Camera Operating Tips & Thoughts

Last week was a perennial event called “Bridgefest” hosted by a regional radio station the church I attend operates. They typically have Christian artists and presenters in a historic 125 year old auditorium seating 6,250, located in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. This year Pastor Pancho Juarez spoke, Matt Schuler and Big Daddy Weave shared the stage with … well … me. You see, I volunteered to run camera and that turned into me operating handheld, so at times I was…

Mastering Composition + Cinematography with Will Smith

Alan Lockwood, live Video Director & production junkie shared the following video on Facebook, “Mastering Composition + Cinematography with Will Smith.” I thought it was interesting and helpful. So here you go! Or, for more in depth information on church multi-camera shot composition check out this controlbooth.tv post. Tom D'AngeloTom D’Angelo has worked in television production and AVL corporate theater for nearly four decades. He is Emmy Award nominated (Best Director category, Mid-Atlantic) and has been part of various teams…

Black and Blue’s video – Lens Cleaning

Do you know how to clean your camera’s or projector’s lens the correct way? We have a really good post on the subject here on controlbooth.tv which includes a detailed kit list in case you want to put together your own lens-cleaning go-to bag. To augment this post I recently found the following video from The Black and Blue below. How to Clean a Camera Lens Without Damaging the Glass Tom D'AngeloTom D’Angelo has worked in television production and AVL…

Camera Locations

“Location, location, location!” the old real estate adage goes. The three most essential factors in determining the desirability of a property is indeed its location. This tricolon does not solely apply to real estate though.  It equally applies to camera positions in a live church-service production environment. One of the most basic questions a video director must answer is, “where do I put my cameras?” Are there best practices regarding camera placement? Would the answer change if shooting for Imag,…

Lens cleaning

A few years ago a TV show invited me to come by their set and take a look at their video projection system.  The producers complained that the projector looked dingy and they feared they would need to spend $10,000 to $100,000 to solve the problem, replacing the whole projector, or at a minimum the (expensive) lamp! Confident their call to me was “well, he can’t make it any worse,” I inspected the projector.   One could see years of dust…

Buying your (third) camera first

Or… “Things you need to know before buying your first camera.” I’ve heard it said that some churches purchase three PA systems before they get the right one for their needs and space. The way the story goes… the first PA system is purchased when a congregation builds a new church building or launches a new venue.  An architect tells the church he’ll take care of the of the sound system design.  What really happens is the architect passes the…

Understanding back-focus

It’s 8:55 AM and your church service is about to start. Before your livestream begins your AVL team’s camera operator zooms in and frames a the tightest shot he can framing your worship leader’s microphone grill and adjusts the focus barrel on his lens. The camera operator then zooms out very wide setting up his first shot of your broadcast … an establishing wide shot of your room and touches up the focus. The worship team takes the stage and…

Understanding Iris, F stops, Aperture, Gain, Shutter, Depth of Field & Lighting

Even people that work with video cameras all the time are often confused with the function and the interdependent relationships iris, f-stops, aperture, depth of field, gain, shutter and lighting levels have on each other. In this post I will attempt to unravel these terms and discuss how their functions are used – practically in a church multi-camera production environment. On ENG style broadcast video lenses there are typically four rings (or barrels) the camera and/or video operator (shader) may…

Size Matters

One of the questions I often see posted from Church Tech people, particularly regarding new video camera purchases or recommendations is, “I am thinking about getting new I-Mag or sermon capture cameras for my church auditorium. Will the (insert: large sensor camera model du jour) work well in this application?” I guess the first question is, how are we defining “a large sensor camera?” For the sake of this article I am defining a large sensor camera as any camera…

Shot Composition

An often discussed topic among church video tech people is the matter of shot composition.  How much headroom is appropriate? Do the Rule of Thirds apply for all shots in all situations? Is shot composition solely a matter of individually and aesthetically pleasing shots strung together sequentially … or should the production team be cognizant and therefore make composition decisions contingent on shots directly preceding or setting up those shots which will follow? How much nose room is appropriate? How…