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September 4th, 2010

10 Video Tips for HDSLR Beginners (Part Two)

Posted by liveBooks

The second of two posts originally published on the Professional Photographer Magazine blog. Photographer, Writer and liveBooks client, Lindsay Adler shares her insight in the second of two parts describing the top 10 things to think about when you start using an HDSLR camera.

Click Here To Read The First Part

6. Be Steady: In most cases, hand-holding just won’t cut it. The camera will record every wiggle and breath you take. Consider keeping your camera on a tripod (or monopod), but invest in a head or unit that will allow you to make camera movements (like panning). Another option is a steadicam unit that will give you a more stable image and additional flexibility.

7. Audio: When first starting out, you might want to use a music overlay or a voice-over with your early efforts. Triple Scoop Music is a great resource of royalty-free music for photographers. Once you feel more comfortable, consider capturing audio of the scene, including the subjects’ voices, ambient noise, and more. The more advanced in video you become, the more complex and precise your audio captures will be. If recording audio alone, cars (motor and AC off, of course) make great sound studios.

8. Editing: If you’d never edited before, you may find it frustrating when you realize you haven’t shot enough to edit with. For example, you may want scenes to fade in. You need to record around 5 seconds of video before and after each scene to give you enough time to fade in and out. Always shoot more angles than you think you’ll need. Allow the subject to enter the frame and leave the frame, otherwise it gives a visual effect of the subject appearing and disappearing from a scene.

9. Keep it Short: If you are trying to tell a story and not just recording events of the day (like a wedding), you want to keep it short. The length of the piece depends on the final product. If we as photographers are aiming for video portraits or video shorts, we might think of our piece being like a music video. A typical goal for length is between 2 to 5 minutes. In general, the shorter the better because this adds to impact and keeps the viewer engaged.

10. Break the Rules: Just like with photography, rules are meant to be broken. Some of the greatest directors and cinematographers regularly break the rules, but you should at least know them first to figure out when breaking them is appropriate.

Posted in Best Practices / Video

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