b. If you have mastered the technique of proper exposure, focus, and
framing, then you can do these almost automatically. This leaves you free to
think about the next shot. You must plan ahead. You must ask yourself, where
will the action move to from here? Good cameramen seem to have a sixth sense
about these things. Have you heard the term "being at the right place at the
It always seems that the great cameramen are there and at the
c. In order to overcome the stress of shooting under a time limit, and
the violence at the battlefield, it is necessary to be a master of the basics
of cinematography. Proper exposure, sharp focus, and correct framing are the
basics. If these can be done automatically, then you are free to concentrate
on the action at hand.
The first time you have to stop to think about
exposure, focus, or framing, is the time you will miss the most important
d. If you must think about what your f/stop should be for a certain shot,
or what lens to use, then you cannot concentrate on your filming.
cameraman is so proficient that he does the mechanical portions of his job
automatically. This leaves him free to be both creative and news conscious.
Holding the camera.
a. We have stressed that you should use a tripod whenever possible in
motion picture photography.
However, if you are shooting a sequence from
halfway up the mast of a radio antenna, or from over the railing of a bridge, a
tripod may be a handicap rather than a help. Also, working on the ground among
crowds at a parade might require you to handhold the camera. There is also a
possibility that on some occasion, when you could use a tripod, you may not
have one with you. You can probably imagine many more instances when you will
have to hold the camera to cover the action and you should be able to do it
well. To become proficient, you should practice.
b. The technique for COMDOC handheld operation is basically the same for
Size and weight are the main differences between them.
Generally, sound equipment is too heavy for handheld operation. This is not to
say that sound cameras cannot ever be used in this manner because there is
always an exception to the rule. If it means getting or not getting the shot,
you will probably find some way to support even the heaviest of cameras. Our
discussion here, however, applies only to practical use of handheld cameras.
c. Success or failure in handheld camera operation depends primarily on
the proper stance.
(1) First, you must stand with your feet about 18 inches (45.72 cm)
apart for good support and to help prevent body sway.
(2) Next, hold the camera with both
hands and use any aids, such as
leather straps, etc, that the manufacturer
may provide on the camera.
cameras are made to rest naturally against
your forehead as you look through
the viewfinder, thus providing another point