Self Directed Project

Before watching my video (listed below), I’d like to explain what my self directed project is all about. I chose to learn various kinds of camera angles and new ways to enhance lighting in a video clip. Whenever I film projects or videos, I use my iPhone which does not have the same effect as a DSLR camera would. So, I decided to use my family’s Canon Rebel T5 to film my project and I sealed off my learning in an edited video and the program used was Final Cut Pro. I chose to learn this for my self directed because I always loved photography and tried to get into the grade 10 course but it was full. So, I decided it was a good time to teach myself something I’ve always been passionate about.

I used my golden retriever, Milo, as the subject of my video. I filmed his “day in a life” and used many camera angles, lenses, and different features to create this video. It was quite difficult having my dog as the subject of the video because for some reason, he hates cameras. Also, getting the morning clips were quite hard during the break since I always woke up so late. To be honest, I only got my morning shots the week after the break because I had to wake up early for school. Milo mid day, is  hard to film because he just naps all day. So, for the mid day portion, I did not incorporate that many clips. Lighting was also hard. What I didn’t mention in my video was that my camera actually has features where if it is sunny, cloudy, or if you want a white balanced clip, it is all set for you. Something I would forget to do is change the cloudy setting to white balance which made the clips a yellow tint. The editing at first was a little difficult since I forgot the different features of Final Cut Pro, but once I got the hang of it, it was all smooth sailing. Although somethings like cutting clips, and the moving texts took a little more effort than I expected but in the end, I think it payed off!

Getting the hang of the camera was actually fun. I learned so much of how to have balance video clips and proper lighting. The different shots I took were researched about before hand and the things like aperture I kind of just figured out while fiddling around with the camera. Since we have two lenses, I also decided to use the both and in my opinion, the clips turned out pretty good. I filmed all my clips in auto focus which takes a little longer than manual focus but it gives the “cool” effect of going from super blurry to focused.

In my video I used subtitles to describe what each shot was about but, I would like to go into detail on the definitions an why I chose certain features in certain clips:

Camera Angles:

Extreme Close Up: I used this shot to show the details of the facial area of Milo for the intro. I thought it would give a nice intro clip to show details of my dog Milo and an extreme close up was the best angle to use.

Pan Shot: When you don’t want to show the subject in an entire frame, you can use a pan shot. A pan shot is when the subject is still and you are moving the camera from one end to the other to get the full overview of the subject.

Low Camera Angle: Shows the subject is powerful/strong. I used this when Milo was sleeping and it showed his features clearly in that shot. He’s a very gentle dog so no angle would make him look powerful/strong!

Back view: Very self explanatory. Basically shooting the subject from the back and in this case I shot Milo from the back as I was following him to his food bowl.

Light Reflecting Shot: Videographers and Photographers use this type of shot where they want the viewers to feel the clip. For example if it is raining, videographers will get a reflection of a raindrop on their lens to give a feel of rainy weather. Here I used my fireplace as a light reflecting shot so the viewers could see the warmth.

Dramatic Zoom-in: I saw many of my favourite raw editing YouTubers like Casey Neistat use this type of shot and wanted to try it out myself. This shot is used to emphasize your subject and I used it on Milo.

Perspective Shot: I used this as a first person feel. The viewers can visualize what the person behind the screen is doing at the moment making the viewer feel like they’re in the videographers steps. I used this while pouring Milos food.

Pedestal Shot: I used this while I was getting ready to take Milo on a walk. This angle is used when the videographer does not have someone to film them so the use a tripod or something flat to set their camera on while its recording the subject. Since I don’t have a tripod, I set mine up on a table.


Low “f-number”: More light being allowed into the lens and focus on the subject more. I used this while Milo was sleeping in the morning so that the clip would be a little more brighter than if I left it at a higher “f-number”. On my camera, theres a little wheel you spin to adjust the “f-number”.

High “f-number”: Less light being allowed into the lens. I used this while I was outside filming Milo because the snow and sun would make the subject (Milo) turn black and unnoticed. By setting a higher “f-number”, Milo was more noticiable.


18-55 mm: I used this for majority of my shots. It does not have a great zoom in quality and has a very average shot view. This is the basic camera lens you would use to film yourself or others

75-300 mm: I used this for the outside shots of Milo only. This was used because it has a greater zoom in setting so while I was standing near my door, I was able to get closer shots of Milo with this big lens.


Heres the link to my video! Enjoy!!!