Blogging 131: How NOT to Shoot Web Video

The Flip video camera, which I reviewed and demonstrated in Blogging 130, enables you to easily shoot and quickly edit video to be uploaded to YouTube and embedded on a blog.

But as my friend Jane likes to say, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

Or, at least you should get training and follow some basic principles so you can produce better-looking content.

Here’s an example of the wrong way to shoot web video:


The main problem (aside from needing a better spokesmodel), is the brightly lit window behind me at the Seattle airport. It makes me all shadowy. Even so, you can still distinguish some of my features and it’s not completely intolerable (although you can weigh in on that in the comments), but it’s definitely not high quality shooting.

Here’s a better example, which comes from just turning the camera the other way:


The subject matter isn’t any better looking, but at least you get a more accurate map of the creases created by four-and-a-half decades of smiling and laughing (and squinting in the sun).

I’m also temporarily password-protecting this post, and making the videos on YouTube only visible to me, to see how that works. I’ll remove the password protection later.

Updated: Here’s what I learned. By setting the videos as “Private” in YouTube, that overrides the other setting I had done to allow embedding within this blog post. So if you have video you only want to share through a password-protected post, you can’t use YouTube embedding to display it. It has to be public on YouTube to be embedded in a post. I’ve now removed both the password protection on this post and the privacy on the YouTube videos so you can learn from these stellar examples.