The Basics of Shooting Professional Video With Your Night Vision Camcorder

The modern infrared camcorder is a marvelous piece of technology. The ease of use, quality of the video and the low cost of digital storage all combine to make your video camera a tool that can be used to create pro quality video.

In order for you to make the transition from point and shoot haphazard videos to professional looking finished quality films you need a plan.

And here in broad outline are the initial steps you need to take in order to create a well organized and polished finished product.

If you want to create a video that tells a story or professionally captures an experience or adventure, especially one where you will want to totally or partially use the low light or night vision modes of your digital camcorder, the first thing you should do is become completely familiar with your camera itself.

Learn Everything You Can About Your Camcorder and It’s Settings and Controls:

The old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ may be trite, but it is true. Learning to use all the controls on your camcorder in both automatic and manual mode is one of the first things for you to master. There are so many features built into current cameras that you must take the time to make yourself familiar with all of them.

camcorder equipment truck

Read your manual carefully and keep it with you when you shoot. Make a list of the different features and spend some time shooting practice video in every one of the different modes and options that you can set. Many times settings on the camera can be hard to find or remember due to the need to go through all the various menus on your lcd screen. When you learn the settings and become comfortable with the ones that you think you will use the most, make yourself a cheat sheet and keep it with your gear so that you can quickly refresh your memory when you want to use one of the more difficult to set features of your camcorder.

Pay special attention to learning how to change settings and what extra tools you might need such as a helmet light or flashlight so that you can change settings and setup in the dark. Doing video and filming in the dark with a night vision digital camcorder is much more challenging than it is working in the daylight. And if you are using additional infrared floodlights or other ir illuminators, practice with them as much as possible.

Learn How To Create a Story:

The second part of creating professional video is building up the ideas and thoughts that you have into a coherent plan that you lay out in advance. You may want to make a documentary, a story telling film or even an attempt at a movie. Whatever your initial idea, set down a written plan in advance to create a path you can follow in order to create a finished product.

This can be as complex as laying out a complete story board which includes all the scenes you intend to shoot along with the style and effects that you plan on using. Or if your project does not require this much advance work and planning, you should still lay out a rough outline of the scenes you will need to accomplish a total end result.

By laying out your storyline and considering what you will need to do in advance of your filming, you are more likely to make sure you have thought through your story completely. By doing this you’ll find that when working on the individual scenes or interviews that you’ll do a better job of making sure it will be a good part of your finished project.

Pay special attention to any work that you do in night vision mode. Practice as much as you can with your low light camcorder modes so that the quality of your night video can hold up to standards of regular daylight work. Especially practice on situations where you move from lighted to night vision mode without a cut. This is one of the most difficult types of transitions to make.

The Basics Are the Building Blocks to Professionalism:

The information above is just a starting point on the road to changing from shooting home video to pro video. There are many resources on the Web where you can go and as your skills increase search out more detailed information.

But the fact remains that if you spend the time in practice and master the basics plus learn your camera settings completely and be able to make changes quickly, you will be well on the road to creating quality professional video with your camcorder that you will be proud to show off to the world.