Creative Camera Techniques I Used to Shoot an Art Show
For This Art Show Video, I Used Artistic Lenses, Time Lapse and Other Creative Camera Techniques.
Why did I use creative camera techniques to shoot an art auction video? Well, it seemed fitting.
Jamie Badoud, the head of the Hambidge Center, encouraged me to think artistically, and shoot their fundraising video however I wanted. I think he treats most artists that way.
As a result, I used a lot more equipment than I normally would—a gimbal, an 8-foot jib arm, even a fish-eye lens that distorted the paintings (but in a fun way).
The Hambidge Center
Established in 1934, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences is an artist residency program. They empower writers, poets, painters and other creative people to develop their talents.
To finance the program, the Hambidge Center holds an annual fundraiser—an art auction. So when they contacted me about shooting video of their event, I took it as a creative opportunity.
If Hambidge encourages artists to be imaginative, why not be just as imaginative in shooting their video?
Creative Camera Techniques
To make that happen, I utilized a wide range of lenses and equipment. My goal was to keep the camera moving as much as possible, and to look for interesting angles and unusual perspectives.
First of all, I mounted my camera on a slider to shoot the artwork. That gave me slow, lateral movement. I used different settings for depth of field, from fully sharp to blurry backgrounds.
Next, I used an 8-foot jib for sweeping camera moves, first with a medium lens, and then a 7 mm fisheye—that gave the shot a rounded, convex image distortion.
That distortion is really evident in the opening shot. You can see the curvature of the metal frames.
I used that same set-up to shoot chef Kevin Rathbun and crew preparing food. With the jib, I moved the camera from over the smoky grill to his sous chef’s shoulder.
I used rack focus on the food itself, shifting from the chips in the foreground to the fajitas and entrees.
I did some time lapse shots as well—one of the clouds and smoke from the BBQ grills. Another of patrons viewing art in the $99 room. A third one showed a “Hambidge Event” sign by the side of a walkway.
Shooting the Event
Of course, I left the bulky gear in the car when shooting the event. With 1,600 guests, I couldn’t chance bopping someone in the head with a jib. So I used a simple tripod and shotgun mic. The focus of the production was the art itself, so I tried to capture people looking at art, discussing art, and enjoying art.
As the sun was getting low on the horizon, I interviewed Jamie Badoud.
Since I shot footage in two different environments—in an empty venue and during a crowded event—I needed to combine the two during the edit.
I intercut close-ups of the art with crowd footage, making it appear that everything was shot live.
The last detail was audio. The interview with Jamie Badoud had crowd noise in the background, so I added crowd sound effects under the other shots. That smoothed out the mix, and created the illusion of “live sound.”
Many thanks to the Hambidge Center for their support, especially to Jamie Badoud and Dayna Thacker. Also to Terry Kearns for recommending me in the first place.
About the Author:
Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.