How to shoot great video at night

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Want to record video footage at night? Well, the good news is there's no need for night vision equipment! Nigel Barker explains what kind of camera to choose and shares great tips for how to avoid the pitfalls of shooting in low (or no) light.

How to shoot great video at night

Want to record video footage at night? Nigel Barker explains what kind of camera to choose and shares great tips for how to avoid the pitfalls of shooting in low (or no) light.

  • Use a camcorder that has a low-light sensor so you can capture the mood by adding minimal or no additional lighting.
  • Try not to use the zoom. To get a tight shot, physically move yourself closer to your subject without zooming in.
  • Make use of available artificial light, such as a lamp, a streetlight, or even the reflection of the moon. Position yourself or the lighting to illuminate your subject, so the light is behind you.
  • Look for silhouettes-- they can be in front of something, like a window, a light, or even a sunset-- and this will backlight your subject and create a very powerful visual effect.
  • Stabilize your camcorder as much as possible to avoid blurry shots.
  • Use your camera’s optical image stabilization setting.
  • Try to pan slowly, using a tripod or monopod to keep the camera steady. This will give you the clearest shot possible, but if you don't have one handy, just steady your arms by positioning them against your body.

 

Transcript NIGEL BARKER: Hi, there. I'm Nigel Barker

I'm going to show you how to shoot great video at night.

So, shooting video at night can be tricky, and if you're not careful, it can turn out grainy, blurry, or so dark that you can't see a thing.

For shooting night time video, you'll want a camcorder that can capture the mood by adding minimal or no additional lighting, so you'll need one that has a really great low-light sensor, like this one here.

A camcorder with a good low-light sensor will give you faster and more accurate focus and will ensure that your night time video will be clearer with less grain and blur.

Okay, here are a few shooting tips.

Try not to use the zoom.

When the zoom is used, the aperture shuts down, allowing less light in, resulting in grainy and dark shots.

To get a tight shot, physically move yourself closer to your subject without zooming in.

Here's another one--make use of available artificial light, such as a lamp, a streetlight, or even the reflection of the moon.

Position yourself or the lighting to illuminate your subject, so the lighting's actually behind you.

Also, look for silhouettes-- they can be in front of something, like a window, a light, or even a sunset-- and this will backlight your subject and create a very powerful visual effect.

Another important tip is to stabilize your camcorder when shooting at night.

If you move the camera too much, your video will turn out extremely blurry.

You want to use a camcorder with good optical image stabilization.

Also, try to pan slowly, using a tripod or monopod to keep the camera steady.

This will give you the clearest shot possible, but if you don't have one handy, just position your arms like this, and don't be afraid of the dark!

I'm Nigel Barker with Sony for howdini.

For more great tips and ideas, visit sony.com/howdini
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  • Nigel Barker

    Nigel Barker Professional Photographer Nigel Barker has been taking the world of fashion by storm for the past twenty years. After stints in Milan, Paris and London, Barker opened his New York studio in 1996 and has never looked back. more about this expert »

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