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Turning Home Video into Pro Video > Turning Home Video into Pro Video - Pg. 49

pressed tightly against your side, use two hands, and breathe slowly and with con- trol. When you pan, turn from the waist, keeping your upper body straight. Bend your legs slightly to serve as shock absorbers. Tip: Regardless of your camcorder model, you'll get the best and steadiest results if you use your free hand to brace the bottom of the camera. Holding both sides of the camcorder isn't nearly as steady. Keep the Camera Steady ·Zoomout. When you're zoomed in to flm something distant, magnifying the image by, say, 10 times, remember that a one-millimeter jiggle gets magnifed many times. When you're zoomed in a lot, it's easy to produce extremely unsteady footage. Keep this in mind when deciding how much you want to zoom; the most stable picture results when you're zoomed out all the way. (Zooming also makes focus more critical, as described on page 58.) ·Consideramonopod. Despite the enormous boost in stability that a tripod gives your footage, you don't always have the time to unlatch, extend, and relatch each of the three legs. If the kind of shooting you do frequently requires such fast setup and takedown, consider a monopod. As much as it sounds like a creature from a sci-f movie, a monopod is actually a closer relative to a walking stick. It's a col- lapsible metal post for your camcorder. When using a monopod, you still have to steady the camcorder with your hands (jiggles are still possible), but the monopod eliminates motion from one of the three dimensions (up and down), which is much better than nothing. And the monopod, of course, takes very little time to set up and take down. ·Getaclamp. You can also buy viselike clamps equipped with camera plates. You can clamp them to car windows, chair backs, tops of ladders, skateboards, and so on, for even more stable-shooting options. (Put a piece of cloth between the clamp and the surface to prevent scratching.) Video Lighting: A Crash Course Today's camera optics are good, but they're not human eyeballs. Every camera, from your camcorder to professional TV and flm models, captures truer color, depth, and contrast if lighting conditions are good. The need for bright light grows more desperate if: ·Yourecordontovideotapeinsteadofflm. Video picks up an even smaller range of light and shadow than flm, so having enough light is especially important when using your camcorder. A movie whose acting, sound, and dialog are exceptional can be ruined by poor lighting. ·YouplantoturnyourfnishedproductionintoaQuickTimemovie. If the fnal product of your video project is to be a QuickTime movie (as described in Part 3), as opposed to something you'll view on TV, you need even more light. The compression software (codecs) that turn your video into QuickTime fles do excellent work--if the original footage was well lit. When you turn a fnished dim chapter2:turninghomevideointoprovideo 49