Taking video footage of important events is one of the most common practices in every household. Video cameras have become quite affordable that almost all homes have them. The technology has also improved so much that small devices like iPods and mobile phones now have video capabilities as well. But even if you equip yourself with all sorts of video cameras, it still won’t mean that you‘ll be able to take good video footage because of it.
Taking good video footage requires skills that need to be developed through practice. If you want to take good videos but don’t have the time to keep taking videos there are some techniques that will help you improve your video taking skills.
Keep it steady
Good video footage is free of jerkiness. Practice keeping your hands steady whilie recording your video. A steady video is one of the signs of professional quality. A lot of movement in the video is also very annoying and makes for footage that people will not just hate watching, it will give them a headache too.
There are many things you can do to keep your video footage steady. Using a tripod is the easiest way of taking steady videos. But there will be moments when a tripod cannot be used or you just won’t have time to set up your tripod. A good method to use is to keep both of your elbows close to your stomach then use both of your hand in holding the camera. You are basically creating a tripod of sorts with your hands and body. Practice this stance and over time you’ll learn how to keep your videos from getting jerky or shaky.Some video camera also automatically correct shakiness.
Get enough footage
Professionals always shoot a lot of footage so that they’ll have a lot of material to work on when they start editing. Getting more footage is better than running out of material. Do your best to take videos of everything that happens during an event, especially the most important moments. You will have to be very observant about what’s happening and be ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. Quickly press that Record button the moment something ‘video-worthy’ happens.
Shoot with different angles
Don’t plant yourself in one spot when shooting your videos. Go for a variety of shots and angles to give yourself a lot of choices in the editing room. Take close ups, then wide shots of events. Go for different angles. Move around the subject or event to take different perspectives. But through it all, always be aware of what you’re shooting. It’s okay to get lots of footage but you still need to use good judgement because you’re working with limited resources – the hard drive space/ tape of your camera.
Learn to frame
Another factor that makes professional quality videos is how well a shot is framed. The most commonly used framing is to put the subject smack in the middle of the shot. This is actually one of the hallmarks of amateurs. Use the rule of thirds to give variety to your framing. The rule of thirds is actually quite simple. Imagine having lines running vertically and horizontally on your frame – 3 vertically and 3 horizontally. You will end up with 9 boxes and four points where the lines intersect. Instead of focusing your shots on the center box, use the four points to place your subject to give you more interesting framing. The rule of thirds can also be used when framing subjects in photography.
Get to know your camera
Get to know your camera well so you’ll know how to get the most out of it. Play with the different settings and know all of the buttons or modes that will give you different effects or video qualities. Knowing your camera well will mean that you’ll know what settings to use when shooting outdoors or indoor, with a lot of light or if there’s not enough light. (If you’re thinking of buying a new video camera, check out our list of what features to look for. This article can also help you decipher your user’s manual!)
Photo from imagestate.com