Lenses, Composition & Camera Angles – Film/Photo Tutorial

Lenses, Composition & Camera Angles – Film/Photo Tutorial


Hi. My name is Tom Antos
and today we’re going to talk about some basics when it comes to
camera angles and framing. The Full Shot or Full Body Shot includes the
feet in the frame. For this kind of a shot, remember to
never cut off just the feet. In fact, it’s a bad practice to cut off
your subject at the knees and below. It may look like you did it unintentionally
or by a mistake… like you can see here.
It also looks awkward when a person’s legs are cut off below the knees.
This, in fact, is not a rule by any means. In fact, I don’t think there are
any rules in film. But it is just a bad practice.
If you’re going to frame your subject like this, then you’d better have a good reason for it. Otherwise, it will just confuse your audience
and it will look like you simply don’t know
what you’re doing. So, for a full body shot, you should
stick to something like this. Next shot is a Medium Full Shot.
That’s when you go a bit closer and it’s usually also when you cut off your subject
somewhere between the knees and the waist. Once you frame above the waist area,
that’s called a Medium Shot. After that, we move in for a Close Shot.
That frames from around the breast area and up. And then this here is a Close-Up, which mainly frames just the subject’s head.
Once you move in even closer, where you start to cut off
the forehead or the chin, that’s usually referred to
as an Extreme Close-Up. Even if you move in to frame just the eyes,
for example. Now, what you have to remember is that
there is no standard by which to go when naming these shots.
These are simple the name that I use. There are others out there
that use different names. What’s important is that you know what type
of shots you want to get. So, when you’re planning your shots or
doing your storyboards, you always use the same names
for the shot types, so you don’t end up confusing yourself
later on down the road when you go back to look at your notes or
storyboards. Next, we’re going to talk about the types
of shots or angles, like Over-the-Shoulder or a Two-Shot.
These are most commonly used in a scene when two characters are talking to each other.
These shots refer more to the angle than what the exact framing is.
For example, you can have a close-up over-the-shoulder… or a medium over-the-shoulder
like you see here… and you can even go to a
full body over-the-shoulder. Same goes for the two-shot.
Here we have a full body two-shot. And then a medium two-shot. And then a close-up two-shot. Or you can also have, you know,
a three, four shot, depending how many characters you have in your shot.
Other shot types you might hear about are an Insert or Cut-Away,
which is, basically, a close-up on a part of a scene or
it could be a POV of one of the characters seeing a certain detail in that scene,
like we see here where one of the characters passes
the car keys to the other. Many times people ask me what size lenses
should they use to get, for example, a good medium shot.
And really, there is not one correct answer. The types of shots or the framing really have
nothing to do with the lens. For example, you can have a medium shot
that’s shot using a wide angle lens such as this 16mm Canon lens
that I’m using here. Or you can have a medium shot
that’s shot using a 50mm lens. Same if you use a 100mm… or even a 300mm telephoto lens. They all produce medium shots.
But of course, each of those lenses gives that shot a different look and effect.
The framing doesn’t change. It’s just the perspective.
So, remember that shot framing has nothing to do with the lens size. And the only way you’ll really know what
type of lens to use in your scenario is
once you’ve got a lot of experience going out there and filming.
You know, just trying out different types of lenses and experimenting. Then, afterwards, you should come home
and compare what kind of effects you got using various lenses on different types of shots.
Because there’s virtually an infinite amount of effects you can get
when you’re mixing up different types of framing, shot types, angles and lenses. For example, let’s take a close-up and do a few versions of it
and see what kind of effects we can get. If we were to use a mid-sized lens
such as this 50mm, then you would get something like this.
You know, an average looking shot. But, for example, if you were filming a comedy
and you wanted to show a person in a funny way, then it might be better to go in really close and use a wide-angle such as this 16mm lens, which will make your subject’s features
look a bit distorted or exaggerated. It’s not actually the lens that makes
your subject look that way but your relative position to the subject.
Basically, the closer you move to your subject, the more dramatic the perspective will be.
But obviously you have to use a wide-angle lens when shooting this close. Right now we’re about
two feet away from the subject. Now, if we were to use a 50mm lens
at that same distance, then the perspective doesn’t change,
but the framing obviously will, because we’re basically zooming in.
So, all you end up seeing is this. It would be the same if you look at this shot
that we got using the 16mm lens and then digitally zoomed in.
The only difference being that the depth of field would be the same as the 16mm lens.
And of course we end up loosing a lot of the resolution,
which is why we use different lenses. Or if you’re using a camera that doesn’t
have interchangeable lenses, then you would simply zoom in or zoom out.
Now, let’s take a look at a full body shot. To get it with a 16mm lens,
we have to move away from the subject a few feet.
If you were to move away from your subject to about two hundred fifty feet,
then this wide-angle might be good if you’re trying to get, let’s say,
a wide-shot of the location. Because your subject is so small that
it’s really hard even to see him. So, that’s when you want to use a long lens,
such as this 300mm, to basically zoom in. Now, when you’re this far away,
that’s when the subject will look more flat and less exaggerated,
since you’re seeing all the features from, pretty much, the same perspective.
It will also bring other surrounding objects, such as this mailbox
that we have there in the background, closer to our main subject.
Whereas, if we were closer and using, let’s say, a 50mm lens,
it looks like that mailbox is a lot farther away. They’re both the same types of shots – a full body shot,
but what changes now is our relative position to the subject.
And since with the 300mm lens we have to move away so much farther
and then zoom in optically, we end up also zooming in on the mailbox,
which is why it makes it look like it’s a lot closer to our subject than…
than, for example, you can see in this full body shot we got using a 50mm lens.
So, next time you’re wondering what lens you should use in your setting,
just simply go out there with your camera, test out different lenses, experiment
and above all, have fun. Because that’s really the best way to learn.
I hope this video helped to answer some of your questions and
I’ll see you guys later.

100 thoughts on “Lenses, Composition & Camera Angles – Film/Photo Tutorial

  • May 19, 2012 at 8:13 am
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    Great stuff, this is exactly what I have been looking for. You have earned a Subscriber. I like your accent too.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm
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    If it can zoom in, then yes, actually you can. When he changes the lens on his camera, what he is changing is called the Focal Length, i.e. how zoomed in the image is. The effect is the same with the optical zoom on consumer camcorders.

    Reply
  • June 11, 2012 at 8:42 am
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    Amazingly informative video. I know nothing ab making video but i enjoyed every bit of or video. Thanks

    Reply
  • June 18, 2012 at 12:18 am
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    There are standard names for types of shots, they are as follows: Wide Shot/WS, Medium Wide Shot/MWS, Medium Shot/MS, Medium Close Up/MCU, Close Up/CU, Extreme Close Up/ExCU. These are textbook!

    Reply
  • July 12, 2012 at 4:15 am
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    well if yu can zoom, and moved your body physically closer and father, yu can do alot

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  • July 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm
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    poor boy, forced to stand still in the middle of winter

    Reply
  • July 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm
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    What camera do you use?

    Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 1:21 am
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    Nice

    Reply
  • August 19, 2012 at 1:38 am
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    cano you record a proffesional music video with CANON 60D and 50mm f/1.2 lens ??

    Reply
  • September 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm
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    This helped. A LOT! Thanks 😀

    Reply
  • September 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm
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    which camera is this? and how much

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  • October 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm
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    Wouldn't the medium 2 shot be above the waist? Just asking.

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  • October 16, 2012 at 2:56 am
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    how do we get the lenses first with no money?D:

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  • November 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm
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    the technique told is very useful

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  • December 12, 2012 at 6:20 am
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    lol poor kid, hes just standing there

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  • December 13, 2012 at 11:33 am
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    up until 2:50 i thought it was a drug deal

    Reply
  • December 13, 2012 at 11:37 am
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    Oh and you just addressed a confusion I have had for over 6 years now but never could place it

    Reply
  • December 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm
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    Very helpful…thanks!!!!

    Reply
  • January 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm
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    Wow, there's a lot more technique that goes into filming a scene than I thought! I always wondered how top shot Hollywood movies get that "professional-cinematic" look instead of it looking like a student made film. This helped a lot, thank you!

    Reply
  • January 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm
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    What country is it? -Houses look nice

    Reply
  • January 21, 2013 at 3:21 am
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    I loved that street and houses! where is it???

    Reply
  • February 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm
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    Thank you! This is a great video. Helps out a lot of learners… 🙂

    Reply
  • February 13, 2013 at 11:41 pm
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    awesome video, thanks!

    Reply
  • February 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm
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    Anyone notice the "stuff" on the left guys nose, in the two-person scene 😉

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  • February 17, 2013 at 9:18 am
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    such a cute kid:)

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  • March 18, 2013 at 1:32 am
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    Right? I was just thinking to myself, I'd pay a kid like just to stand around being adorable looking.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2013 at 11:14 am
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    Thank u Thomas , I've learned a lot from this video

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  • April 19, 2013 at 2:45 am
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    Thank you. Your video is very informative.

    Reply
  • April 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm
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    I am a fan of how you teach or suggest shots, positioning etc, but…you say "there are no standard in which to go, when naming these types of shots!" Sorry mate but that;s simply NOT true. You just used them, Over the shoulder shot (you called it) is called S.R.S Shot Reverse Shot. Created for Television back in the day.The rest are as you stated, M.S.. F.S. E.C.U. These ARE universal, have to be when working on film -TV sets so crews and various scripts can be understood at a glance.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2013 at 6:45 am
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    Do lenses "apply" for a home camera? (Sorry I'm new)

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  • May 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm
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    did you do color correction for this video?

    Reply
  • June 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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    Thank you, very useful video

    Reply
  • June 12, 2013 at 11:02 am
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    These tutorials are pure gold, I'm definitely buying your dvd and everyone else should too since you're giving us so much more knowledge for free! Thanks a lot man!

    Reply
  • June 12, 2013 at 11:04 am
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    No lenses only apply to DSLR (digital photography cameras that use interchangeable prime lenses) and digital film cameras such as the Red Epic, Arri Alexa, Black Magic etc.

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  • June 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm
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    This is a great tutorial…It helped me to decide on lenses! Thanks Tom!

    Reply
  • June 23, 2013 at 6:44 am
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    Great!!! It is well explained.

    Reply
  • July 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm
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    Great video, thanks

    Reply
  • July 16, 2013 at 3:45 am
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    He enjoyed it 🙂

    Reply
  • July 31, 2013 at 6:07 am
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    Amazing video man, thanks!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2013 at 4:57 am
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    Can't help but notice, his eyelashes are so nice……

    Reply
  • August 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm
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    Fantastic stuff.

    Reply
  • September 3, 2013 at 8:20 pm
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    That was awesome

    Reply
  • September 14, 2013 at 6:15 am
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    You could have said CHEST instead of Breast! I believe that's a guy in the video. 1:13

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  • October 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm
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    shut the hell up.

    Reply
  • November 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm
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    Wow, It is a very good and great stuff. He is helping a lot.

    Thanks to Tom Antos!!

    Reply
  • November 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm
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    Sweeet. I really learnt a lot from this video. Thanks

    Reply
  • December 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm
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    Thanks for the video, do you want to learn how to be a better photographer? Check out "MASTERING PHOTOGRAPHY IN SECONDS"f. It's all about techniques and creativities. Don't need expensive camera!

    Reply
  • December 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm
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    Very helpful!!! We're working to have great videos…. #digherlowtv  

    Reply
  • December 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm
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    what camera is that?

    Reply
  • December 29, 2013 at 10:54 am
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    You have got a CAMERA? TAKE A SHOT, REGISTER, and EARN MONEY http://bit.ly/1dMzxuV

    Reply
  • December 29, 2013 at 10:55 am
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    http://bit.ly/1dMzxuV

    Reply
  • February 1, 2014 at 2:18 am
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    bull shit, i bought a 600 dollar panasonic camera, for "beginners" and b&h told me it was very good,and it sucks nuts! I'm definitely buying a 1,200 dollar camera 

    Reply
  • February 13, 2014 at 8:51 am
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    Thanks Tom, you are the bomb. I have a Panasonic hvx 200a with a Letus  ultimate 35mm adapter with several interchangible lenses. does these techniques still apply?

    Reply
  • April 2, 2014 at 2:06 am
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    First of all thank you to boy who has so much patience to stay for so long in the freezing day. Boy you're a real actor now! 

    Reply
  • April 7, 2014 at 2:46 am
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    Nice work 

    Reply
  • April 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm
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    Question that is not relative to the subject. where did you take this video?

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  • May 24, 2014 at 4:44 am
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    this was very helpful, especially the live demos of different lenses

    Reply
  • July 7, 2014 at 10:44 pm
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    poor child 🙂

    Reply
  • July 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm
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    the child is so cold, please care him warmly….

    Reply
  • August 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm
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    Tom, what type of camera did you use to film the subject? Was it a regular dSLR or was it a film camera?

    Reply
  • August 20, 2014 at 5:20 am
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    5:55 lol I wonder what the neighbors thought when you were telephoto scoping the kid on the street 

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  • October 1, 2014 at 10:43 pm
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    Thank you.

    Reply
  • December 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm
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    Hi Tom! I've watched many of your videos, and i plan to watch all of your tutorials cos they're all awesome! And Im pretty sure there are many people out there who really really appreciate what your'e doing here !
    One question for this video, when you shoot the full body shot, as shown in this video, what happens if you cover the top and bottom with the black box? Or i don't know what you call it, to make it cinematic or 16:9
    How do you frame your subject, knowing that in post production you will cover the top and bottom? Thanks =) !

    Reply
  • January 30, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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    Awesome. Very helpful. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  • February 26, 2015 at 11:12 am
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    Thank you sir. I am currently a film and tv production student and I find your video, very helpful. Thank you once again, subscribed.

    Cheers from Singapore.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2015 at 11:36 am
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    Thanks a ton… it is really helpful…

    Reply
  • November 21, 2015 at 6:27 am
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    hey tom, what lens were you using for this?!

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  • December 2, 2015 at 11:15 am
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    it's nice ,very usefull

    Reply
  • December 8, 2015 at 6:38 pm
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    I especially like the best practice of not cutting the legs off below the knee

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  • January 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm
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    His eyelashes are long just sayin'

    Reply
  • February 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm
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    Great into! I'm trying to use more professional filmmaking techniques in my travel videos and there are some great tips here. That shot difference at 6:15 was awesome to see, thanks!

    Reply
  • February 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm
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    its alot of rules in film

    Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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    good work thank you sir <3

    Reply
  • April 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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    Vegetta777777 es el mejor youtuber

    Reply
  • April 19, 2016 at 1:37 pm
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    Great video, thank you!
    hahaha poor boy btw. Standing there in the snow and trying not to laugh haha so cute

    Reply
  • June 6, 2016 at 8:10 am
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    THIS PAGE IS DOPE!!!!
    THANKS FOR TAKING TIME 2 TEACH US IN THESE TUTORIALS!!!!

    Reply
  • August 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm
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    Iam sorry but i nedd your´s tutorials in spanish plis

    Reply
  • October 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm
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    oh I like this boy model!!!!

    Reply
  • January 9, 2017 at 7:24 pm
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    Lmao i though u said ''my name is Tomatoes'' for a sec

    Reply
  • February 23, 2017 at 5:51 am
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    this was a great video…really liked it
    it teaches you a lot…

    Reply
  • March 10, 2017 at 12:19 pm
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    Thanks for your Tutorials Awesome , what kind of Microphone do you recommend for doing short film , close up /over shoulder shot and what kind of wireless microphone for distance ?

    Reply
  • March 28, 2017 at 10:18 pm
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    "There are no rules in film."
    Tell that to Michael Bay.

    Reply
  • April 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm
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    thank you for helping me all these years I use a lot of things you taught me in my music videos

    Reply
  • July 22, 2017 at 11:48 pm
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    A great video, description and explanation. I've been looking for examples with actual footage using the lenses for 30 or so minutes now. Thank you!

    Reply
  • August 11, 2017 at 1:08 am
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    2:38 snot!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm
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    tnks my freind for those informations well putted togother in a simple way i like what you said at the end about having fun at experementing wich is the best way to work i dont care that much for the type of the camera as long as you choose the right place the right face and the right angle wich it depend also of the the creativity of the person

    i wanna add another thing before i go the thing about the lenses and the framing i think it has a lot to do with feelings and that what make a good director for example the scene in raging bull when de niro took a beating from lamota it was framed in close up and with telephoto lense and that what made it powerful if scorcese missed the right lense the scene will never be as effectif as it is

    sorry for my english and thnks for the upload

    Reply
  • October 24, 2017 at 6:21 am
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    Brush your teeth boy 😂 yak or don't laugh

    Reply
  • November 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm
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    Thank you!

    Reply
  • December 5, 2017 at 4:51 am
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    Thanks

    Reply
  • February 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm
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    so informative. mind blown on the detail delivered quickly.  thanks!

    Reply
  • June 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm
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    Sir What lens should i use with Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4K Digital Cinema Camera EF-Mount CINECAMURSAM40K/EF My budget is around $1500 USD

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  • June 10, 2018 at 1:40 pm
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    Super thank you

    Reply
  • July 29, 2018 at 6:28 pm
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    Great video and intro

    Reply
  • July 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm
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    good information camera lens thank you

    Reply
  • August 12, 2018 at 6:20 am
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    Plz sujest mi camera knowledge about actor point of view

    Reply
  • October 8, 2018 at 5:28 am
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    help this video…

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 3:52 am
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    Hey just a question,, for the full shot, when you switched between 50mm and 300mm lens in the end, did the subject had enough sharpness to look natural and focused when you used 300mm?

    Reply
  • February 12, 2019 at 10:09 am
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    Very good boss thanks for teaching……

    Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    Telephoto picks up a lot of snow as well

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 3:25 pm
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    This is freaking useful!!!

    Reply

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