Digital Tools & Creations
TIPS FOR QUALITY PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Improving skills in visual content making
Introduce any activity consisting of making pictures with a small session presenting these tips.
Between 10 to 30 minutes
Even though Tips for filming is not an activity itself, it is useful to resume some basic rules about how to capture images. This short list of instructions will be useful both on the long term though providing skills in digital content making, both on the short term if you are planning to co-create something out of the images made by your workshop's participants.
As you may have already noticed, most of the activities we propose implies taking pictures and/or videos.
In certain co-creative activities, the workshops' participants also need to work with each others' pictures.
Therefore, it can be useful to share some basic rules of framing, lightening and composition before you go into action.
Here are some tips to be shared with the participants of your workshop:
We don't always know it, but we all have a camera in our pocket or bag. Your smartphone! Today's image quality is excellent and far superior to semi-professional cameras.
1. ASPECT RATIO
We easily tend to film with our smartphone vertically. Take the reflex to switch your phone to landscape format to shoot images in 16/9 aspect ratio. In this way, you can keep consistency on all of your images, this will facilitate editing and the result will be more aesthetic.
You can make other choices as well, such as taking square shaped images (1:1). The important is that all the participants take similar images.
2. SHOT SIZE & CAMERA ANGLE
This is a very important point and will make all the quality of the video.
Here is a quick illustration to show you the different shot values. Shot size refers to the distance from which you film or take pictures.
3. COMPOSITION OF THE PICTURE
Another important point of framing in video and photography is the rule of thirds to make a good composition. The subject will be emphasized if it is in a third of the frame, to the left or to the right. To help you, you can activate the grid in the video settings of your smartphone.
4. STABILITY & DURATION
When filming with your smartphone, avoid moving as much as possible. The smartphone is a flat object that is difficult to hold stable. Choose fixed shots, hold your phone with both hands and place your elbows against your body for more stability.
The duration of the shots is also important. Make shots with a minimum duration of 5 seconds. If they are shorter, the images are more difficult to treat afterwords.
5. FOCUS & LIGHT
On a smartphone, the auto-focuses are generally quite powerful. The depth of field is shallow. This means that when you focus on something, the background will be blur. But you can choose to focus by tapping the screen where you want the focus to be.
Light is also an important point. Again, your smartphone automatically adjusts the light. It's generally of a good quality but you can still adjust the exposure, especially in a dark place. Also avoid back-lighting, for example by filming in front of a window.
6. THE SOUND ENVIRONMENT
Monitor the sound environment in which you are filming. With a smartphone, do not hesitate to be close to your subject, in case of interviews or speeches. The smartphone microphone is of good quality but it tends to pick up surrounding sounds. Eventually, you can also use directional microphones that you can plug into the phone.
6. STORAGE & BATTERY
It's an oversight that can easily be made! Before filming, you must check the storage on your phone. Video can take a lot of memory on your phone. It is therefore also important to delete the videos that you don’t find satisfactory. You can select the images that you think deserve to be in a video for your project and delete the others.
It's also important to keep in mind that too many videos and pictures is also polluting.
In the same way, check the battery level of your phone. Video consumes your battery faster.
Recommendations to use"Tips for Quality Photos" with other activities:
These tips for quality photos and videos might be useful to introduce any discovery activity consisting of collecting images as well as most of the digital activities.