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Video Camera Techniques, 2nd Edition by Gerald Millerson

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Shooting the Pianist

When you stop and analyze the range of regular shots you can take of a pianist at the piano, you will find that they are relatively limited. Of course, there are those various ‘novelty’ approaches – looking at reflections, silhouettes, and shadows. There are the ‘unusual angles’, and also those trick shots, in which pianists play duets with themselves or appear in multi-view segmented pictures. But unusual treatments have a nasty habit of drawing attention to their own cleverness, and away from the performer and the music itself.

A piano can be a challenging instrument to shoot attractively, for its large mass only frames successfully from certain directions. From other angles, the keyboard can’t be seen – or even the pianist! ...

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