You’re going on a cruise, and you need some video footage. You also need some awesome shots from the bow of the boat. Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as you might think it is. You’ll need a good camera and possibly a digital camcorder, although some DSLR cameras can shoot amazing video. Even your smartphone can be converted into a very capable video and picture capturing device with a simple lens add-on. Here’s how to pull it all together.
Get The Right Lens
The right lens can make all the difference in the world between an immaculate shot and one that belongs in the trash. Don’t skimp on the lens. It’s simultaneously the most expensive part of the camera and the most important. If you don’t spend the money on good optics, it’s impossible to get a good shot.
Stick with the legendary Zeiss lens. These lenses are absolutely amazing, and give you the best shots possible. Everyone knows this, and yet not everyone is willing to pay for the quality they provide. In truth, you’ll end up spending $600 or more on a good lens. The good news is that, if you have a smartphone, there’s a “hack” you can use to get the same quality for less.
The Sony Qx100 has Zeiss optics, but only puts you out a little over $400. The Qx10 is half of that, and will deliver DSLR quality shots. Basically, these lenses transform your smartphone into the viewfinder of a DSLR camera. The lens does the heavy lifting when it comes to capturing the image. All your phone has to do is process it – which it is more than capable of doing. You save yourself a ton of money on a full-blown camera and you’ll end up with the same (or better) quality.
Combine that with the Filmic Pro camera app and you’ll have the equivalent of a $5,000 camera. In fact, this app produced the same quality as the $13,000 Canon C300. Wow.
Frame Your Shot
Most amateur photogs don’t know how to frame a shot well. When choosing what to shoot, make sure you examine what’s around you, what’s actually making it into the shot (aside from the main subject), and how the light is affecting your shot.
This is especially important for video, but most photos can benefit from proper framing too – even though you can technically crop anything after the fact.
Pic A Story and Run With It
Imagine some story you’re trying to capture. This works well if you’re doing candid shots of people on the boat. If you can imagine a story, it will help you with framing, lighting, and how to edit for a proper “feel” afterwards.
Editing Your Work
Editing your work is pretty easy these days. Both Windows Movie Maker and iMovie are more than capable. Drag and drop the photos and video clips you want into your native editor, and start cropping, slicing, color balancing, and joining.
Share Your Projects
There are two major ways to share your final project. The first way involves the use of the Vuze bittorrent client. The second involves social image and video sharing sites.
A program like Vuze takes advantage of P2P file sharing. In other words, you share your final project directly with other people. With social sites, you upload the project to the site, and then set your privacy settings so that only people you choose can view your creation.
Robert McDermott is an amateur photographer with a joy of helping others capture beautiful memories. After years of refining his skills and sharing his art with friends, he enjoys blogging about the tips and tricks to memorable photography.
*Photo “Photographer” credited to Liannelaan