02 Mar How to shoot video like a pro and make your brand benefit more.
Are you a beginner videographer and would like to know some tips about how to shoot video? Are you a professional and would like to enhance your video shooting skills? Then this article is for you. Mastering some basic video shooting tips will eliminate some of the frustrations experienced by videographers. Read along to learn some of the video shooting tips that will keep you a step ahead of your competitors.
Frames Per Second (FPS).
When shooting video you have options like 24 FPS, 25 FPS. 30 FPS, 50 FPS, and 60 FPS. Depending on the kind of look you want you have to set the FPS correctly. If you want a cinematic look you should use 24 FPS. If you want a smoother video you can set your camera to 30 FPS and 60 FPS. Essentially the higher the FPS the larger the file but the videos will be much smoother.
It should be a first rule that you have to double the FPS and use the closest shutter speed option offered by your camera. For instance, if you are shooting at 24 FPS and you double it to 148 the closest shutter speed to 148 is 1/50th of the second and for 60 FPS is 1/125th of the second. If you do not use the correct shutter speed for your selected FPS your videos will not look smooth and will look jumpy. So make sure that you know the FPS that you want to use and adjust the correct shutter speed.
To set the aperture you have to decide what kind of depth of field you want. If you want the background to be blurred use a higher aperture like F/1.4 or F/1.8. If you are going to decrease the aperture you are going to introduce much more background into the frame. If you want the whole scene to be in focus use a lower aperture and if you want the subject to be separated from the background use a higher aperture like F/2.8.
To decide the ISO use the cameras histogram. If the cameras histogram is on the far right it means it is a very bright video so you would want to decrease the ISO and bring it to the centre. If the histogram is on the far left you would want to increase the ISO and bring it to the centre. Basically you do not want the video to be extremely dark or extremely bright. So according to the histogram adjust the ISO so that you get a properly exposed video.
The most asked question about how to shoot video is how to focus. The answer is simple, use manual focusing. Some cameras have an amazing auto focus even in video mode but manual focus is the best option. Manual focus gives you more control over the focusing and basically you can shift from one point to another by twisting or moving the focus lenses. If you are shooting a still shot you can auto focus on the subject first and then switch to manual focus so that the focus will be locked. Throughout the video you will have a perfectly focused subject and will avoid autofocus hunting.
White balance is generally ignored but is very important. It is responsible for the colours of the video. If you have not set the white balance properly the colours in the video will be different and fixing it is hard and time consuming. I would recommend using a grey card as a reference and set the white balance so that you get natural colours in your video which is very crucial.
Use prime lenses
Using prime lenses is a bit optional but will deliver better quality videos than other lenses. They have a higher aperture, amazing sharpness and a beautiful colour rendition that will surely increase the quality of your video.
Plan your footage
Plan music, commercial or short film from the beginning to end. You can create a story board with sequenced illustration of your scenes. This will help you to pre imagine your film and have the desired shots in mind. This will help you during shooting and editing.
Use cinematic techniques
For a professional video use mixtures of camera movements that will keep your audience engaged and improve the story telling. The cinematography techniques you use will depend on your creativity and experience. However, choose a few basic techniques that will highlight your story better. Do not overdo the cinematic techniques to an extent of overwhelming the viewers and diverting them from focusing on the story.
Use proper timing for your shots.
Make your shots between five to ten seconds long to capture the audience attention. Steady your shots for ten seconds and avoid zooming and panning. This is very helpful in reducing camera movements and minimizing the recording time.
Know how to use fast motion and slow motion.
Slow motion should only be used to emphasize a story. If it doesn’t add to the story, do not use slow motion. If you shoot anything with fast motion at least ensure it is part of the intended effect. If you use fast motion you can cut up your clips so that it is more of a gradual up and then a gradual down. It gives a more natural effect to your film.
Challenge your angles
Whichever camera you are using make sure that you are telling a different story rather than just standing and shooting. To take a better shot you will have to go down on your knees or climb a tree to get a bottom or above shot. You need to go an extra mile to get that unique story.
Understand your camera.
Make sure that you have read the user manual and have fully understood the settings before filming. Make sure that you can quickly access the menu functions to make some necessary adjustments for an effective shot.
• If you are using a phone you should put a few things in mind.
• Use the rear camera than the front camera. The rear camera is clearer than the front camera.
• Use landscape mode to record. The footage will look good on larger devices.
• If your phone has a grid feature always use it. It will help you put your phone on a level and avoid tilted images.
Use a tripod for steady footage.
If you have shaky hands, you can opt to use a tripod for a steady video. If you do not have access to a tripod you can position your body in a manner that will minimize a lot of unwanted motion. You can lean on a wall or use the ground to hold the camera to get an interesting shot.
When using a tripod ensure that it remains fixed there unless you want to move it. When you pan around continuously it will make your footage look unprofessional. Cut between shots rather than moving the camera.
In case the footage turns out shaky there is video stabilization software that can help during editing. Some cameras have an internal stabilizer that comes in handy. Another trick you can use to minimize the shakiness is slowing down your video.
Use proper light positioning.
Always know the position to place your lights to give the shot a natural effect. For example, use a standard 3 light setups one facing the object directly, and fill light and a backlight to have a dramatic outcome.
When carrying out outdoor footage, check out the position of the sun. If you are recording people ensure the position of the sun is at your back. You will get better shots than if you faced the sun. You should also consider the weather and time of day. Sometimes you have to wait for the best conditions to take a shot most likely in the morning and evening when the sun is at the horizon.
Capture a great sound effect.
Great audio is very important when shooting video. A great video with a whack sound effect is useless. Ensure that you monitor the sound when recording audio. This is a common mistake new videographers make. Imagine shooting a video of a party and only the people are seen having fun without the sound. This footage is unenjoyable and useless.
Mostly this can happen when you record audio during an interview and do not notice that there is a busy road in the background. When you watch the video later all you can hear is the loud sound of passing vehicles.
The quality of the audio is more important than video quality. Many people would like to watch a simple video with great audio. A video with poor audio is mainly noise and the audience will get irritated in an instant.
Invest in a good microphone if you want the perfect audio output. With $100 and $200, you can get high quality and long-lasting microphone. To capture clear audio put the microphone as close to the speaker as possible. You can use a pop filter to remove crackles and blips on the recording. Also, be sure that your microphone is not picking up any unwanted noise from the surroundings.
This is how you position the objects in the frame. A poor composition can make an image not look compelling. A well-positioned image can make an ordinary image look special. Many laws are followed and it is imperative to know some basic formulas. However, not all rules apply in every situation but it is worth using them at the right time.
• The rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds involves the avoidance of positioning the subject in the middle of the frame. The subject is positioned at the right or left side of the frame while the centre can have other objects for proper balancing of the scene.
• A clean background.
Ensure that you use a clean background when filming. A distracting background is messy and unprofessional. You can use a solid colored background like a bed sheet or a wall. Ensure that the subject stands a few feet away from the background to avoid casting shadows.
You can also shoot a video in your workplace or where you spend your time like in an office, kitchen, living room, etc. Ensure that there is no window or any other source of reflection. The camera could show on the reflection. It can also make the subject look shadowy and dark.
Select good video editing software.
Highly effective software can turn raw footage into something epic. Simpler tools include iMovie, Wave, and Camtasia. More advanced software includes Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and many more.
When selecting a video editing software check out the following features:
• Adding video and text features.
• Trimming and cropping video feature.
• Aspect ratio transition feature.
• Ability to make scene transitions.
• Adding overlays and filters.
• Have a collection of stock sounds and videos.
Always make a simple edit.
Making various video effects can be fun but do not overdo it. A simple edit will look more professional. However, ensure that you have done these important edits:
• Clear any background noise using noise canceling.
• Adjusting the light but when necessary.
• Cut out unnecessary pauses, silences, stutters, etc.
• Add some transitions and background music.
Also, during editing, when cutting from one scene to another, ensure that there is an equal motion on each segment. This makes a smoother transition than when making a jump from quiet and motionless footage to a busy and moving footage.
In conclusion, the more professional your footage looks the more you benefit by building your brand. Taking professional footage needs practice and some know-how but you do not have to study in college for years. You can upgrade the quality of your footage within a short time by following the how to shoot video tips in this article.