Web Video 105: Why you should always use a tripod with a Flip

SMUG doesn’t have a formal curriculum in Web video (come to think of it, none of our curriculum is really formal in the accreditation sense.) I guess what I should say is SMUG doesn’t have a curriculum series in Web video.

That may change, but for now here is the first post in what might become a series.

I didn’t start with 101 for the course number, because I can think of some lessons that would be more introductory or basic than this one. But this is something you should learn early and take to heart:

Always use a tripod when shooting video with a consumer-grade video camera.

The videos below show the difference a tripod makes. The first is a compilation of highlights from my son Joe and nephew Tom, in their first few games of the high school basketball season. I’m using a WordPress.com blog as the team booster site. I used a Facebook group a couple of years ago to do the same for my daughter’s team. All of the video from these first games was shot using a tripod:

Last night, however, when the Austin boys played John Marshall High School in Rochester, I realized upon arriving at the game that I had left the camera base that connects to my tripod attached to my other camera. So I had to shoot the whole game holding the camera in my hand.

And while I haven’t yet edited the highlight video for the whole game (which Austin won by the palindromic score of 74-47), here’s one snippet that was particularly fun for me as a dad:

I really wish you could tell that was my son, Joe, but because I had a hand-held camera, it’s considerably more blurry than the earlier games. So please just take my word for it.

I think the other factor is that I was a little closer to the court than usual, and therefore had to move the camera more quickly to keep up with the action, which increased blurriness.

So, to summarize the lesson:

  1. Always bring a tripod.
  2. If you goof up and forget to bring a tripod and are shooting action footage, get some distance away to avoid introducing extra movement.
  3. If you are shooting an interview or something at close range, find some other surface (a box, a stack of books, etc.) upon which you can set the camera.
  4. Don’t mess with the Austin Packers. 😉

Seriously, it was pretty cool to get to see and capture my son’s first dunk in a high school basketball game. And I always try to turn these moments into teaching opportunities.

It’s the life of a Chancellor.

Be Sociable, Share!

Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of nine, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.