It’s not the gear. That’s right. Taking great pictures or great video has no relation to the number of megapixels in your camera. A good camera can improve the pictures you take a little, but content, composition, positioning, lighting and editing will do far more for you videos then having the newest toy. So forget the thought that you need the latest greatest camera in order to make your videos look good. You just need to learn how to use the camera you have. After all the best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you need it.
Content is King. The content of your videos is the reason people will watch. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be very interested in videos of your kid smashing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over his face. Now, MY kid smashing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over his face is something I will watch over and over again, but I don’t expect you to watch it. Ok, maybe I’ll ask you to watch it once, because after all it is pretty funny.
Content is the reason we watch videos. We want to see what is happening in the video. People go looking for content like a great buzzer beater basketball shot, the latest music video, or a tutorial on how to cook a great meal. Not many people, except possibly professional videographers, go looking for video based solely on the picture quality. Chances are that the content of the videos you are shooting will be of high interest to you, your family, and your friends. Keep that in mind
Composition is where things are placed in the screen. There are three important areas of the screen, foreground, middle ground, and background. Your subject and anything they are interacting with will usually be in the middle ground. Foreground is anything in front of your subject, and background is anything behind your subject.
Positioning is where items in your shot are placed in relation to the center of the screen as well as in relation to each other. The visually strongest locations of the screen are on the 1/3rd marks, 1/3rd of the way left or right, and 1/3rd of the way top or bottom. Where these lines intersect are the most visually powerful areas of the screen. This is referred to as the rule of thirds. More on this rule later.
Lighting is important because light is what the camera sees. The light bounces off everything, through the lens and onto the sensor. Now this doesn’t mean you have to set up big lights for every shot, but you should be aware of the lighting conditions while you shoot. Placing you subject in front of a big bright light, the sun for instance) will make them look very dark. Try to move the light, the subject, the camera, or any combination to achieve a better look.
Editing is when you take all the footage you shot and put together only the best parts to tell a story. Raw footage is usually very boring to watch. Editing tells a story. You will end up with a lot of shots not included in the final video, and probably only small sections of the shots you do use. There are many editing software programs available. Try a few out and see which works best for you. Editing is a complex topic and will be the subject of many future posts.
So get out there and start shooting. And if you want a professional videographer in Tampa Bay, or anywhere in Florida you can always find me here.