Review: “Stills In Motion with Drew Gardner” – training for the stills photographer moving to motion

by planetmitch2 Comments

F-Stop Academy has produced another winner here. First, F-Stop had Philip Bloom's
Learn Canon 5D Mark II Cinematography” and “Learn 2 shoot great video on your Canon 7D” and now, they've added Drew Gardner's “Stills in Motion”.

Drew Gardner has been a Commercial & Advertising Photographer for 30 years. In Late 2009 he started shooting Video and like many photographers was intimidated by having to start again, but he persevered and spent 6 months committed to learning everything he could. After all how different can it be from stills?

This is the photographers guide to HD -DSLR Video from a commercial Photography perspective. Drew has been through the growing pains so you don't have to and he's going to show you the short cuts in less than 2 hrs.

Redrock Micro

There are some similarities with the first set of Philip DVDs, but there are also plenty of things that are new in Drew's training. Drew goes into a lot more detail than the earlier F-Stop training and Drew is good about pointing out some common mistakes newbies make along the way. Drew provides some really good tips on lighting, and providing the ‘cinema' look – there's a real good section about setting up your picture styles and Drew provides plenty of examples so you can see them side by side.

Drew Gardner - Side by side examples of picture styles

Coverage on photography lenses used for movies is also really good. There's just more material here than there was in Philip's DVD.


Things I didn't like:

They used multiple cameras to record some of the segments, but when switching between camera angles, Drew didn't always switch to looking at the different camera… we always yell at TV people that don't look at the right camera, so I've got to do it when Drew did it.

ISO: they did a great job in the section on picture styles by showing all the scenes back to back after they showed them filming, but in the ISO section, they included a night scene with the back to back shots with different ISOs but they didn't include the ones they shot of the Cello player indoors and I really wanted to see them done the same way.

Course Details

This Entry level training course has been designed to give professional photographers, enthusiast photographers, film making and video enthusiasts a comprehensive and creative step up to D-SLR Video.

Drew meticulously covers the fundamentals in disc one, then spends disc two showing you how to shoot a sequence and light a scene from start to finish.

Each component part is broken down and explained with practical demonstration and tips on how to achieve consistent technical and creative results.


Disc 1 – “fundamentals”

  • Chapter 1 – getting started
  • Chapter 2 – Core Differences
  • Chapter 3 – The Look
  • Chapter 4 – Light
  • Chapter 5 – Prime Lenses
  • Chapter 6 – Moving the Camera
  • Chapter 7 – Other Considerations
  • Chapter 8 – Cinderella

Disc 2 – “applying the theory”

  • Chapter 1 – shooting a Sequence
  • Chapter 2 – Pulling it all together
  • Chapter 3 – The business model

And there's a Bonus section with info on Slo-motion and Timelapse

My summary

Maybe I should start rating these things? Oh wait! There's always the entry on planet5D Review where you and I can both rate the Drew Gardner training!

Overall, this is a good HDSLR education for those who are already familiar with the concepts of photography but don't know yet about making movies. If you know nothing about photography, you'd better get some training there first because Drew makes assumptions about what you know and terminology that is expected that you already understand. There's nothing wrong with that thinking because this isn't aimed at the absolute beginner.

I do enjoy the second disc (it is even broken down into two files if you get the digital download version) because it showed me a lot about setting up a scene with actors and lots about different camera moves.

If I were looking for training for a stills photographer who wanted to move into video, this would be a good purchase – hey! Sounds like a great Christmas / Hanukkah gift for the holidays for that special someone!

Blogger's Disclaimer: planet5D is an F-Stop Academy affiliate and we'll get rich someday after you buy all this training – and we thank you

(Photo credit: snap from the famous photograph by Drew Gardner – we could have showed the DVD cover, but this is just more compelling don't you think?)

Zeiss Cinema Lenses


  1. It bothers me that we’re supposed to be in business (or hobby) of making beautiful images, but many of the people selling training show they can’t tell good from bad through their really bad website designs and title designs on their videos. That FStop site is awful.

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