• The Blue Owl Project

Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Videography

Everybody wants their videos to be spectacular. Sometimes you come up with a content to improve Instagram or TikTok presence but ultimately end up making some rookie mistakes.

You keep wishing if you had a video camera?


With the changing technology, mobile phone cameras have been evolving and getting better and give you more and more powerful tools and features in your pocket. Flagship mobile phones are almost the price of a entry level camera.   But you get additional features like calling and texting your crush...

etc.... 


Mobile cameras can surely not beat the quality of the cameras because of the basic reason being the sensor size which is inside the camera. But you can surely apply some rules from the books. which can be useful to give you a head start and getting the most out of your handheld devices.



The Lights


One of the most important setting is your lighting. People often forget where the source of light is when they start filming. If you look closely to the professional videos, you will begin to notice the magic of evenly distributed light. Try to shoot your videos in morning, evening or if you are lucky, a cloudy day.


But, what happens when you are shooting indoors with minimum setup?

Simplest thing you can do?

Just place your camera in between you and your window... Voila Magic!!


You can apply the rule of lighting triangle. This rule applies like your subject, camera and the light source should make a triangle. This will bring perfect exposure and clarity to your video.



Clean & Simple Background


Most professional V-loggers, News-channels and any other platforms that focus on a particular subject or you might see this in interview videos, they have a very clear and simple background. The whole point is to bring complete focus on the subject.


The subject is the king. You lose it with stray objects. You might lose focus in your mobile device due to these stray items put in the frame when system AI catches them. Hence, the simpler the better. We will also talk about the value of composition below.



Clearer Audio


Audio is the soul of any video. A good audio quality supports the purpose of the video. Avoid using device microphones. They give you more and more noise rather than some clear audio. Instead, buy a lav-mic or collar mic. for all audio purposes. These are affordable and handy solution for your audio needs.

One more tip is to understand the acoustics of the place where you are recording. Minimum unwanted background noise or resonating rooms for interview are total mood killers for any mobile video. For example turning off your fan to avoid the hissing sounding your videos or otherwise own as wind noise. Staying in a closed room will attract echo and you'll have a strange audio which makes you feel very far from your device.


You can also try the option like using a bluetooth headset or any other wireless device that supports your mobile phone.  



How to Avoid Shaky Footage


Shaky videos can be avoided very easily. Just make sure how you hold the camera. You might not have a gimbal like equipment but make sure you hold camera with all four edges with the help of your both hands using only index fingers and both thumbs. This will help keeping the focus while following the subject and jitters will not bother easily.


We always recommend to buy a tripod as well as selfie sticks for better stability. Some brands have combined these two and launched at affordable prices.



Composition


Composition is a very important parameter to make a likeable video. The better you distribute your subjects, with suitable camera placement and good exposure over the canvas, a lively content is created. It is visually appealing as well as build curiosity amongst audience.


One of the easiest rule that applies almost everywhere is the rule of thirds. If your phone allows to use a grid, definitely keep it on while shooting videos as well. Keep your subjects on the lines or where the interaction is.


When you are taking a single person’s video keep as little area as possible over there head as possible, but don’t cut it.

For a really close shot you can rather choose to cut the head rather than the chin.



Focus, exposure and zooming


Manual focus must be kept in check !!


Keep touching over the subject on your screen whenever it loses focus. Most smartphones have this facility.

EV (+/-) is the exposure settings. Check how to control these on your handset. Exposure is the amount of light you want to capture. Before beginning the shot, always set the best exposure that suits your situation. Remember to lock focus and exposure before shooting.


About zoom function I would recommend only one thing. DON’T USE IT. You will end recording pixelated videos. Rather you must close in to the subject manually. Planning such shots as smaller clips can really do wonders with good editing.



More Horizontal shots


One big problem with mobile videos is the orientation.


Most professionals recommend using horizontal position. Our brain is generally wired to make vertical ones. Such videos not only cut short important parts of your canvas but also have problems while playing on different devices. Even editing becomes bad sometimes.


Mobile videography can be a tricky subject and might need more innovation to work well. You cannot carry a professional camera everywhere. Learning new ways to shoot and edit with your mobile device is a major step forward and at your convenience.


Once you get better we would love to teach you more techniques on Interview Videos, Cinematic Videos, Vlogs, B-Roll content and much more. We will make it all possible with the small gadget in your hand. Meanwhile...


Check out our other related blogs too –

Tips to improve mobile photography

Getting out of Auto Mode


Stay tuned and subscribe for more interesting blogs to come. We also organize workshops for detailed learning.


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