One of the great benefits of recently released point & shoot and digital SLR cameras is the ability to record really good high definition video. The quality and ease of viewing & sharing these videos adds fun to your picture taking and begs for this question to be asked: What occasion would be perfect to capture in video in addition to pictures? The answer...A Kid's Birthday Party! In this instructional post & video from Nikon, photographer Anne Cutting shares some tips to make your videos memorable. When shooting video of a child’s birthday party, keep these tips in mind:
  • Have fun! Look for unique angles such as carefully climbing high above your subjects, or getting the camera low to the ground for a change in viewpoint. Take both video and stills when you do this for more variety. Its even ok if you need to ask your subjects to repeat a task so you can capture it in more than one way.
  • Try the variety of special effects that most new cameras offer—such as slow-motion, selective color, or miniature effect—for a truly unique look.
  • Stabilize the camera whenever possible. If your camera has some form of stabilizing like VR or IS, turn the feature on. You can use a monopod or tripod when panning or zooming into the frame. If you don’t have a monopod or tripod, brace yourself against a sturdy object such as a fence or wall to keep camera shake to a minimum.
  • Make sure there is enough light for the situation you’re in. You might have to increase the ISO; open the curtains to let more light into a room or even turn on lamps to increase the level of illumination indoors. Remember that a camera’s flash will not illuminate your scene when shooting video.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your subjects a question, or prompt them to tell a story or share their thoughts about the event you’re capturing on video. You can always choose to leave in your own voice making the request or edit it out of the final video.
Lastly, Make sure your batteries are fresh (if your camera uses disposable batteries) and fully charged (if your camera uses rechargeable ones); We’ve all run out of power at one inopportune time or another but doing so during special events can be devastating. Have extra media cards on hand too. You don’t want to face the decision of having to delete images or video clips to make room for new ones in the middle of shooting. By using only the best images and video clips, you’ll be able to tell a better story, one that your friends and family will want to see again and again. (Photo by Fred Bonilla)

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