Archives For JO


Know Your Camera- Part 2: Gain/ISO-Aperture-Exposure

Gain, aperture and exposure are the three elements that together determine how bright or dark your picture will be. In addition to brightness, these three elements affect image quality, depth of field, and smoothness. Once you’ve recorded your video, you can make minor adjustments in post, but getting it right the first time produces the best results. In general there are some basic rules to follow.

  • Gain should be kept low
  • Aperture should be set to achieve the desired focus range
  • Exposure should be kept at around 1/50 of a second
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Know Your Camera
Part 1: Auto and Manual Settings

Shooting video is easy, just point and shoot, right? But cameras are jam packed with features that are there for one reason, making your pictures and videos better. There’s nothing wrong with auto mode, in fact in a lot of situations it works. But hidden deep inside most cameras are manual settings that can help take your videos to the next level. This 5 part series Manual Settings will go over the basics, but first:

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Cutting on the Action with Animated GIFs!

JO —  September 27, 2013

Previously I talked about how framing affects the way multiple shots are put together into an intelligible sequence. In other words in such a way that the viewer is almost not conscious of the cuts and can focus on the message of the video. Cutting on action is another technique to edit shots together is such a way that the viewer is not jarred or disoriented by the cuts. This can be useful in almost all types of video.

  • In event videography cutting on the action is a way to make your videos stand out from the crowd.
  • In independent film and short film your success may depend on how well you are able to “seamlessly” edit together a series of shots.
  • Even in a simple vlog cutting on the action can help make your videos better.

The process is simple, when making a cut from one clip to the next use the natural motion of your subject as a cue. Even if you’re not shooting the same scene over and over again from various angles, the process can still be used. There are a few things to be mindful of when shooting the video and when sitting down to edit it.


Audio Recording For Videos: On-Board vs. External Microphones

The modern camera is truly an ingenious device. The image quality that cameras produce is continuing to grow exponentially. But recording audio is a whole different ball game. The microphone on your camera, or on-board mic, works, but if you really want to get serious you’ll have to explore other options.

There are many things that affect audio recording.

  • Low Quality Mics

    While most cameras have decent audio recording capabilities, many do not. These include still cameras that also shoot video, webcams, and camera phones.

  • Proximity

    If your microphone is not close enough to your subject, audio will suffer. That’s why you see those big boom poles in the movies. They want to get that microphone as close to their subject’s lips as possible.

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There’s good news and bad news. If you’ve happened to change your name on YouTube, you can revert back to your old name pretty easily. And if you’ve recently joined YouTube you can also choose a new channel name, rather than using your real name. Just use the link below and follow the directions. For me choosing a YouTube channel name is pure magic; it’s like having my very own TV channel, only better.

Changes are always happening over at Google, and YouTube, a subsidiary of Google is no different. You may find these changes cumbersome and annoying.

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Don’t Forget to Frame Your Subject

The video is a classic study on framing and scene composition.

Philip Bloom does some very cool, very detailed gear reviews. I’ve been a fan since his Christmas Showdown Special a few years ago. Besides from doing great gear reviews and having an awesome accent, he produces a lot of neat videos. While I was writing about framing and scene composition, I kept thinking about a music video he made for a band called Olly Knights, entitled “Bitten By The Frost.”

Bitten By The Frost from Philip Bloom

The video is a classic study on framing and scene composition…

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There are a lot of great resources for video makers out there on the web. Over the years I’ve subscribed to many blogs and YouTube channels. Here’s a list of some of my favorites.

Philip Bloom

I love this guy. He has a marvelous accent and his short films are definitely worth watching, especially because he usually follows them up with a behind the scenes. He also does gear reviews. If his videos aren’t enough he gives workshops in many locations.


I subscribed to these guys recently. They have a ton of stuff on their website including tutorials and news about film projects and gear. If you are interested in DSLR cinematography definitely check them out. They offer a free 114 page guide.

Dave Dugdale

This guy is all about DSLRs. In addition to nice gear reviews he offers in depth DSLR tutorials. Although he charges for some tutorials his thoroughness and almost scientific precision is a value for the price.

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If you haven’t heard by now, Vine, Twitter’s latest acquisition is a new way to share with followers and friends. It offers a totally new twist on video. With the new app for iPhones, six second videos are shared like tweets, and although the videos can’t be edited, recording can be paused and restarted. The app works with both video and stills, and unlike Cinemagram audio is included. Vine is an interesting platform for expression and although it won’t put YouTube or Vimeo out of business I think it will serve a function.

Here’s what I like about it.

  • It’s neat. At first I was skeptical about the six second limit, but now I am convinced it has real value.
  • It’s creative. Yeah there are plenty of boring six seconds videos, but it also challenges us to be precise and thoroughly plan what we want to communicate to our audience, and how we want to do it.
  • A lot can happen in six seconds. Anyone who has edited videos knows that. At 24p, six seconds equals about 144 individual frames. Even if the frame rate is slightly lower there is still a lot of possibility.
  • Unedited video. I think this is the fun part. While you can pause recording, the Vine app does not allow for uploading videos edited in other programs. This may change in the future, but I hope not. I like the idea of cinema vérité in a six second clip. Don’t worry, you can play your royalty free music on a boombox in the background and have it in your video.
  • It’s so cool I might buy an iPhone.
  • Even if videos are deathly boring they only last six seconds!
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Taking Your Videos to the Next Level : Intro / Title Sequences / Credits

To see some great intro/title sequences all you have to do is turn on your favorite TV show and watch for a few minutes. After the opening scenes, a sequence will appear, usually containing the title of the show and some credits. The sequence typically features a montage, a sort of video slide show of some of the characters and scenes from previous episodes. titles

Making a title sequence is fun, exciting and can really make your video stand out. But a poor title sequence is boring and viewers may go on to the next video before yours gets started. Here are some things to consider when making an intro/title sequence.

  • First of all make sure you’ve caught your viewers’ attention before your intro begins. Otherwise they may skip your video altogether.
  • Make it short and sweet. A three to five minute should have around 10-15 seconds of intro sequence, there’s no need to make it longer.
  • Use awesome music. Once you’ve selected your royalty free track consider buying both the full length version and the 10 or 15 second version. Use the full version in the video and use the shorter version in the intro.
  • Brand yourself with a unique font. There are thousands available. Find a font that says something about you!
  • Go easy on the titles and hard on the images. Make sure you use a proper font size and experiment with animating multiple layers of titles.
  • Use images that will elicit an emotional response in your viewers. Kittens, puppies and small children work great.
  • Create your intro sequence as a separate project. Export the video and when you are done you can simply drop it into your next video. When you are ready to change your intro you can go back your that project and make necessary changes.
  • If you have a long list of credits, put them at the end of your video, after your viewers have seen your work.
    (JewelBeat does not require crediting for our paid customers but any we regard all credits as a super big high-5 to us. Oh do email us your video link as we LOVE to see how our customers have been using our music.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then watch your favorite TV shows, write down what you like about their intros and make a list; does you intro contain some of the same elements? Is it something your viewers will want to watch over and over again, every time you upload a new video? If so congratulations, you’ve just created an awesome intro! If not, don’t be afraid to hit the drawing board one more time.


Google Hangouts with Google+

JO —  May 13, 2013

It’s been years since I bought my first webcam, plugged it in, and was able to remotely monitor the activities of Mr. Felix Whiskers, my black and white tuxedo cat. Back then technology was relatively simple. Today there’s Google Hangouts, which in addition to offering multi person web chatting, offers the ability to stream live, multi-camera broadcasts worldwide. Think of it as another way to communicate with you subs.

Googleplushangouts1There are a lot of advantages to Google Hangouts. Broadcasts are streamed live on YouTube and also automatically recorded and uploaded. This is a great way to build your subscriber base if you are working on becoming a YouTube Partner. Google Hangouts offers manual control over camera switching, but this can also be done automatically. The list goes on and on. There will always be some technological and human challenges involved in live broadcast, but the technology offers an incredible opportunity to promote, connect and deliver.

Here are some considerations offered by Frasier Crane, Google Hangout expert.

  • Use a quality webcam.
  • Use your fastest computer.
  • Always use a wired internet connection.
  • To reduce echo headphones must be worn at all times. Try using one in ear headphone and tuck the wire through your jacket for discreetness.
  • Start you Hangout early to make sure all your participants are ready. Broadcasts won’t start until you want them to.
  • Have all participants mute their mics unless they are talking. This will minimize annoying background noises such as keypad typing, etc.
  • Use a quality mic.
  • Always make sure you have full license of anything you broadcast.

Here are a few more things to consider.
Consider choosing a few royalty free music tracks from JewelBeat to play before your broadcast begins and during any breaks. Try doing a few practice “hangouts” with your friends and colleagues before you broadcast. The possibilities Google Hangouts bring to the table are really incredible. So make sure you sign up to receive weekly emails, you may be invited to a Hangout soon! And let us know of any hangout that you’re planning to use JewelBeat royalty free music in. We’ll be sure to tune in!

For more information click on the link below.