Home » Science and Technology » Gadgets and Gizmos

Professional Tips for Shooting Better Home Movies

Nov 29, 2007
Shooting home movies of your family is incredibly easy with today's camcorders, yet you may find yourself still disappointed with the final footage. By following these basic shooting techniques, you can make your home movies more enjoyable for the family to watch.

1. Ensure Proper Light. When shooting indoors, turn on all the lights in the room if possible. This will avoid graininess when your camera tries to brighten up the image. As a last resort, use an on-camera light, although it will give you a more "deer in the headlights" look compared to the natural beauty of multiple lamps.

When shooting outdoors, keep the sun above your subject, or to the side. This will prevent your subject from having to squint in the sunlight, or from having the background too bright.

2. Turn off the Auto-Iris (exposure) if Possible. The iris is what controls the amount of light coming into the camera. Normally this is set to be automatic, so you don't have to think about it.

But this results in the video image being brightened and darkened constantly as you pan between subjects, or having your subject darkened to where you can't see it because you had a bright window behind them. If you camera has the option of using manual exposure, be sure to turn it to manual so it stays even.

3. Avoid Zooming. Walk in close (within 5 ft.) to your subject whenever possible and avoid zooming, which makes your image shaky and obscures the field of view around your subject. Plus you continue to lose light as you zoom in.

If you're shooting people or children, a close up of them while you're completely zoomed out seems as if you're right there next to them, not some distant stranger trying to peek in. Furthermore, your audio will be much louder, cleaner, and tighter when you shoot close up to your subjects.

4. Frame your Subject Properly. Now that you've got the camera close up to your baby in the walker, now frame the shot where the head is NOT in the center of the viewfinder all the time.

Always try to put the back of their head near the edge of the viewfinder. This is a much more pleasing picture to watch, instead of having faces bumped up against the edge of the screen.

5. Overshoot, then Edit Later. You will get far more memorable moments on camera if the camera is actually recording compared to when it is turned off. So overshoot constantly even if nothing seems like it's happening, because eventually it will!

Go back later and edit out the slow stuff. If it seems too tedious or too expensive to invest in all that tape stock, consider upgrading to a non-tape camera, such as a DVD recorder, hard drive recorder, or even a good digital still camera can shoot decent full screen video and record it to a memory card. This way you can record nonstop and delete the boring scenes instantly.

The result will be beautifully composed, lighted, and entertaining home movies that your family will cherish forever.
About the Author
Paul Lyke is the managing director at MidSouth Visual, Inc., a Nashville video production company.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 171
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources