Kent State University Videography Basics





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Where are they? What do they do? How, when and why do you use them?

  battery battery eject button power switch
  videocassette (VHS) stop/eject button record tab
  electronic viewfinder vision adjustment control display button
  date/time display battery remaining display tape remaining
  record/pause switch record switch cover VCR/camera switch
  lens cap hand strap standby mode
  wind buffer switch VCR controls for playback zoom control
  high speed shutter auto/manual operations fade
  backlight focus (auto, manual, macro) lens focus dial
  tally light built-in microphone external mic jack


What do these terms mean? How and why do we use these to achieve pictures that look professional and communicate meaning?

  shot sizes: WS, LS, MS, CU camera angles: high, low, normal
  center of interest rule of thirds
  head room and look space leading lines
  depth (illusion of depth) frame-within-a-frame
  movement in the frame camera moves: pan, tilt, zoom
  color background objects
  • When and why do we shoot with a tripod? How can we keep images steady without one?

  • What are some differences between film and videotape?

  • What are some things we can do to properly care for videotapes? for videotape recorders, including the record mechanisms inside camcorders?

  • What are some good reasons for using camera movement?

  • Why do we avoid the autofocus setting?

  • What are the proper steps to manually focus a camera with a zoom lens?


  • Why does a videographer need to know about audio? What standard practices do videographers follow to get good audio?

  • styles of microphones: built-in (on-board), hand-held, lapel or lavaliere, wireless, shotgun. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

  • pickup patterns: omnidirectional, unidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid

  • What are some good rules for positioning and talking into mics?

  • What factors affect audio on location? What can you do to improve location audio?


What do these terms mean?

  snapshooting firehosing jump cut
  cutaway insert continuity
  • Why do we edit videotape, either in the camera or in post-production?

  • What are some good rules to follow in order to avoid jump cuts?


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