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General videography suggestions

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Thought a thread to collect notes/thoughts on how to best document travels/explorations might be useful.  When I first started learning about videography, I had 2 things drilled into my head.. HANDS OFF THE ZOOM and panning requires a pause.  I know we can't plan all of our shots, however IF you're going to edit the footage anyway.. 

The core idea is all camera movement (including zoom) should be from one thing to another.  Constant movement makes it very difficult to make out any details, and nobody likes zooming in/out... zoom should be slow/smooth with a defined start and end point.

For example when approaching a building I'd recommend something like:

  1. Establishing shot, get the entire building if possible if not a SLOW pan from left->right (unless you read from right->left). 
  2. As you approach the building entrance (if you're going inside), video your approach..slowly and with the camera held as steady as possible (tons of tips on how to do that online), it should look like a smooth roll into the building.   It takes practice to get your walking 'bounce' out of the shot however once learned it's pretty easy IMO.
  3. Once inside, perhaps a slow pan from left-right to 'set the stage'. 
  4. Now comes the hard part, documenting details.  If there's something interesting to be seen.. then pause on it. 
  5. If you're going for the 'live' look, leave the camera rolling but pointed in one direction as you explore around (perhaps the last interesting thing).. don't look through the viewfinder rather use your eyes to find interesting things while you hold the camera steady *then* move the camera view to the interesting item you found and pause there.... rinse and repeat. 

This is just my opinion.  Personally I find that most interesting things at explore sites don't move so I rely on still images that carry more information and take less space.  However I'm not trying to monetize youtube videos either...so ;-)

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