If you shoot a lot of videos but are rarely happy with the results, you’re not alone. Most people would love to know how to make better videos.
Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult. Whether you’re recording something to publish online or just to capture memories to save and share, these simple tips will help you make better videos.
Always Use Rear Camera
This may seem like an obvious rule, but it’s easy to forget. The rear camera on the phone is better quality, has a higher resolution, and offers more in-app features. This will almost always give you better results.
Do you need some tips for recording yourself? OK, in most cases we still recommend using the rear camera, with your phone resting on a table or wall. If you prefer a handheld approach then you can use the front camera, but feel free to rotate the phone so that you are shooting in landscape mode.
If you’re talking directly into the camera, make sure you’re looking into the lens, not at the screen. Otherwise, your video will make it look like you’re looking over your viewer’s shoulder.
Stability and Focus
There are two big requirements for making good video: holding the camera still, and keeping it in focus.
Many phones, cameras, and camcorders have built-in image stabilization. This helps keep your videos stable, but you need to know the limits. IS works better when you hold the camera still early – shooting while walking can easily result in unwanted camera shake.
Without IS, hold your device with both hands while recording video. Use a tripod or temporary replacement to keep your camera still. Even a bag of rice can serve as a great DIY stabilization device.
Record in Landscape Mode
The first simple step to learning how to make professional videos is to remember to shoot in landscape mode and turn your phone sideways.
Vertical videos, or portraits, are fine if you’re only going to be viewing them on your phone. When you try to watch it on your TV, laptop, tablet, or just about any other device, an incorrect orientation will jump out as a sure sign of amateur hours.
Also, you can fit more into the frame in landscape mode. This means less need to constantly swipe left and right, which in turn leads to a finished product that looks classy.
The only thing worse than watching a video shot in portrait mode is watching a video shot at an angled angle. Adding a grid allows you to use the background as a reference point to ensure that your footage is always straight.
Most devices have this option, available through a setting that you may need to enable in your camera app.
The grid helps you align your video with the lines in the background to ensure you’re shooting live video.
It also helps composition. If you’re recording people, keep their eyes level with the top gridlines.
Photo enthusiasts will know this as the Third Rule, which helps you better frame the items in your shots. You can follow photography course more about this
While it’s easy enough to light up dark or underexposed photos, dark or underexposed videos carry a number of bigger problems:
It’s hard to brighten a video without degrading the quality and making noise.
The camera finds it harder to focus in low light. It may even continue to drift in and out of focus.
If you use Auto mode, as might be the case when you make a homemade video, the camera will reduce the frame rate when shooting movies in poor light. This results in a jerky video that you can’t fix.
What is the solution? As a general rule, try to ensure that your subject is illuminated by a bright light source that is ideally behind you. Use your smartphone’s flashlight only as an absolute last resort.
If you want to shoot regularly in low light, you may need to step up your gear so you can use a fast lens and full manual control.
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Experiment With Angles
It’s natural to just hold the camera and start shooting. But if you want to make professional videos at home, you’ll need to experiment more with the angles you use.
Instead of shooting everything at eye level from one spot, try taking a wide shot and then moving closer to your subject for a close-up. Then edit the two shots together. Or hold the camera above your head to take action from above. Or crouch down and shoot up.
Have fun trying to find what works. You don’t have to make every shot completely different, but a little variety can work wonders.
Zoom With Your Feet
When you want to take a close look at something, you are tempted to reach for your camera’s zoom button. But this can come with problems. Most smartphones only offer digital zoom, which can degrade the quality of your images. Also, the more you zoom in the more likely your video will be jerky, even if you use image stabilization.
So what do you do if you want to get closer to your subject? Zoom with your feet. Stop filming, move closer to the subject, and start shooting once again. Simple!
Use Effects (But Don’t Use Them Too Often)
Video effects are equivalent to photo filters. They look great when used properly, but you can easily overdo it. However, most cameras and smartphones offer several options that can add pizzazz to your videos.
iPhone has a great timelapse feature built into the default Camera app, but apps like Lapse It lets you emulate this effect on Android. Try using it when you can use all (or most) of the above rules.
The timeline works especially well if you can steadily position your camera for extended periods of time over a constantly changing area for example, over a bridge to capture sunset trails or star trails.
Slow motion can add drama to a video, or expose details that would normally be lost in fast-paced action. Keep it short. Video typically plays at 30 frames per second, so video clips at 120fps will last four times longer than real-world speeds.
Cinemagraphs are like a cross between video and photo most still images, apart from a selection or two of moving parts.
Many smartphone camera apps offer this feature, or you can download an app like Cinemagraph Pro on iOS or VIMAGE on Android to try it yourself. The effect can be quite impressive.
Learn Basic Video Editing
Serious video editing is beyond the scope of this article, but a little basic editing can help make your videos look more professional.
Just trimming the start and end of a clip will often fix it massively, as it will split a longer clip into several shorter ones and cut the fat out of it. This is especially true for anything you want to share online.
It’s better to use multiple shots instead of capturing them all at once. Keep each for about five to 10 seconds, and stitch together some editing apps when you’re done.
Cheats With Editing
Not everyone has the patience and skill to carefully edit multiple clips into a montage. Luckily there is a free app that does this for you. Apps like Google Photos and Quik GoPro (available for Android and iOS) extraordinary.
All you need to do is select the media files you want, choose one of the free background tracks, and add a theme. The two apps then stitch your videos together to create a montage, saving you valuable time and making you look like a pro in the process.
It’s not hard to make professional-looking videos at home. None of these tips require great technical skills, and with a little practice you’ll be able to shoot amazing videos in no time.
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