Are you a beginner in cinematography? Don’t worry; we’ve all been there! Although with any skill, practice makes perfect. However, there are some common mistakes that many of us make as we first dip our toes into the world of cinematography. In this blog, we’ll be looking at some of the most common mistakes beginner cinematographers tend to make – and how to avoid them! So, let’s get started and make sure you don’t fall into the same traps!
1. Not understanding the exposure triangle
(aperture, shutter speed, and ISO).
Getting the exposure wrong can result in overly dark or light images and ruin an otherwise well-composed shot.
But What Is Exposure Triangle?
The exposure triangle is used in photography and cinematography to refer to the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These three factors work together to determine the exposure of a photograph or movie frame, and understanding how they interact is essential to creating well-exposed images.
The aperture is the size of the opening in the lens through which light passes. A larger aperture allows more light to pass through the lens, while a smaller aperture allows less light to pass through.
Shutter speed is the length of time that the camera’s shutter is open, allowing light to reach the camera’s sensor. A faster shutter speed allows less light to reach the sensor, while a slower shutter speed allows more light to reach the sensor.
ISO is the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. A higher ISO sensitivity allows the camera to capture more light but can also introduce noise or graininess into the image.
A lower ISO sensitivity allows the camera to capture less light but produces a cleaner image with less noise.
To create a well-exposed image, a filmmaker must balance the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to allow the right amount of light to reach the camera’s sensor. This requires a good understanding of the technical aspects of photography and cinematography and a creative eye for composition and lighting. The exposure triangle illustrates the relationship between these three factors.
2. Bad Composition
Film composition is the art of arranging the visual elements within a movie frame to create a pleasing and compelling visual storytelling experience. Good composition can draw the viewer’s attention to the most critical aspects of the scene and can create a mood or atmosphere that enhances the story.
You should be aware of the importance of film composition, as it is a critical aspect of your job. A cinematographer is responsible for creating the visual style of a film, and good composition is essential to achieving this goal. By understanding the principles of composition, you can create pleasing shots for the eye and effectively convey the film’s story and emotions.
Additionally, film composition is an essential aspect of the technical side of cinematography. How a scene is composed can affect how it is lit and impact the camera movements and other technical aspects of the shot. It would help if you had a good understanding of composition to create well-executed shots that support the overall visual aesthetic of the film.
3. Not Using Light and Shadow effectively.
Light and shadow are essential elements of cinematography, as they are key tools for creating visual interest and atmosphere in a scene. The way that light and shadow are used can have a massive impact on a film’s mood and emotions and can help draw the viewer’s attention to the most important elements of the scene.
Light can highlight aspects of a scene, such as actors’ facial expressions or essential objects within the frame. It can also create a sense of depth and dimension within the frame by using shadows to create contrast and add visual interest.
Shadow, on the other hand, can conceal elements of the scene, creating mystery and intrigue. It can also create a sense of mood or atmosphere by using light and shadow to create contrast and highlight some aspects of the scene.
Light and shadow are essential tools for cinematographers, as they can create visual interest, mood, and atmosphere in a scene.
By understanding how to use light and shadow effects, a cinematographer can create powerful and emotive images that help tell a film’s story.
4. Not Using The Right Lens
The use of lenses is an essential aspect of cinematography, as different lenses can produce different visual effects and help to support the storytelling in a film. Lenses come in various shapes and sizes. Each lens type has unique characteristics that can affect how a scene is captured on camera.
One of the main differences between lenses is their focal length, which determines how much of the scene is captured by the lens. A lens with a long focal length, such as a telephoto lens, can magnify the scene and make objects in the distance appear closer. This type of lens is often used for shots that need to capture a lot of detail or for shots that want to create a sense of intimacy between the subject and the viewer.
A lens with a short focal length, such as a wide-angle lens, has a broader field of view and can capture more of the scene. This type of lens is often used for landscape shots or for shots that want to create a sense of scope and scale.
In addition to focal length, lenses also have different aperture settings, which determine how much light the lens lets in. A lens with a wide aperture, such as f/1.4, allows more light to pass through the lens and can produce a shallow depth of field with the background out of focus. This can create a sense of depth and separation between the subject and the background.
Overall, the use of lenses is an essential aspect of cinematography, as different lenses can produce other visual effects and help to support the storytelling in a film. By understanding the characteristics of different lenses, a cinematographer can choose the right lens for a shot and use it to create the desired visual effect.
In conclusion, beginner cinematographers need to be aware of common mistakes and make the necessary changes to become a better cinematographers. This article has highlighted some of the most common mistakes. Stay tuned for the second part of the article to learn even more. With the right information and practice, beginner cinematographers can become skilled in their craft and create amazing films.