Focus, Exposure, Color!

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Every time I shoot, right before hitting the record button, I run a three-word checklist through my mind. Focus (is the image in focus?) Exposure (am I too bright or too dark?) Color (Too much daylight, or too much tungsten?). I know it’s a rudimentary check list, but on a fast-paced shoot it’s amazing how often one of those things gets neglected. This is especially the case when the camera is on a jib or a gimbal. Focus. Exposure. Color. Be a slave to those three tasks above anything else. Before nailing that dreamy dolly shot. Before putting your earphones on. Before peeing. Some will say you can fix it in post (even focus can be tweaked somewhat with advanced sharpening software.) But I don’t really buy it. Those kind of post fixes are band-aids, and I can always see them in the final edit. The best habit you can develop is getting the image right the first time. In camera. Three words to cover the basics. Focus. Exposure. Color. Then relax and let your creativity roll.