May 23rd, 2022 by GSC Customer Care
There’s lots to think about before you press RECORD
Video is now such a commonplace way to communicate and share stories that it’s worth knowing how to do it well. Whether you want to gain followers on TikTok, post fun moments on Facebook, or simply create cherished memories, the following tips will help you put all your subjects in the best possible light.
- Start with a clean slate. It may sound too obvious to mention, but it’s something many people forget. Before you start filming, clean your camera lens using a microfiber cloth. Debris and smudges can interfere with your video quality.
- Check your settings. Before you start filming, check your video settings. Choose your video resolution, such as 1080 HD or 4K; your frame rate, such as 30 or 60 frames per second (fps); and your shutter speed, such as 1/40 or 1/50. There are many more settings, so check online to determine the best ones for your project.
- Pick a good background. The right background will help you better tell your story. Use an interesting scene, but one that doesn’t have too many details. As you would with a photo, also think about composition, such as the “rule of thirds” in which you place your subject one-third of the way in from one side or the other.
- Choose the right orientation. For many videos, you should hold your phone horizontally to get the best quality shots. But remember that some platforms, like TikTok and Snapchat, are more suited to vertical orientation. Before you begin, think about what you plan to use the video for and base the orientation on that information.
- Avoid shaky camera syndrome. If you can hold your phone steady, great. Most cameras now include gridlines so you can tell when you’re not level. Another method is to use a tripod to stabilize your device. If you’re panning, consider using a gimbal, which is a pivoted support that permits rotation of an object to help smooth out any shakiness.
- Don’t forget about audio quality. Choose as quiet a location as possible so the camera’s microphone can pick up the sounds you want to include. Hold the camera close enough to your subject to be able to pick up the noise they make. Consider using an attached microphone to improve sound quality.
- Know when to zoom. Modern cameras, including those on smartphones, include optical zoom, which enables you to zoom in or out without losing video quality. But, unless you’re doing it for dramatic effect, limit your use of zoom to avoid making viewers dizzy.
- Learn about lighting. Film in a well lit area that shows light on the subject’s face. As with still photography, it’s best to avoid shooting toward a light source. If you’re shooting at night or in a dark location, be sure to have a ring light or something similar or use night mode if it’s available on your camera.
- Get the right point of view. The right point of view in a video can help tell your story. For example, if you’ve seen videos filmed with GoPro cameras, you know how exciting it can be to see daring physical feats from the adventurer’s point of view. Footage from cameras attached to pets’ collars can also be enter taining to watch.
- Stay in focus. Many modern cameras focus your videos automatically. But, before you press RECORD, you should check it to make sure your subject is clearly visible. Each device or application has its own method for doing so. With most modern smartphones, you can simply tap the image of the subject to focus on that element.
- Try time-lapse. Many smartphones, including iPhones, have time-lapse features to help you create interesting films of things that normally take a long time, and might make for a somewhat boring video. Examples include clouds moving across the sky, or people walking through a square in your vacation destination.
- Slow down. It can be fun to experiment with the slow-motion effect. Use this setting on your camera, if you have it, to create videos of things that include a high level of action, like a sporting event, or a dog shaking off water after swimming in a river.
- Play with special effects. Part of the fun of today’s video creation is that it doesn’t have to be entirely real. For instance, Snapchat lenses enable you to make yourself or other subjects look different as you record. Afterwards, you can add things like text, stickers, and other fun elements.
- Do a do-over. Some video moments, like your child’s ballet recital, only come once, and there’s no way to create a new video if the first one doesn’t work out. But others that are more staged can be repeated if needed. Before you end the filming session, review your video and try it again if you’re not happy with the results.
- Edit with care. Today’s technology allows even amateurs to perform expert-level video editing. It includes basics like trimming and adding transitions, as well as more advanced functions like splicing two or more videos together and combining sounds. Use these tools to perfect your videos but be careful not to overdo it—a few rough edges keep your videos natural and fun.