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Take 5: Five Tips for Creative Camcorder Techniques

Take 5: Five Tips for Creative Camcorder Techniques

Don't just point and shoot. Add interest to your shots with these creative camera ideas.

Don't just point and shoot. Add interest to your shots with these five creative camcorder techniques.

Shooting video that stands out from the crowd takes a bit of thought. These tips will put you on the path to shooting video that's more compelling. Of course, these five tips are just the beginning. When it comes to the use of creative camcorder techniques, the sky's the limit.

Camcorder Technique #1. Get the Camera off Your Shoulder

Your camcorder doesn't have to show us the world from 5 feet, 7 inches just because that's how tall you are. Kneel down and shoot up at a subject, or climb up on a chair or ladder and shoot down. Low-angle shots make things look bigger than life. High-angle shots give the viewer a bird's-eye perspective. Want to shoot more interesting video? Don't shoot everything in your video from eye level.

Camcorder technique #2. Shoot From Unusual Places

You can use your camcorder to go places that you can't. Take advantage of that fact as you shoot and you'll give your viewers a unique view of the world. Put your camcorder inside a refrigerator to get a unique shot as a hungry person peers into the fridge, or stick it inside a mailbox to get a new view of a postal carrier making a delivery.

Camcorder Technique #3. Use Soft Focus

Your shots will look much more appealing if you let parts of the frame fall out of focus. You can do this by boosting shutter speed and opening your iris, or by placing something near the camera as you shoot a distant subject. You can then shift the focus to draw the viewer's attention to different elements appearing in your shot.

Camcorder Technique #4. Compress or Expand Distance

You can change the look of a shot by selecting your camera position and using a wide-angle or telephoto lens setting. Shoot a person from a long distance with a telephoto lens and the background will seem closer to the subject. Zoom out to a wide-angle setting and shoot from a close position, and the background will appear to be farther away from the subject.

Camcorder Technique #5. Shoot Through Something

Frame a subject through a keyhole, in an archway, through a statue or sculpture, in a rear-view mirror or between the spokes of a bicycle. Once you start to look for them, you'll find natural frames all around you. Finally, the best camcorder techniques are usually the ones no one has thought of before, so be creative.

Tags:  November 2002
Chuck
Peters
Fri, 11/01/2002 - 12:00am