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You Can Pull Off These 4 Amazing Camera Shots with Zero Gear

Zach Ramelan

Shots feeling a bit limited? Check out these five techniques to improve your cinematography using only a camera and your brain.

One of the biggest mistakes many beginning filmmakers make is limiting their shots because they don’t own enough gear.  The fact of the matter is that there are many dynamic shots you can pull off using only your camera. In the video below, I share my five favorites and how to get the best results out of them.

The Slow Rotation

You Can Pull Off These 4 Amazing Camera Shots with Zero Gear — Slow Rotation

This is one of my favorite handheld camera moves. The key is to slowly push your camera toward your subject while simultaneously rotating the body into a Dutch angle. To pull this off this successfully, your rotation must be equivalent to your forward movement. For example, if you move forward (or backward) quickly, your rotation should be at the same speed.


The Human Slider

You Can Pull Off These 4 Amazing Camera Shots with Zero Gear — Human Slider

Keep your camera at hip level, then slowly move it from one side of your body to the other as if you’re using an invisible slider. The key is to slide your hands and your arms in one fluid movement. Be as robotic as possible.


The Walk In

You Can Pull Off These 4 Amazing Camera Shots with Zero Gear — Walk In

This trick is very easy, but it can bring a lot of additional drama to your scene. Simply walk toward your subject while simultaneously tightening your frame and scaling in your subject. The key is to keep whatever you’re filming in focus and in the same spot in your image.


The Slow Push Forward

You Can Pull Off These 4 Amazing Camera Shots with Zero Gear — Slow Push Forward

This is a hybrid between the “Walk-In” and the “Human Slider” shots. Put one foot ahead of the other as if you’re about to take a step forward. Then, while keeping your camera in the centre of your body, step into your leading foot. To continue the motion, slowly push your camera away from your chest.

To successfully pull off this shot, pretend you’re in slow-motion. Every shot should be as smooth as possible, so by slowing down your body’s movement, you’re creating a smoother image.


Looking for more video tutorials on filmmaking? Check out these articles.

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