Getting to Know Your Camera Start by… Talk briefly to your teacher to learn the basic features of the camera (just enough to get you started). See if there is a user guide. Then… Do each of the following: (Spend a maximum of 1 day on these activities) (if you want, you can use the “Camera Angle Check Sheet” to help evaluate the best camera techniques). a. Try the zoom and focus features on your camera by finding the best zoom for a interview scene. Does the zoom only have one speed? Which speed would give the smoothest effect? Try all six basic shots on the handout “Types of Shots”(tape for about 5 seconds each). Are there any problems with each shot (example: focusing)? Consider where each shot might best be used. b. Evaluate the capability of your built in microphone at different ranges. Try an external mic if there is a port available on your camera. c. Install a tripod on your camera and see how this effects your camera shots. You should always have some way of steadying your camera. d. Try a few different light sources to find the best format for framing up an interview with someone. Example: outside – cloudy day, outside – sunny, florescent lighting, extra lights, candlelight in a dark room, only window lighting. Can your camera be adjusted to compensate for these conditions? Try different backgrounds such as a blank wall, in front a mural, outside. e. Try taking a shot of something moving fairly quickly (example: a car). Should your camera stay still or pan with the moving object? f. Try some other shots and evaluate the quality. In case you haven’t noticed, the best quality shots are the once that have been planned the most, from camera location, to lighting, to background clutter, to location. Choose an ideal location.