From Still to Motion: book review

Things are moving fast here: I talked about the book two weeks ago, received my copy last week and just finished my first reading. Verdict: I am loving it! To put it simply: it covers almost everything! From shoot preparation, gear selection, editing, etc.. It gives a solid foundation to any photographers who wants to move to video.

It is all about the content…

First, the book assumes only one thing: you are a photographer shooting stills and you want to learn how to shoot video. That is it. It goes over all the lingo, gear and processes used in cinematography and give you a working knowledge of what is required and involved in a shoot. The content goes wider and deeper than any DVD training material I have seen so far.

Yet, it does not go into the technical details and we cant blame it. At already over 300 pages, this is a good read and, if you happen to want more, insert the DVD and take a look at the supplemental materiel. It will keep you busy for a few more hours!

While it is not a cinematography course-in-a-book, it gives you a overview of the various concepts and how to apply them but it wont teach you how to tell your story. On the other hand, once you have decided how to present your story, it will show you everything that needs to be done to put your vision to reality or at the very least, put you on the right track (ex: section about color management & grading).

On top of offering a lot of content, the book is also filled with illustrations, behind the scene pictures, stills from the project clip, etc… All of these visual elements make the reading fast and easy on the eye. Still not enough? There is a folder called Training Videos with over 3gig filled with interviews (about 6 hours), tips and demo to satisfy your thirst.

I also like the fact that it is really up to date. Sometimes when I look at a photography book, I have the feeling it was written in the previous decade. This book isnt. It is fresh off the press and the only thing missing is the latest firmware update for the 5DMrII.

The book will also please the gearheads out there. The authors dont seem to have any brand loyalty (with maybe the exception of the Z-finder?). They extensively show the gear they use from the expensive Zacuto rigs to the DIY lighting setups and provide links to various suppliers. They simply show the tools needed for the job and explain the pluses and minuses of each one. You can even see the actual footage shot with each piece of gear on the DVD.


I find this book very similar in form and spirit to another of my all time favorite: DV Rebel’s Guide. They both cover a lot of ground and make you want to go out and shoot!

Should you get it? I was tempted to say yes but there is a clear oversight that makes me doubt the quality of its content. Look at what we find in the Additional Resources section: is not in the list! How could they! I am shocked! Hopefully, this terrible mistake will be corrected in the second printing batch.

Seriously, this is a great book and I encourage you strongly to get it. Even loyal blog readers will learn a few things. I know because I did!

You can support this site by purchasing the book from this Amazon link.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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