There are many cases mobile shots comply with your demands for blog entries or daily social media upload. Just pay attention to these 5 tips for mobile shooting to raise the quality of your creative work to a professional level.
Tip No. 1 – Make use of the AE/AF lock function
Switch your phone camera to manual mode. You should be able to adjust exposure and set the focus. AE/AF stands for Auto Exposure/Auto Focus. In manual mode you can lock these values for recording a video so these values do not adjust permanently during shooting. Prefer to take two scenes with fixed exposure and focus, than moving your phone around and accept a shaky mobile video with mixed exposure and wobbling focus. You can see the insufficiency of automated adjustments clearly when start shooting sunny outside and entering a building during recording.
Tip No. 2 – Avoid high contrast in your scene
Avoid capturing scenes with the main light source in front of you. When shooting from the inside, taking the outside through windows already is a back light situation. The sky always is the strongest light source. No matter if sunny blue or cloudy grey, there are areas in the room where just a little light emits to so the contrast in this scene is too high to capture with one take. In most cases – depending on the quality of your camera – the sky might be over-exposed close to white while the darkest parts in your frame might be close to black. We do not see it this way with our own eyes because we have 21 F-STOPS in there while a camera just can make use of one F-STOP at a time.
Tip No. 3 – Do not tilt your camera up or down
Always hold your camera perpendicular. Before starting your take pay attention to the verticals in your scene. Are they straight or tapered? Correct tapered alignment by tilting your camera slightly up or down until buildings appear straight in your scene. If you want to capture higher things prefer to keep your phone higher than tilting it up. You can see this clearly when shooting straight buildings or inside rooms. This is because a photograph is a two-dimensional plane. The human brain an construct a three-dimensional room in real time. That is why we do not see tapered alignment when tilting our head up or down.
Tip No. 4 – Never take vertical videos
Okay, ‘never’ might be to utterly spoken. If you create a video for instagram or Facebook news stream only, then a vertical video might be a good deal, but keep in mind that you can always extract a vertical video with 608×1080 pixels from a Full HD frame (1920x1080px), but not vice versa. If you do not want to limit yourself using your videos keep it horizontal. In most cases this even is the most interesting region to take because we are not intrested in the sky and the floor. We want to see what is around our subject. For more information on suffering VVS have a look at this great guide by Glove and Boots to cope with this disease.
Tip No. 5 – Check your camera settings
It is not uncommon that manufacurers of smartphones have set a medium quality for recording by default so if you never did before or just got a new smartphone set the camera settings to your desired defaults. You should avoid capturing 4k videos with a smartphone for the following reasons.
- Sensor size is way to small for delivering rich detailed 4k shots. In this case bigger is not better.
- Mobile cameras save highly compressed videos and if the same data rate is used for 2k and 4k videos you might want to shoot 2k videos because of a better visual quality after compression.
- Intense use of hardware resources make your phone run hot and suck your battery’s energy in no time.
- Frame rates might be dropped if your hardware cannot keep up with 25/30fps shooting. This results in a noticable stutter of your video.
So it is highly recommendable to keep your smarphone camera’s video settings to best quality in Full HD (1920x1080px) as long as the built in sensors are not increasing in size accordingly.
Did these tips help you to create better videos with your smartphone? Do you have any additional tips? Just write a comment to help other readers improve their video skills.