February 18 2009 // Education

How to Shoot Better Blog Video

Here are three quick tips for shooting better blog video:

First and most important - get yourself a good microphone. The number one issue that kills video blogging is the inability to hear what people are saying. This is a blog - most of the video will involve talking. The video can be dark and grainy - but if the audio quality is good - then you're good. The built-in mic on the camera works only in the best conditions. Look for a more directional "shotgun" mic or better yet get some clip-on lav mics. Of course you'll need a camera that has an external mic input but it's worth it.

Next, avoid high contrast situations. The background should not be significantly lighter or darker than your subject. We've all seen the shots of people against a window where they are totally dark and you can't see their face. This is because the exposure circuitry in your camera averages the scene and attempts to find the best exposure overall. If the the window is the dominant element, the camera will try and expose for that. The same thing happens with a person against a very dark background. The camera will often overexpose their faces . This is usually less of a problem than very bright backgrounds.

Finally invest in a little camera light. This may turn some people off thinking that their footage will look like the stereotypical TV news shot where a bright light is glaring in peoples faces. The whole trick to using one of these lights is to adjust it so it just fills in the shadows on peoples faces. Easiest are the lights that have a brightness adjustment. You turn the brightness up until the shadows fill in some and the face looks pleasing. Done correctly people will be unaware that you used a camera light. You can also use little pieces of light diffusing materials to adjust the levels (just watch out for any heat/melting). Rosco makes a whole line of heat resistant materials that can be found locally.

Now go start shooting better looking and (most importantly) better sounding video!

Written By

George Christ

Published In


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