How to Work a Camera

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Working a video camera as a consumer is easy, as many consumer cameras are equipped with automatic features. Frame up the subject matter artfully to produce great home video with information from a professional videographer in this free video on photography.

Part of the Video Series: Using a Digital Camera
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is James Flint. I'm a videographer and I would like to take a moment to talk to you about how to work a camera. Most consumer cameras have a lot of automatic features. They are going to make it very easy for you to shoot. Most often if the battery is charged it is as simple as opening your camera, turning it on, pushing the shutter button to start filming and pushing the shutter button to stop filming but some things you need to think about you know, you always have to frame your subject in your view finder and it is important to think about this beforehand so say you are taking a picture of your child opening presents on Christmas morning or their birthday or something, you know, set your shot up beforehand so before you even hit the record button get everything framed up in your camera how you want it. I recommend shooting things in clips, like if you watch a major motion picture or a car commercial or a television show you will never see a clip or you rarely see a clip that's even more than a minute long but a problem is when a lot of people do home videos they hit record and they're just bouncing around recording everything. You're going to get a lot stronger video and it is going to be a lot easier to edit yourself later if you shoot in clips. So say here's a shot of Johnny opening his presents, record, stop recording, and then maybe change angles, get a close up of his face Here is Johnny smiling now, quick shot and here is him playing with it, you know again just think about shooting in clips. Another thing I recommend is having a steady light source. Try and keep whatever you are shooting in a lot of light and try and keep it a constant light and that way the color and the light is balanced throughout your video playback and a third thing which is probably one of the most important things is to use a tripod when you are shooting. It is very hard to keep your camera steady. A lot of them have the antishake features built in but it is still, you are going to get a 100% better shot if you shoot it on a tripod. You'll also find if you are shooting a long sporting event or a dance recital or something of that nature holding the camera up for a long period of time, it doesn't seem like much at first but after a while it gets tiring on your arm and consequently you are going to start shaking a little bit more so I do recommend getting a tripod. So again it is pretty simple how to use a camera but just keep these few things in mind, set up your shot how you want it, shoot in clips, use a tripod and keep a steady light source and all of this is going to make for better videos and that is how you use your video camera.

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