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Shooting Technique 2: Tracking Shot

Lesson 24 from: The Ultimate Photo Storytelling Workshop

Finn Beales

Shooting Technique 2: Tracking Shot

Lesson 24 from: The Ultimate Photo Storytelling Workshop

Finn Beales

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Lesson Info

24. Shooting Technique 2: Tracking Shot

Finn breaks down the process associated with shooting from car to car so he can generate a sense of movement.

Lesson Info

Shooting Technique 2: Tracking Shot

So this is technique number two I wanna share with you guys. It's called a tracking shot or car to car. It's really important for generating a sense of motion for your car. If you stand in the middle of the road and you send it up the road, you're gonna get a nice shot. But all the background's gonna be still. And the car's gonna be static too. So to create this image, we need a lead car and our model car. We need both cars moving at the same speed. So the model car stays sharp, but the background is moving. We're sort of cheating an effect in a sense. So in this case, we're using an open top Land Rover. You might not have one of those, but any car will do. Pop the boot. And what do you call it in America? Trunk? (crosstalk) Pop the trunk. Yeah, I'm British. So I say pop the boot, but you might say trunk. You need to like secure yourself, obviously. Don't fall out the car. Both cars need to move at the same speed. And a good rule of thumb is to match your shutter speed with the car. ...

So if you're traveling 40 miles an hour, one over 40th second. Put your camera into shutter priority mode so you can set the shutter speed and the camera will look after your aperture your settings. I find it easier to work with walkie talkies. So I'm in the front car. My driver in my model car. We can communicate. There's no... We don't have to be doing like this or like this. I can just literally say to him... Ease off the pedal. 10 miles an hour faster. Eases the communication. I'm using this technique to generate a sense of movement. Remember, we're moving workshop to beach using the car. I don't want it to look crazy blurred. This is not a Ferrari. It's a Land Rover. But I still want that sense of movement. I want the vehicle to be traveling through the landscape, that feeling of passing by something. So lens choices, I'd go wide. The longer your lens, the more shake you're gonna get. And when you're in the back of a car, trust me, you shake. When you're in the back of a Land Rover on a dusty road, you shake a lot. So as wide as possible. 24 mil... pushing it. You could go with a 35, but nothing longer than that. I don't think it will work. You'll have to ramp your shutter speed up too far and you won't get that blur. Everything will be shot. Today's very bright. We're shooting in the middle of the day. And because I've slowed my shutter speed down, I'm letting a lot of light into my lens. So I've put an ND filter on to cheat the lens, to close it down, so I can drag the shutter and not overexpose the image. There's no rule of thumb when it comes to settings. It's a bit hit and hope. But my... I'm gonna start with one over 50th shutter priority mode, ND filter, close down the lens. And the camera will decide the aperture. It's probably gonna hit like F 22 or something in daylight like this. There's no shortcuts to this technique. Practice, like everything. Just put it onto rapid fire mode. Shoot a whole bunch. Review. If it doesn't work, try again. (Land Rover engine whirring) So I'm now in the back of the Land Rover. I need to keep myself pretty steady, and we're gonna try and shoot this. Whoa, this is hell hellish bumpy. (Land Rover tires bumping) Shit, man. This is quick. That would be amazed if we got sharp photos. (Laughs) Okay. Let's, let's... It's very bumpy. So I'm gonna have to really rack up my shutter speed. The trick with this shot is to go as slow as possible, but these vehicles are not smooth and this road is not smooth. Too much camera shake, blurred shots. Try it again? (Tires bumping) Okay. Let's speed up a bit. Speed up? Yeah, let's be on this flat road. (Land Rover body Shaking) Okay. Just adjusting my exposure. I've gotta boost my shutter speed, but because of the ND and I working quickly, I'm ramping my ISO instead of messing that setting. And review. It's so bumpy. I think we got some sharp shots in here though. Increasing my shutter speed. Trying to get closer to the ground, 'cause closer that I am to something as it's moving past me is gonna get that sense of movement. It's gonna blur it. (Tires bumping) All right. It's a wrap. That's cool. Oh no. (car whirs by) Okay, so I'm just reviewing some shots with a tracking sequence. It's quite hard to tell in this light but from what I can see, I have like four or five clean shots, background blurred. It's all about practice. This technique. It's actually good fun. Sit in the back of a car, communicating with two drivers. Try it for yourself. Practice makes perfect. Go out there. Do it. (camera shutter clicks)

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Ratings and Reviews

Brent Morris
 

Fantastic My thoughts on the storytelling workshop. The short is; it’s fantastic. The long is I loved all the details covered, from shot types and the ideas behind them to the call sheets and shot lists, and the whole process. I felt like I had a better understanding of how to schedule a professional shoot and I really felt like I had a much better grasp on many ideas and concepts, and I believe I’ve been able to improve my photography with them, so thank you and Finn. It really is fantastic.

Oswaldo Martinez
 

A path to better stories Very happy I got this workshop. Finn and Alex do a great job at teaching highly useful methods and specific advice to help you improve your own work, and more importantly, tell better stories that are meaningful to you.

Tommaso Selleri
 

Simply the best This is simply the best workshop out there on photography and storytelling. Finn is awe inspiring and so real and authentic. A pleasure to watch, a joy to learn from such master. I really hope a volume 2 is coming soon! Thank you for this one!

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