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Sunday, January 08 2012

Now that video editing software is being bundled with computers or available as free downloads, many people are trying their hand at editing their video footage. So here are a few more tips oriented towards shooting techniques that will allow you to make effective use of your editing tools. Despite how sophisticated your editing software is, there is not much you can do to help a poorly shot video. The expression, “garbage in, garbage out” could not be truer when applied to this concept.


When shooting video, keep in mind that most of the special effects and transitions that you want to use are more effectively applied using your editing software tools. Effects include enhancements like wipes, fades, scene transitions, various color effects and more. Try not to use any of the special effects that are built-in to your camera. When the camera applies these to your video, you can’t change them – they are there forever. Make the most of your modifications using video editing software instead. You can experiment to your heart’s content and always return to the original footage when you don’t achieve the desired result.


A lot of family videos are shot indoors. The average video recorder does not perform well in low light conditions and can result in shadowy or un-viewable clips. Extremely portable video recorders, such as cell phones, are very vulnerable to this problem because their small lens systems can’t take in enough light to deal with dimly lit situations.
Turning on more lights will help. The more you can light up the shooting area the better. Use overhead lighting whenever possible as it is usually designed to diffuse the light over a broad area. If you are relying on outside light by pulling open curtains, avoid shooting directly into the light as that will produce a shadowy under-exposed picture. Try to use light sources that are overhead, coming from the side or from behind you.
If you have a more advanced camera, check to see if it has “white balancing” or “back-lighting” adjustments. These functions can improve results when shooting indoors. Read your owner’s manual about how they work and when to use them.


If you like to record people and actually hear what they are saying, use an external microphone. Most built-in camcorder microphones produce marginal sound quality. Check to see if your camera has a port to plug in an external microphone. If this is available, you will find many choices available to you. Some camcorder microphones are designed for different pick-up patterns, some are for some are for specific uses and others are for various power requirements. As a starting point check to see if the camera manufacturer offers an external microphone as an accessory for your camera model. A good external microphone is worth the investment if audio quality is important to you.

Posted by: Alan Kolsky AT 10:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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