Top 10 tips for shooting great video with a smartphone

Shooting video with a smartphone is easy. Shooting excellent video that look professional is tough. Here is a “How To” article with a few tips to help you shoot video like the pros no matter what camera you are filming with.

“Rule of Thirds”
A scene or shot should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spa​ced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines.and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject.

“Tracking with a Dolly”
For a low tracking shot try using a wheelchair or skateboard as a cheap set of wheels.

“Slow and Steady”
Take your time and hold your smartphone with both hands, and keep your elbows against (or close to your body) so you can keep your camera steady. It’s super tough to edit shaky footage.

“Don’t forget to tap” (iOS)
The iPhone refocuses when you tap the screen. Tapping on the screen over the subject once before you start shooting will focus the shot on the key subject in your image (it also tweaks exposure and color balance).

“Tap to Adjust the Quality” (iOS)
A tap on the screen determines both the exposure and color balance (as well as focus) for your scene. If the shot is too dark, light, or it is dull colored try tapping and see if the image improves.

“Don’t film like you are using a phone”
Shooting with a smartphone while holding the handset vertically will mess up your film with ugly black bars on each side of the screen. Hold your phone horizontallyto fill the frame with a beautiful 16:9 HD footage. Never shoot video the way you use a phone when making calls or launching apps.

“Pan on an axis”
When shooting with a smartphone pan by keeping the camera horizontal and rotating your wrist, at the waist or spin slowly in place with your feet. Tripods are great, but if you rotate slow and steady, your body can give you a pretty smooth pan.

“Let there be Light!”
Always remember to turn on lights before you shoot to avoid grainy dark footage. Take the time to find a bright location and if outdoors stand between your subject and the sun. High quality video is well lit, but avoid using the LED light on your phone it can make your subjects eyes look creepy.

“You’ve been Framed”
It’s all about your framing, try to shoot your subjects at eye level rather than shooting down on them. Unless you’re making a monster movie, avoid shooting your subject from a low angle. That said, try to shoot female subjects from slightly above their eyeline rather than straight on, some pros feel it enhances their beauty.

“Don’t Shake it up”
The press of the button usually causes a shake at the start and stop of shooting. Remember, when you press the button to start filming and when you hit it again to stop, not to shake camera. Bracing your your elbows against your body can help stabilize your shot and protect against this issue.

By David Grandison Jr

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