- How To Shoot Quality Video Footage
- Beginner Videography Terms You Need to Know
- Tips for Better DSLR Video
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Creating professional-looking videos is available to anyone who wants to learn how to make professional videos at home by using simple video techniques and basic video lighting and equipment.
With that in mind, we came up with some simple to implement video tips to give you the ability to create professional-looking videos with just a little bit of extra effort.
What’s cool about these video tips is that you really don’t have to spend any extra money to take advantage of these video techniques if you already have a videography kit. We’ll also give you some recommendations for gear if you don’t have a full kit yet.
Stabilize Your Filming
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A lot of videographers like me have started out as photographers and we tend to carry over certain techniques and mindsets from still photography to our new efforts in videography. In many types of photography, we rely on our well trained hand holding technique and camera features such as image stabilization for combating camera motion for capturing sharp images.
When engaging in videography, we should support our cameras almost all the time instead of relying on hand holding techniques and tech features. Shaky camera footage is one of the most common and obvious differences between good professional-looking video and video that doesn’t look professional.
The solution is to put our camera on a good video tripod. In addition to keeping the camera steady, video tripods have fluid heads which smooth out any panning and tilting motion that you may have to make while filming.
If you are shopping for an excellent video tripod with a fluid head for helping you make professional-looking videos is the Aluminum Tripod Kit with GH08 fluid head with counterbalancing and twin tube legs, shown above.
Light It Up
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When looking at professional videos or motion picture scenes, our brains go into the mode that we are seeing realism, regardless of how realistic it is, because of the live action nature of motion pictures makes us feel like real life viewing.
Since our brains compensate rapidly and automatically for variations in lighting, when filming a scene for video, we need to consider that our audience is expecting, consciously or not, to see most of the objects in the scene.
This subliminal expectation of realism requires our video lighting to be excellent to qualify as professional-looking video. Once you have the right lights or some kind of light modifiers, the setup becomes rather straightforward for most scenes, unless you’re trying for some sort of artsy look which is also professional-looking.
A good assist is to have the right type of video lighting. If you haven't settled on a video lighting kit yet, take a good look at the Ikan Mylo Mini B-Color 2-Point LED Light Kit with stands and barn doors. It is very clean video lighting with a CRI of 95 for professional video results.
Use Natural Composition
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Professional-looking video tends to follow the same rules of composition as still imaging. The main one we all learned even before picking up our first camera is the Rule of Thirds.
Other rules will work too, but most professional video leans heavily on the Rule of Thirds composition technique easily obtained natural feeling harmony and balance. Partly because it keeps us from looking to the edges of the frame, instead, keeping our attention fairly centered but with a realistic appearance.
While those other rules will also provide interesting video, sticking with the Rule of Thirds for most of the scenes keeps the feel very natural and balanced which results in professional-looking video footage.
Edit for Short Scene Length
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Average scene length and average shot length are interesting concepts to learn about. You can really spend a lot of time editing for professional-;looking videos, but the results are worth it. Be careful with the cuts and dissolves, though. The idea is to hold the viewer’s attention without drawing attention to the method used.
Average scene and shot length are important concepts for professional-looking videos, but simply adding in B-Roll footage can be a good start for creative editing that holds the attention of your audience. Be careful not to over edit or make very obvious edits.
Edit Sound, Too
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One of the top things that separates amateur video from professional video is the quality of the audio track. Using an off camera microphone of some sort is part of the cure for poor or average audio recording.
While editing audio is vitally important, you need to have good audio recorded in the first place so you have something worth working with. A shotgun mic, cardioid mic, or wireless lavalier mics will record much better than our camera’s built-in microphone.
If you are still searching for your off camera microphone, consider wireless lavalier mics like the Comica Wireless Dual Mic System with two transmitters and one receiver.
Let’s See Those Eyes
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When interviewing someone for your vlog or YouTube channel, or when filming some sort of creative scene, be careful of your subject’s eyes. A common trick for naturalness and professional-looking video is to be sure we can see both eyes of the subject.
It’s another one of those odd video tips that seems trivial and ntpicky at first, but if you compare footage of a scene with the subject showing only one eye to the camera with footage of both of their eyes being visible, the more professional-looking video will have both eyes showing, which makes the viewer feel more comfortable when watching. Try it out for yourself.
You can, and should, still vary the placement of the subject and their position and where their gaze is directed, simply try to show both eyes (or at least part of the second eye) when arranging your scene composition and subject position and posing.
Other Video Tips
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Other tips for how to make professional videos at home can be found in other articles on our website. Some of the subjects are capturing B-Roll solo, using different lenses, and creative editing techniques.
Some of the techniques will include buying guides of suggested equipment, but almost all of them can probably be accomplished with the equipment you already own. Your own projects can be professional-looking videos with just a few minor adjustments to your video techniques.