Depth of Field“Today I want to discuss the difference between zooming the lens and performing a dolly move.”
Right of the top you need to recognize that zoom shot is a two dimensional move that simply magnifies the image. You have to remember that we are watching the image on a two dimensional screen that has height and width but no depth.
Now a dolly move into a subject is a three dimensional move that in essence displaces objects giving us a three dimensional feeling.
A truck or trucking shot is when we move the camera side to side. In this type of shot there is no depth creation. However it is important to make sure your composition is strong at both the beginning and end of the shot.
Let’s go back to the zoom shot for a minute. Another really good tip when zooming is this.
Before you start running your camera, zoom into the subject and check your focus.
Now zoom back to your starting point. Hold this wide shot for 5 – 7 seconds.
Now slowly zoom into the subject that you have previously focused on and when you finish the zoom hold the shot for 5 – 7 seconds again.
The beauty of this technique is that when you get to editing, if you don’t like the zoom (too jerky, too slow etc.) You can simply cut from the wide shot to the close up at the end of the zoom and just leave the zoom out.
A side bar here. You don’t have worry about your focus at the wide angle setting. The depth of field when you are at the start of the zoom will keep everything in focus.
I hope this tip has been helpful. For lots more technical tips and information visit my website at
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