Video tip of the day

I am often asked for different video tips and so I decided to give you a tip of the day from now on. Come back here to get more valuable tips.

These tips will range from relatively simple areas such as bags and transport of your gear to why video tripod is different to a still tripod.

Today I’m going to look at the very well worn myth that video makes you fat and also we don’t look like we normally see ourselves when on a video camera. Actually both of those are true and I examine this in more depth as part of my new course I am running in June. More of that below. I’ll take the fact that we never look like ourselves when we see ourselves in a video camera or a photograph.

The reasons for this are many, but put in a simple way we only see ourselves in a mirror on an everyday basis, so when we see ourselves on a photograph or a video screen we see ourselves the opposite way round i.e. opposite to a mirror-image. In other words we see ourselves as a mirror-image and a video camera sees us as a people see us.

When we look in the bathroom mirror we also tend to look at ourselves reasonably close up, (unless the full length mirror is used in the hallway, for example). The closer we get to the mirror the more distorted the viewer faces. Take a look at this tonight you look in the mirror and go right up very close to the mirror and see if you can see your ears. You won’t.

If you are only a few inches away your ears will disappear and your face will look very much thinner than you first think. Because it is our face we tend to overlook the fact of faces distorted in the reflection and this we perceive ourselves as being thinner and the opposite way round to the way everybody else sees us.

When a photographer or video camera records your image a good distance away is about 2 m or 6 feet away as a minimum, as a rough guide. At this distance the lens tends to flatten out perspective and gives us a much more flattering and lifelike representation of the human face as we normally see each other. The main difficulty with this is we do look very different to how we see ourselves every morning in the mirror!

I’ve even known photographers reversed the photograph if it is for a particular client. The client gets to see themselves as they are used to in the mirror, yet everybody else who sees the picture feels there is something different but they can’t quite put their finger on what.

Film and video lighting also plays a part in making our faces look more acceptable to a video camera. You will have to wait for another post to find out why that is.. Keep coming back to this website.

So whenever somebody says I don’t like myself on video or video camera makes you fat there is an element of truth in both of those. Clearly the camera doesn’t actually make you fat, and the vast majority of people will hate their image on a video camera or a stills camera (unless they are working in media where they see themselves all the time)

To find out more about this (and how to speak to video camera confidently ) you can now take a look at my website and check out the online course and the workshop I will be holding in June

Please take a look now

Best wishes until tomorrow

John Keedwell