How to take video

This topic addresses a huge pet peeve of mine.

From the best comic ever that’s not named The Far Side: Cyanide & Happiness


Video is the new photo.  Nearly everyone has a very competent video cam on their smartphones, and people are using these versatile devices more than ever to take tons of videos on their travels.

So here are a couple of shooting tips for all the globetrotting videographers out there:

Tip 1:  Hold your phone horizontally while taking video

Hold the phone like this:


Don’t hold the phone like this:


Think about it.  TVs, computer screens, and movie screens are all oriented the same exact way.


Shoot your video so that when you watch it in the future, it will fit the screen properly.  The human field of vision is wider horizontally than it is vertically.  This is why watching a movie in widescreen format feels perfectly natural and watching a video oriented like a front door feels constricted and odd.

Tip 2:  When panning from side to side, go slowly.

Much slower than you think you need to.  Otherwise, you’ll end with up a Blair-Witch-Project-type pile of rubble that will induce nausea in anyone who tries to watch it.

Try it.  Take some sample video where you pan really quickly vs doing it slowly and you’ll immediately see the benefit of slowing it down.

Tip 3:  If you’re at a live concert, put the phone down.

Seriously, put the phone down and really take in the moment.  Take one picture or one short video clip if you have to.  But you don’t need to record the entire show in 4K video.  You’ll never actually watch it, the sound quality will be garbage, and more importantly, you’re depriving yourself of a great live show that’s going on right in front of you.

Tip 4:  Speaking of live shows, don’t take your iPad to a concert.

No explanation needed.  Don’t be a jackass.



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