Knowledge of the DSLR (Hardware)

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

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Throughout the production of our trailer, we used various different settings on the camera to make our shots conform to the generic conventions of the noir genre. Using numerous examples from our trailer, I will talk about how the manipulation of our shots using the DSLR helped us conform to the noir genre.

Firstly, it is important to discuss what features you can change to affect your shot. For example, you can change the aperture. This is controlling the amount of light the diaphragm of the lens will allow. Therefore, if you were to use a high aperture such as f/2.0, this would create a very bright shot to the point where you would probably not be able to see the characters. Hence the opposite effect would happen with a very high aperture such as f/22.

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Another feature we can control the ISO (also known as Film Speed). This is how sensitive the camera is to light. Therefore using a lower ISO (200) will result in a low sensitivity to light and vice versa (3200). We could use this when filming a character against a window, so the light does not bleed into the shot.

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The final important feature of the DSLR to control is the shutter speed. The faster the shutter speed the shorter the image sensor is exposed to the light. This will make the image seem smoother when a lot of action is occurring in a shot. The slower shutter speed will make the shot seem jittery (thus giving a lower frame rate). Unless we are trying to make something seem unnatural, (1/2s) we would want to keep a high shutter rate (1/200s).

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In these shots, we ensured to decrease the aperture so the camera lets in more light since these was shot using natural low key lighting. We also used a high ISO to make sure the camera was more sensitive to the lack of light that was there. We did not adjust the shutter speed as there was no need to give the shot a jittery feel.

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Whereas a brighter shot like this requires different settings due to the high key lighting involved. This time, we changed used a higher aperture to let in less light since this was in a brighter area. We also used a low ISO to make sure the camera was less sensitive to the light that was there. We did not adjust the shutter speed as there was no need to give the shot a jittery feel.

Therefore, through learning these technical skills, we were able to create more effective shots in our trailer that were more appropriate to the context in which they were shot.

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