Avoid harsh shadows with this easy lighting tip

Easy Video Lighting Tip

Shadows on the wall behind you can make your videos look less professional.  The good news is that softening that shadow is easy with a simple tool: a photography umbrella.

Harsh Shadow Lighting

Example of single point lighting, before adding an umbrella shows harsh shadows.

Lighting Example - After

The same lighting, but with a photography umbrella attached to the light.

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How to edit out jump cuts in your video

Removing Jump Cuts

Jump cuts can be jarring for your viewers, and take away from the professionalism in your videos.  A jump cut is an edit, where the camera view doesn’t change, but the subject does.  This makes it look like the subject is jumping ahead through time.

If your video style is frenetic and jarring, then jump cuts may be the perfect look for you.  Lots of YouTube Vloggers use jump cuts in their videos.  But more professional videos typically do not include jump cuts.  If you’re using YouTube for online video marketing, then removing jump cuts can help professionalize you channel.

Avoiding jump cuts with the 30 percent rule

If you want to avoid jump cuts, then you need to edit your videos so that when you cut, your image changes by at least 30%.

  1. Zoom in more than 30%
  2. Move the camera more than 30% (or edit to make it look like you did)
  3. Cut away to B-Roll

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How to make custom thumbnails for YouTube – with free software

Custom Thumbnail

Three tools to attract clicks to your videos

YouTube gives you three tools to attract clicks:

  • Titles
  • Descriptions (specifically the first couple sentences)
  • Thumbnails

These three things must work together to convince potential viewers to start your video.  Luckily, YouTube allows you to create custom thumbnails (and not just select from three random frames they choose.)  If you’re using YouTube for online video marketing for your business, then creating custom thumbnails can help you stand out from the many “less professional” videos on YouTube.

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How to get wrinkles out of your backdrop

Easy wrinkle removal
Got Wrinkles?

A crisp backdrop can add a level of professionalism to your videos – but not if it’s wrinkled. I tried ironing my muslin backdrops, but they are 6 feet x 9 feet and it’s tough to iron something that big on my ironing board.  Then I discovered a travel steamer – this quick, easy and cheap tool will make your backdrops look amazing in just minutes.

I found this video on how to remove wrinkles with a spray of warm water, but I just ended up with a wet wrinkled backdrop. Give it a try, it may work for you!

I purchased a hand travel steamer on Amazon and it is quick and easy! Just hold the steamer against the hanging fabric and run it up and down.

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Training with online video – interview with Team Treehouse

Online Video Training

Michael Poley from TeamTreehouse.com joins Subscriber Nation to talk about his experience with online video, specifically using it as a training resource for computer languages at TeamTreehouse.com

How did Michael start making online videos?

Michael doesn’t have a film degree – he has an English degree.  His first foray into film was making comedy videos with his friends, then transitioned to green screen and walk on videos.  He produced a weekly web show in Orlando, helped create Rails for Zombies, and moved to Treehouse four years ago.

Treehouse teaches using online video:

Treehouse is an online school that teaches web design and web development – specifically designed to get beginners from zero to job ready.  But they also have advanced content.

Why Treehouse uses video:

Computer science is an ever changing field where practitioners need to update their skills regularly.  For software training, video works exceptionally well and is very cost affordable.  Most of their videos use screencasting to show the coding being done on screen.

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