From Photography to Filmmaking: A New Column by Drew Fulton

My name is Drew Fulton and I am excited to introduce myself and announce a new column here on the blog that focuses on how we as nature photographers can start to make use of the video capabilities that is part of pretty much all modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras. I have spent the last few years focusing more and more on creating moving images in addition to my still photographs and I am excited to share some of my experiences and those of others here on the blog. Each month, this column will bring you articles about how to incorporate filmmaking into your own photography and specifically how that can be used to promote conservation. I will be writing a couple of article and curating guest posts by other individuals.

In my own work, I strive to tell stories about natural history, particularly the ecology of landscape and the life history of animals. I’ve spent the last few years focusing more and more on filmmaking through my work assisting National Geographic photographer Tim Laman and on projects with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Conservation International. Recently, I have refocused my attention on my home state, Florida, and launched a massive multimedia project called Filming Florida. I will be spending the next few years devoted to filming and capturing the natural landscape and wildlife of Florida. Eventually, this project will result in an eight part miniseries, a book, an exhibition, and a classroom curriculum. Throughout the project, I will also be releasing a short film every other week as part of the Nature Profiles series once full production begins later this year.

My goal is to use media, whether photographs, video, or audio, to tell the story of place, the ecology of ecosystems, and the natural history of the plants and animals that live there. Some stories are best told through photography while others require video and some require a combination of the two. If you are like me when I first started shooting video, I thought it would be just a matter of switching the camera to video mode and hitting record. However, I quickly learned that there’s a lot more to filmmaking, technically, artistically, and even in how you craft your narrative and story. It is my hope that this column will help you to not only understand the technicals of utilizing video, but also help you better to understand how to craft and shape a narrative in film.

So, with that introduction, I want to ask simply, what do you want to learn? What aspects of filmmaking are you interested in and what types of articles do you want to read? Do you want to see sample projects and hear from the filmmakers behind them? Do you want to learn more about the technical or the artistic? What are your concerns or interests in exploring the world of moving images? Leave your ideas, suggestions, and thoughts in the comments below and help me to make this a really great monthly column.

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