Videography is a wonderful pursuit. Some people view taking videos as a way to capture memories. Others might use it to make an income, such as with wedding videography. Still others want to learn the art to eventually parlay it into film making or creating art videos.
Whatever the case may be, if you are interested in videography, that’s wonderful. There are many things you can do to get good at it quickly. Videography classes are a great first step. Or, you can simply learn through your own trial and error.
No matter how you choose to learn the art of videography, however, there are some tips that can help you along the way.
Don’t Zoom in Without a Purpose
First thing first, videographers should understand that zooming during a video is not something you should do just because you want to get closer to a subject.
A lot of beginning videographers think this way. Thus, their videos end up having tons of zooming in and panning out that can be really distracting to the viewer.
This is not to say that you should never zoom. You should definitely zoom when you’re hoping to have some kind of effect. Maybe you want to catch the tear falling from someone’s eye while making a point of it. Maybe you want to zoom out to reveal something that would otherwise be hidden in the scene.
Basically, if you have an artistic purpose for zooming, then do it. But, if you’re just zooming to get closer to a subject, you should stop the tape, move closer, and then hit record again.
Subjects Don’t Always Have to Go in the Center
Another mistake commonly made among beginning videographers is to put every single subject or person right in the center of their video frame.
This is an easy way to make your video look cluttered and overwhelming. Plus, it will most definitely mark you as a videography beginner.
There are plenty of books and online articles with ideas for other types of subject placements. By all means, check out these resources and try other placements. Or, just try some different things on your own. Varying up your placement will always make a cleaner, nicer video than just sticking everything and/or everyone in the middle.
Know When to Use a Short Lens
When you’re new to videography, you might have no idea which lens to use. You might not even think it matters that much, but this is definitely not true.
You want to be particularly careful about using the short lens. The short lens has a very marked effect and using it incorrectly can make your video turn out all wrong.
You should use the short lens in the following situations only:
- You want a clear view of every detail, including the background
- You need help keeping the camera from shaking
- There are lots of things going on and you want to capture them all in the frame
- You have too many subjects to capture them in a straight line
If you use a short lens only at the right times, as advised above, the results should be great.
Remember that Manual Focus is Your Friend
A lot of people are unaware that they should be using manual focus. They may feel like it’s “cheating” to use it.
However, manual focus is a wonderful addition to modern video equipment and has been making videos clearer since it came into existence.
In fact, manual focus is such a good and useful thing that it’s one of the first things you should familiarize yourself with when you get a new video camera.
Make Sure You Buy a Tripod
Some new videographers view tripods as an unnecessary expense. On the contrary, though, tripods are actually quite useful and necessary.
For one thing, they can really help you to avoid “shaky camera syndrome.” Just make sure your tripod holds your camera nice and level and that you can turn it with ease.
Also, tripods can make it a whole lot easier to get everything you want in a shot without having to sprawl yourself on the ground or stand up on a chair or anything else equally unprofessional.
Tripods don’t have to cost a fortune either, especially if you buy them used. So, as you look for a video camera, look for a tripod too. Remember, you don’t need anything fancy, just something that will do the job it’s intended to do.
So, now that you’re armed with all these great tips, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start shooting video today. Just remember what you’ve learned.