“Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.” – Percy Harris.
Are you photography or a film making enthusiast? Or are you someone who bought your first camera/smartphone recently and cannot wait to create your first visual content? Or are you just someone who is determined to up your photography and videography game?
Well, you have arrived at the right place! Here are some easy yet important steps to create better photos and videos with your device:
A) Lighting – It is very important to make use of natural lighting (e.g.- sunlight) and forced lighting (i.e. in-house setup, flashlights) whenever you plan to click that recording button. The subject of your video should not only be visible but also clear. Videography experts always suggest using window light. It is less harsh and gives better results after post editing.
B) Proper music and sound – Background music and sound effects play an essential role in keeping the viewers engaged throughout the video. It is advisable to use the right music and relatable sounds in your videos. Music sets the mood and helps convey the intention of the video, so it should be chosen wisely. Using extra ambient sound effects like- sounds of forests, egg cracking, chirping of birds, the sound of a temple bell, typing, etc can enhance your videos tenfold. Great footage with great music makes all the difference.
C) Learning Software – Make use of your internet speed and enlighten yourself about the basics of video editing software. You can watch a tutorial on YouTube, enrol yourself in a course or just simply ask your friend who has already used the software to help you. Some easy video editing software includes – Shortcut (free), iMovie, Premiere Pro CC, Final cut pro and Hitfilm Express (free).
D) Motions in your shot – This step is a game changer! As much as experts appreciate shooting from tripods, they also strongly suggest to keep changing angles depending on the situation and opt for more cinematic shots. Videos come out as more meaningful when the viewer is taken into the atmosphere. By that one means, hold your camera in your hand and bring more motion.
E) Location and Time of the day – To create some praise-worthy videos, you need to be considerate of the location you are shooting at and the time of the day you plan to do the shooting. Locations can be anything from office desk to a large blue ocean. If you are out in the open, make sure to decide angles that bring out the best of that location and if you are shooting indoors, make sure to clean the clutter around your subject and go for the minimalistic setting. Usually, early morning hours, evening, dusk or later at night are chosen as the best time to create great videos. Soft light in the morning, golden hour and sunsets bring out the desired colours in the frame.
A) Angles – Before you start going click-click, think of the angles that you would like to see the subject from. Avoid extreme low and high angles. Waist level, right and left angles are recommended. Too zoomed or too wide is not suggested either.
B) Shoot through something – Pictures get more interesting if you add a little creativity to it! Try adding items to the frame and create a cinematic look by shooting through those items. For instance, clicking a picture through a transparent dupatta or handle of a mug can beautify picture massively.
C) Think opposite – Asking yourself questions like “Am I clicking it any different?” every time you set your frame will push you to think of out of the box angles. Stop yourself from clicking “the typical way”. For instance, instead of clicking a picture of Kolkata tram from the street (that is what maximum tourists do), consider clicking the age-old interiors of the tram.
D) Avoid using filters – STOP yourself from clicking pictures with a filter like Sepia, Mono or any cool filter your smartphone or that random app provides. Click pictures on default or normal setting and add filters when you are editing them. This way, the picture will not lose its real colours and will come out clearer.
E) Go Candid/ Natural – Photography is about freezing the moment. Try not to manipulate your subject much. Observe the moment, set your frame and click with the flow. Candid clicks can be anything like a baby laughing, biker doing a stunt or birds flying.
Photography and videography are a way to introduce the world from your view. If you have been unsure of how to excel at this skill, start using these basic steps. Keep yourself open to new knowledge and be patient while you work towards creating a visual masterpiece. All the best!