5 Tips for Shooting Better Video

21/06/2018 11:33 AM

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.

There is a cross-over of techniques between Photography and Video such as composition, lighting and shooting angles, which is why you will probably find yourself drawn to both mediums. Some things, however, are distinctly video-related, such as scene changes, panning and zooming, audio quality and more.


Composition is just as important in 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 it, 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.


Tripods are invaluable, with their obvious benefits being consistently smooth and steady footage which makes for a less distracting viewing experience.

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, and as you navigate the scene with freedom, you will soon produce exciting and eye-catching angles that simply would not be possible with your camera stuck on a tripod.

Zooming & Panning

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.

Audio Quality

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 under many 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.

Audio Quality


To keep things interesting, 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 if you don’t want to re-shoot otherwise successful scenes. A bounce board is extremely handy for directing light at your subjects and as an added bonus they are an incredibly simple and cheap DIY project!


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