Photo Change, and Video Starter Tips

Here’s Brynn and her colleague from Photosensitive, preparing to video-interview me today for the Picture Change Project I will be part of (keep July 15 open, all!):

And this prompts me to talk a little about video today.

Vido on a DSLR is great. Better than with pro hi def video cameras of just a few years ago. As long as you take a few simple things in mind. Here’s my 10 starter tips for video on a DSLR:

  1. Do not focus during shooting. Focus, then leave it alone. Or if you must, then do manual focus, and practice the technique.
  2. Wide lenses make it easier.
  3. Avoid fast shutter speeds: they lead to unnaturally “shocking”, stuttery-looking video.
  4. Unless you are shooting an interview you should shoot short clips, usually. Say, 8-10 seconds.
  5. Shoot 2 seconds before, and 2 seconds after, each clip for fade in/out purposes.
  6. Get close-up, too, not just all-body shots.
  7. Avoid unnecessary zooming in and out or panning.
  8. Shoot “B-roll” frames too – the environment, the “establishing shot”, etc.
  9. Stabilize the camera. See the tripod here?
  10. Use photographic composition rules you already know.
  11. Use separate audio equipment. See it in this shot?

There. Start with that.. and leave lots of time for editing… at least three quarters of your shoot should end up on the metaphorical cutting room floor.


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