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 Lights! Camera! Action! Making a Joshua Tree Video

Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 7 pm – 9 pm Saturday, April 13, 9:45 am – 6:30 pm
Meet at: Copper Mountain College
Fee: $75 members, $85 non member
Instructor: Spelman Evans Downer, M. A., Associate Professor, Copper Mountain College
Hike Level: Easy to Moderate
 This class is sponsored by Copper Mountain College

Whether you have a state of the art dSLR camera capable of shooting cinema quality footage, or an advanced compact that shoots short video clips, videography for desert landscape/flora and fauna is a class designed to teach you best practices for video capture using today’s hybrid still/video cameras.

If you find yourself in JTNP with your video ready still camera and you recognize that a full motion HD clip will capture the event more compellingly than any single still image, this is the class for you.  The lightening filled thunderstorm, the wildflower blooms blowing in the breezes, the curious lizards and birds, or maybe even some big horn sheep sneaking through the wonderland of rocks are all subjects perfectly suited for your video ready contemporary digital  still camera.  This class is designed to demystify video shooting, video formats, and video distribution. In a world with ever more competing formats, and incompatibility issues happening on a regular basis, Spelman Downer will help you straighten out all the confusion and have you using your digital camera to its full potential.

The class will cover:

Camera designs; DSLRs, advanced compacts, lenses

Video accessories; LCD viewfinder solutions (Hoodmans etc), portable field monitors with shade screens

Video formats; crash course in the 3 video resolutions operating today; 480, 720, and 1080 vertical resolutions, the difference between interlaced and progressive formats, and the frame rate debate; 24fps, 29.97 fps, and 30 fps

You need a tripod to have professional looking video. You now need a fluid head for smooth pans, zooms (a separate issue), following motion, and even locking off the camera. Fluid heads will do everything that still heads will do but the reverse is not true.

They say that half the impact of cinema is the sound. Sound issues in still cameras are a whole other category for consideration. Adding better microphones to your existing camera, or getting a 2nd system portable digital sound recorder is another way to get a professional sounding field recording. If you use this alternative you will need to sync your sound and also consider applications such as Plural Eyes.

Now that you have killer clips, you will need to edit them; simple editing tips, non linear editors, workflow, backing up your footage, downloading and managing your clips, compressing and outputting your edits.

Now that you have something to show, you need to understand those pesky file formats again and pick resolutions and compressions standards and output s that will be appropriate for the web and beyond.


If you are a member of JTNPA/PINE you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. If you are not a member you can become one here.

Please take the time to review our General Class Information and Fitness Levels before registering.

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