How not to shoot a brick building with a dslr video camera

Last evening I was in Pioneer Square with a few minutes to kill before I could get into a studio for a shoot. I noticed the exquisite moving shadows cast by the rush hour traffic, so I grabbed my Canon 60d with 35mm Nikkor, and shot two clips. I’m posting them to show how BAD brick buildings can look filmed with a dslr, alongside the second clip to show how GOOD they can look. (Tip: you really need to view this clip at full screen size to appreciate it).

Key takeaways: you CAN shoot brick buildings with these cameras. You just have to be very, very careful.

First, don’t move the camera if your shot is full of complex lines.

Second, if your shot is full of complex lines, reduce the complexity by changing your angle or distance.

Third, soften the shot a little by shooting on the open side of your aperture ring, rather than the closed side.

Finally, go ahead – soften the image further by blowing it up in post if you need to. I distorted the upper edges of the second clip to make the lines more vertical. Normally this introduces a bit of unwanted softness, but in this case, it’s a good thing.



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