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The ABCDEF of setting up your shot

Here’s how to make your shot as good as it can be, before you press the record button.

First, check the settings and the sound. Then check the angle, background, composition and distance. Finally, check the exposure and focus.

Angle

Low angle shot of girlBirdseye shot

Which angle will give you the best view of the subject?

Could you improve your shot by moving around the subject, or using a higher or lower camera position?

If you’re shooting other shots of the same subject, the angle should be different for each one.

Background

badbackground2building behind

Watch out for distracting backgrounds that draw attention away from the subject.

If possible they should add atmosphere or information.

Composition

Thirds looking space

Is the subject in the right place in the frame? What’s happening at the edges of the shot?

Distance

coverage- mid shot coverage- long shot

Can you improve the shot by moving closer or further away, to frame the shot size more accurately? If the shot’s supposed to be a closeup, are you close enough? Is the shot size different enough from the previous shot?

Exposure

Low key lighting

Is the shot correctly exposed? Can you improve the light by using lights or reflectors, or filming in a different direction? Is there too much (or too little) contrast?

Focus

image005Three quarter

Is the shot sharp where it’s meant to be sharp?

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