Week 5: Introduction to Audio – Unit 1


In this task I’ll be going out and recording sounds around the college using different polar patters on the microphone. I will also talk about the different types of polar patters and explain what they are.

Polar Patterns:

Omnidirectional – Sound is recorded from all directions

Cardioid – pattern shaped like a heart, most sensitive to sound at the front with very little behind

Hyper-cardioid – narrower polar pattern, and picks up some sound from behind

Bidirectional (Figure of eight) – Pattern is in shape of a figure of eight, audio is picked up from at the front and back of the microphone, but not the sides.

We took some recordings of ambient sound inside and outside with different polar patterns in order to see if there was any difference, I did two different recordings for inside and two for outside and I did 2 recordings in the same place at mono and 150 degrees to see the difference.

The recordings can be seen here:

Audio Task Steven

Mike’s Lesson:

We were tasked with recording six different sounds whilst avoiding as much background noise as possible.

The 6 sounds we needed were:

  1. Human Voice
  2. Footsteps
  3. Running Water
  4. Rain
  5. Spaceship
  6. Horse Hoovers

We needed to use Foley for 4,5, and 6.

These were the sounds we got:

Audio Task Mike


The main problem with recording these sounds around the college was that there is always a lot going on so there is a lot of background noise when trying to record something. However we managed to find some rooms that were quiet, but we had to deal with reverb due to there being glass in the room. I found the polar patterns quite simple to understand, but don’t know them off by heart yet.

Week 5: Introduction to Audio – Unit 1

Week 4: Introduction to Cameras – Unit 1


In this task I will be going out and taking pictures using different settings on the camera for shutter speed, aperture and ISO in order to find out what the differences in settings do to the shots.

Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed is the speed in which the shutter opens and closes in order to allow light to be exposed onto the sensor. A faster shutter speed will capture a more sharp picture, whereas a slower shutter speed will capture a more blurred picture, this is because in the time that the shutter is open the subject has moved and so creates a blur effect.

Typical Shutter Speeds are:

  • 1/1000 s
  • 1/500 s
  • 1/250 s
  • 1/125 s
  • 1/60 s
  • 1/30 s
  • 1/15 s
  • 1/8 s
  • 1/4 s
  • 1/2 s
  • 1 s
  • 2 s
  • 4 s
  • 8 s
  • 15 s
  • 30 s


1/1000                                      1/500                                       1/100


Aperture is the size of the hole inside a lens that allows a certain amount of light onto the sensor of the camera. The standard sizes range from f/2.8 up to f/22, but can go much higher on better equipment.

The size of the aperture has a direct impact on the Depth of Field. Higher aperture like f.4.5 has a shallower depth of field and so only objects in the forefront of the picture will be sharp, whereas the background will look blurred, however lower aperture like f/29 has both the foreground and background sharp.


f/4.5                                          f/13                                          f/29


ISO measures how sensitive the digital sensor on the camera is. In a dark situation a higher ISO level is used in order to get a higher shutter speed in order to get the exposure correct. There are disadvantages to using a high ISO though. There can be a lot of visual noise or graininess on the photo. The standard ISO levels are:

  • 100
  • 200
  • 400
  • 800
  • 1600
  • 3200
  • 6400


200                                           1600                                        6400


This was a particularly interesting lesson and I like learning more about the functions of a camera and learning new skills. I didn’t know much about the different settings on the camera before this lesson so it was helpful for future projects to know this.

Week 4: Introduction to Cameras – Unit 1

Week 4: Introduction to Cameras – Unit 1


In this work we are going to take pictures as a sort of storyboard to show a story using different shot types.

For this task we used a range of different shot types, including Over the Shoulder, Medium Long Shot and Close up. We storyboarded a greeting and then took pictures to portray what the video would have been like.


The 180° Rule:

This rule means that when 2 characters are 180 degree ruleconversing or interacting in some way, then there is an imaginary line through the characters called an “axis”. The cameras must stay within one 180° side of these characters. If a shot was to be on the other side then it would break the special awareness of the viewer and detract them from the story and make them realise that it’s not real. This is because if character A is on the right of the frame and character B is on the left, but then someone speaks and the shot changes to show the other person talking, but they’re on the same side as the other person was it will give the impression that someone is talking to themselves.

Shot Reverse Shot:

This is a technique used in film in which one character is seen looking off-screen or at another character, and then the next shot is another character looking back in the opposite direction. The viewer will then put together that these two characters are interacting with each other.

shot-reverse-shotThis is an example of shot reverse shot, it is often used in conjunction with the Over the Shoulder shot (OTS).


It was good to go out and test our skills so that we can fully understand the 180 degree rule. I liked this way of learning more than just writing it up, as it helps to full reinforce what we learned.

Week 4: Introduction to Cameras – Unit 1

Week 3: Introduction to Lighting – Mike’s Lesson – Unit 1


In this task I’ll be looking into how we see colour and some different lighting techniques including a detailed analysis of Three-point lighting systems and how they work.

How we see colour:

Natural light – The sun shines light towards the Earth, when this light hits an object, for example a T-Shirt, all of the colours are absorbed into the t-shirt except the colour of the dye. This is then reflected into our eyes and so we see the colour of the object.

We see white colours by all of the colours being reflected when coming into contact with the object and we see black colours when all of the colours are absorbed.

Three-point lighting:

Three-point lighting is one of the most commonly used lighting systems in film production. There are three separate lights in this system called Key light, Fill light and Back light. All lights must have the same colour temperature to keep the colour balance on the object/person the same.


This is a standard three-point lighting system, however the fill light will usually be placed further back if there is no fader in order to make the light softer on that side.

All lights must be at eye level so that there is no shade underneath the eyebrows and around the eyes. If a lighting rig was used then there would be shadows, as the lights come from above.

The Key light is usually placed 30°-45° from the person in shot. It shines on the front and side of the face, as seen in the photo below, however due to the nose and cheekbone there is shading on one side of his face.


To combat this a Fill light is used on the other side of the person, however the light is not as intense as the Key light by half and is a softer light. The point of the Fill light is to light up the shaded side of the face to give a more natural look, otherwise it looks like quite dark and brooding to have half the face in darkness. Unless that is the kind of look you’re going for in the scene in question.


Lastly is the Back light. As film is in 2D, filmmakers have to use other techniques to portray depth in their movies. That is when a Back light comes in. The light is placed out of shot, but behind the subject. It defines the areas around the person so that it gives the impression that he is standing separately from the background even though it is still only a 2D screen.



Before this task I didn’t know anything about lighting systems, but now that I’ve done it I feel like I know a lot about three-point lighting and could recreate it myself for my own future projects. This is useful as it will make my videos look more professional.

Week 3: Introduction to Lighting – Mike’s Lesson – Unit 1

Week 3: Introduction to Lighting – White Balance – Unit 1


I will be going out and taking pictures using different white balance settings at the same location in order to test what difference it made to the lighting of the shot.



Auto White Balance               Daylight                                 Shade


Cloudy                                    Tungsten light                        White Fluorescent

Interior with Exterior light:

IMG_9397 IMG_9398 IMG_9399

Auto White Balance               Daylight                                   Shade

IMG_9400 IMG_9401 IMG_9402

Cloudy                                     Tungsten light                          White Fluorescent


IMG_9421 IMG_9422 IMG_9423

Auto White Balance                Daylight                                   Shade

IMG_9424 IMG_9425 IMG_9426

Cloudy                                     Tungsten light                         White Fluorescent


I found it quite easy to physically change the settings to change the white balance, but I did struggle to understand how the light entering the lens changed the colour, however I think I got the hang of it in the end.

Week 3: Introduction to Lighting – White Balance – Unit 1

Week 2: Shot Types – Framing & Composition – Unit 1


In this task I’ll be taking some photos to show the different shot types and rules of composition that we learnt about in class.


This is a long shot (LS), as it encapsulates the entirety of the subject’s body from feet to head.


This is a medium long shot (MLS), it is from the subjects knees up to the top of the head.


This is a mid shot (MS), it shows from the waist of the subject up to the top of the head.


This is a Medium Close Up (MCU), it goes from the subjects upper chest/armpits to the top of the head.


This is a Close Up (CU), it is just the face and is usually used in movies to show the emotion on the face and sometimes dialogue when there is an important moment.


This is an Extreme Close Up (ECU), it usually only shows one facial feature, normally the eyes.


This shows a Rule of Composition, Rule of Thirds. The subject is placed on the border between two-thirds, it gives a more pleasing to the eye shot and is used in nearly all films today.


This photo shows a Rule of Composition, looking into space. It is usually used in a scene when dialogue is occurring and so it gives the effect that the subject is talking to someone who is not in the shot.


This photo shows a Rule of Composition, Depth of Field, the background is out of focus, but the subject is in focus so it grabs our attention and we pay attention more.


It was good to physically take photos instead of just learning about the shot types in class, as it helped to reinforce what we had learned. I did know most of the shot types already, but wasn’t too sure on their positioning so this really helped me for future projects so I can get them right.

Week 2: Shot Types – Framing & Composition – Unit 1