Video Settings on the Camera Are Critical; Don’t Get Them Wrong-Shooting Video in St. Maarten-Part 6


Your video settings are extremely important

Johnny B. Goode, Special Reporter to the Lawyers Video Studio- Part 6

Gerry is now showing me how he changes his camera settings.

“First, get the camera off automatic. It’s not accurate and not what you want. The camera doesn’t really know what looks good. It just makes assumptions when set on automatic.

Second, when in manual mode you must change the ISO setting and the aperature. Both are critical to getting the right exposure, color settings and temperature. Make your video too dark and nobody will watch. Make it too light and it will look overexposed and washed out. Make it just right and the colors will pop.”

“How long did it take you to master this?” I ask.

“Years. I had to teach myself first. Then make lots of mistakes. Then learn from people smarter that me how to do it right. Now I can get the settings right in just minutes and start shooting.”

He played with the ISO and aperature for about 5 solid minutes. It reminded me of going to the eye doctor  and every time he switches the lens asks “Does this look better or does this  one?”

Once Gerry proclaimed everything was good to go, he pulled out a remote control device, swiveled the adjustable viewfinder toward the front of the camera and sat down in the chair I had recently vacated.

I asked him if he needed my help. I didn’t understand how he could start shooting yet and get the camera into focus and get the framing just right.

I’m taller than Gerry and when I was sitting in the chair, he had adjusted the camera as if I was going to be on video. Now when he was sitting in the chair, the picture frame, where his head would be had way too much space at the top. I asked if I could adjust the camera and tripod for this. He smiled and said “Go for it.”

I think he appreciated not having to get up again from his chair to do this menial task. After a few minor adjustments he said it was great. He looked perfectly framed in the viewfinder.

I didn’t know where to stand or what to do at that point. “Where do you want me now?”

“Why don’t you move off to the side and watch,” he said.

He took the remote control, slid a button on it and pressed. Then he smiled and I heard the camera take a picture. “There, now I’m in perfect focus!”

He then switched another button on the remote and pressed it again.

I then heard him say “Welcome and thank you for joining me. My name is Gerry Oginski and I’m a New York Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury trial lawyer practicing law in the state of NY.

Today I have with me a distinguished guest, Johnny B. Goode, special reporter to the Lawyers Video Studio…testing, one, two, three. Check lighting, sound and frame.”

He pressed the remote control button again and the camera stopped recording video. He got up from the camera and pressed the play button. He said this was the first test video and it was critical to check for audio problems, lighting problems and any frame issues.

“If you don’t recognize mistakes at this initial phase, it will come back to bite you when you start editing your video in post-production,” Gerry said.

Join me next when Gerry starts to shoot his substantive content.

Tweet about this on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


I just read Gerry Oginski's book this weekend, Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube. You wont find better "front to back" advice on using video to market your law firm anywhere.

Ben Glass
Founder of Great Legal Marketing and a practicing personal injury trial attorney in Fairfax, VA