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Moving Steadily: How to Capture Motion Smoothly With Handheld Video

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Sweeping tilts and pans are a staple of professional video production. Although it’s helpful to have tools like monopods and tripods to capture them, you can still capture smooth motion with handheld videos.

In this lesson from the course, Video Production on the Go, by Slavik Boyechko, you'll learn a few simple tools and techniques to help you capture smoother motion in your handheld shots.

To achieve great results with handheld camera motion, it’s best to avoid slow and sweeping movements. Try as you might, it’s nearly impossible to remove shakes and jitters. Instead, aim for slight motion. It’s also best to keep the camera as steady as possible, by holding it close to your body or through the use of accessories like eye cups.

Even though it seems counterintuitive, rocking your body back and forth slightly can actually smooth out jitters and produce a stabler shot. Another trick is to pan between two points quickly: motion is captured, and the speed smoothes the video.

There’s no substitute for seeing these techniques in action. The video above is a field demo of the best ideas you can use to capture great handheld video. Motion adds a new dimension to any video, and you’ll learn how to add it to yours in no time.

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