I am not talking about not wearing any makeup or having bed head. I am talking about understanding how to use the webcam so you are recognizable. When I saw this video of two guys talking for 20 minutes, I thought I could help some bloggers take better video with their webcams.
So how do you look really bad on a webcam?
1. Have the light source behind you. As you can see in this picture light placement can make you totally indistinguishable. And that is bad.
2. Hold your laptop in your lap. With the camera low, you get a nice double chin effect and a unique view up your nostrils. Bad and Bad.
Now how do you solve these common mistakes?
1. Put the light source in front of you. Facing a window is optimal. But a couple of lights in front and above you will work also. But don’t place a lamp too close.
2. You will look the best if the webcam is at eye level or just above. With so many different types of webcams, I’ll let you figure out how to maneuver your camera for the best angle.
You have a group of photos that you want to post on your blog but you don’t want to just list them the boring old way. These photos need to be show cased, have a little “Wow” factor. You’ve taken the time to follow the directions given at 5 Tips For Flattering Farm Photos. The shots are especially nice and need to be a whole presentation. One way to do this is to use the free video creator at Animoto.com. (There is another way that I will demonstrate another time.) Professional photographers use the paid version to display their portfolios. The following tutorial will take you through the steps in using Animoto to make a video with your photos.
The following is the quick slideshow that I made in the tutorial. I would add some titles to at least the first and last pictures. Also landscape photos look better than profile style photos.
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Please answer the poll in the sidebar.
Update: Tubemogul branched out with their video upload service. It is now OneLoad; but it is basically the same.
This will save you time posting your videos. With Tubemogul Oneload, you upload your video once. Then it sends it to all your social media (youtube, twitter, facebook, linkedin, ect) for you. At youtube I always would get timed out and have to try again. Have not had that problem with Tubemogul.
After you have compressed your videos into smaller file sizes, upload them using Tubemogul Oneload. Create your free account. The product you want to select is Oneload. Then fill out the rest of the signup. The rest is on the tutorial video below. Be armed with all your social media accounts’ usernames and passwords and save “this set of usernames and passwords”. So you don’t have to put them in again.
It is hard to find high speed internet living in the country. Since I take and share video regularly to 4 sites, uploading a large file can make me cringe. On a low bandwidth day, it could take hours. The answer is to compress the files. The program I found that handles file compression without reducing the quality of the video is Handbrake. I still limit my videos to 2 minutes. But by compressing the file to about 40% (no less than 30%), I drastically reduce the amount of upload time. Here is a screencast I made to show you the steps on using the software. Click the four arrows in the bottom right corner to enlarge.
source – video file – click file – ok – video – target size – 40 to 50% – codec mp4 – browse to save file – add to que- encode(or start) – x out
Here is the video I compressed to show there is no reduction in quality
5 Steps to Taking Better Video: For your viewing pleasure
Video is my favorite media to put on my websites. I would rather create a video than write a post any day. After taking videos for years, I thought I would share some tips that can help you take better shots with any camera. Even if you don’t have a dedicated video camera, your point-n-shoot likely has a video setting available. Go ahead and try it out. It will add a whole new dimension to your blog or website. It is easier than you think.
Shaky video is annoying to watch. The camera needs to be steady to take good shots. Using a tripod is the best way to go. If you are planning your video ahead, take the time to use a tripod. But If you are like me and on the spur of the moment say “Hey, that would be a good idea for a video”, you won’t have the forethought of lugging a tripod around with you. As most of your videos will be outside you can still create a steady picture with a little effort. Use two hands on the camera at all times. I have made the mistake before of using one hand like a gun slinger on the draw then trying to zoom. It looked like we had an earthquake during the take. You can really tell which videos are taken while using two hands to stabilize the camera. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This gives you a wider base and prevents swaying. If you walk while recording, take fluid steps. Intentionally put your foot down softly. This is when you notice the jarring in the take.
2. Mic placement:
Bad audio is worse than a shaky picture. If you can’t understand the message, the video is useless. Viewers don’t want to strain to hear what is being said. Since most of your videos will be on your farm, thus outside, wind will be your strongest nemesis for good audio. Wind whipping across your mic, no matter if it is on the camera or lapel, will steal your sound. The best remedy I have found is to keep the wind to the back of the mic blocking it. Just keep in mind where the mic is. Turn the tractor off. (or whatever is running in the background) You don’t want to have to shout over anything that runs on diesel. Take some practice shots on how far away the person speaking can stand from the mic. On my camera I was surprised that the person talking can be up to 20 feet away and still have good sound. This depends on any background noise.
3. Light Placement:
I have seen so many videos where the background is too light and the subject too dark. The easiest way to solve this problem is to put the sun to the cameras back or side. What’s going on is the camera is trying to adjust the exposure to compensate for the bright background. Therefore making the subject dark. Three more ways to solve this is 1. fill the screen with the subject, minimizing the amount of bright background. The camera will then expose for the light on the subject. 2. Add a fill light on the subject, such as a work light, trouble light, or even a lantern type flash light. This might not be practical in every situation but something to keep in mind. 3. Put less of the sky in the frame by bringing the horizon to the top third of the screen. Remember, just because you are outside doesn’t mean you have enough or the right light.
4. Leave head room:
I am sure there is some technical name for this but I don’t know it. When you record leave some video in the intro and the end to give some lead time. If you don’t the beginning or the end will be snipped/cut off during transitions from clip to clip or with the credits. 5 seconds should give you plenty of time to work with.
Remember you get do-overs. Try to plan out what the person it going to say. Practice. Shoot. Review. Retake. I sometimes do a retake knowing that I’ll just pick the best one. Or you can choose parts to put together in the final video. You can cut any slip-ups in editing. But I wouldn’t worry too much about a little stumbling here or there. The most important thing is getting your video posted. Not how many times you stuttered.
Try these tips and tell me how they work for you and leave a link to your video.
We are taking this site in a different direction. I have other websites that I am working on.
Together we will discover
1. how to reach an audience
2. make strong connections
3. get your message out
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