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4 Tips for Better Close-Up B-Roll Footage

Close up b-roll shots are often overlooked in travel videos. It’s just a bit easier to get wide-angle shots.

But close-up shots are very powerful as they work really good to create cinematic sequences in your travel videos. They are also great because you always find something that you can film up close. On the opposite side, for wide-angle shots, you’re more limited as you need a good looking surrounding to get great footage.

So how do you get good close-up shots?

1. Make sure your camera is stable

It’s a lot harder to get stable movement when you’re zoomed in or at least close to an object as if you’re further away or zoomed out. So you should use a tripod if you want to have a camera movement in your close-up shot.

But you don’t necessarily need to move your camera. Oftentimes you can film objects that are moving by themselves. In that case, you can simply get a still shot of the object.

2. Use the camera focus to create interesting shots

The more your lens is zoomed in and the closer the object is, the more background blur you will get. That is great as it makes the shot looks nicer even with high apertures. You can also use that to make a focus transition from a close object to the background. To do that you can either turn the focus wheel of your lens or you can use the touch screen of your camera to change the focus while recording.

3. Use light to your advantage

That always counts in photo- and videography but with close-up shots your get some really nice looks. Just make sure that the light either comes from the opposite direction of your camera or from the side. Especially when the light source is behind the object you get some really beautiful “light borders” around your subject.

You can also use artificial light. That works very nice with flowers but when you shoot in bright sunlight you need very bright artificial light to make it visible.

4. Use close-up shots to create cinematic sequences in your travel videos

It is very easy to create sequences when you’re close to the object. Just think about a step by step process when someone does something and record every step. Then you can put the single clips behind each other when you edit your video. This way your video automatically makes more sense for the viewer as it’s easy to follow.

What about you? Do you already include close-up shots in your travel videos or is it mostly wide-angle?

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Pascal Basel
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