In a world dominated by social media, it has become an invaluable investment to record important life events – birthdays, graduations, engagements, or weddings – through photos or videos. These allow you to relive those once-in-a-lifetime moments, capture real emotions, and make it easier for you to share them with others.
Because of its significance in the lives of many, it’s important that videos and photos be captured with great skill, artistry, and technique. Fortunately, videographers and photographers have become more creative and equipment more sophisticated — all thanks to the growing knowledge, application, and appreciation of cinematography.
What Is Cinematography?
Cinematography is generally referred to as “the art of making motion pictures”. Cinematographers are responsible for visually capturing the story. They consider every aspect of what makes a video aesthetically pleasing. This is what sets cinematographers apart from videographers.
Videography focuses mainly on the technical aspect of capturing footage. They also focus on lighting and angles, but at the end of the day, their goal is to record. On the other hand, cinematography makes both technical and artistic decisions to tell the story. They account for the lighting and the camera but also the movement, colour, and framing.
The idea of cinematography has long been associated with movies, but with the increasing availability of high-quality equipment in the market, it has been put to use even in personal films. Knowing how precious life events are, it is about right that it is portrayed beautifully and creatively.
What Does a Cinematographer Do?
There are multiple elements that make a film look beautiful, and you should keep an eye on all of them to produce the best cinematography for it. Each one has a specific function that takes videos up a notch.
- Camera Placement
Where and how a camera is placed affects how the audience feels about the shot. The cinematographer can place the camera wherever that can produce more impact. The camera can be placed closer to the subject to create a sense of intimacy, or it can capture the birds-eye-view level to get sweeping views of the scenery for dramatic effect. With every shot, the cinematographer can influence the emotional and artistic weight of the scene.
- Camera Movement
A camera that remains static or unsteady for the entire film can take out the magic. Imagine a wedding video that does not follow the bride as she walks down the aisle or footage that’s so unstable you barely see the ring being placed on the bride’s finger. Stellar camera movement pinpoints the main subject of a particular scene, drawing the eyes to the most important elements of that moment.
Whether it is a mechanical light or natural light, the beauty of the film depends on lighting. It is fundamental in telling a film’s story. Lighting conveys moods. A darker, candle-lit video may portray mystery and passion, while soft light can show bliss and elegance.
Focus and depth of field provide emphasis on a specific aspect of the story. Cinematographers ensure that the video does not appear flat, blurry, or out of focus. Imagine, for example, a wedding video that captures crisp and sharp footage of the bride’s face as the groom lifts her veil. If done perfectly, it captures the sense of magic as he sees her face for the first time during the ceremony. Focus can reinforce what the subject might be feeling, consequently influencing the emotions of the watcher too.
The composition is an important element both in videos and photos as it refers to how a shot is framed. Cinematographers play an essential role in determining what the audience can see and know, depending on the composition. They can choose a wider frame to see all attendees in the room or tight to exude closeness or comfort.
How Can Cinematography Enhance Your Videos?
Making use of the techniques and elements of cinematography even in everyday videos can enhance the impact of a video. Whether it is for a special event or personal branding, nothing can compare to a film that is able to depict a story beautifully and steer the audience’s feelings.
- Focus on Storytelling
One of the best suits of cinematography is storytelling. Just like any story, your video must have a clear direction — a start, a middle, and an end. Without these, your video will just be a patch of clips even if they’ve been recorded well. The light, the location, and the colours are all important in telling the story, and your cinematographer will guarantee they are consistent all throughout.
Also, cinematographers know whether a scene is necessary to the film or not. While it’s standard practice to capture as much footage and B-roll as possible, not all of them will be right for the final output. Cinematography can tell the entire story (whether spanning years or hours) in a short film without compromising the message.
- Find Creative Solutions
Cinematography is packed with technical, creative, and logistical decisions. A cinematographer needs to plan out the coverage, setups, and lighting to maximize the day and location of the shoot. They can also use different equipment to achieve end goals. They may be willing to crawl on the ground, wade waist-deep in water, or find a high vantage point just to get that perfect shot. Whatever the event, setting, or time of day, knowing cinematography can always help create the best output possible.
- Find Good Location
Cinematographers can also scout for locations upon request. If they’ve had years of experience, they can easily determine the best and most picturesque places that can provide the right backdrop and feel for a particular scene or project.
- Use Relevant Equipment
Making a great video is not always about having the best camera or lenses — it’s about knowing how to effectively use the equipment you have. There’s no need for industry-grade cameras; a DSLR camera would do or even a mobile phone with a high-performance camera. The popularity of drones, for instance, in videography and photography is ballooning thanks to their practicality and versatility. However, you can still create great videos without one. Cinematographers don’t only know what equipment to use but how to use it. Even with limited resources, they can still produce something memorable.
- Apply Post-Production
When most people think of producing a video, they may simply think about recording then stitching those shots together. However, there’s more to it than that. The third stage of video production is called post-production, and cinematographers use post-production to edit, colour-correct, and add effects to the raw film. This process allows them to digitally manipulate the videos so that the colours, transitions, and even timing are seamlessly combined to create a coherent whole.
The relevance of cinematography to video production is often understated, but it has a tremendous impact on the final output. For important life events, it’s only natural to want to see the captured moment in the best and most beautiful light — a collection of both perfect and imperfect moments stitched and transformed into a work of art you and your loved ones would want to watch over and over again.
Twenty5 Films offers top-notch cinematography. We are passionate about capturing your story, specializing in producing beautiful wedding cinematography. We also offer different packages to fit your budget. Let’s preserve those happy moments for you; call us at (905) 741-3697 now!