CHRIS A RUSNAK
Tips for getting the
best vacation videos
A first consideration for any video shooting
is to find the sun. Don’t shoot toward it or
you’ll get complete shading of your subject.
PHOTOS: © CUSTOM PRODUC TIONS, INC.
Next, get close!
A brief wide
shot can show
but faces are
where the real
Think in shots
Do you wonder why nobody watched that 45-minute video of
the family at Disneyland? ;e one you shot without stopping the
camera? It’s not that they didn’t want to watch it. It’s that they
couldn’t. A;er 30 seconds they felt so claustrophobic they would
have chewed o; a leg to escape.
Humans are visual animals. We process visual information fast.
Look up from this article and notice how your eyes scan for information. Our brains need detail and movement to hold our attention. A single long shot bores us. We feel trapped and uncomfortable.
;e solution? Don’t run your camera nonstop. Find something
interesting. Aim. Shoot—and when it stops being interesting, stop
recording and point somewhere else. Your short shots will add up
to a shorter, more professional video.
Bonus tip: Even if you love to edit on your computer (and most
people never bother), you’ll shoot better video if you keep it tight.
Treat your video camera like a still camera
You don’t move with a still camera—it would blur. You aim
;rst, then click.
Try that with your video camera. Point the lens, look at the
screen to make sure your picture is good and press “Start.” Stop when
you’ve got the shot, and repeat. ;e rhythm you’re going for is move,
point, shoot, stop—move, point, shoot, stop.
;e result: well-framed shots in which the motion of the subject catches and holds viewers’ attention, without the distraction of
the frame careering all over the place.
Bonus tip: Aim at the people, not the scenery. In 20 years
Niagara Falls will look the same, but your 5-year-old will be grown
and gone. You’ll cherish the memory.
Zoom with your feet
Networks cover baseball games with huge zoom lenses that
can show us the pitcher’s nostrils from behind home plate. ;e
cameras are bolted to concrete platforms with state-of-the-art
gearing to keep the image steady. ;at’s because zoom lenses mag-