“Cinematography” is a big and fancy-sounding word, but it’s just a term for the art of making movies—think of your camera like a paintbrush. It’s a valuable tool and one that takes some practice to use well.
Learn how to practice your cinematography skills, and spend some quality time with your camera!
Make It a Part of You
Walk around with your camera for a while, and shoot things you think are interesting, always treating the camera as an extension of yourself. If the camera is your pencil or brush, think of this exercise like doodling; you’re getting used to the way it feels in your hands.
Study the Greats
Branch out from your usual taste in movies, and delve into the history of cinematography. From the earliest silent films to the action flicks of today, filmmaking styles have changed and evolved dramatically over the years.
Experiment With Different Shots
If you’re a YouTuber or streamer, you may think you just need to sit in front of a stationary camera—but why not add visual interest with alternate angles? If you’re making a short film, learn some common angles and shots to add to your filmmaking toolbox.
Know What Equipment You Need
Depending on your style and the needs of your production, you may require some pieces of equipment more than others. Get familiar with different camera rigs and how to use them, and invest in equipment you know you’ll use often.
Look at Graphic Novels and Photos
Even if you’re capturing video footage, that’s still a form of photography, so look at still photographs with no people in them for inspiration on how to frame a shot. Comic books and graphic novels, too, are a valuable source of impeccably formatted pictures.
When you first decide to create art with your camera, you know you’ve got a lot of practicing in your future—but don’t overwhelm yourself. These tips on how to practice your cinematography skills will serve you well as you advance in your streaming or filmmaking career.