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Get Some Perspective with POV: Video 101

Posted By Guest Post On November 5, 2011 @ 2:16 am In Video Essentials | No Comments

The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School [1]. It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.

Point of View (POV) is a shooting technique that shows the perspective of a scene literally from a character or objects position in the setting. That’s just a technical way of saying that it enables you to experience a scene first hand, by putting you in someone else’s shoes. Let’s dig into some examples to get a sense of what POV is and why it’s used.

First off, we’ll start with a classic example, the music video for the Cinnamon Chasers, Luv Deluxe [2] by director Saman Keshavarz [3]. (Fun fact: This video was shortlisted [4] in the 2010 Vimeo Festival and Awards!)

Cinnamon Chasers, Luv Deluxe [2] is shot entirely from the perspective of the protagonist. To do this, a custom made DSLR rig was attached to the main actor’s head. Pretty crazy right? This gives you access to all of the action, emotion, movement, and overall insane drama from the main character’s POV. In a sense, it limits your overall knowledge of the story, since you’re only seeing one side of it, but it also helps you empathize with that character’s experience.

One of the most common POV shots you’ll see in videos and movies is from the perspective of someone driving a car like this:

Photo via Shutter Stock [5]

Again, these types of shots are used to help the audience step into the story and see it from a character’s eyes. If you’re trying to build your character’s story, it can be a useful technique. Now let’s look at some other applications.

In recent years, we’ve seen a visual explosion from the action sports community with the use of helmet mounted POV cameras. It’s now possible to experience everything from skydiving [6] to race car driving [7] from the athlete’s POV, or this hypnotizing perspective from a surfer [8].

Here’s one of my favorite action sports POV videos ever, VCA 2010 RACE RUN [9] by changoman [10]:

Awesome, right? It’s hard not to get caught up in the moment when you watch from this unique perspective, as we get to ride along with the biker, wrapped up in the action of every jump and landing.

It’s important to note that POV doesn’t strictly apply to the perspective from a person’s head. You can have a POV shot from a foot, shoulder, etc. It doesn’t even have to be a person! Any object with a camera attached to it will give a POV shot. Here’s a great example of object based POV by Chuck Patterson [11], who attached a camera to a paddle and was able to record sharks circling his surf board off the coast of southern California:

Chuck is providing us with the paddles’ POV and because of that, we’re able to peer into the water and get an eyeful of those huge and (hopefully) friendly shark visitors. Just to illustrate object based POV a bit more, here’s a still image of a mailbox interior’s POV:

Photo via Shutter Stock [5]

Not only can POV provide a unique perspective, it’s also a great way to increase your shot variety [12], which generally helps to keep your audience engaged. POV is a powerful technique used often by many video creators, both amateur and professional alike, and it’s absolutely worth exploring with your own filming.

Ready for more? Learn about gels and light diffusors [13] or view more lessons at the Vimeo Video School [1].

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URL to article: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/get-some-perspective-with-pov-video-101/

URLs in this post:

[1] Vimeo Video School: http://vimeo.com/videoschool

[2] Cinnamon Chasers, Luv Deluxe: http://vimeo.com/6540668

[3] Saman Keshavarz: http://vimeo.com/samankeshavarz

[4] shortlisted: http://vimeo.com/awards/shortlist

[5] Photo via Shutter Stock: http://www.shutterstock.com/

[6] skydiving: http://vimeo.com/5416158

[7] race car driving: http://vimeo.com/1378530

[8] surfer: http://vimeo.com/11714524

[9] VCA 2010 RACE RUN: http://vimeo.com/9970489

[10] changoman: http://vimeo.com/user1803052

[11] Chuck Patterson: http://vimeo.com/user1677461

[12] increase your shot variety: http://vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/101/varying-your-shot-composition

[13] gels and light diffusors: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/color-your-world-with-gels-and-light-diffusors/

[14] Keep it in Focus: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/keep-it-in-focus-video-101/

[15] Understanding Jump Cuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/understanding-jump-cuts-video-101/

[16] How to Make a Non-Profit Promo: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/03/how-to-make-a-non-profit-promo-video-101/

[17] How to Connect Your Computer and TV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/01/how-to-connect-your-computer-and-tv-video-101/

[18] The Many Uses of a Ring Light: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-the-many-uses-of-a-ring-light/

[19] How to Make an Infinity Wall: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-how-to-make-an-infinity-wall/

[20] How to Make an Animated Title Sequence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/how-to-make-an-animated-title-sequence-video-101/

[21] Essential Video Gear for Traveling: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/07/essential-video-gear-for-traveling-video-101/

[22] Learn Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/04/learn-final-cut-pro-keyboard-shortcuts-video-101/

[23] Get Great Results from Smartphone Video Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/03/get-great-results-from-smartphone-video-cameras-video-101/

[24] Light up Your Videos with a Bounce: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/light-up-your-videos-with-a-bounce-video-101/

[25] What Is Motion Design and How Can You Use It? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/what-is-motion-design-and-how-can-you-use-it-video-101/

[26] Fast Focus Tips for DSLRs, Video Cameras, Smartphones: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/fast-focus-tips-for-dslrs-video-cameras-smartphones-video-101/

[27] Learn to Create Scary Special Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-create-scary-special-effects-video-101/

[28] Learn to Use Zoom, Moving Camera, & Moving Zoom: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-use-zoom-moving-camera-moving-zoom-video-101/

[29] What Is Crop Factor and Why Does it Matter? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/what-is-crop-factor-and-why-does-it-matter-video-101/

[30] Who's Who on the Crew? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/whos-who-on-the-crew-video-101/

[31] Room Tone -- Why You Should Capture the Sound of Silence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/room-tone-why-you-should-capture-the-sound-of-silence/

[32] How to Create Storyboards: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/how-to-create-storyboards-video-101/

[33] The Best Tripod Tricks: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/the-best-tripod-tricks-video-101/

[34] Varying Your Shot Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/varying-your-shot-composition-video-101/

[35] Learn to Create a Tilt-Shift Effect in Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/learn-to-create-a-tilt-shift-effect-in-your-videos-video-101/

[36] Setting the Pace While Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/setting-the-pace-while-editing-video-101/

[37] Nighttime Video Shooting with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/nighttime-video-shooting-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[38] Create a Timelapse Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/create-a-timelapse-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[39] Recording Sound for DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/recording-sound-for-dslr-cameras-video-101/

[40] Shooting Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/shooting-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[41] Choose the Right DSLR Accessories: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/choose-the-right-dslr-accessories-video-101/

[42] Choosing a DSLR Lens: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/choosing-a-dslr-lens-video-101/

[43] Learn How to Set Up Your DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/learn-how-to-set-up-your-dslr-camera-video-101/

[44] The ABCs of DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-abcs-of-dslr-cameras/

[45] The 180-Degree Rule Explained: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-180-degree-rule-explained-video-101/

[46] Learn the Difference Between Frame Rate and Shutter Speed: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/learn-the-difference-between-frame-rate-and-shutter-speed/

[47] Getting started with Adobe After Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/getting-started-with-adobe-after-effects-video-101/

[48] How to Create a Timelapse Movie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/how-to-create-a-timelapse-movie-video-101/

[49] Preparing Your Gear for a Shoot: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/preparing-your-gear-for-a-shoot-video-101/

[50] Understanding Framing and Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/understanding-framing-and-composition-video-101/

[51] Mastering Three-Point Lighting: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/mastering-three-point-lighting-video-101/

[52] How to Color Correct Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-color-correct-your-videos/

[53] How to White Balance Your Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-white-balance-your-camera-video-101/

[54] Learn to Hold Your Camera Like a Pro: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/learn-to-hold-your-camera-like-a-pro/

[55] The ABCs of Tripods: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-abcs-of-tripods-video-101/

[56] The Basics of Image Resolution: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/

[57] Stop Shaky Camera Syndrome: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/stop-shaky-camera-syndrome-video-101/

[58] Editing with Windows Live Movie Maker: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/editing-with-windows-live-movie-maker-video-101/

[59] Editing with Apple iMovie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/editing-with-apple-imovie-video-101/

[60] The Basics of Video Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/the-basics-of-video-editing-video-101/

[61] How to Shoot Your Video: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-shoot-your-video/

[62] How to Choose a Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-choose-a-camera/

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