Challenge Yourself w/ Your Camera

When I purchased my Canon T6i last year, I bought it to gain experience behind the camera so that I might improve my writing for the screen. I hadn’t imagined at the time that anyone might ask me to create videos for them when I didn’t have the aforementioned experience under my belt. Happily, I was asked, which then pushed me right into learning with a goal in mind. A very specific goal given the nightlife scene: It’s lit.

The problem with that is you can unintentionally put yourself in a box you never meant to construct by limiting your scope and over time, your work can feel – and look – redundant. Regardless of if you want to stay in that box because you love a particular field of view, we certainly don’t want that. So, what is the remedy to this situation? Simple. Go out and do something else. And add a challenge or two while you’re at it.

In my last blog post featuring my music video treatment for Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” (CLICK HERE to check that out), I touched on my desire to highlight the wonderful people, places, and events the Central Valley has to offer such as Art Hop. The same night that blog post was published, I ventured out with my camera and my friend Sierra to see what we could capture. The restrictions I put on myself that particular day were:

  • Film with a particular song in mind. I actually recommend this more often than not. This time, I was using “Lola” by Danny Greko.
  • Stick with a single prime lens.
  • Catch at least one transition to try a masking effect in post-production.

Check, check, and check.  But... at the end of the day, I still didn’t have enough footage I liked from that single night to tell the story I wanted to tell for as long as I wanted to tell it. Lesson: Keep your old footage. With creative editing, you can make it work.

Is this video everything I wanted it to be? Not exactly. I’ve gone in there three times to try and tighten up my first attempt at a masking transition and I definitely want to work on my color-grading outside of presets. What I learned from this video will undoubtedly aid me in future projects and the scope of what I am capable will expand with that experience. In fact, it already has.

To view my Art Hop recap, CLICK PLAY on the video below. Tell me what you think of the video - good, bad, or otherwise - and tell me how you have challenged yourself creatively recently! What lessons did you learn as a result? Let me know in the comments below!