With the cameras on current smartphones, including the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9, even amateur video and photographs can come out looking like professional work. Heavy DSLR cameras and video camera equipment have their place in the industry, but for everyday users, they can’t match the convenience of a smartphone. Here five tips and tricks to create high-quality video with your smartphone.
Understand basic compositional elements
Shooting good video with a smartphone requires users to compose elements into their video that are pleasing to the eye. For instance, you can keep your device focused on a subject’s eyes, or frame your subjects using the rule of thirds. This type of framing works with the way people naturally see things, giving your video a more natural and pleasant look.
Light your subject correctly
Whether you shoot video with a smartphone camera or not, the importance of proper lighting and exposure cannot be stressed enough. The lighting on your subject provides definition and also heavily influences the tone of the video. Appropriate lighting can make or break a smartphone video and transform it from amateur to professional content. Soft lighting is usually the best because it wraps your subject in light and minimizes shadows. Shadows are caused by hard light such as direct sunlight or the typical camera flash. Light can be diffused in several ways, like using a white sheet or shooting video during a day with overcast weather. Your smartphone may also come with certain settings that help control lighting.
Frame the subject and choose an angle
Whether you are shooting video of food, another person, or yourself, make sure your subject is framed correctly. A properly framed subject is easier for the eyes to interpret and makes for a better quality video. The rule of thirds is one of the most basic and widely applied compositions in videography and photography. It breaks up your frame into nine parts using a 3×3 grid of your shot. Turn on a movie and pay close attention to the subject placement. You will notice a lot of subjects tend to be towards the left or right side of the shot when videographers use the rule of thirds.
The angle and point of your shot drive how you tell your story. Ask yourself how the scene adds to the message you’re trying to convey on your video. Typically, you will want to be eye-to-eye with your subject. A downward angle on a subject makes the them seem smaller and can portray a minimized or inferior tone. An upward angle of your subject will project a sense of superiority. These are great angles to use in some scenes, but will not work for all.
Know your camera’s settings
Knowing the the settings on your smartphone camera allows you to adjust video for different situations. You should be familiar with the three elements of exposure which are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. The aperture is how much light you let into your lens, brightening or darkening the shot. Shutter speed dictates how long each frame is exposed to the light, while ISO is your camera’s sensitivity to the light. Most current smartphone cameras have accurate auto settings that control most of the exposure, which gives you high quality video. However, you should still become familiar with each setting on your smartphone camera to maximize video quality.
The best smartphones for video
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