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Shooting Videos to Share Online


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Video sharing websites, like YouTube, Google Video, grouper and Metacafe, have exploded in popularity and turned average people into celebrities and well-known producers. You too can try your hand at acting or capturing the perfect moment that will top the lists of most popular online videos.

That’s the beauty of online video sharing—anyone can shoot a video and share it with the world on a relatively low budget. You only need a computer with an Internet connection, basic video editing software and a camera.

Be aware, before you embark on your journey to fame, that the competition is fierce. Thousands of new user-submitted videos appear online each day and only the best rise to the top. Here are some tips to get you started:


  • Know Your Camcorder
    Every camcorder is different and modern camcorders have tons of practical features that make shooting quality video simple. A few of these features include special effects, zoom and autofocus. Read the manual so you are familiar with your camera and can easily access and use the features.

  • Always Be Prepared
    Ninety percent of top videos on video share sites are candid (or so they seem). Get in the habit of taking your camcorder with you and always be prepared to capture life at its best, or worst. You should always carry a spare battery and video tape as well as the battery charger/power supply.

  • Use a tripod
    There’s a time and a place for shaky video, but it’s seldom. Tripods are inexpensive and can greatly improve the quality of your video. Tripods are especially important if you shoot longer videos, short films and series.

  • Lighting
    Lighting is the most important aspect of shooting good video—poor lighting makes poor video. Generally, avoid lighting directly overhead, put the sun to your back and avoid shooting indoors where there is not adequate light.

  • Audio
    Audio can be tricky with home video. It is usually mediocre at best. If you don’t want to invest in audio equipment, get as close to the subject as possible without ruining the shot and consider your surroundings. Maybe you could move to a quieter area where you can hear your subject better. Lastly, consider a soundtrack. Sometimes music makes the best audio and provides even more dynamics to your video.

  • Don’t overdo it with effects and zoom
    Just because your camera has cool effects and an 800x zoom doesn’t mean you should use them during the whole shoot, or at all. When you zoom, do so slowly and smoothly. Remember that digital zoom tends to make the picture grainier as you zoom closer.

    You can shoot “normal" video and add the effects later with your video editing software. This way you can easily change the effects or not use them at all.

  • Make it short and sweet
    You only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention and your online audience doesn’t want to watch ten minutes of your toddler niece eating her birthday cake. Edit it down to the best, funniest, cutest 30 seconds and you’ll have a masterpiece.

  • Learn from the pros
    You can learn a lot about short, online videos from Hollywood movies. Next time you watch a movie pay special attention to camera angle, lighting, the set, how the plot develops and so forth.

    After you shoot the footage, it’s time to sit at the computer and edit. This is where the magic happens and can be just as or more enjoyable than shooting the video.

    Cristopher Fowers

    Cristopher Fowers is a Writer/Reviewer for . TopTenREVIEWS features expert reviews for technology and entertainment products and services.

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