Much like panning shots, zoom techniques can get overly used, underused and simply misused by first-time filmmakers. The following guide addresses the best techniques for using zooms and helps to make first-time filmmakers aware of when to use such techniques in their video productions:
1. Slow & Steady
Just like the case of the tortoise and the hare, an effective zoom cannot be achieved through speed. Trying to quickly zoom in or out during a scene could spoil the flow of the shot completely. If you need to zoom always do it at a slow, smooth pace. By maintaining a steady pace you won’t draw too much attention to the camera movement allowing the audience to still stay connected with your film.
2. Stop & Start
A zoom shot doesn’t necessarily have to take place all in the same shot. You can zoom in or out of an object by using your standard camera techniques such as close-ups and long shots. If you want to zoom in or out without having to do the entire motion try recording in stages. Press record and film one shot, stop recording, zoom in and then begin recording again. This could create quite an innovative zoom technique without you having to perform the entire duration of the traditional zoom shot.
3. Change Position
A zoom shot isn’t always necessary. Have a long hard think about whether the shot will really add anything to your scene, as you may find an alternative shooting solution could be the answer. Changing your position to move in or out of the shot, much like you would do if you were using a handheld camera, could give you the affect you’re trying to create without having to use a zoom at all.
By following these zooming suggestions you’ll be able to start using zoom techniques far more effectively in your video productions and know when and when not to use them.