Setting manual focus before dive if can't set underwater: With camera on auto focus, aim at an object 20 feet away. Zoom in on object. Set manual focus and pull back to wide angle. Move up to object and should still be in focus.
Avoid the following:
This means aiming your camcorder in the general direction of your subject and then waving it vaguely around the area without decisively framing anything. Instead, frame a sharp composition, film for at least 10 seconds, then move to another good image. In other words hold camera steady on subject.
Don't treat the camcorder like a still camera, shooting endless little snippets too short to view properly. Count to 10 on every shot, unless something really great is happening, then keep rolling.
As a general rule, keep subject's eyes in the top third of your frame. (It is okay to cut off part of the top, but not the bottom of face).
Zooming looks cool on the viewfinder, but not in the finished show. To avoid the problem, use the zoom sparingly. When zooming to create a new image size, turn off record and start the new shot at new size, that way it will edit smoothly with the old one.
Most of the time, you shoot looking down on subject. Use varied perspectives for greater visual interest, go low to high along reef, reverse directions, shoot from below, and pan VERY, VERY, VERY slowly. Get Long Shots, Medium Shots, and Close-ups to tell the story.
Long shots introduce
the viewer to area or subject. Medium shots show features.
Close-ups give details.
Jogging means making shaky footage, either by swimming while shooting or by allowing the camera to move. To avoid this problem use the image stabilization which is on the camera; brace the camera when you can; avoid very long telephoto lens settings when hand holding (in fact turn off the Digital Zoom feature to the camera). You can still do telephoto, but it will be limited. This gives better quality. If you move, while filming, carry the camera smoothly. Best to swim to the subject and take video.
how to take Great Underwater Video
Here are some techniques you MUST remember when taking video underwater. It is not the same as taking a photo and there are other considerations for underwater.
If water has a green cast, the red filter will make everything look yellow. Here a magenta filter is used or white balance is adjusted. If you can’t adjust white balance, change to indoor setting in camera setup and use red filter. You will get same result as magenta.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE...will give you great underwater Video.
a question about underwater video or equipment? Send questions to
Sheryl Brakey at SJB Productions.
We will try to answer them or give another opinion.
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