5 Tips for Shooting Better Video

9 June 2020

Availability of high-quality video modes in still cameras and even Smartphones has seen many of us entertaining the thought of trying our hand at videography. Whether you are simply wanting to improve your home videos or you are planning on making your directorial debut, it never hurts to re-read the basics and see if there is something that you missed.

Here we have compiled 5 tips to get you shooting better video.

1. Consider your composition

Composition is just as important in a video as it is in photography and many of the same techniques can be employed across both fields to huge success. You have to be mindful of where things fall into place within the frame, not just for long still shots, but also through scenes of numerous transitions.

One of the most utilised techniques of composition that we suggest you take a look at is referred to as the ‘rule of thirds.’ This technique finds you layering an imaginary 3x3 grid over your image and placing your subjects at crossover points. This helps to create a sense of balance and order in your scene.

The following video from Mike Browne is a good example of how you can use the rule of thirds in your work.

2. Use a tripod (sometimes)

5 Tips for Shooting Better Video5 Tips for Shooting Better Video

Tripods are invaluable, with their obvious benefits being consistently smooth and steady footage which makes for a less distracting viewing experience. They also make it easier for you to fine-tune your composition.

However, to create something truly unique and original you sometimes need to break the rules. Don’t be afraid to remove your camera from its tripod occasionally and practise shooting handheld and on-the-go.

If you hold your camera as steady as possible and close to your body you can minimise any distracting movements, as you navigate the scene with freedom.

If you wish to produce exciting and eye-catching angles that simply would not be possible with your camera stuck on a tripod, we recommend considering a gimbal - this will take your handheld shots to the next level, and beyond.

3. Use Zooming & Panning sparingly

When you are in charge of shooting a scene it is tempting to zoom and pan around regularly to make sure all the important elements are getting enough attention. But this is not always the right choice and it can lead to confusing and un-nerving footage.

As a general rule, you should allow at least 10 seconds of stillness in any shot, which will give the viewer ample time to navigate the scene at their will, naturally taking in any important details. If you stick to this rule you can then add zoom and panning techniques sparingly when required, with their sparseness only adding to their success.

5 Tips for Shooting Better Video5 Tips for Shooting Better Video

4. Enhance your audio quality

5 Tips for Shooting Better Video5 Tips for Shooting Better Video

There’s nothing worse than having to reshoot a scene due to a technical problem and this issue is only exacerbated when other people, such as cast, are affected too. It is always important to be prepared and ready for every challenge, which is why you should do an audio check before filming begins on any scene to avoid heartache.

It is also worth keeping in mind that while the built-in microphone of your camera is good in most circumstances, factors such as ambient noise and distance between yourself and the subject can complicate things. A high-quality external mic is often the difference between very good and very bad audio quality and is a must for any videography kit. These days, you can even pick up a high-quality microphone to pair with your smartphone.

The best external mics for capturing better audio

5. Improve your lighting

With content creation becoming increasingly mobile-based, you will probably find yourself shooting in various environments, both indoors and outdoors, which will result in constantly changing lighting conditions.

Natural lighting can be used to create some of the most beautiful and distinct visuals, but it can be extremely unpredictable, so you need to stay on top of this to save yourself from heartache. A bounce board or reflector is extremely handy for directing light at your subjects and as an added bonus they are an incredibly simple and cheap DIY project!

We also recommend investigating our range of LED video lights, in order to harness a consistent quality of lighting.  This will help you out of many jams and save you plenty of time in post-production.

5 Tips for Shooting Better Video5 Tips for Shooting Better Video

Start shooting better video today

If you think you are ready to try your hand at filming video today, Ted’s can help you on your way, with everything from vlogging tips, to recommendations for the best Mirrorless camera to buy. Stop by our blog regularly, to find out more.

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