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Inserting stills in those unwanted gaps.

Have you had that sinking feeling when you realise that there is an unwanted gap in the filmed sequences and you can't go back to fill it in?

It shouldn't happen of course, but it does!

One of the answers is to dive into your collection of still images and find suitable gap fillers

Make sure that the chosen images fit the flow of your video story. Let them enhance the mood, provide a link between scenes, or allow them to suggest a change in location or theme. In other words, let the audience feel that these gap-filling stills have a comfortable place in the story.

What may prove to be as difficult is to fill the accompanying gap in the sound track.

You may need to think laterally here. For example, you may need to copy the sound from another part of the sound track. Alternatively you may have to search for a suitable track from another recording or the internet. You may even have to create or capture a separate and new sound recording that fits comfortably into your sequence. This is where you need to be inventive.

If you do not want your stills to look as though they are 'still' you should use your video editing software to introduce a sense of movement. This might be a panning motion or a zoom in/out action that generates a sense of movement and keeps the flow of the video going.

So, got a gap? That's a shame, but this is when your inventiveness and creativity has an opportunity to shine.

You may even get away with it!

Telling a Story – Sequences

A video sequence can be thought of as telling a story.

You start with an opening that hooks the viewer in. Then comes the substantial middle section where the story is told, and it ends with a conclusion that either reaches a climax, or brings all of the strands of your story together.

In other words, videos are designed to have a logical structure with a recognisable beginning, middle and end.

Structures like this are best designed on paper, not on a whim as you go along. To do this there is always one critical question: “What comes next?”.

Then, when you are filming you know what the next sequence is going to be, and you will design the end of your filming in such a way that it will allow a comfortable link to the sequence that follows.

Sequences are not random. They always answer the question “What comes next?”.

Using Gimbals


I have just returned from a couple of weeks of filming in and around Zurich and the northern Swiss Alps.

During this time I used a gimbal extensively and realised that for a beginner it is not as easy as people like you to think it is.

The more I thought about it the more it seemed to boil down to two thoughts.

      1. Learn about the controls of you gimbal one at a time. Work at gaining complete mastery over each of the settings that control the movement of the gimbal, and don't try another one until you have mastered the first one completely.

      2. Shoot in short bursts of 10 – 15 secs. Don't attempt a long take until you have complete control over every technical skill that you need.

The only way to achieve these skills is to practice – and know that you will be deleting your efforts (like throwing a redundant piece of paper into a litter bin) in order to reach your ultimate level of skill.

So, why VideoPhotographer and not Videographer?

It's simple really. The best videographers are photographers first and video experts second.

Videography requires all of the best skills of basic photography.

This includes a good understanding of exposure, aperture control, composition, colour rendering, differential focusing, and so on.

The additional elements in video photography are those of movement and sound. These require an additional set of creative skills.

Yes, video photography is challenging. Like all challenges it requires a progressive improvement in skills. This can only come from endless practice.

It all starts with good photogaphic skills followed by a mastering of video techniques.

Do you have any questions?

This blog is here to respond to your questions and concerns about video photography.

Just send these in.