Think Like a DP


Think Like a DP. Sting Like a bee.

I love cinematography because it’s such a blend of paradoxes. Incredibly artistic, yet incredibly technical. If you’ve ever been on a set, you can’t help but be enraptured by the dichotomy of a well-lit, well-decorated set, while just outside the camera’s view are cables, lights, batteries, lenses, teleprompters and bare studio. Creating beauty amid chaos.

Light is paint for a film.

As a Director of Photography or Cinematographer, controlling how that light is painted on the set and talent is where the art-making begins. But nobody would be an artist without deeply mechanical technique.

I love this video from Still Motion because it shows the art and the technique that goes into creating a scene with its most basic element—light. I firmly believe that in order to develop artistically, you first have to learn the rules, and follow them. Grounding yourself in proper technique is imperative to ensuring you understand how the components work, and why they work. But, true artists know the rules and intentionally break them. But only after practice.

Only after you’ve mastered proper white balance, color temperatures and the like, can you begin to employ some of these techniques to create beautiful scenes.

Note: The cameras used in this tutorial are the same cameras we use at Dapper to bring your cinematic stories to life!

the sm color tutorial // part one color in camera from stillmotion on Vimeo.


jparm1 September 21, 2012 Blog, Inklings, Tips and Tricks