How to get that “Film Look” in your videos

I’ve never liked the look I get from consumer video cameras. The combination of narrow aperture and small sensor means that your subject and the background are both going to be in focus (to some extent). This can make a shot look too busy and distracting. Part of the “film” or “cinema” look is due to very selective focus, with the background receding into a blur.

With the recent introduction of DSLR’s with video, such as the Canon 5dmarkII, the Nikon D90, the Panasonic GH1 and others, it is now possible to shoot with wide aperture lenses yielding very selective focus. While this is one contributor to the “film look” there are many others.

In a recent free audio class entitled “Discover the Secrets as used by top DOP’s to create the ‘Film Look’ using your HD video camera,” Philip Bloom and Dennis Lennie discuss a number of factors that contribute to the film look. In addition, they address several related topics, especially interesting to those of us who are still photographers and eager to explore video.

These topics include,

  • What defines the ‘film look’,
  • How you overcome the limitations of small sensor cameras,
  • How important shallow Depth of Field is,
  • The 5 Fundamental factors Phil uses when creating the ‘film look’,
  • What is absolutely essential kit,
  • How significant grading (post production) is in the overall process.

As a still photographer with a small amount of video experience, I found the discussion engaging and highly informative.

You can access the audio from their new educational site This class was so good, I can’t wait for more.

Smibs TV Interviews Photographer Philip Bloom

I came across this brief interview with Philip Bloom on Luminous Landscape.

Smibs TV Interview with Philip Bloom

It should be interesting to both still and video photographers. He discusses how he started his own business, and about how he got such high visibility after over a year in business for himself. What caught my attention was a comment he made about giving first. He put videos, tutorials and a blog on his website, free. The videos received a lot of attention and gave his business quite a boost.

Bloom used a Nikon D90 for some of the work presented on his website, which is how I first discovered his work. He has some of the best examples of D90 video on the web. We’ll be talking more about the D90 and using it for video in future blogs. Even if you’re a still photographer, a video presentation of your work is a great way to market yourself.

You can see more of Philip Bloom’s work on his website