Aug. 13, 2015
By Jannet Walsh
This summer I attended an Urban Sketchers workshop in Chicago in July. The Urban Sketchers organization is a cross between artists and journalists, that’s my quick definition. It other works, the organization promotes creating art from reality, recording with ink, pens, pencils, watercolor and more.
Instructor Keelan Kaiser demonstrated the Velázquez Palette of a classic watercolor palette for sketching architecture with the three colors of Yellow Ochre, Burnt Siena and French Ultramarine Blue. I decided to shoot a video to share this incredible opportunity with others.
No tripod, oh my! – I came prepared with all my sketch books, brushes, ink pens and watercolor paints, but left my tripod back at the hotel, so I did the best job I could by shooting a hand held video with my iPhone 6, with no external microphone. This camera has incredible video stabilization and it really showed in the final results of the video on YouTube.
Get close – Making the best of the situation with no tripod, I found a place very close to Keelan, maybe only a two feet away, in order to shoot detailed video. Getting as close as possible will also improve your audio.
Two hands on the iPhone at all times – It’s important to say I held my iPhone with two hands while shooting video and photos, and so should you! It adds stability, preventing the shaky video syndrome associated with no tripod. If you are new to shooting video on your iPhone or other smartphones , always shot with the camera in a horizontal position, never vertical. Hint: A screen at a movie theater, TV, laptop computers are horizontal, therefore shoot according.
Elbows on body – While holding onto your iPhone or any camera with both hands while shooting video, keep both of your elbows next to your body to add more stability. By following theses steps, you are making your body into a makeshift tripod. The results can produce incredible video.
Both feet on ground – Add more stability to yourself and video by placing both your feet on the ground about shoulder width apart. With both hands on iPhone, elbows anchored touching your body, you can move at the waist to pan left or right, high to low and so on. Don’t be afraid to move around to get more viewpoints.
Shoot variety of shots, photos and video – Try to shoot a variety of photos and videos. Think closeups or details, scene setters or overview shots and different perspectives. Walk around the scene to get different perspectives.
Street view at Newberry Library, Chicago
Final Thoughts – At first I was not excited about the outcome of the video and the edit, but realized I was able to create a simple video to share quickly was more valuable than waiting to return home to Minnesota and edit on my desktop with Final Cut Pro X with all the bells and whistles.
Have fun on your next photo shoot!
Best wishes,Jannet Walsh