The Similarities between Photography and Videography

3 min

As someone who makes their living from the field of videography but has a true love of photography, I was reminded of the similarities provided by both a video camera and still camera when I was introduced to a new great book on special effect photography, entitled “Trick Photography and Special Effects” by Evan Sharboneau.

Photography and videography are two disciplines of the media arts that are very closely intertwined.  I like to think of them as twin sisters who went their own ways.

As a photographer, you know you’ve found that perfect shot when all the elements come together at once.  The lighting is perfect to provide the illumination you need on all elements within the picture frame; maybe you’ve been looking for a way to punch out a certain portion of the image we just a subtle change in the light focus.  Juxtaposition – the relative positioning of the various components within the screen to one another is now just right, and the overall mood in the screen has now become apparent.

All of these individual elements, which are so important to a photographer’s final product of a perfect picture, are absolutely no different from what a videographer is looking for in a well composed video image.  The one major difference is that the elements within the video frame obviously could have the ability to move.

Of course, the world of video does have audio to be concerned with, but for the purposes of this comparison I’m going to leave that area of audio to an article for another day.

Tools of the Trade

Even the tools of the trades of the trade for these two areas of visual arts are similar.  Yes, the advancements in digital technology do evolve at lightning speed.  It wasn’t long ago that the purchase of a 6 megapixel camera was something to be proud of.  Today that kind of resolution detail can be found on many new phones.

The same is true for video cameras.  Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on cutting edge digital format video cameras only to find that these standard definition babies are going the way of the dinosaur.  Standard Def move over – HDTV is here to stay.  And even the improvements in the high definition TV world continue to evolve almost daily.

When you place these technology advancements aside for a moment you realize that at the end of the day it still comes down to the ability of the camera to be able to capture an image.  As plain and simple as this sounds – this is the bottom line.

As a result any newbie to the field of photography or videography will benefit equally from spending time working with any type of camera.  The many hours of experience that are gathered from looking through the viewfinder of a camera gives you new and challenging situations to deal with.  The exact details are always different but the areas of concern are always the same.  Lighting, composition, access to the field of play or area of action, is constant for both disciplines.

Lighting is one of the few areas within visual arts that really have not changed that much over time.  There are now lighting fixtures that are more energy efficient that the ones of past – fluorescent versus tungsten, but at the end of the day they both provide the same service.  The both illuminate a subject or area to be photographed or filmed.  This is the one very positive area for image professionals.  It’s nice to know that not all of your financial investments in equipment become out-dated as quickly as you purchase them.

The reasons that one goes into the field of photography or videography are often the same.  The true love one has in the ability to capture a special image or moment in time is what makes both of these visual arts a challenging and extremely gratifying craft to pursue.

Evan Sharboneau’s book,“Trick Photography and Special Effects” is what inspired me to write this article.  This book just blew me away with the amount of new techniques I could use as a photographer.  You really must check it out. It’s a great tool to add to your photographer’s arsenal.

Head over to my website for a complete review.

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Rick Davis


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