Photographers and videographers of all experience levels benefit from learning new skills. Re-envision your work with our five favorite tutorial videos from Shutterstock.
Shutterstock video tutorials make even the most complex subjects seem doable, from studio lighting to video editing and everything in between. We assure you there’s a video out there to walk you through your next project, whether you’re sitting down to color correct your photos or stuck on location in need of a quick DIY fix. There’s a reason these videos have well over a million views on YouTube, and you can browse them all over on the Shutterstock YouTube channel. Here are just five of our favorites.
1. How To Shoot Product Shots: 3 Cheap And Easy Setups
You know those impossibly delicious-looking product shots you see in commercials and magazine ads? This video will tell you exactly how to make your own. If the process sounds daunting, don’t worry: Director of Photography Todd Blankenship makes it fun and easy. Additionally, you won’t need to shell out an insane amount of cash to follow his tips, as you can do all three setups he suggests for under $200. Some materials you might even find lying around at home.
For a powerful result, create a custom surface on which to display your product. Shiny surfaces are usually best.
Never shine light directly onto a translucent product (e.g. glasses, clear bottles). Instead, use a bounce and/or diffusion material to “light for the reflections.”
Add movement or visual interest wherever possible, even if you’re taking a still photograph. Filters, foreground details, and other effects are all cool ways to do this.
2. How To Instantly Fog Or Haze Your Outdoor Shots
Instagram is filled to the brim with moody, atmospheric shots, but chasing fog in real life is a little more complicated. Blankenship’s here to help. Follow him as he transforms a Texas hiking trail into a fog-drenched wonderland reminiscent of a tropical rainforest. As always, he keeps all his setups affordable and easy to put into practice.
A little bit of fog will make any ordinary scene feel magical.
If you use an insect fogger, make sure to use only 100% mineral oil. That way, you won’t harm the natural environment, and you’ll keep yourself safe as well. Take precautions to avoid fires!
Make a DIY fogger out of tubing and a fan from your neighborhood hardware store for multiple fog sources.
3. 7 DIY Filmmaking Hacks
Stop spending your cash on unnecessary new equipment and instead learn how to modify, repair, or upgrade what you already have. You don’t need to be a handyman to follow Logan Baker’s easy-as-pie instructions, and his out-of-the-box thinking will get you inspired to start creating. From a pizza pan light to a handmade hi-hat, this video covers all bases. These hacks will also work for still photos as well as footage, and best of all, you can get everything you need for under $100.
To make a candle look great on camera—and actually illuminate your subjects—carve out a space in the back and pop in a small LED bulb. Make sure to secure it with gaffer tape.
Instead of buying a pricey quacker clamp, try putting a quick-grip on your C-stand.
To control the brightness of your light, pick up a dimmer switch and a little box at your local hardware shop. Make sure you have an extension cord and some wire connectors on hand, and in just a few quick steps, you’ll have an effective dimmer.
4. Diffusion Basics: 3 Cheap Ways To Diffuse Light
In this must-watch video for any portrait photographer, Blankenship explains the basics of diffusion and shares some helpful hacks along the way. Learn how to avoid unflattering shadows, and get ready to see what gear and materials the pros use behind-the-scenes. This quick and easy video covers a lot of ground, as Blankenship talks us through the pros and cons of different techniques. Once you’re done. you can cater your approach to your specific needs.
For added softness, make your light source bigger and move it closer to the subject.
A shower curtain makes a great diffusion material, and it won’t cost you much.
When it comes to diffusion, don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s a matter of taste, so play around and see what you like best, whether it’s a frame or a softbox. There are hundreds of ways to diffuse light, which means you’ll never run out of options.
5. 9 Cuts Every Video Editor Should Know
This video went crazy viral, and it’s easy to see why. It’s is a bit different from the others on the list because it’s more about technique and storytelling than it is about the actual tools you’ll use to create content. Consider this your crash course in the basics of film editing, taught by Baker. Luckily, it’s not specific to any software, so you can refer to it regularly, no matter what your process looks like. You’ll learn all about standard cuts, jump cuts, cross-cutting, match-cuts, and many more, as well as their applications. By the time you’re done with this five-minute video, you’ll walk away armed with the knowledge you need to tell your own story effectively on film.
Try a jump cut or a montage to convey the passage of time.
Save your B-roll for great cutaway shots.
Prepare a storyboard before you get started, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuts.
Top image by Yulia Grigoryeva
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