Camera Techniques:
How to Shoot Great Video Footage Every Time!

Camera Techniques

You must have a great command of camera techniques if you want to shoot outstanding video footage!

Here are the tips and techniques that will help you to shoot like a Pro!


Why Should You Learn Camera Techniques?

The know-how and techniques of video production and the video production process is a quite broad subject and being familiar with it is the key to producing a film or video that is entertaining, understandable and has an impact on your audience.

 As broad as the subject is however... it's not hard to learn if you break it down into its simple parts! The professionals normally split it into three major parts:

  • Pre-production
  • Production and
  • Post-production

In this section we're going to delve into the "Production" part of this process and concentrate on one of my favorite subjects… 

* Camera techniques... The art and technology of how you operate a camera so that you can get that "perfect shot"!

 So... Why do you want a "perfect shot"?

Well… Think ahead to creating your finished video... Shooting sharp, clear and interesting footage is the key to having outstanding material to work with when you're putting together your video in the post-production phase.

When you get to the post-production stage and do your actual digital video editing you could be using the best video editing software available but...  If you don't have great material to work with... believe me… It will be hard to make a great looking, interesting and compelling video... that's for sure! 

So… I'll keep it simple and still give you some great information about camera techniques that you can really use! 

Here are some tips and techniques on how to compose and shoot video like a Pro...!


Video Composition and Camera Techniques...

Camera work and video compositionYour growth as a videographer or filmmaker depends upon your mastery of the techniques of video composition!

"Video Composition"

Video composition is the way that you compose the elements of your shot so that the shot creates your desired effect on your audience.

Video composition is all about arranging the elements of the scene or sequence so that they convey your...

  • Intent,
  • Meaning and
  • Evoke a specific emotional response in the audience when they view your video. 

We'll go into elements of composition like static and dynamic subjects and how best to shoot them. What is depth of field and how to use it creatively. And much more! 

Learning how to use the rules of composition as part of your camera techniques will move you past the...

VideoEditingSage Tip – moving past the amateurs stage to a professional level!

"Point" -> "Shoot" ->  and  

-> "Hope I Get Something

stage!

To being able to confidently shoot footage that is clear, concise, meaningful and will have an impact on your audience!


Camera Techniques... The Types of Basic Camera Shots...

Camera techniques – the basic camera shotsA Big Part of Camera Techniques Is Understanding the Basic Camera Shots and How to Use Them!

In camera techniques this is all about the "framing" of the shot.

Few things are more fundamental to making a great video than knowing how to frame your subject so that you get the best shot possible.

Proper use of the basic camera shots determine how you get, keep and control your audience's attention and what sort of emotional response you will get when they watch a scene in your video. 

These are very important things to know indeed! They can be the key to making a great video. We'll take a look in general at the basic camera shots and then break them down in more detail. 

Remember… Were not talking about camera angles  here but the camera shots. The camera shots breakdown into general categories such as:

The Long Shot

Basic Camera Shots – the Long Shot

The Medium Shot

Basic Camera Shots – The Medium Shot

The Close-Up Shot

Basic Camera Shots – The Close-Up Shot

Extreme Close-Up Shot

Basic camera shots – the extreme close-up shot


Camera Techniques... The Camera Angles...

Video production camerawork – camera anglesThe location and angle at which you place your camera will determine the location of where the audience will "see" the shot or scene!

A camera angle (the video camera placement) is the physical relationship of the camera to the person or object that is being viewed and videoed.

It's different from the camera shot  in that the "Shot" is all about how you "frame" a subject in the scene. In other words, the "location" of the subject  in the scene's composition.

The camera Shot  is all about the subject's... location!

Video Editing Sage Tip – Camera Angles

*  The camera Angle  however, is all about the audience's  viewpoint of the scene... It's from what point (location) is the audience  looking at the scene... not where the subject  of the video is  in the scene.

Camera angles are a powerful tool in video making as... where the audience is looking from and how they  perceive the angle of the shot has a lot to do with how they will react to a particular scene. 

Here are some examples...

The Slanted Angle or Dutch Tilt...

Camera angles – Dutch tiltTilted-Angles (Dutch Tilt) can give the audience the impression of unease, danger or that "something's wrong". However, they are also used in some videos to get across the feeling of whimsy or lightheartedness. The clever filmmaker or videomaker can find many ways to use this powerful camera angle.


The Low Angle...

Camera angles – low angleYour subject can appear bigger , more powerful, dominant or even sinister from a Low-Angle. A low camera angle is used extensively in movies, political ads, interviews or newscasts.


The Overhead Angle...

Camera angles – overhead shotAn Overhead-Angle can be used to create the sensation of space in your video or it can be used to show a broad area to the audience enabling them to see things that the characters in the story can't see.


The Eye-Level Angle...

Camera angles – eye levelThe Eye-Level Angle can be used to create affinity with the subject as, you are now looking him or her "in the eye" as you would be if you were there talking to them in person.


The High Angle...

Camera angles – high angleYou can give your audience the impression using a High-Angle camera shot that the subject is weaker, smaller or more vulnerable than he or she really is. This angle can engender sympathy from your audience for the character and they may root for him or her to "win" in the end.

And... that's just to name a few of the ways that these camera techniques are used by filmmakers and videographers!


Using the Your Video Footage... The Video Production Process...

Video production camerawork – the video production processAs I said above, the professional video production process consists of three stages: Pre-production, Production and Post-production!

You may not be shooting professionally but, knowing something about the video production process and how it relates to video production camerawork and shooting great material will help you organize your shooting so that you can produce great video footage whenever you want! 

Quite frankly… even if you're an amateur…

If you have a high definition digital video camera, a powerful video editing computer and the latest editing software (even the free video editing software that you can download online) you  can make videos that can rival a Hollywood professional…!


Learn how to do your camerawork well...

And you'll always be able to crank out great video footage that will in-turn become part of your video masterpiece…!


Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

(Top of Page)
  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Camera Techniques