Do-It-Yourself DSLR – Take Your Organization’s Visual Destiny Into Your Own Hands

Ty Pierce, Ohio History Connection, USA

Published paper: Do-it-yourself DSLR: Take your organization’s visual destiny into your own hands

The modern DSLR camera is an incredible communication tool that combines exceptional image quality and affordability into an unparalleled opportunity. Amateurs and professionals alike are taking advantage of this new visual frontier to create amazing works that promote, inspire, and educate, but many museums are still starved for the visuals they need to connect with audiences.

This paper accompanies a hands-on workshop that teaches the skills necessary to capture moments and tell stories that matter to your institution. It consists of three parts—Knowing Your Camera, Digital Photography, and DSLR Filmmaking—designed to give attendees a firm technical foundation in using their camera, and will builds on that foundation with workflows and best practices that cover preparation, production and post, storytelling, and equipment.

Highlights include: becoming a visual communicator for your organization; photo versus video?; shoot once, use many; thoughtful composition; make aperture work for you; camera RAW saved my life; know thy camera, know thyself; shot happens; post-production ASAP; enabling your organization’s “visual evangelists”; the most important piece of video equipment (is not a camera); and getting off the script.

The workshop includes a photo walk during the session to capture images at the venue, and instruction on post-production workflows for photography and video production using Adobe’s Creative Suite. Though it is not required to participate, attendees are encouraged to bring their own cameras and laptops to put these lessons into practice as part of the workshop experience.