Easy & Effective Videography Tips
Are you starting or planning to pursue a career in videography, and need some helpful, but easily digestible advice to get you started? In this day and age, videography is a very useful skill to have. More and more people are using video to communicate, and the demand for quality video content is only increasing.
If you have a knack for videography, you can use it to create engaging, informative videos that people will love to watch. You can also use your skills to create marketing videos, product demonstrations, and more. With the right videography skills, you can open up a world of possibilities. So let’s take a look at a few basic videography tips from a video production company in London.
Plan your shoot
One of the most essential videography tips and the most important thing you can do is to plan your shoot in advance. By taking the time to map out each scene, you can ensure that you capture all the footage you need to create a polished final product. Of course, this isn’t always possible, and there will be times when you have to improvise on the fly.
For example if you are the videographer at a wedding, you won’t be able to predict exactly what will be going on, but you should still plan what kinds of shots you’d like to get, such as how many close ups of the bride and groom, wide shots of the dance floor, mid shots of the toasts.
If you plan ahead as much as possible, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of unplanned shooting and save yourself a lot of time in the editing room. So next time you’re getting ready to shoot a video, take a few minutes to figure out exactly what shots you need to get – it’ll make your life a lot easier in the long run.
Use manual focus
When it comes to video, one of the most important things is focus. Having your subjects in sharp focus can make or break a video, and it’s one area where manual focus can give you a lot more control. With autofocus, the camera will often hunt back and forth for a while before settling on the best point of focus. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to capture a specific moment.
With manual focus, you can set the focus point exactly where you want it and be confident that the camera will stay locked on that point. This gives you a lot more control over what your final video looks like. In addition, manual focus can also be helpful when shooting in low light or when there is fast movement. So if you’re looking to have more control over your videos, switch to manual focus and see for yourself the difference it can make. This is one of the most essential beginner videography tips.
Use a stabilising device
Investing in the right equipment is one of the first videography tips to keep in mind. Anyone who has ever tried to capture video without a tripod knows how difficult it can be to keep the camera steady. Even the slightest movement can result in shaky, blurry footage. That’s why tripods are such an essential tool for videographers of all levels. By providing a stable base, tripods help to ensure smooth, steady shots.
In addition to traditional tripods, there are also a number of other stabilising devices available on the market, such as gimbals and stabiliser rigs. These devices use advanced engineering to counterbalance the weight of the camera, making it easier to keep the shot steady. So if you’re looking to capture high-quality video, make sure you invest in a good tripod or stabilising rig.
However, if you want handheld shots, but with less shakiness, it is possible. For handheld stability, stretch out your arms with the camera strap over your neck, this is a simple trick to keep your arms more steady. Of course, practice and a steady hand will work better than any videography tips.
Set white balance
If you’re new to shooting videos, one of the most important videography tips to understand is white balance. Put simply, white balance is the process of adjusting the colours in your video to ensure that white objects look truly white. This may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference to the overall look of your footage. Incorrect white balance can make your video look washed out or overly blue/yellow/red, and it can be especially noticeable when shooting in low light conditions.
Fortunately, most digital cameras have an automatic white balance setting which does a pretty good job of getting it right. However, if you want to achieve optimum results, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to set the white balance manually. Once you’ve got it mastered, you’ll be able to produce videos that look more professional and polished.
Always keep lighting in mind
Nothing beats natural lighting, wether it’s golden hour or a beautiful blue sky in the morning, shooting outdoors can make your video look great and require less or no colour grading in post production. However, the sun can also negatively affect your shot, depending on which way you’re facing.
You don’t want the sun behind your subject, because that will cause them to be backlit and possible create a glare on the camera. Instead, you want to position yourself so that the sun is at your back, shining on your subject, without causing your own shadow to be in the shot. This will provide good, even lighting and will help you avoid any unwanted shadows. So when you’re setting up to shoot your next outdoor video, make sure to keep the sun behind you for the best results.
When shooting indoors, don’t rush setting up the lighting, a badly lit shot can make it look much less professional. Ideally you should use more than 1 light source, usually a key and a fill light. In any list of videography tips you are bound to find the importance of lighting.
Know your zoom
There are a few videography tips when it comes to using your zoom lens. First one is to avoid zooming as much as possible. A steady shot will always look better, manual zooming, especially with a less professional camera, will never look perfectly smooth, and you can always add a zoom effect in post production.
There is one very useful way to use the zoom option though, and that is to compose the shot and secure your focus. When you have set up your tripod or established the framing of your shot, zoom in to make sure the subject you want is in focus. For example if you are filming a person, zoom into their face and make sure the details of their face, such as their eyes, are in focus. Some cameras will have a button which automatically zooms in close in order to do this.
Shoot to edit
If you have already worked in the video and film industry you have probably heard the term “we’ll fix it in post” before. You should definitely avoid working with that logic in mind as much as possible. Even if you are not the one editing the video, keep the editor in mind and try to make their life easier.
One of the videography tips for this is to capture a variety of angles, including some ‘safety shots’ in case they look better when seen on the screen, or in case you realise you needed more shots to move between in the edit. Give the editor options to work with and avoid having to do reshoots, as they require more tiring planning, scheduling and probably more of a budget. Preparing extra shot options in advance will also stop you from using shots you’re not fully happy with just because you don’t have anything better to put in the final cut.
For more helpful videography tips check out this article and this video titled ‘5 Videography Tips for Beginners’:
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