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Multimedia: 5 tips for shooting stills

Though shooting stills will probably be the most comfortable aspect of multimedia for photographers, multimedia brings with it a new set of challenges when shooting, that most photographers will be able to adapt to with some practice. Here are five tips for shooting stills:
1) Vary your shots: Be sure to shoot wide-angle overview shots, tight shots and close-ups of key details. An assortment of images providing both the big-picture overview and fine details can be very engaging.
2) Orient horizontally: While I usually advocate shooting still images in a portrait (vertical) orientation, in the world of multimedia, it is the opposite. While you can add vertical images to your video projects, the elongated, horizontal aspect ratio of HD video formats makes vertical images less versatile than horizontal images.
3) Shoot loose: Compose your pictures a little looser than you do for stills. I know, it sounds heretical to advocate being sloppy in composition, but the aspect ratio of video doesn’t match the aspect ratios of still cameras. To fit your stills on the timeline, you’ll need to crop on the top and bottom to fill the width of the frame.
4) Shoot lots: Experiment with shooting traditional still images, capture short bursts of action or use a time-lapse sequence to show the passage of time. All three styles of photography can be very successful in your multimedia project. Shoot more than you think you’ll need for your multimedia project. When you get into the editing process, you’ll be thankful you did.
5) Change your view: The single hardest part of switching from being a photographer to being a multimedia production artist, is changing your point of view. Instead of seeing yourself as a photographer, or image maker, see yourself as a storymaker, who has a variety of mediums at your fingertips to help you tell a compelling story. Give as much attention to video and audio as you do your stills and you will create an extraordinary presentation.
If you have an Olympus E-P1 or E-P2, join me this month for a webinar series dedicated to using your E-P1 or E-P2 to create compelling multimedia. [link]

This is an excerpt of a three-part multimedia series I wrote for Photo.net. Read this particular article, Rich Media Narratives, here.


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