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From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with your DSLR [Paperback]

James Ball , Robbie Carman , Matt Gottshalk , Richard Harrington
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 51.99
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Book Description

March 17 2010 Voices That Matter
Book and accompanying DVD with over six hours of video training—all geared to teach you everything about shooting video with your DSLR

With the arrival of high-definition video-enabled DSLR cameras, photographers are faced with an opportunity for creativity and a competitive edge in their field unlike anything they’ve experienced before. Add to that the expanding demands from a video-hungry audience and it’s no longer a matter of if you are going to add video to your repertoire of skills, it’s when.

Here to guide you in a thorough exploration of the video-making process — from preproduction to post — and to ease your transition from still to motion are four veterans who speak the language of both photography and video fluently. With their clear, instructive approach, they quickly get you up to speed on everything from picking your gear, to properly lighting for motion, to using professional-level audio, color correction, and editing techniques, to media management and outputting, and much more. Here are just a few highlights from this richly illustrated, completely interactive book and DVD:
  • Explores the entire spectrum of video for DSLR camera owners, with recommendations on gear, planning, lighting, lenses, audio, editing, color correcting, exporting, media management, and more.
  • Covers a wide variety of shooting styles, including indoor, outdoor, studio, portrait, event, and available light.
  • Addresses technical challenges associated with DSLR video, such as camera movement, multiple camera coverage, low-light videography, and synchronized sound.
  • Explores additional creative techniques such as stop motion and timelapse photography in depth.
  • Includes a real-world example of a music video and promo package throughout the book to demonstrate concepts in action, with additional profiles of photography experts in nature, sports, commercial, and weddings and events.
The accompanying DVD contains over 6 hours of video training that delves deeper into each topic, as well as high-definition footage, hands-on project  files, and templates to experiment with and follow along.

Share your work and communicate with other readers at www.facebook.com/dslrvideo.

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Product Details

Product Description


“If you’ve been looking for the one book that teaches you how to bring DSLR video into your workflow, this is the only one on the topic I’m telling my friends to buy.”
—Scott Kelby, photographer, author, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)

“Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice still photographer…this book has the answers you need, even if you don’t know you need them yet.”
— Scott Bourne, Publisher, Photofocus.com

About the Author

James Ball is a director of photography for HBO, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS (onlinejamesball.com). His work ranges from feature-length documentary projects to dramatic features to corporate projects.

Robbie Carman is a professional colorist who works on broadcast television series. He is a principal at Amigo Media (amigomediallc.com), a well-known trainer, author, and speaker at industry conferences, and the Creative COW forum host for DSLR video and Apple Color.

Matt Gottshalk is the principal of McGee Digital Media (mcgeedigital.com), which specializes in cinema-style HD production and post. He is a lighting director and camera assistant for a variety of clients and an active member of the dvxuser.com community.

Richard Harrington is a director and editor. He is a Creative COW forum leader, a member of the NAPP Instructor Dream Team, and a popular author, trainer, and speaker.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good May 12 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been an amateur stills photographer for years and even went as far as getting a Bachelors of Applied Arts in Film and Photography. I never expected film to be replaced so quickly by digital. HDDSLR video is truly an outstanding technology to study. I've read this book cover to cover and watched all the video's included on the DVD. I'd have to say that this is the best introduction to HDDSLR video that I have read (since July/2010). The language flows nicely and is very casual. The author avoids too many technical terms (but puts them in sidebars instead.) It doesn't go into a lot of detail about video technology, but after you have read this book (and watched the DVD's), I'd suggest performing a search for "video" or "video production" or "cinematography" and there will be many great titles to give you the details on the art of moving pictures.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Overview only Lacks the detail of how to! April 8 2012
By K. T.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book maybe of some use to someone with little photography experience or looking for an overview. I found this book lacked detail on how to, nice to say you need to do something but does not give any details.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Often annoying, mostly useless March 16 2012
By Frank R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mostly useless, because it rarely gives any information I might need. And often annoying, because I really don't need little bits of motherhood like "composition is the basic foundation for creative image gathering." Really, guys, you think I needed to be told that?

A lot of the book is fluff: two pages devoted to teaching us the abbreviations for Wide Shots (WS) and Medium Wide Shot (MWS). Wow--thanks! But then they never, never refer to them again. Or sections like Organizing the Planning meeting. Hey, did you know it's better to plan ahead than keep your expensive crew waiting around?

Who needs advice like this?

Let me tell you a bit of my story and see if it's anything like yours. I've been shooting digital since '06; I've gone through a progression of SLRs and now shoot with a Canon 5D mk II. I only recently realized it's the new darling of Hollywood and indy film makers, so I decided to give video a try. I set the camera on a tripod and got a buddy to play his guitar and sing a song. I think I did it in Av mode; no idea what the ISO was. Used the lens that was sitting on the camera already; never touched it the whole shoot. Three minutes later it was done; loaded it into iMovie and fumbled around until I could get it into an email. His wife loved it. I decided there was some future here.

My next idea was to repeat the process, but with two cameras and an external mic stuck on my camera--it was pretty apparent that the in-camera mic was never going to cut it for music. (Or much else.) So here's a list of all the stuff I didn't know--and could have used some advice on:

What mode to shoot in?
What shutter speed?
What lens?
Shotgun mike mounted on the camera or external recorder?
Can you mix cameras? Does it matter that one is a 5D and the other a cropped-sensor 7D?
How about ISO? My 5D is great at higher ISOs, but the 7D not so much.
Software--do I really need to cough up $300 for Final Cut or will iMovie do the job?
How come my compressed version looks so crummy?

Well, that's just a start. This book never covers any of that--or if it does, it only discusses it indirectly. Yeah, it tells us all about frame rate and line scanning, but. . .does any modern camera even permit interlacing? Compression: yeah, OK, so what? I can't do anything about it. And later, in the post-production part, they go on about transcoding. . .guys, that's obsolete already. Final Cut Pro gobbles up the .mov file out of my camera, as does iMovie. And thanks, but I already knew to create a backup file.

They go on about how a prime lens is best, because of the wide apertures. Yeah, guys, try shooting a couple of singers on stage at 1.4. Your depth of field is so short you'll have a hard time getting them both in focus--and you'll have to go to a narrower aperture. Which means raising the ISO. How high can you go? Dunno.

Your camera manual will tell you that you can shoot stills while shooting video. . .but probably won't mention that it'll put a 1-second gap in the audio track and jump the video, too. Good luck getting PluralEyes to align that with your external recorder. Which you should use, probably--shotgun mics will pick up camera noise, I'm told, and if you move the camera off-axis you may lose the sound, too, since it's such a narrow beam. (I went with a Zoom H4N. Love it.)

Follow-focus is swell if you're filming a game, I suppose, but for a static setting like a musician on a bar stool, you don't need it. It's expensive, and look: you're not going to be zooming in and out for awhile anyway. Did you know most videos cut every 4 seconds? I didn't--but hey, that means you can manually re-focus one camera while the other is filming away, because you're just going to be cutting back and forth anyway rather than following the zoom.

As other reviewers have pointed out, though the authors claim to be writing for a photographer with a stills equipment, they immediately tell you about all the new gear you'll need. They never discuss shooting with what you've got. And the gear they describe! Sheesh, do they really think we're going to go from stills to a Hollywood production? Do you think anybody with booms and trucks and a crew is going to be going to this book for advice?

I think the book would be improved if it were broken into sections: shooting with what you've got, moving to the next level, going Hollywood. And if they cut out the motherhood ("just keep safety in mind") and the fluff ("identifying objectives and constraints"). When you mention gear, guys, give us some price ranges. See Scott Kelby's Handbooks--he does a nice job of recommending at several price ranges. Tell us what we'll need for what purpose, and how long we can get away without (or work around the lack of it).

Anybody considering buying this book is already a competent photographer and conversant with computers. We have some artistic sensibility and we already have a project in mind. Are there any experienced videographers out there profited from this book? Yeah, probably. But if you're just now going from shooting stills to using the video mode of your SLR, this book won't give you what you need. And it'll waste a lot of your time.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For true beginners April 10 2011
By tyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book seemed like a great book for someone who has already been into film making but just bought a new dslr. I guess I should of focused on the title more. The book is truly for the photographer that knows nothing of recording video. The book itself didn't teach me anything I didn't already know about film making because it was very basic stuff. I was hoping that the book would get in depth about how to really get the most of the dslr but I feel like they hardly discussed the workings of a dslr camera. Most of the book could of pertained to any video camera.

On a good note, there was a few chapters that really focused on dslr cameras. The chapters about lenses, and video technology were good. The rest of the book was about basic lighting, sound, tripods, rigs, editing, etc...
I think that if you have little experience in video recording than this might be the book for you. However, if you feel that you know the basics of film making such as 3-point lighting, panning, and how to record onto sd cards; then you might skip this book.

The real bonus is the chapters at the end where they discuss stop-motion, time-lapse and distribution. It's not something I really needed to learn, but perhaps I'll take up stop-motion one of these days. Seems like fun.

I give this book 3 stars because of the little information that I think is valuable. I give this book 5 stars if you are brand new and your new dslr is the first video-capable camera you've owned.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST most complete guide out there...and CURRENT! April 3 2010
By Angel Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Rich Harrington and the gang have put together a PHENOMENAL and very thorough manual on the latest in HDSLR photography right now. It contains so much, including the thoughtful, artistic side of filmmaking along with the technical info (even down to specific plug-ins and software recommendations, links, tutorials and the wealth of material on the included DVD). Can't imagine how much work this must have been to collate, but I am grateful and will definitely be referring this to friends. If you want the latest details on how to be a (successful) early adopter of this technology, From Still to Motion will save you time, trial, research and loads of cash. There are also DIY tips for lighting! My favorite cheap cheat was the Chinese paper globes for soft background lighting. If you are looking to get into a pro setup, you'll do it confident in your purchases. I like how the book allows you to scale your experience depending on your level of expertise, financial investment, crew size, computer platform, etc. Whether a dabbler wanting to stick a toe in the water, a photographer looking to increase skills, or a high-level videography company wanting to add the new gear for a movie look, there's something for everyone to benefit. These guys REALLY know their stuff. A stellar primer for all! Grab it. :)
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For photographers Aug. 28 2010
By D. J. Haynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In parallel with other reviewers I agree that this is a well laid out, well written book, packed with information and good guidance.
If you are a photographer - professional or enthusiast - then this is the best jumping off point for the world of HDDSLR filming. Websites mentioned in the book will lead you to further indepth and invaluable reference material.

But I do feel I should mention that if you are from the world of filmmaking or TV then this book isn't really going to tell you much that you don't already know or can't find easily - and in more appropriate detail - on the web. As a documentary maker I was hoping for more technical detail on HDDSLRs and less generics on lighting etc - one of the drawbacks of buying from Amazon as opposed to having a look in a bookshop prior to purchase. This is of course my fault - there's nothing wrong with the book - but amongst the enthusiastic reviews for it I would just point out that if you are already comfortable with professional filming then this book probably won't help you much.

I've rated it 4 stars as a book for photographers about to experiment in video. If you're already in the industry and looking for detail on how to exploit HDDSLRs in your filmmaking...go elsewhere.
30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only HDSLR Book You'll Ever Need April 17 2010
By Stephen A. Mick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Listen, I'm not much for pimpage. I mean, my pimp hand is strong, but I'm not in the habit of shilling products or hawking gear. (There's enough people doing that.) But when I come across something I really think is useful...no, indispensable...well that I have to share.

If you shoot on HDSLRs, you need to buy the new book "From Still To Motion..." by Matt Gottshalk, Robbie Carman, Jim Ball and Richard Harrington. LINK At just over $30, it may be the single best shooter's resource for DSLR shooting available. Period.

(Don't get me started on how poorly-named the book is. The title makes it sound like just a photographer's guide, but it most certainly is not. It's for anyone who picks up a DSLR with the goal of shooting and putting together quality work.)

Written by working pros who deal with all aspects of production, the book takes you from start to finish, from lens selection to workflow and final output. It is the most thorough resource out there, and is valuable even if you've been shooting with DSLRs for a while, like I have.

The book is not camera-specific, so whether you're on a GH1 or a 1DMkIV there is plenty of great information here. And at the back of the book is a DVD with hours of tutorials, project files and sample videos. The DVD alone is worth the price of the book.

Buy. This. Book. Now. It's that good. And it will make your work better. I consider this book to be nothing less than the bible of HDSLR shooting.
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