Smartphone Shooting Tips

You may already have a powerful video tool in your pocket - a smartphone. But using it properly can help enhance your results.

Helpful advice for shooting video

Tips to consider:

  1. When shooting your video outside, keep the sun at your back (not the subject's). This will prevent washout. 
  2. When using a video camera, select the "manual focus" option and set "white balance" at every location. This will maintain a crisp focus.
  3. Stabilize your captures by using a tripod or any large, steady surface like a bookshelf, chair or even large rock. 
  4. Avoid zooming while recording, this might make the viewers dizzy. Instead, try zooming in on your object before recording. If you must zoom while filming, do so sparingly, and only after your shot has been steady for a solid 10-15 seconds. 
  5. Keep in mind that captures can always be edited. It is always better to record too much than not enough. Going back to edit is easier than going back to capture more video. Mann Library has excellent software and computer workstations available for video editing. See the editing tabs for more information.
  6. Ask permission before recording any person or group of people, especially in a non-public place. If they do not want to be filmed, you should oblige by not filming.
  7. Remember that small background noises have greater effects in film than you might expect. Wind, running water and crowd noises are magnified. 
  8. Record narration separately, as a voiceover, if possible. This will allow you to record in a space free of background noise. 

More Tools

Sometimes you want to capture or create things other than live video - screen recordings/casts, animations, comics. Tools like Jing, Moovly, and the others below can help you add screen captures, animations, and motion graphics without having to become an After Effects wizard or learn other programs.