Shooting much better - more professional - looking video can be as simple as following 3 easy rules. Below is step number 1 - possibly the easiest step. In fact, for many people, it will require little more than the “flip of a switch”.
1) Use a Tripod or Turn On Electronic Image Stabilization.
I know carrying a tripod around all the time is not realistic. But you can carry a mini tripod around - they’re small enough to
Why does this picture look weird… and cool? You’ve probably noticed this photography style quite a bit lately. If you haven’t - start paying attention - it’s very popular in print and television advertisements right now. It’s technically called a "swing tilt" or "tilt shift" effect, but most of us just call it “that miniature effect thing”.
How does it work? The short and sweet is that blurring out areas of the picture causes our brain to change it’s perception - or what it thinks it’s seeing. The blurriness changes the distance and size that is perceived by the brain. Instead of recognizing that the buildings in the picture above are far away, your brain thinks it’s looking at something very small but very close to your eye.
Do you need a special camera to take swing-tilt pictures? No! It’s one of the easiest produced effects around. It’s available as a special effect in a lot of point and shoot digital cameras and even some DSLR models like my Canon 60d. If your camera doesn’t have it, you can create it on your computer with software like Photoshop - or even on your iphone with the TiltShift Generator by Art & Mobile. No matter how you do it, the results can be pretty awesome.
What’s the best way to take good swing tilt / tilt shift /miniature effect photos? The two main rules are:
1) Take wide pictures.
2) Shoot the picture at a slight downward angle.
The picture above was a perfect candidate for this effect because it was taken from high up in the Tokyo Tower (perfect for a nice wide shot) - and the camera was tilted down just a little. Tighter shots of cities can still work but close shots of people usually don’t look as good.
Have fun and shoot a ton.