There is a part of me that wanted to title this week’s post, “Everything I Need to Know About Audio I Learned from Robert Capa, Depth of Field Scales and the Inverse Square Law.”
I didn’t because, well … who would read it?
Are you wondering what my unused title meant? Here are the three parts …
Capa’s most famous line was, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Audio works the same way – you need to get your mic as close to your subject as you possibly can. The mics built into cameras are going to be too far away which is why you should never shoot video, especially interviews, with the built in mics.
If you have an old enough lens around, haul it out and look at the depth of field scale. Pick an aperture, focus the lens at, say 20 feet and look at how much of your image would be sharp. Now adjust your focus to something closer, say, 5 feet. What happened to your depth of field? It plummeted – as you get physically closer to your subject, backgrounds (visible or audible) become less apparent.
The inverse square law probably has you nervous, but it’s the law that dictates the rate that light falls off as it travels. Important to know when calculating flash exposures.
And with that, whatever readers I had just left … oh, well.
If you’ve got a tip, if you’ve got a trick, if you’ve got a widget, if you’ve got a gadget that you think everybody else in the industry should know about, send me some information on it and I’ll get it out there.