of field tryout. Those rack focuses and just have a good time with it. 8. Filters: in this lesson, we're gonna talk about filters now. Filters are just pieces of glass that perform different functions that you put in front of the lens and the interact with light differently to give you a desired result before the light actually passes through the lens. There are tons and tons of different types of filters. Some of the common ones are your nd or neutral density filters. You're polarizing filters and you ve or clear filters. Known nd filter is a piece of glass. It's very similar to sunglasses. It just limits the amount of light that comes through the lands. There are many different types of nd filters, and they usually fluctuate in steps of three. So in ND three will fill throughout one stop of light and Andy six two stops and Andy 93 stops. Now let's say I'm shooting outside on a very, very bright, sunny day now because there's so much light outside, I have to stop down my lens to an F 22 just to get an image that's properly exposed. But what if I want to get a shallow depth of field? We learned from the last lesson about death the field that in order to achieve a depth of field, we need a very wide aperture. So in order to achieve that wide aperture, I put in nd filter on my camera to filter out a lot of light so I can open up the aperture to a much wider F stop. This way I can achieve the depth of field that I'm going for but also be outside where there is a ton of tunnel light. Polarizing filter is used to fill throughout a very specific wavelength of light, and this is usually reflected light. Polarizer is great for getting rid of reflections off of windshields or off of the surface of the ocean, or a lake that work the same as polarized lenses would in your sunglasses. If you have a pair and you look up with the sky, you can actually turn your head to engage and disengage the polarizing effect of your sunglasses. Now, polarizing filters for film and video actually do need to be oriented a specific way for them to engage and disengage. Now, if they're circular polarizer is, you could just spend the glass until you physically see the image change and you know the filter is engaged because you'll actually see reflections start to be eliminated or you'll see light reflected off of the ocean. Go away UV filters or clear filters air typically used for protection. We all know that film equipment is not cheap, so spending the extra money to get a clear UV filter to put over the front of your lands can really save you in the long run. If you accidentally drop your lens, you're gonna be thrilled to see that the filter actually cracked rather than the front element of your lands. 9. White Balance: white balance has to do with the color of your image. Different light sources emit a different color of light, which is described in terms of color temperature. For example, the sun will emit a color temperature of 5600 Calvin, but a tungsten lamp will emit a color temperature of 3200 Calvin. By setting the white balance under camera, you're telling the camera what color light to expect to receive. This will allow the camera to record the image with proper color. Take a look at these examples and this example. We're filming with daylight, but we have our white balance set to tungsten. As you can see, there is a blue tent that is cast over the image. This is because the camera is expecting tungsten light but receiving daily. If we change the white balance to daylight, we can see the images color change to look more normal and is balanced correctly when filming. It's important to know what color let your working with that, you can balance your camera correctly. If you're using a combination of tungsten and daylight light sources, you can use gels to change the color temperature of the lights that you're using. By putting a blue gel on a tungsten lamp, you will actually change the color temperature so that it will be daylight instead of tungsten. As long as the camera is receiving all the same colored light from all of the light sources that you're working with and the white balance is set to match the color of that light, then the color of your image will be properly balanced. 10. Conclusion: So that's it. Everybody, Thanks again. So much for joining me in this course. And I hope that through these lessons you were able to gain some skills and knowledge that you can expose your images properly, not just exposed things properly, but also pay attention to things like focal length and white balance. Get those colors looking good as well. If you like this course, be sure to leave a review and definitely follow me because I'm gonna be releasing more content in the very near future. So thanks again for joining me. And I really look forward to seeing all the awesome video content that you create.