Does shooting a video make you a better photographer?

I have just finalized another film of mine for my little girls. If you follow me you know how much I love filming and there are lots of reasons for that. Let's say, to me the most important one is that my kids are growing extremely fast, and every day is the day when they are this little, or do things this way and by capturing this I make sure I have it all recorded and available to look back at these special moments years and years later, when it will be forgotten as you know memories fade.

This is a portrait of my older daughter. As of now this girl is all about art and sport, I surely wanted to remember that. What I loved the most she was eager to come up with ideas for making this mini film. She was my little producer and music director. And this is what we created!

 

Do you know that filming makes you a better photographer? Yes, that is absolutely true! And here is why:

  • It helps me to nail my focusing issues and find that sweet spot. You remember practicing and lots of practicing, that is all that matters. Especially with Lensbaby lenses!
  • It shows me if my footage is properly exposed or my white balance is set according to lighting situation during the editing process. You may say, yeah, I can do that also just shooting images. But the difference is that you don't have much that wiggling room with videos in post as with images, thus if the footage is overexposed far too much, there is not much you can do to fix it (only if replace the overexposed area with some stock footage or any other footage you shot earlier), it WILL be visible (for a photographer) as I'll have less detail to work with. No post process is going to be a magic bullet to make my footage look perfect unless I shot it well. And this helps me to slow down and think about my camera settings.

  • And one other thing worth mentioning! Nowadays, our digital cameras allows us take as many pictures as our memory card allows while shooting for the scene. Then we look at the camera LCD screen and decide if we like it or not, if our composition is good enough or not, or if the emotion we captured is what we want. This is right, BUT with video, before setting for the scene, I first think about the compositional flow. Is it really leading viewer’s eyes around the frame in the direction I want them to move? Did I place my subject where I want it to be? Does the frame feel balanced? Not talking about the camera movements ;) Yeah, lots to think about and lots of planning beforehand.