How to take the perfect shot in Cardiff City Centre

Out and aboutBegrudgingly, I was at university for 10am this morning (7 November, 2009). From 10am until 4pm we were doing a very short course in video training with Tony O’Shaughnessy from BBC Wales.

Wishing I could have remained in bed, I wasn’t that optimistic about the day. However, the day was very productive and I really enjoyed my brief venture into the broadcasting world.

First up, rule one: use a tripod.

Professionals try to avoid using handshots. If you look at music videos, then you will see that it is the subject that is moving and the camera remains stationary. This also means that you should avoid zooming, panning or tilting the camera. If you want to look closer at an object then you should physically move.

We then looked at the different types of shots: general view (GV), interview and action. Four techniques to capturing an action shot are:

  • Take a wide shot
  • Zoom in on the hands
  • Zoom in on the face
  • Take a shot from over-the-shoulder

An important rule to remember, which I forgot on my wide shot, is the view line. You must always take your shot from the same side of their face. When taking action shots it can be really hard to shoot using a tripod so in this case the shot can be handheld.

Armed with a camera and tripod we set out to capture different shots of Cardiff City Centre. This really was a great way to look at Cardiff from a new perspective. Suddenly I wanted to make the everyday look interesting. I had to find something that was worth shooting. The Indoor Market became a wealth of inspiration.

Once back in the Bute Building we were shown how to edit our clips. In the space of an hour I had cut down my 3 minutes of footage to 1 minute 6 seconds. I had even been able to place audio over the top of other clips. Who knew it would be so easy to shoot and edit your own video!

2 thoughts on “How to take the perfect shot in Cardiff City Centre

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    1. I really enjoyed it! I definitely feel a lot more confident using the equipment so I will have to investigate borrowing a camera (and tripod!) and filming some short videos of my own.

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