I bought my first video camera back in mid 80’s. It was a Sony Hi-8mm, and cost an arm and a leg. I took it everywhere, holidays with family, vacations, camping trips, you name it. I shot a lot of footage. I was disciplined to label all my tapes (start date to end date), and shot until they were close to full. I carefully stored them in a safe place knowing that someday I would get around to watching them, maybe even edit them. What a mistake!
Fast forward 15 years and I acquired my first editing equipment and captured the first few tapes from my collection. I quickly and painfully became aware that most of the stuff I shot is not only difficult to watch, but it’s unusable to edit. I consistently made all the mistakes; fire hosing (i.e., rapidly panning the camera back and forth, up and down), constantly zooming in and out, poor exposure, overshooting subject matter (I have captured a billion hours of my German Sheppard chasing and retrieving a tennis ball in every mountainous waterway in the Greater Northwest – obviously before we had children to focus on).
I will provide tips and tricks for successful videography in my next posts, but my main point here is to learn from what you have shot. And the only way to do that is to watch what you have shot and honestly critique yourself. Watch it on the big screen and check for the following:
- Am I becoming dizzy or nauseous from what I am watching?
- Does my subject look they are dark silhouettes against the background, or totally washed out from overexposure?
- Am I becoming insanely board from what I am watching? — 2 non-stop hours of watching the family open up Christmas gifts at one sitting, or a billion hours of the dog retrieving a tennis ball.
Stay tuned, I will follow-up with posts on how to correct these problems and also discuss other troubles that can arise from not viewing and archiving your footage in a timely manner.