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Articles written by Mike Wilkinson

How Erik Kessels Discovers Art and Story in Amateur Photography

How Erik Kessels Discovers Art and Story in Amateur Photography

In this short documentary video from TIME, Dutch creative Erik Kessels explains his interest in amateur photography, including where it started and what he sees in it. What started as simply buying discarded family photo albums has now stirred an interest with the mortality of an image, where with the proliferation of sites like Flickr and Instagram, photographs now have a much shorter lifecycle. This culminates in a very interesting exhibition, featured at the end of the video.

What Makes an Image Look Cinematic to You? Working Cinematographers Share Their Professional Opinions

What Makes an Image Look Cinematic to You? Working Cinematographers Share Their Professional Opinions

A widescreen aspect? A certain kind of lighting? Maybe shallow depth of field? What do you think makes for a cinematic look? In this piece from CookeOpticsTV, a few professional cinematographers were asked this very question, and while their answers are not the same, they all provide some thoughtful perspective on the topic, and perhaps agree that it's not just one thing that makes for a cinematic look.

This Backlit Keyboard for Adobe Premiere Is an Easy Way to Up Your Video Editing Game

This Backlit Keyboard for Adobe Premiere Is an Easy Way to Up Your Video Editing Game

Being a master of keyboard shortcuts isn’t just a party trick to impress friends and clients, it’s a path to a faster and more efficient editing process which makes you more of an asset as a video editor. Whether you’re hoping to earn a Pro Certificate or just become faster in post, one way to get you there sooner is to invest in a dedicated keyboard.

Explaining the Difference Between Parfocal and Varifocal Lenses, and Why Filmmakers Should Care

Explaining the Difference Between Parfocal and Varifocal Lenses, and Why Filmmakers Should Care

Lenses in the still photography world are just one group of lenses out there, and if you haven't done much work in cinema or broadcast, then you might not have ever considered why you might want to invest in other kinds of glass. However, as more photographers are finding themselves getting into short film production, the benefits of using parfocal lenses should be considered.

Fstoppers Review of Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Denoiser III

Fstoppers Review of Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Denoiser III

We've all been there. You were hired for a run-and-gun shoot only to find the location has terrible lighting. Or your shoot is running later into the evening and the sun is going down fast, without any lighting to plug in. The ISO gets cranked up, and your exposure is saved at the expense of adding unwanted noise to your image. This is where noise reduction software becomes useful, and a new product from Red Giant has changed the way it approaches this task with Denoiser III.

Audio Recording Basics: Using Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Video Production

Audio Recording Basics: Using Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Video Production

Audio is arguably the most important facet of any film or video production. There is a saying that goes: “Audio is 70% of what you see,” which means that sound makes up more of the experience than the visuals do. So while we may spend a lot of time planning for what our shot looks like, it’s even more important that we mic it properly for the best audio recording possible.

How the Focal Length of Your Lens Affects the Look of Your Video

How the Focal Length of Your Lens Affects the Look of Your Video

Have you ever seen those amazing shots that show a subject holding its place in the frame while the background falls away or becomes extremely compressed? This is called a "dolly-zoom," and you've likely seen an example in films such as "Jaws" and "Goodfellas." While we don't typically use a dolly-zoom when filming interviews, we can learn a lot from studying what happens to an image at different focal lengths. In this video and article, I'll discuss the visual effects created when choosing a wide versus telephoto lens for documentary-style interview productions.

Tips for Scouting Locations for Your Next Interview Video Shoot

Tips for Scouting Locations for Your Next Interview Video Shoot

When doing a documentary-style video production, an interview or series of interviews is often at the heart of the content. Uncontrollable lighting, background noise, and the size of the space you have to work in all play a significant role in capturing a quality testimonial, so location scouting to check on these is an important facet of our production process. In this short video, Joshua Pardon and I explore two rooms at a location and discuss what we look for when making a decision on where to set up for a shoot.

When a Client Can’t Afford Your Rates for Photo or Video Work, What Do You Do?

When a Client Can’t Afford Your Rates for Photo or Video Work, What Do You Do?

If you work in a competitive area for your photo or video work, chances are that you’ve experienced losing a client at some point. Whether there were creative differences, budget issues, or you weren’t available, there are some things that you can do to alleviate some of the sting from breaking up with a client, and perhaps put you in a better position to work with them in the future, even if the root cause is simply that they couldn't afford your rates.