Here are samples of a few video techniques I’ve learned. These assignments are each ten seconds long, to be inspired by a particular word.

I used Adobe Premiere Pro, a Canon G15 and various locations around the Olympic Peninsula.

My dog, Sam, graciously agreed to demonstrate. Plus, a friend or two.

Zooming and Panning

We begin with basic zooming and panning of a still shot, popularly known as the “Ken Burns” effect. The inspiration word is, Memories. Sam has many pleasant beach memories. This is a simple effect, but takes practice to implement properly.


Here we use a Bokeh effect to highlight the concept of Dreaming. Bokeh is the blurring of light effects in the background, usually seen as halos of light, most often produced with a long focal length lens.

In this video the bokeh effect is seen in the starry light effects of sunlight on the water.

Lens Flare

Combine lens flare with Wonder. Sam appreciates a wonderful day of sunshine and a gorgeous view. He knows he’s a lucky dog.

I captured a real lens flare, rather than manufacture an artificial one using Effects in Premiere Pro. I did this by shooting directly into the sunlight. Don’t do this too often though, as digital camera sensors can be adversely effected.

Color Pass

Color Pass is a technique whereby a single color is used. The point was to use color choice to convey Emotion.

A 5 lb cat stopping an 80 lb dog is a demonstration of amazing wizarding power. No dog wants to risk a face shredding from such a dangerous foe.

A very emotional situation indeed!

Time Lapse

Combine Creativity with Time Lapse. I’ve been using my dog, Sam, in each video, for a sense of cohesiveness. How does a dog display creativity?

Turns out, Sam is a pretty creative guy and knows how to spell his name. The music by Moby scores the frenetic pace perfectly.

I had to learn new skills to do this. Using Adobe Premiere Pro I utilized cropping, blending modes, stacking and reverse speed. This is v2 where I’ve heightened contrast to make it easier to see the biscuits on the pavement. The smaller screens on mobile devices makes this advisable.

I laid out the dog biscuits on the pavement, forming each letter, then invited Sam in to munch. I videoed each letter separately so that Sam would eat in the proper order. Reverse speed created the effect of him laying out the letters. I then cropped and stacked them on the timeline, and used Overlay blending mode so as to create the full name, Sam.

Sam couldn’t quite finish all the biscuits so a few remained when we began the ‘M’.

No dinner!

Green Screen

This technique was to be inspired by the word, Confidence. Rubber duckies taking to sea water requires faith in one’s self.

I created the green screen by photographing my two ducks against a neon green background. The larger duck is from the Europa hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She’s got to be self-assured!

Grn Scrn Ducks small

Slow Motion

Ducks are delightful, with their round bellies, huge orange feet and cute quacky noises.

The word here is, Joy. This female was quite assertive, and seemed to delight in being in front of the camera.

Tilt Shift

The inspiration word for this technique sample is, Compassion. I continue my theme of using ducks. My first attempt was the video you see above, with the male ducks sparing. This is the opposite of compassion. Ducks, I’ve learned, are not very compassionate. I particularly like how the winning duck takes a poke at an innocent bystander just for good measure.

I’m entertained by this sequence and I was fortunate to capture it; however, it is not suitable for this technique. The subject looks normal sized, with blurring added. This is not an accurate tilt-shift look.

The idea of tilt-shift is to create a miniature look, and is usually done with still images. It is more easily accomplished from a high vantage point, from a distance, and it helps if the subject is small.

When my instructor, Renne Emiko Brock, learned I was taking a trip to the beach for a previous video class, she said, “Get B roll!” So, I dipped into my archives and found this sequence taken at my and Sam’s favorite beach. Lots of sand and perfect for kicking the shoes off and walking through the gentle surf.

It’s an improvement. This is one of my first attempts at video. I had a Nikon D610 on a tripod, high on a bluff. However, my panning needs practice, as this is a bit stiff and thus shaky.

In Premiere Pro, one has to create the tilt-shift look using blurring techniques and a mask. Plus, you will want to heighten colors and add a little ‘grain’ via noise addition using Effects.