I haven’t decided on what my favorite part of film making is my favorite, so I like to practice all forms.
I remember when I started to pursue this in school, I realized that I didn’t know anything about cameras. I had no idea what settings were; I always put it on auto and pressed shoot. I remember feeling limited on my knowledge because I couldn’t take the quality photos I wanted to. This progressed to be worse when I was unable to do an assignment explaining all the features.
What made matters worse was that it seemed like everyone in my classes knew about cameras and I didn’t! So I went to studying.
I went to multiple websites, forums, instruction manuals on cameras, and even went to people who knew cameras for help. I remember spending two hours with a coworker of mine, explaining how each setting worked.
I came to the realization that all the terminology truly didn’t mean anything until I actually went forth and worked with a camera. I spent all this time trying to study a camera before I went out and actually used it. And that is what my point is- people who want to learn cameras need to physically learn them. You have to try every setting and figure out every feature the camera has to offer. Once I did that, I was able to apply my knowledge to learning other cameras.
Now that I have gotten more familiar with cameras, I enjoy filming more. It is up to the cinematographer to keep a steady hand and get the best shots possible. This can mean getting up close to a subject, even if it can be awkward! It could also mean staying in the same place for hours until a shot is good enough (I am positive nature documentaries know this struggle). You have to have an eye for a good shot, so I also reccommend that people wanting to do film pay attention to shots in movies. It really take practice- sometimes you won’t be happy with the things you can, but sometimes you’ll fall in love and be proud of yourself. I am still an amateur but I will keep trying to improve!