Getting sharp images in your photographs can be hard enough if you don’t have other factors to deal with outside of the subject. If you wear glasses, it can be even harder. Thankfully, with today’s technology and a few simple tools, it’s quick and easy to have everything that’s supposed to be in focus actually be in focus.
Start by making some minor adjustments to the viewfinder diopter, it might be enough to fix many of your problems. Any DSLR or other camera with an optical viewfinder, meaning you are looking through a piece of glass not a screen, will have some basic diopter adjustment available to you. These are generally able to adjust from -/+ 3 — if you need more than this then you can buy add-on diopters that screw into the viewfinder to give additional power. But glasses can get in the way of the viewfinder, so the diopter may or may not be comfortable to you, especially if you have to take them on and off.
If you find taking your glasses on and off to be an annoyance, consider buying a replacement eyecup. These eyecups snap onto the viewfinder and are larger than the default one. This gives a better seal around your eye, which helps to block out surrounding light and get you closer to the viewfinder.
By blocking out surrounding light, your eye will better be able to see the contrast of the scene in front of you. Better contrast means you’ll be able to tell if the image is out of focus. This tighter seal also prevents any light from coming in from behind you, which could affect your image by over exposing it. If an eyecup isn't possible, consider having various replacement lenses for your glasses, which can help you adjust the light in your surroundings.
A loupe is a small magnifying glass that can be attached to the LCD screen of your camera. This is great for cameras that do not have an optical viewfinder or only have the LCD screen. In essence, this turns your screen into the viewfinder, which has its own pros and cons.
One advantage of a loupe is that not only do they have diopters that can extend beyond the usual -3, but many come with magnification built in to help you see details in your photo — making it ideal to check that a shot is in focus. The loupes made by video accessory manufacturers like Zacuto are also designed around use with or without glasses because of the large eyecups.
The main disadvantage is the added bulk and that your optical viewfinder can’t be used at the same time. Still this is a viable option and can be especially good if you shoot video as well. The added magnification in live view ensures that you are always at critical focus.
Instead of using your optical viewfinder, using the LCD screen on the back of the camera is another way to make sure your images are in focus. Today’s live view autofocus technology is almost as quick as non live view autofocus.
Using live view with polarized glasses can be difficult due to the technology behind how LCD screens work. This is not the case with LED/OLED screens, which are starting to become more common as the technology matures.
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The best networks to use based off of their traffic levels are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When you are developing a project, it's a good idea to secure accounts on these platforms. You don't want to announce your project and then find out the URL or handles you wanted have already been taken by someone else.
While these three networks might be the most popular at the moment, you need to watch for upcoming networks as well. Snapchat, for instance, is a newer way to give content to younger crowds. However, these trends shift quickly, and what may be good for one project might not be as good for the next. This applies for demographics as well. Younger users tend to use fast-paced platforms like Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram over sites like Facebook. Know who your audience is, and then research what platforms you should put time and money into.
Posting content on a regular basis ensures that your followers can keep up with how the project is going and see any important information, such as release dates and screening locations. While it is important to have a lot of content that is given to your followers, you don't want to overwhelm them. Too much content comes off as spam and may drive away your followers.
Research the times that are most effective to post content on the various social media sites for your audience, so you can make a bigger impact. You also should share your content more than once so new followers don't miss important information and don't feel like they missed any updates on how your production is going.
Going to each site to schedule posts isn’t efficient or a smart way to use your time. Instead, use an aggregation program, like Hootsuite or Agorapulse, which lets you post to several networks simultaneously and gives you access to calendars and metrics to see what's working and what isn’t.
As tempting as it may be to post every single thing you’ve done on your film, you need to find the balance of what to post and, more importantly, what not to post.
The larger your project is, the more control you have to exert over what is posted. The crew may want to post what they are doing to their personal social media accounts and this can be managed. However, you should state at the beginning of the project that any social media content should be cleared with your media specialist. Or, if you're concerned about confidential information getting leaked, enforce a flat out ban on posting before a specific date.
Limiting who can post information also limits the amount of "bad" content that makes it off-set. This includes everything from plot details, to blurry or dark shots, to actors not at their best. If you have a dedicated social media specialist on set, providing him or her with good equipment is a must. While a DSLR might be more "professional," your followers may feel like it's less authentic or special because it seems staged. A smartphone that can focus and take good pictures in low lighting, such as the LG G5, strikes a good balance between what seems posed and what gives a good impression of the project.
After putting so much effort into writing, shooting and editing your film, you want people to see it, right? New filmmakers often believe a good product will find an audience. That rarely happens. In order to find an audience (and be able to make more films), filmmakers must be proactive.
While film promotion can be done cheaply, it does require a bunch of legwork. Enlist the help of some (knowledgeable) friends to give you a hand and get ready to get your film noticed. In the process, you will build a fan base for your future films. Here are a few digital methods to get your film noticed.
This is one of the most economical ways to reach your target audience. And while this method may cost a few bucks to do correctly, email marketing's return on investment is $38 of every $1 spent, according to EmailMondy. Furthermore, email marketing is 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined, according to McKinsey.
Because of these stats, 90 percent of all businesses utilize email marketing, so you should include it in your promotion plans as well. MailChimp is a good service for DIYers, and it has free plan that will be sufficient for most first-time filmmakers.
You know you have to use social media for film promotion. However, we want to caution against attempting to use every social media platform available. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Rather, pick three or four platforms and hit them hard.
Remember: social media campaigns should start before you begin filming in order to be the most effective.
While this isn’t a social media platform, Hootsuite is a tool that makes managing your social media efforts much easier. It also provides social media analytics and allows team collaboration. While Hootsuite isn’t the only social media management tool available, it is the best known and extremely easy to use. And you can use up to three social media accounts with its free plan.
You are a filmmaker, so make sure your YouTube channel reflects your passion for the craft and is full of interesting and entertaining videos. You can learn how to best utilize your film’s YouTube channel by researching successful filmmakers and popular brands. For example, Captain Morgan's YouTube channel is full of short, well-made clips that can easily be shared. The company even created a hashtag for its fans (#fullcaptain).
It only makes sense to use a visual medium to promote your work. Instagram fits the bill. Share pics of your set, equipment and the actors in order to document the filmmaking process. Once your film is in the can, post photos of your events. Don’t forget to engage your audience.
Nowadays, there are numerous platforms for filmmakers to distribute their own films. These services are great ways to get your film in front of movie lovers. They also provide filmmakers with a way to monetize their films.
How it works: upload a video, and they'll do the rest. CreatSpace, IndieReign, Distrify and Watchbox are just a few of the players in this space. Their terms vary, so make sure to read the fine print.