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the success of your video does not depend on the brand or model of camera you use


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Video Camera Training

Video Cameras

Still to Motion

For Business

For Journalists

One-to-One & Small-Group Training

Cinematographer Pieter de Vries ACS will teach you the skills that you need to shoot stunning video. If you want to learn the technical and creative essentials and prefer learning at your own pace, then One-to-One is for you - it's the ultimate shortcut to the skills you need at a time that suits you. Training for small groups can also be arranged. Based in Sydney, training can be organised in other centers  READ MORE 


Structured for

Multi-Media Producers producing video for their company
Journalists keen to shoot their own news stories
Photographers wanting to port their skills to video
Shooter/Producers who plan to shoot documentaries
Anyone who wants to learn video shooting skills
Cinematographers needing an update on a camera

What people say


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Training for SBS cadet journalists

I'm taking SBS cadet journalists through my Video Journalists training this week. We are all enjoying the great Sydney locations and this fabulous weather.


Italy, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Jordan & Oman

My most recent international photo and video tour was to Italy, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Jordan & Oman. I've included photographs of this tour here so click on each image to enlarge.

Photo/video tour Northern Europe

My most recent international photo and video tour has been to Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Copenhagen and London. Thank you to everyone who attended my photo/cinematography talks over the past few weeks. I've included some photographs of that tour here so click on each image to enlarge it.

July 2019: Los Angeles to Guatemala Photo & Video Lecture Tour

A run down the west coast of the United States - LA to Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. I presented three cinematography talks in the Royal Court Theatre onboard the stunning Queen Elizabeth cruise ship. Now back in Sydney and in the midst of training with clients in North Sydney.


July 2019: Advanced Lighting training

Cinematographer Joshua Marks, came to the North Sydney Head Quarters of the Australian Cinematographers Society recently for advanced lighting training. Josh shoots and produces documentaries for corporates, communities and campaigns. He is an accompliished cinematographer, however he engaged me to take him through a number of more advanced lighting techniques and lighting ideas which included;

Creating light and shade, creative use of window light, advanced uses of coloured gels and diffusion, using cutters with blacks with black wrap & gobos, using bounced light and lighting large areas.


May/June 2019: Photo & Video lecture tour of Alaska

I've just competed a fifteen day photography/cinematography lecture tour of Alaska, a trip that took me through the heartland of the 1898 Alaskan gold rush. Places like Hoonah, Wrangell and the launching pad for the stampede to riches, Ketchikan. Other locations photographed included, Kodiak Island, Seward, Hubbard Glacier, winding up the tour in Seattle. My cinematography talks have been well attended on board Oceania's Regatta. 


April 2019: photo and video tour to India

I've competed my three week tour of Singapore to Mumbai. My cinematography talks have been well attended on board the beautiful Silversea Silver Shadow. This voyage covered Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. The Indian ports of Cochin a port city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state was a standout plus also seeing New Mangalore, Karnataka state, one of the busiest and largest port in India and Mormugao in the Indian state of Goa. Finishing up in Mumbai.


February 2019: Melbourne director/producer flies in for training

Topping off one of my busiest months ever, Melbourne based Freelance Documentary Producer/Director Rhian Skirving popped up to join me for some advanced cinematography training. Rhian is a collaborator with Australian composer/lyricist, musician, comedian, actor, writer and director Tim Minchin.


January/February 2019 video camera training

These past few weeks have been busy with training courses the HQ of The Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) in North Sydney. Courses have been structured for clients using a variety of video cameras, from Sony FS7's, Canon C300's to the Apple iPhoneXS.

Netball Australia
Australia Cinema Advertising, Melbourne
The NSW Electoral Commission

  The Buchanan Advertising Group Melbourne
Cruise Express, Sydney
Anthony White

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January 2019: around Australia cinematography lectures

Now wrapping up my cinematography lecture series on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. This voyage was a circumnavigation of Australia - Sydney to Sydney, with a stop at Komodo Island then onto Bali to see in the New Year.

I looked out on a packed show theatre for all on my sessions and it was nice to be joined by so many guests interested in seeing and hearing about my work as a photographer and cinematographer. Soon it will be back to the ACS National Headquaters in North Sydney for a long run with training clients, all keen to explore aspects of the craft of cinematography.


Nov/Dec 2018: Busy times

This past week has seen filmmakers and videographers from around the country coming in for my One-to-One and small-group courses. In for three days this week for some advanced cinematography and lighting training, Adam Williamson, head videographer at Hoyne Design. Hoyne is one of Australia's top brand and marketing agencies. Henry and Bryn Williams, brothers who have a passion to tell stories.

There have also been quite a few travel bloggers attending my One-to-One training. I offer specialised camera and audio training in this area. Grace Hu was in for a few days last week. Sydney lawyer, Greg attended the weekend Still to Motion course.

So why not Upgrade your Skills, join me in the new year?


Oct 2018: This week at PDV - Stills to Motion training

Flying in for training this week, Matthew Cawood. Matt is the Communications Officer at the University of New England in Armidale. He has also worked for Australian Geographic Magazine as photo/journalist. Matt was in for the Stills to Motion training course.


Oct: The 2018 SmartFone Flick Fest Finals at the Opera House

Sydney Opera House. A perfect venue and perfect night for the SF3 SmartFone Flick Fest Gala Finals. I had the pleasure of announcing the winner and runner up in the Best Cinematography category.

Congratulations to cinematographer/director Rah Shama for his short film, "Restoration", shot on an iPhone X; to everyone up on that famous stage. Festival originators and pricipals Angela Blake and Alison Crew, you sure know how (and where) to put on a great show! Thank you to the other industry expert judges on the panel, including Jason van Genderen, Rebel Penfold-Russell, Alan Nurthen, and Christopher Stollery. Smart Phones pull in smart people!


Sept 2018: training for icon water media unit canberra

I've been in Canberra running a video production course for the media team at Icon Water, the city's major water supplier. Our location training shoot at the old Cotter Dam Pump Station delivered some rewarding lighting opportunities. It's one of Canberra’s oldest buildings. Construction started in 1914 and was completed in 1918.

Location training shoots are an essential aspect of my training.


August 2018: Location training & mentoring

This week I'm working in remote Central Queensland at Saddler Springs, a 30,000 hectre cattle station owned by Amanda and Lloyd Hancock. Amanda is my training client and she flies the drone and does nicely with her Sony PMW-200, Sony A7 Mk3 and a Mavic Air drone. Our filming/camping location, Battleship Spur at 1,200 meters, is no place for sleepwalkers! 

Amanda trained with me here in North Sydney during May, followed by six days location mentoring in Central Queensland and now she returns to my North Sydney venue to start training with the Sony A7 Mk3.



Matters of Depth and Mood - Tips

A number of recent visitors have enquired about what they see as a certain "depth" and "mood" in my regular "Good Morning" series of sunrise images. Do I use software filters? It's a question that often pops up. So that you can achieve this, I can break it down into three key practices:

1. Using Manual settings, adjust the exposure level for the brighter regions of the composed image - the brightest cloud for example. Close down the aperture or increase the shutter speed to bring detail and colour saturation into these often blown-out regions of the image. Allow other areas to appear under exposed - don't be afraid of the dark! These shadowy areas can be lifted later, and besides, that's how it is when the sun sits low in the sky. This is how I can convey "mood".

2. Seek out reflections and muted highlights and consider framing the scene from a low angle which additionally can bring depth-giving foreground objects into play. Wet sand and glistening rock surfaces offer subtle and not so subtle bright spots that are truely helpful. This is how I can convey "depth".

3. Importantly, if making adjustments in your editing software (that’s Adobe Lightroom for me), keep the overall brightness level down. Early morning light is different from mid-morning light. Under exposure of the image is far more effective at this time of the day. You won't need software filters.

Please see more of my Good Morning series here

Whale Beach sunrise


Window light

I took this photo recently in a farmhouse not far from Saigon. I wanted to make the point of how a single window as a light source can works so beautifully for your cinematography and photography.

I loved the way the soft window light wrapped around these everyday things. Depth and the perceived sharpness of this image is defined by the shadows that light creates.

A single, ultra-soft light source set at some distance is a way to achieve a similar look. In lighting for the moving image too, you can learn more from looking at a shadow than you can by looking at the light.

A small window is best. Only a narrow shaft of soft light falls on the the table leaving the wall behind in beautiful deep shadow. Setting your exposure based on the lit areas of the composition means that these dark backgrounds and foregrounds stay as shadow, bringing the eye to the sweet spot in the image. Perfect for video sequences also.



Singapore, Vietnam photography lecture series

I have been delivering a series of cinematography lectures on board Silversea Silver Shadow. Sailing from Singapore with port stops in Ho Chi Min City, Da Nang, Ha Long Bay and finishing in Hong Kong.


Africa, Indian Ocean and Asian cinematography lecture series

I have been delivering a series of cinematography lectures on board Oceania Nautica. Sailing from Cape Town with port stops in Maputo Mozambique, Da Es Salaam, Mombassa Kenya, Zanzibar Tanzania, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and wrapping up in Singapore.

Please visit my gallery for more images from this assignment.


Still to Motion training at top Sydney Ad agency

Some of the finest pro photographers at the BMF agency's amazing Sydney studio, this week took part in my Still to Motion course. BMF took home more awards than any other agency at the 2017 Australian Effie Awards. They also won the Effective Agency of the Year Award. BMF collected one Gold Effie Award, seven Silvers and one Bronze. I'm very proud to be training their staff photographers on ways to further improve their video production skills.


Foxtel production gets the latest camera info

I’ve had a busy schedule these past eight weeks. Assignments in Japan, South Korea, China, Finland and Holland. Now back in Sydney, I'm taking reservations for training sessions into the new year.

Recent activities at my space at the National HQ of the Australian Cinematographers in North Sydney have been a mix of One-to-One training with a number of photographers and cinematographers plus one of my regular camera technical updates for the production unit at Foxtel.

This session featured Sony F65, F55, FS7Mk2, Sony A7R Mk2, Canon C300 Mk2 cameras and the brilliant new Sony RX0 miniature camera. There also was a selection of drones and gimbals. Contributions from Angelo Boutsalis from Dragon Image and Sony Australia's Anthony Kable.

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