Shooting decent video is more than pointing a camera at something and hitting record. If you want to transform your videos from mediocre to great, here's what you need to work on.
In this video, photographer and youtuber Peter McKinnon shares his best advice for anyone looking to make their own videos:
- Make lighting your top priority: Whether it's a three-point lighting setup or just the power of the sun, lighting is the most important thing. Good window lighting is perfect for shooting on a budget. It's soft and illuminates your scenes nicely. Think ahead and plan your locations for shoots around lighting if you have to.
- Edit to the music: Sound can dramatically change the way shots are perceived. Cheesy music will make for a cheesy video, or ruin a shot that you want to be seen as intense. Music immediately sets the tone and can be used to emphasise big moments and cuts, so keep that in mind as you edit your videos.
- Actually learn your software: If you want more control over your video content you need to use your chosen editing at its full potential. Educate yourself on all the ins and outs, look up tutorials, attend seminars, and find online classes. Do whatever it takes so you can learn the language you need to speak.
- Add motion to your shots: Don't just shoot everything from a tripod; it's static and boring. It doesn't have to be crazy either. Slowly approach the subject, pan to the right, rotate around the subject, etc. If the camera is moving it's helping advance the story along.
- Put thought into locations and shooting times: What you shoot is important, but so is where you shoot it. Give thought to where your scenes will look best, and think about how you'll shoot those scenes in that location. Will you shoot from down below to capture the skyscrapers in the background? Will you have a scenic sunset behind your subject? Will you shoot during golden hour for the best natural lighting? Plan everything ahead of time.
If you focus on those five essentials, your videos are almost guaranteed to look better right off the bat. Over time, these strategies will become second nature to you and you'll be able to advance to more advanced techniques.
The big difference between good looking photos and video and bad ones comes down to how well things are lit. Whether you're an amateur photographer building a home studio or a budding YouTube star, here are some simple tricks for casting the right light without spending a fortune on professional equipment.
5 ways to INSTANTLY make BETTER VIDEOS! [YouTube]