3 Little Video Secrets: Use a Tripod, Pan Slowly, and Color Correction

Have you ever had to sit through an hour of vacation video at your relative’s house? If so, you know that an hour is way too long to watch a travel video.

Less is often more in this world and the kinds of videos I create for my clients are between 30 seconds and 4 minutes long.

Perhaps at your relative’s house you also thought, “I feel nauseous now, after looking at shaky images for an hour.”

And you probably didn’t think, “I really want to go there too!”

But what if your relative had used a tripod like Lori mentioned earlier this week?

And what if he moved slowly and deliberately, so you had time to take in the beautiful landscape? Maybe you would have felt differently about the video and about going on vacation there as well.

So here it is… The most important -- and at the same time very simple -- rule to make your video look more professional: always carry a tripod with you and use it.

And make sure it’s level and that you perform slow and deliberate pans, tilts, and zooms to create a sensation of relaxation for your viewer.

Your viewer should be able to take in the details and feel as if he were there. After having watched your video, he should have an urge to go there because it looks so beautiful and peaceful… or exciting and interesting.

And here’s something else...

Another little trick that most videographers will not tell you about, because they would prefer to keep it a secret: use color-correction.

When you do, your colors will look even more vibrant and the contrasts will be even sharper, making your images look very glossy and professional. Color-correction is also a big help when the weather is not ideal, like on an overcast day, because you can brighten everything up and make it seem like the sun was shining.

To really demonstrate what I mean, I’ve created a little video for you. You can watch it here:

First you’ll see a very shaky pan over a pasture in Northern Germany. Sure you can see some sheep…and a lake in the background…but you can’t discern much more because the camera moves too fast and it’s too wobbly.

Now look at the same landscape that was shot on a tripod with a slow pan toward the right...

You’ll see the wind turbines in the background and that the sheep have recently been sheared. Perhaps you’ll also see the lock to the dam… and you can really savor the grass moving in the wind.

Finally you’ll see the same pan again, but this one has been color-corrected. Notice how the sky is brighter, how the wind turbines stand out more, how the greens are more vibrant and the blacks are more defined?

You don’t have to be an absolute pro behind the camera to create a professional-looking video.  Just use a tripod, move slowly and deliberately, and let your editing software get the colors just right.

If you do these things, I guarantee – your videos will improve ten-fold.

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