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5 tips for shooting better video

At PVS we're all about helping people to shoot high-quality video! Luckily for people who are complete beginners, with the excellent smartphones currently on the market shooting video on your phone couldn't be easier!

We want to help people use the technology that's already in their pocket to take their video capabilities and their business to the next level.

Here are our top five simple tips that you can follow to drastically improve your videos!


Tip 1: The rule of thirds

Whether you're first learning about photography, video or art, one of the most basic principles of composition you'll always come across is the rule of thirds. To explain it, we really like the definition by the blogger Grace Fussell:

"Imagine a 3×3 grid on top of any image. You should align the key elements in the image according to this grid — at the “power points” where the lines intersect, or along and within the vertical and horizontal lines. You can also combine these two arrangements for complex images with layers of subjects."

Simplistically, what you need to take away is that the rule of thirds makes images or videos more comfortable for people to look at, which in turn relaxes the eye and creates a more inviting composition.


Our advice to help people incorporate the rule of thirds into their video is to plan your shot in advance, and if your smartphone allows it, turn on grid guidelines to help you.


Tip 2: Shoot horizontal not vertical


If you want people to watch your videos at full screen, such as on a laptop, television screen, a tablet, or on social media, it's important to shoot your videos horizontally*.


Shooting video vertically won't seem like a big deal when watching it back on a smartphone, but as soon as it's played anywhere else, the clip will be fighting for space with two black bars on either side of the screen like it is in the image below.

*The one exception to this rule would be if you're shooting video content specifically for Instagram.


Tip 3: Avoid zooming


This tip is super easy, don't zoom using your smartphone! Instead, move closer to the subject or object that you're filming. While many smartphones allow you to shoot video in 4K or 1080p, the video quality quickly drops when zoom is used.


Tip 4: Lighting, lighting, lighting


Good lighting helps to increase image sharpness and affects how colours look on film. Simplistically, good lighting can make the difference between a good film and a poor one.


Some easy tips to follow are don't shoot in front of windows, avoid shooting at night or in low light to limit grain, and refrain from filming when the sun is at its brightest.


Tip 5: Manually set exposure and focus


When you're filming on your smartphone, be sure to turn off auto-focus and exposure and manually set both yourself. When auto-focus and exposure is enabled, you risk your phone changing the exposure (and therefore the overall lighting) or the focus of your shot. This can quickly turn a great shot into something completely unusable.


We therefore recommend that you manually lock the exposure on an area that gives you good cover for the entire scene you want to film. Moreover, manually setting the focus is great if you want to be able to move closer to an object, but you don't want your phone to think that the focus has changed.


If you have any questions about our recommended tips or you want to find out more information about how Property Video Solutions can help your business please visit our website.

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