Stringr Interviews: Stringr Pro François Bota

by Kaitlyn Mitchell

This week, Stringr sat down with Stringr Pro François Bota, who has over thirty years of professional photography and videography experience. Bota started out using film in the 1970’s, before the digital revolution hit. He worked as a long-term freelancer with the prestigious French photo agency Gamma, covering international civil unrest, war, and revolutions in Nicaragua, Portugal, Panama, Morocco, and Israel. Bota used New York City as his base while doing international work, and meanwhile did freelance still photography for magazines including Time, Fortune, New York Magazine, Newsweek and Saturday ReviewBota later moved to Connecticut, then Dallas, Texas, where he first started using Stringr. He now covers his new hometown of Miami for Stringr.

François Bota

François Bota

Stringr: What differences have you encountered between being a Stringr in Texas versus Florida?

Bota: There are more activist events and demonstrations happening in Dallas, like Black Lives Matter. In general, there’s a lot more political involvement in Dallas than in Florida, where it’s more weather events. That could change with the Cuba situation. More people will be going on holiday there, making for interesting situations to shoot. I may go on weekend flights to Havana to shoot video.

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A photo from Bota’s travels in Angola.

Stringr: When did you switch over from still photography to videography?

Bota: I switched to video about five years ago. I started videography when the Canon 5D Mark II came out, when the camera was no longer a photo camera, it was also video. In the last three years, I’ve been applying more and more video to my work, trying to get more stuff going with freelancing weddings and whatever else was going on. Then I began to notice a switch to iPhone footage. So I started to use the iPhone, and lenses adaptable to that.

Stringr: Do you have any advice for new Stringrs who haven’t done much videography?

Bota: Go out and shoot whatever you have. Don’t rely on the tools that the other people have to shoot something. Go out and film. That will give you experience, first of all. The attachments aren’t expensive. The lens is like $90, and it’s really exceptional quality – that amount of money is a lot less than the iPhone costs. The app and the lens together is a good tool, for only $100.

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Stringr: How did you decide which attachments were best for your iPhone?

Bota: By going to photo shows, and reading online reviews of new products. The physical attachments and software give you better control over the video input, so that is is like film – with it, I can control the ISL, the aperture, the speed; a lot of things the phone alone could not do.

  • Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 7.40.11 PM3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer: When you’re using a tripod, it’s cumbersome to move around with and follow the subject. To avoid the shakes of your walking motion, a smartphone stabilizer is the best tool.
FLY-X3-Plus 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

FLY-X3-Plus 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

  • Rode IXYL Condenser Mic: I use it mostly for interviews because it takes away from the echo in the rooms, and is more focused on the subject speaking. It’s a great way to get better sound to the footage. The iPhone mic’s sound is it’s not as good.
  • Rode IXYL Condenser Microphone

    Rode IXYL Condenser Microphone

    Moment Lens: I read that the quality was exceptional. It actually gives you about a 30% wider lens than the iPhone has. And the quality of the lens is fantastic – it’s very sharp, it keeps the tones correct and doesn’t destroy them; and the telephoto lens gives me that wide angle so I can get closer to the subject. At the same time, it helps with the mic. I’m very happy with it.

    Moment Wide Lens

    Moment Wide Lens

  • FiLMic Pro App for iPhone: It controls depth of field, so that you’re not limited to what the iPhone is giving you. With this app, you can control the iPhone’s aperture, speeds, contrast, and tone. For example, on the iPhone, if you film something from light to dark, it automatically adjusts to the light. On the app, you can manually fix the aperture. So you can pan the iPhone around without changing the light.

    FiLMiC Pro App User Interface

    FiLMiC Pro App User Interface

This interview has been condensed and edited. 

How To Be a Great Freelancer

As political campaign season heats up, you’ll encounter events where you are asked to display a press pass. Stringr Curation Desk Manager Asabe outlines the best course of action to take in this situation.

THE STRINGR BLOG

by Asabe Vincent-Otiono

You walk up to an event with your equipment in tow. You see something newsworthy and take out your camera to shoot. Before you press record, you hear, ‘Sorry no cameras allowed’. You then explain that you are part of the media and they retort, ‘Can I see your press pass?’ That statement can make every freelancer’s heart drop to the pit of their stomach.

But do you actually need a press pass? Not in these scenarios:

As long as you are on public property (the sidewalk, a public park), you are allowed to take footage of it and the people in it. Yes, even the policeman sleeping on duty. This includes offices, schools, church etc. In case of private property such as a hotel you are allowed to take exterior shots. The law states that you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain…

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Stringr Quick Tips: #1

This week Stringr brings you the first edition of quick video tips. These 5 tips have been selected from our archive of How-to videos. To learn more about these tips, check out the full videos linked below.

The first tip and one of the most important, is stabilization. Whether you are shooting hand-held or shooting setup, it is vital to have stable shots. So use a video tripod or the body lock position with your elbows tucked.

Our second tip to getting great video is capturing a variety of different shots. Ideally you should able to shoot a sequence, but if you can’t, move around the scene to get a number of wide, medium and close shots. This really makes footage attractive to customers because it gives them more to work with.

The third tip is audio. Audio is very important. Beautiful footage can be ruined if there is no audio or if the audio is terrible. Using an external microphone is the best way to capture great audio. But if you do not have one, just remember not to cover up the microphone with your finger and to stay away from interfering sounds.

Our fourth tip is preparation. Researching the event and planning shots will save you time and allow you to get more done while on location. Also remember to have your batteries charged and your memory formatted. This will allow you to cover the whole scene with no interruptions.

The fifth and final tip for this week is all about being smooth. It is vital to hold a shot for at least 5 seconds before tilting or panning the camera. Try to avoid any quick movements because shaky or fast footage is almost always unusable. Being smooth helps editors piece together footage for a clean story.

Be sure to check back next week for another video how-to.

#1 – Stabilization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Xx3o46Ud8

OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRGI8kkhQW0

#2 – Shot Variety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G_auBbN6bU

OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYg1OskuraM

#3 – Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G3eHklDOnk

#4 – Preparation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWQym29LKoM

#5 – Smooth Movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK_NinzTF0w

Stringr Answered: That’s so Meta!

by Kaitlyn Mitchell

This week, the curation team will address some recurring issues that Stringrs encounter often and how they are easily fixed.

1. Why do I need to tag my videos?

When submitting your video to Stringr, you may wonder what the purpose is of the “Tag” box. After all, you’re not seeking to get over 10,000 followers on Instagram or Twitter, you’re looking to get paid for your footage. But tags, or metadata, are important to our customers, who can search videos by your tags. Search Engine Optimization requires metadata, which is literally data that describes the data itself (we know, that’s so meta!). Make sure to brainstorm as many relevant tags as you can. Remember to separate the tags with commas, but you don’t even have to put spaces in between the commas – the tags will be read the same by the search engine.

Morgan Spurlock tests out Mane ‘N Tail brand shampoo in The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, by taking a bath with a pony. So meta!

2. Why does Stringr prefer horizontally filmed videos?

It’s the standard within the news industry. Horizontal videos simply look much better on our platform, as well as onscreen when broadcast on televised news networks. In very rare cases, our curation team will accept vertically filmed footage from a smartphone, but this is only if what you filmed is a knockout in the newsworthy category, for example police brutality caught on camera or other such dramatic action. But this is extremely rare. Also, make sure your finger isn’t blocking your smartphone’s camera lens – you’d be surprised how often this happens.

3. What should I call my video?

You can call your video whatever most accurately reflects the name of the scene you’re watching, but ALWAYS include the location in the title. Also, keep the title as short as possible, as the full title won’t show if it’s longer than about five short words. Our customers browse Stringr-submitted footage through a page that shows all the videos and their titles only; therefore, your video’s title has to interest the customer enough to click on it. You can even give your video the same title as the footage request that you received on the Stringr app; some good examples include “Rain in Houston,” “Shooting in Queens,” or “The Whitney Museum Exterior.” If your video doesn’t have its location specified in the title, our customer is not likely to click through to view your entire video description.

4. Why does Stringr always request footage with “sound bites included”?

“Include sound bites” is the curation team’s way of letting Stringrs know that they should only use what the news industry calls natural sound, or “nat sound” for short. Hearing the actual sounds that occurred while filming the video makes your footage feel much more realistic to the viewer. Sometimes Stringr’s curation team receives prime footage that is shot steadily, horizontally, and has a nice variety of shots, but, because it has music edited over the natural sound, we cannot promote this video to our customers.

5. Why is my video taking so long to upload to Stringr?

 This is usually not an issue with the Stringr app, but with your smartphone’s storage space – do you have enough gigabytes available to allow Stringr to function properly? This crash usually occurs when there is no free space left to store the compressed video.

String on, Stringrs!

How-To: Shoot Motion

Here’s a helpful blog post from our video producer James on how-to shoot motion (let’s be honest – we could all use a reminder).

THE STRINGR BLOG

Video is great because it captures the motion of the world around us.  However, when shooting, you don’t necessarily need to follow the motion to capture it best.  In a lot of scenarios, keeping the camera still is the best way to record what is going on.  Before pressing record, think about the subject matter and how it is moving.  Understanding your scene can help you plan your shots ahead of time, making you more efficient on scene.

When shooting a scene or an event, think about how it is moving within your frame.  If there is a lot of different motion, like people walking in a crowd, set your camera up to capture everyone moving instead of following a single person.  If there are less people try to capture where they are moving by having them move across the frame.

Using wide or medium shots is the best for…

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How-To: Shoot VIP’s

The key to being a successful one-man video crew is preparation. No matter what type of footage you are capturing, preparation is the key to a job well done.  With the presidential campaigns picking up, capturing VIPs who are swarmed with press can be hectic.

Here are some tips to getting the coverage you need.

When you receive a request or want to shoot a high profile person, do some research before hand and mentally imagine how it will go down. Find out what time it starts. This lets you plan your arrival to get the best location for a clear shot.

The earlier you arrive the less crowded the allotted area will be. Choose your location wisely and anticipate where things might happen. Having a clear shot is vital, so watch out for arms, cameras and mics that could get in your way.

An early arrival is great because you can get shots of the person entering and exiting the building, as well as a variety of broll shots, which is vital for editors.

When shooting the subject, limit yourself to using wide or medium shots. Using these shots will allow you to capture all the necessary moments without the fuss of capturing close ups.  Having a wide shot will give the subject space to move around without you moving the camera.

Finally, do not neglect your audio. Statements or speeches made are a must and can make or break the footage you shoot. In this scenario, use a directional microphone to record clear audio.

These tips can be applied to a variety of different requests and shoots. As long as you always prepare yourself you will have a smoother, less stressful and more successful shoot.

Expert Advice Round-Up: 9 Essentials for Every Videographer

by Kaitlyn Mitchell

This week, Stringr picked out the top gems of wisdom from our interview series, featuring professional New York-based videographers. Here are the categories we believe will be most helpful for you to review. Our four experts are: NYU Professor Adrian Mihai, Fortune Magazine Associate Producer Stephen Valdivia, Freelance Videographer Brandon Neubauer, and NY1 News Researcher Chiara Norbitz.

1. Professional equipment doesn’t necessarily produce higher quality footage. 

Mihai prefers to shoot video on a DSLR camera, which gives an exceptional picture quality. The downside is that maintaining focus in fast-paced situations is more difficult when using a DSLR.

Neubauer favors the Canon C100: “It’s a step up from the Canon 5D Mark III with audio and other video-specific features, and it’s five grand instead of $15,000 for the Canon C300.”

DSLR

2. Equipment malfunctions happen constantly. Get creative to find solutions in the field. 

Valdivia puts it bluntly: “Stuff goes wrong all the time… It always has to work out, no matter what. It’s my job.”

Neubauer warns against forgetting to bring spare batteries. Have a run bag where you have extra batteries for everything that you’re using.

Mihai also pre-empts situations by making sure he always has duplicates. “You never want to be caught without proper equipment.”

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3. Law enforcement officials can either be hindrance or help  to your successful shot. Know your rights, and be patient and friendly. 

Neubauer says that it all depends on local laws and your best judgment, but in public space you have a right to shoot whatever you want.

  • The police will use their established position of power in order to intimidate you, and make it appear that you don’t have that right.
  • Sometimes you may know that you’re 100% in the right, and they’re in the wrong, but you have to make the judgment call that if you keep pushing it, they’ll arrest you.

Valdivia also recommends to know the laws. “Have mutual respect, because when you work breaking news a lot in the same town, cops become your friends and your sources.”

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4. Image stabilization is absolutely essential. 

Norbitz prefers to use a tripod in most situations in the field, with the exception of a Man on the Street interview (MOS), which can be handheld because the tripod is cumbersome. When using handheld, frame the shot with the three-quarters rule, with the subject occupying three-quarters of the shot (i.e. head, shoulders, torso). Says Norbitz, “It looks so much better when shots are completely steady, and you’re not distracted by the camera moving slightly.”

Valdivia recommends to “Take your time. I still count in my head. Also, if there’s movement, causing you to shake the camera while counting, you’ve got to start over. Count, get your shots right, slow down, because you might get a shot, but it’s not the shot.”

Neubauer says the the best pose to be in while shooting is short arms, elbows locked into the body; there’s certain situations where you can actually use your chin to have a third point of contact. You want to have at least two points of contact, stay locked, and use your core. It’s a physical game.

Neubauer at work in the field.

Neubauer at work in the field.

5. Expert lighting techniques sometimes require creative thinking. 

Valdivia likes to use LEDs, because though they’re not the best, they’re the most convenient: they are light, easy to pack, and work in a fast environment.

Neubauer has become very creative with lighting techniques in some situations:

  • Using the sun with any kind of a bounce board, or the side of anything that’s white; for example if someone who is wearing a white shirt stands right outside of the frame.
  • The angles really make a huge difference. In general, bounced light is way softer and more pleasant than direct sunlight, which is pretty harsh.
  • Sunlight is really bright, and is definitely the cheapest and strongest light source. You can get a little four-by-four piece of bounce board, which would typically be quarter or eighth-inch white foam core, and have somebody stand on the outside of the frame and bounce that into a subject, you’re in business.

LIGHT

6. Bad audio can kill the value of any video clip. 

Neubuaer recommends to make sure that the video is in focus, the exposure’s correct, and above all, make sure you get good audio. You get bad audio, it doesn’t matter how good the video is.

Mihai says that the wind is your worst enemy, the noises from which can actually ruin the piece. Proximity is your friend in an outdoor situation with any kind of device, even if you do have an external microphone — it will help you get a better sound.

Adrian Mihai is an expert at keeping handheld shots steady.

Adrian Mihai keeps a handheld shot steady.

7. Consider the editor while shooting video, and you’ll make their job much easier.

Neubauer stresses the importance of creating edit points for the editor. The biggest thing that makes it difficult for editors to use footage is that they don’t have what they would call handles on either side of the movement.

Mihai says that you have to remind yourself that the video has to be shot at a certain pace to avoid creating a nightmare for the editor. Also, small details such as jewelry the subject is wearing may distort the sound during an interview.

Norbitz always gets a variety of shots so that the editors have the opportunity to mix and match what they can use visually:

  • Always make sure to get tight, medium, and wide shots at different angles. 
  • When working for a news organization, it is important to get a few shots that are called beauty shots, which are those pretty shots that you see where there’s a rack focus, where whatever’s in the foreground all of a sudden comes into focus.
  • Think about how the reporter is going to write the script, and get the images that will best correspond to it.

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8. Be aware of your environment.

Mihai warns about cold weather: low temperatures deplete the batteries much faster than regular summer temperatures. If you go out to shooting in the field in the cold weather, you’ll run out of juice right away.

Norbitz says that in the field, videographers are the eyes on the ground: they are sometimes able to find out much more information by talking to real people, versus the team who is sending out footage requests from the office.

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9. In breaking news situations, you must use the camera that you have. 

Norbitz reminds us that the most important thing about being a camera person is to act like you’re not there. You don’t want people to be spooked by you, but you also want to manage your camera settings, so that when it’s ready for you to come into action and start filming, you’re ready to go.

Mihai says a common misconception is that more expensive equipment turns better video, but he believes that skill is the most important ingredient in the equation. “Video is about discipline and rhythm.”

Valdivia agrees: “It’s not about the equipment. It’s how you use what you have.”

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How-To: Shoot With Basic Light

Check out this fantastic video guide to shooting using basic light by our in-house video producer James!

THE STRINGR BLOG

At Stringr, we encourage you to shoot with whatever camera you have on you whether it be a DSLR or a smartphone.  No matter the camera, it’s important to pay special attention to lighting, as it is key to being a successful videographer.

Here are some basic tips to capturing well-lit shots.

When you are shooting footage with natural light, such as the sun, it is important to know where the light source is coming from and how it is going to affect your shot.  You don’t want to shoot with your subject into the sun because the strong back light will over power your subject, under exposing it.  Also the direct rays will create solar flares in your shot, washing out color.

Since you cannot change the position of natural light sources you will need to figure out the best position for you and your camera. Try to find…

View original post 214 more words

How-To: Shoot Evergreen Footage

Stringr is a video marketplace and we accept all kinds of footage. Whether you are responding to a footage request or  just shooting independently.

If you choose to shoot non requested footage, it is always great to capture what the industry calls “evergreen” footage. Also known as beauty shots. These shots can be used over and over again.

The footage is typically a visually pleasing wide shot. It can be used as a filler, opening, ending or can stand alone.

Here are a few tips in shooting evergreen footage.

Pay attention to your composition. This gets you that beautiful, clean shot. Keep an eye on all edges and remember the rule of thirds. However, changing the composition is where great creativity comes to play.

You don’t have to be in a park to get evergreen footage. These shots can be wide city shots, landmarks or even creative time lapses.

To capture a time lapse, simply set up your camera on a tripod or phone on a steady base and let it record.  You will want to record for at least double the amount of time of the final clip.

Another way to get creative is by playing with focus.  Once you have your shot, turn or pull your focus ring to make the subject come in and out of focus. This creates a nice look to your footage.

Finally, the last shots you can capture are daily motions, such as traffic or people on sidewalks.  These shots are always great for editors to fill in empty spaces throughout stories.

So get creative and have fun. Always remember, the more footage you upload to Stringr, the more chances you have of getting paid.

Stringr Interviews: NY1 News Researcher Chiara Norbitz

by Kaitlyn Mitchell

This week, Stringr chatted with Chiara Norbitz, a news researcher at NY1 News. Norbitz was born and raised in New York, and earned her undergraduate degree in political science at Mount Holyoke College. She received her masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking from New York University in 2015, where she conceived of an filmed an original documentary, “Hire Me,” which is about highly skilled and foreign-educated immigrants who are struggling to survive as new Americans; including scientists, doctors, and engineers with years of experience who are more likely to drive a cab or nanny than work in their professional careers. The inspiration for her documentary came from Norbitz’s four years of work in the non-profit sector at Upwardly Global, doing philanthropy and fund-raising.

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Stringr: Describe your duties at NY1.

 Norbitz: I was first hired as a freelance news assistant for NY1, and the job responsibilities for that role are either working independently, or going out and shooting things for vosots (a video with a sound bite), which are small packages that the editors will put together, and the anchor will read a script over. So you’re gathering the video and sound elements that will be used for smaller packages. A news assistant would go out and shoot independent video and sound elements for news pieces, and would also work with reporters, gathering elements for their packages, and helping them shoot their stand-ups, live hits, and stuff like that. As a researcher, I work with what news we are going to be covering that day — working with the news directors to decide what needs coverage, and then organizing crews, including the reporters, the news assistants, and the satellite trucks, and managing them in the field.

Stringr: What’s a typical trip into the field like for you as a videographer?

Norbitz: For example, say there was a gang-related shooting, and the assignment desk really doesn’t know too much about what happened. It’s our job to go out into the field and try and gather both information and elements. So what we would do is we would do is we would drive out there as fast as we can. The issue is sensitive both in terms of people who may be involved in the shooting, and the people who are not related to it are obviously nervous about there being a shooting in their neighborhood. We would and approach people, very sympathetically, but I would have my camera tucked away, because you don’t want to scare people off. We’d try to get people to talk to us, and relate on a personal level. For example, I’d say, “I’m sorry that this has happened, do you know something about this?”, and try to get as much information as possible. In the field, we’re really the eyes on the ground, and sometimes we will be able to find out much more information by talking to people, versus the people who are at the assignment desk and are basically calling the police and trying to get more information that way.

Stringr: What technical details do you need to keep in mind while shooting on location?

Norbitz: Your responsibility as a cameraperson while the reporter is handling the one-on-one with the subject is to be both sensitive to the fact that you don’t want to shove a camera in someone’s face, but you also want to make sure that all your settings are okay, and when it is that moment and you need to quickly get your camera up, you don’t have to do any adjustments. As soon as we arrive on scene and park the car, I’m fixing my settings as we’re moving. So I’m finding something in the field, on the ground or whatever, to white balance off of. That’s the most important thing. So then I’m managing the settings, making sure that my exposure is not overexposed, underexposed, making sure that I do have an attached microphone, and that those sound levels are good, and making sure that all of my settings are on manual so that I can easily adjust them, like the focus, when I am in the field. It’s really important to do that as you’re running and gunning it, so let’s say that the reporter finds someone that immediately can speak: you don’t wanna be there for five minutes, adjusting your camera, and that person gets bored, or becomes uninterested and walks away. The most important thing about being a camera person is to act like you’re not there. You don’t want people to be spooked by you, but you also want to manage your camera settings, so that when it’s ready for you to come into action and start filming, you’re ready to go.

CNQ

Stringr: What about when you’re shooting b-roll for a situation that isn’t necessarily breaking news?

Norbitz: Let’s say I’m by myself, and I’m shooting something for what’s going to become a vosot: a minute to a minute and a half-long script that someone will write, and they just basically need images that both will cover the script, but also illustrate what’s happening, and then preferably sound with either MOS (man-on-street interview) or natural sound. When you’re shooting something like that, it’s really important to get a variety of shots so that the editors have the opportunity to mix and match what they can use visually. Always make sure to get tight, medium, and wide shots at different angles. When working for a news organization, I’m not going to get super fancy with my shots, but it is important to get a few shots that are called beauty shots, which are those pretty shots that you see where there’s a rack focus, where whatever’s in the foreground all of a sudden comes into focus and it looks really nice. Or having something blurry in the foreground, and in-focus in the background – you can get a few of those, but don’t go crazy. Think about how the person is going to write the script, and get the images that will correspond.

NY1

Stringr: Do you have an example from the field?

Norbitz: We didn’t end up covering this, but it was the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped in Japan, so there were a ton of different commemorative things happening around the city for that. So let’s say it was your job to go out and cover that for a vosot. Think about what types of things the producers are going to want to say in that. They’re gonna want to talk a little bit about the history of Japan, the atomic bomb dropping, and the actual event itself: who was there, who spoke, and why it’s important. With all of those things in mind, think about which image would go best with that information.

Stringr: In what situations do you and don’t you use a tripod while on the job?

Norbitz: MOS (Man on the Street interview) – that can be handheld, because really it’s kind of cumbersome to deal with having the tripod. When you are using handheld, try to be as steady as possible and try to frame your shot with the three-quarters rule, with your subject in three-quarters of the shot.

When you’re shooting and you have a little bit more time, let’s say there’s a bunch of people speaking, in that instance, I would always, as a rule of thumb, put my camera on a tripod, because it looks so much better when shots are completely steady, and you’re not distracted by it moving slightly. When you have a little bit more time in the field, always put your camera on a tripod.

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Stringr: Describe an equipment snafu and how you handled it.

Norbitz: One time I was sent out to cover a presser (a news industry term for press conference) at a very small community organization’s office, and I left without thinking about what the lighting situation was going to be. When I got there, it was a very very dimly lit office. I tried to the best of my ability with the settings built into the camera to increase the exposure as much as possible to get a usable shot; but what I really should have done was just bring an extra light kit — that would have illuminated the shot, and would have prevented it from looking kind of grainy, which is what happens when you overexpose the shot with the camera settings. That was a good lesson to me, that no matter where you’re going, even if it’s in the middle of the day, always have a light kit. You never know what kind of situation you’re going to be in and whether there’s going to be enough light there.

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Stringr: What advice do you have for amateur videographers?

Norbitz: Always ask questions. There are no stupid questions. If you try and figure it out yourself, it will take you longer and you could learn bad habits that way. The great thing about the videographer world is that there’s so many people with so much information, and they’re willing to share it because it’s their area of expertise. If you’re independent and don’t have a connection with a group of videographers, I would definitely say mine the internet for answers to your questions. It’s so much better to learn from mistakes from other people’s experiences, rather than try to go it alone, make your own mistakes, and potentially not learn as quickly. That being said, making mistakes also helps you learn, like with my lighting kit circumstance, but you want to minimize the amount of mistakes you’re making.

Stringr: What’s the best experience you’ve had while shooting breaking news footage?

Norbitz: I liked shooting the Greek Day Parade by myself in the spring of 2015. For a lot of more experienced shooters, shooting parades is just a very hectic and time-consuming day. For me, it was really fun because I was active, I was running around, I was getting certain elements as they were happening. Everything was happening in real time, I had to be really present, and it was fun to talk to people who were celebrating and commemorating their heritage.

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