Professional video production should be used whenever possible. If you choose to shoot your own video, Rasmuson Library has equipment for checkout.
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How to shoot video using your smartphone or digital camera
It has never been easier for anyone with a smartphone or a digital camera to record their own video footage and share it. But it takes more than that for your footage to look professional. Here are some quick tips for creating videos with a smartphone or digital camera.
- If possible, deliver the content extemporaneously, rather than reading from a script. Rather than focusing on getting every word perfect, think about the main points you want to say.
- Position your camera at eye level. Laptops can be raised using a stack of large books.
- Look directly at the camera lens, not the screen, when you speak. (Pro tip: place a sticky note or a smiley face right by your camera to remind you to look there and smile.)
- You may come across as more energetic if you stand up to deliver your presentation. Be careful not to rock or move out of the frame.
- Leave a few seconds of padding at the beginning and at the end.
- Do not zoom your camera. It will reduce the quality of your video.
- Do a 10-second practice run with your equipment.
- Smile and have fun!
- There are many different types of cameras you can use to shoot video (internal/external webcam, smartphone, digital camera/camcorder, etc.).
- Shoot horizontally, not vertically.
- Record video at a high resolution (1080p HD) on camera phone, webcam or laptop. 4K are not needed unless they are for broadcast. These videos have larger files to upload and are often too large to download while working from home. Don’t record lower than 720p HD.
- Brace the camera to limit movement. Brace a phone by holding it with both hands and tucking in elbows, using a camera tripod or creating a makeshift tripod with other materials.
- Always clean the lens using a microfiber cloth before shooting.
- The rear-facing camera on a cellphone usually takes better images than the front-facing one (screen side).
- Consider arranging something attractive but not distracting behind you (a lamp that’s not on, a vase of flowers, books, etc.). You don’t want to appear to have things growing from your head.
- Be mindful of objects growing out of other people’s heads.
- Step away from the wall or background.
- Ideal light should be soft, even and diffused. Use natural light when possible.
- The main light source should be in front of you, not behind you.
- Avoid backlighting, which occurs when a light source behind a person is brighter than the person's face. Backlit videos will result in a subject’s face being dark and silhouetted.
- Avoid harsh shadows and high-contrast light, such as at noon on a sunny day.
- Possible sources of indoor light include windows or lamps.
- Ideal outdoor lighting is found in the shade and on mostly cloudy days.
- Shoot video in a relatively quiet location, and eliminate as much ambient sound as your space allows.
- Avoid windy conditions, if possible.
- Use a wired or wireless microphone. Test ahead of your presentation.
- Leave a little padding (about three seconds) at the video’s beginning and end.
- Framing should be set as a medium close up with the camera at eye level. See an example of medium close-up images
- Try sitting back slightly from the camera and leaning in a little to appear more engaged.
- If you use a Zoom background, be sure to wear clothing that doesn’t appear to drop out when you move.