VIDEO: 9 Composition Tips from Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is one of most iconic voices in contemporary photography with a career spanning more than 30 years.

As you can imagine, his experience in photography is invaluable. Here are 9 photo composition tips from McQurry that every aspiring photographer ought to keep in mind:

1. Rule of Thirds – This rule states that you should always position important elements along the lines on your camera grid.

2. Leading Lines – Use natural lines to lead the eye into the picture.

3. Diagonals – Diagonal lines create great movement.

4. Framing – Use natural frames like windows and doors.

5. Figure to Ground – Find a contrast between subject and background.

6. Fill the Frame – Get close to your subjects.

7. Center Dominant Eye – Place the dominant eye in the center of the photo. This gives the impression the eyes follow you.

8. Patterns & Repetition – Patterns are aesthetically pleasing. But the best is when the pattern is interrupted.

9. Symmetry – Symmetry is pleasing to the eye.

Remember that the composition is important, but rules are meant to be broken. So enjoy yourself, photograph in your own way and style.

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Natural Light Portraiture with Karl Taylor

For beginners, natural light portraiture can be difficult to crack, largely because of the difficulty in controlling light.  However, there are other things to consider beyond light that can also affect the look of your images.

In this video, Karl Taylor looks at the importance of posing the subject right, the choice of lens, choice of aperture, lighting the subject, and the environment. Karl offers some great insight into what makes great natural light portraitures great.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Steve McQueen – Stagnant

Camera movements can greatly enhance the look and quality of your shots. However, with so much emphasis on camera movements these days, it is easy to forget that static shots can also be a powerful way of telling a story. Rather than insisting on employing, or saturating, a film with lavish, complex, slow dolly or handheld movements, why not simply leave the camera be?

As you check out the video below, notice how these static shots all one to fully absorb the moment. These shots are especially great when you need to help viewers absorb gruesome struggles and extreme distress of the character. McQueen often lingers  on these moments for extended periods of time leaving the camera motionless. Viewers cannot escape the moment and are forced to endure every second of it, and feel the intensity, pain, anger, or frustration of the character.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Interview with Mbugua Njihia, CEO, Symbiotic

I got to interview Mbugua Njihia, CEO of Symbiotic, at his office located in Nailab. The interview was interesting and I got to try out a new approach to editing that I have been dying to experiment.

I shot the interview with two cameras and used the huge windows at Nailab as the main light source. The interview setup took about 20 minutes and the interview lasted for about 15 minutes.

Hope you like it.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Interview with Loren Bosch, Head of Managed Services, Access Kenya

I recently got to shoot an interview with the head of Managed Services, Access Kenya, Loren Bosch.  The interview took place at the Access Kenya head office on Purshottam Place, Westlands.

The setup was simple since we had a short time to set up the equipment and go through all the questions. We had only 15 minutes, but that was enough time to cover all the 10 questions.

I decided to edit the interview as a question and answer and cut out the interviewer to give it a more ‘corporate’ feel while also cutting out unnecessary content.

Here is the interview.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Martin Scorsese Shot by Shot of ‘Cape Fear’

How do you shoot a scene and permeate the audience’s psyche? What makes a scene so realistic that you can watch it over and over again?

Martin Scorsece is one of director’s who has been able to bring out such level of realism in his work. While he has been criticized for the violent content in his films, he has successfully been able to create hyper creative, and sometimes violent, images by use of ultra quick shots, unsettling angles, and zooms in his work.

Here is  a shot-by-shot look at a scene in one of his earlier movies, Cape Fear, and how is expert camera work is brought out beautifully.

Enjoy!

 

MARTIN SCORSESE Shot By Shot from Antonios Papantoniou on Vimeo.

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Hearing Tarantino

Sound is one of the important elements of any film or visual media. In movies, sound can accentuate our perception and understanding of a scene and helps up appreciate what is taking place.  One of the masters of using sound to accomplish these objectives is Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino is a master at using the art of sound and visual flourishes to accentuate scenes. He not only adds gripping sound effects to the flipping of dollar notes and the dragging of a cigarette, but also adds them during high action scenes, when doing a close-up, a zoom or a pan.

Take a look at how this experienced director does this below.

Enjoy!

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: The Cinematography of Kevin Horn

I thought I would share this reel of Kevin Horn’s work, a cinematographer how has worked on commercials and films and get a glimpse of the different compositions, camera movements, and lighting approaches that make great cinematography great.

The reel below includes commercials, scenes from short films, web series, movie trailers, and music videos he has shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEOS: Aerial Filming with Philip Bloom

I love aerial footage, especially when it is used as a completely shot on a scene. I have been looking to get such shots for my productions and have therefore been researching for that perfect quadcopter and GoPro camera to give my productions that sparkle with aerial photography and video.

Here are some cool footage I dug up that show just how much of a difference aerial footage can do to your scenes and the value it can bring to your final edit.

Enjoy!

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEOS: How to Light Interviews

One of the most challenging elements of a good video is lighting your scene and your subjects. Lighting also happens to be one of the most expensive components of a shoot, and rightly so. Without good lighting, your scene will fail to achieve the intended purpose.

Cinematography is defined as ‘painting with light.’ As a result, it can rightly be said that lighting is both a technique and art.

 

 

I dug up a number of videos that show how lighting affects the look of a film, how to light an interview and other interview lighting techniques that any cinematographer or aspiring filmmaker can employ to improve the quality of their productions.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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