Chapter 1 Notes


Camcorder/Video Camera - Includes a video camera permanently attached to a video recording deck to create and record a video signal.

Charge-coupled device (CCD) - An imaging device used in most video cameras and camcorders.  A CCD device 

converts reflected light into electrical signals then recorded onto video tape.  

Cut -  Instantaneous change from one shot to another.

Cutaway - shot cuts away from the action at hand to something else.  Used as a transition.

Focus - Adjustment made to the lens to create a sharper, more defined picture.

Jump Cut - Unnatural, abrupt switch between shots identical in subject but slightly different in location, so the subject appears to jump from one screen location to another. (Can be remedied with a cutaway or shot from a different angle.)

Lens - The curved glass on a video camera or camcorder that collects light.

Raw Footage  - Pre-edited footage, usually direct from the camcorder.

Tripod - A three legged mounting device for a video camera or camcorder that provides stability.

Videography - Operation of a video camera or camcorder in video production.

Videography repertoire - Six types of video shots that are the standard of videography.  All videographers should learn to compose the shots in the videography repertoire properly.

Videotape - A thin strip of plastic material containing metal particles that are capable of recording and storing a magnetic charge.  

Viewfinder/viewscreen - A small video monitor on a video camera that provides a view of what is being recorded by the videographer.  Viewfinders may be an eyepiece, small screen mounted on the side of the camcorder or a larger video monitors mounted near the top of a studio camera.

White balance - The process of adjusting the video camera or camcorder’s color response to the surrounding light.

Zoom lens - A lens with a variable focal length.  


The Rule of Thirds - states a picture on the screen is divided by four lines into an imaginary grid with nine squares.  The four points formed by the intersections of these lines are where the human eye directs its attention.  To create video with good composition, place the most important part of the picture at one of the four points.     

Iris - Controls the size of the lens opening depending on the lighting in a room.

Headroom - Refers to the amount of space above the talent's head.  Important for good picture composition.  Leave plenty of headroom so you are not cutting off a person’s head when recording video. 

Create depth in a shot by making sure you have something in the foreground, 

middle-ground and background.

Mini DV & DV8mm - Digital video tape formats used in camcorders 

DVD-R, DVD-RAM, Internal hard drives - Non-videotape formats used in camcorders  

When recording video, you should record for 15 seconds.  




Videography Repertoire:

Long shot - Establishing shot shows wide view of location, building, people.  (Sets the scene.)

Medium shot - Focuses audience's attention on the subject by cutting out unwanted objects. 

Head and Shoulders - Focuses on talent from the top of the head to just below the shoulders.  

Close-up - Isolates what is important in the shot or enlarges something.

Extreme Close-up - Further isolates or enlarges an object in order to focus the audience's attention.  

Over-the-Shoulder Shot - Used to show a person's reaction while being interviewed.   


Videography Tips:

Fill the screen

Provide detail

Create your shot, then push record

Roll plenty of video

Walk, Don’t Zoom

Find the proper level for your shot

Beware of backlighting

Trust the viewfinder

Use the rule of thirds

Act professionally

Create depth

Use a tripod

Leadroom - allow space for someone or something to move in the shot

Use appropriate headroom



Tripod Movements:

Pan - Moving the camera lens horizontally. (Like looking left and right.)

Tilt - Moving the camera lens up or down. (Like nodding head up or down.)

Truck  - Moving camera and tripod left or right.  


Dolly - Move camera and tripod towards or away from something