Anyone can buy a camcorder these days, but it takes skill and practice to be a professional level photographer and videographer. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to produce quality video images however, as these tips will get you started on the right track.
- Keep it Steady
Keep your camera as steady as possible and avoid excessive panning to the left or right, and don’t zoom in and out unless it’s really necessary. As a rule, it’s best to record :10 of every shot.
- Shoot for Different Angles
Shoot from as many angles as possible so you’ll have options when you edit the material later. If you’re taping a large crowd, get a wide angle shot and then shoot for close ups of the faces. There’s no hard and fast rules here, but the more angles you can get the better.
- Mind the Background
Set your camera so the background doesn’t overpower the focal point, and if necessary move the subject around to get the best angle possible. Remember, the background must support the foreground and help “tell the story”.
- Timelapse Matters
Timelapse is an effective way of capturing the essence of the event, but think first if the subject / event is suitable for timelapse. Timelapse capability is built into most video cameras, but you need to make sure that it’s appropriate and not forced.
- Lighting is Crucial
The importance of lighting cannot be stressed enough. To put it simply, the amount of light, the color and angle sets the mood and can make or break the atmosphere. Don’t commit the mistake of making the image too dark, but don’t go the opposite route and use too many lights, because it will appear washed out. For instance, don’t shoot a video of someone standing with the sun directly behind them.
- Trust Your Instinct
This is something you’ll learn on your own. The first few times you’ll miss some shots but the knack for “capturing the moment” is something you’ll figure out. Just take a look at photographers who captured images of baseball players hitting a home run or a tennis player with a powerful return: they trust their instincts, and so should you. The keyword here is anticipation.
- Frame It
This one is easy to understand: use standard framing rules unless there’s a compelling reason not to.
- Mind the Mic
Get a good microphone so viewers won’t have any problems listening to what the person is saying. This will cost you, but the outcome will be more polished and professional.
- Avoid Zooming
Even on a high quality camcorder, quality is lost when zoomed up close, and it also makes the image shaky so avoid it. If you want a clear shot, walk towards the object.
- Find a Good Place to Work
When it comes to production quality, at an established company. One of the best in Ontario is Memory Tree Productions. Recipient of the prestigious Marcom Platinum Award, this video agency in Kitchener-Waterloo is a great place to work and has established a reputation of excellence in Canada.