Side button tells you if it‟s off, on, or charging
“Joystick” is marked “SET”
“FUNC” = Functions
“START/STOP” = Play or pause
Camera/playback switch button
To change, hit "Function" and use the "joystick" to move up
and down the menu list, then use SET to select your chosen
“P” = “Program AE”
best exposure for you!
You can use “Portrait”.
Other options: Sports,
Night, Snow, Beach,
Sunset, Low light,
Portrait mode arranges
“depth of field” to best
focus on subject, not
First, take a look
around at your light
sources. Are you in
Select the White
Balance symbol under
“Functions” to make
AWB: “Automatic White Balance”
Manual white balance
Use a “white reference”
(like a piece of paper) in
Make sure the lighting
for your reference is the
same as your subject.
You‟ll see the manual
symbol flicker as it
adjusts to your lighting.
Screw camera into plate where available
Plate clicks into tripod
Try to match level
at least have the bubble intersect with the line of the
circle, if you can't fit it in the center perfectly.
Levels are a guide, but use your best judgment!
No tripod or your tripod is broken?
Books, Tables, Furniture with flat background.
Keep it set to SP, or
“W-T” stands for Wide
Angle & Telephoto. Think
“Wide” to “Tight”.
The “Photo” button allows
you to take still photos.
Make them comfortable - but also at their best visually
If possible, advise them about clothing
Avoid caps (which cover eyes) if possible
Give them a chance to comb their hair, check their makeup
The background should add, not subtract – or distract
A simple background versus a busy one
A muted or moderate color, rather than black, white, or neon
We typically use blue for San Jac videos
Look at your composition for distractions
A TV set running in the background
A bright and multi-colored poster that distracts
Glare from subject‟s glasses (change light or remove if you can)
What Not to Wear?
Tight, small “plaids”
“Busy” patterns that may
strobe, or cause a moire („moray‟) effect (see left)
All black, all white
Shiny clothing, jewelry,
Hats (they shade the face)
Best Bets for Interview
“Moderate tones” – Neutrals, pastels, medium colors
Blues are great for most people (light to navy)
Street makeup is fine
This harsh, overhead lighting is dramatic,
but not showing the subject at his best.
His eyes are hooded in shadow, and this
type of lighting also gives sharp angles to
existing bone structure. Note that a hat
worn in an interview will also create dark
shadows in the subject‟s eyes – one of the
areas we‟re naturally drawn to watch!
The impression given is stark, unforgiving.
Great for the theatre or a moody film
Not great for an oral history interview.
Again, dramatic lighting, this time from
Notice how the light also collects on his
forehead and left cheek.
It‟s still a nice portrait shot in many
ways, but it focuses your attention on
the contrast between the lit side, and the
side that‟s in shadow.
Not great for an oral history interview,
where the focus should be on the
subject, not your artistic lighting.
This lighting is diffused, flattering,
and best for any subject.
Notice that there are no areas where
too much light has collected, but that
there is an area of subtle shadow that
shows the three dimensions of her face
There are no heavy shadows or
puddles of light to draw our attention
A viewer watching the subject will
focus on the eyes, and mouth, just like
we do when we‟re listening to a friend
telling a funny story.
Ideal, “standard” setup for interviews is called
the three point light.
You can “wing” three point lighting as best you can
by simply seeking to create diffused lighting.
Diffused lighting = soft, mixed lighting from multiple
Move your subject if needed, to get more diffuse
lighting. Or turn on more existing lights.
You can also open drapes/shades on windows, but bear
in mind that if your interview continues, the light may
move or change – and you‟ll be so engrossed in listening
you might not notice!
You don‟t have to be perfect! Use your eyes
If all else fails, avoid having a single, bright
light directly overhead or to the side.
You‟re going to record
the sound like a pro –
on a separate track.
“Handy Recorder” or
Can be used with or
H2 loads a card
underneath: be careful
of “door” which can
It has standard controls
on both sides:
Right: USB, Line In, Mic
Gain, Exterior Mic In
(playback), Power, AC
Record and playback
controls are very
If you don‟t have ext.
you can switch the
setting of the built-in
We use lavalier, clip
Try to keep them from
For ease of use, we
use a “splitter” – two
plugged into one
This signal is plugged
into “Ext. Mic” on H2
Avoid “rustling” by
away from fabric
Remember to turn on!
• Clip can be
switched to fit
Do I have all the equipment I need?
Biographical material & paperwork?
Comb, mirror if needed
Are my batteries charged?
Do I have a map or directions to my location?
Have I contacted interviewee about location, clothing, paperwork,
Have I gotten confirmation?
Does the interviewee have a solid way of getting in touch with me?
Have I practiced and considered any special questions or needs?
Readying the equipment
Set up white balance
Set up camera
Frame the interviewee properly
Check light, background
Readying the interview
Have them fill some out while you set up
You don‟t have to be perfect!
These are guidelines to help you do the best you can.
You aren‟t trying to win an Oscar for
cinematography. You are just trying to improve the
look and sound of the video, so nothing distracts
viewers from the real story: the veteran and her
You learn by doing.
Each interview you do, you‟ll learn more, notice
more, and improve more.
Being present in the interview, giving your attention
to the veteran is a real gift to him. Thank you!