Videography 101

Everything you need to know about videography.


Camera Parts

There are two main parts of a camera and they are the lens and the body.


The body of the camera is the part that the operator holds and the where the lens is attached to. The body of the camera houses the sensor, the view finder, the controls for the camera, and in modern cameras there is some kind of display.


The lens of the camera is what light enters into and and is the part of the camera that directs light into the camera's censor in order to capture an image or series of images. The lens of a camera is what determines the range of shutter speeds and apertures that a camera can use.

Fig. 2 - A camera with a lens.

Camera Settings

The three main setting for exposure on a camera when it comes to videography is the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is, as is sounds, the speed at which the camera's shutter closes and opens. This setting controls the amount of time light is hitting the camera's censors. The shutter speed mainly affects the amount of motion blur is in the picture. A general rule of thumb when shooting video is to have your shutter speed double your desired frame rate. For example, if you are trying to record a video in 30 frames per second (fps) you would want the shutter speed to be 1/60.


The aperture of a camera is how much light comes through the lens of a camera. Aperture affects the depth of field of an image or video, meaning how much of the background of an image in in focus.


ISO controls is the light sensitivity of the camera's censor. So the higher the ISO the more light the camera's censor picks up and vice versa. One thing that a videographer does need to be cautious about is the fact that the higher the ISO, the higher chance that unwanted particcles may appear in the shot. So, you want to keep the ISO as low as possible and want to adjust ISO last.

Fig. 3 - A chart representing how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO affect an image.


Lighting is a very important aspect of videography as it is the element that makes or breaks a video and sets the tone for the video.


There are various types of lights that can be used to light up a set for filming.

When it comes to the color of lighting you have warm more orange lights and cool or blue lights

Fig. 4 - A visual representation of the difference between warm and cool light. Taken from

The two types of lights that you can use are bulb and LED lights. Bulb lights usually are cheaper, but are limited to one color temperature. LED lights are usually a little bit more expensive, but often allow you to change the color temperature and thus are much more versatile.

Light Set-ups

When it comes to lighting a set you want to have three lights which are the key light, the fill light, and the backlight o hair light.

Key Light

The key light is your primary light that lights the subject of your shot. Usually this light is set up at a 45 degree from the camera and is directed at the subject

Fill Light

The Fill light is used to fill the gaps that the key light cannot light and thus creates an even lighting of the subject. This light is set up mirror to the key light


The backlight is set up behind the subject and lights up the edges of a subject in order to help differentiate the subject from the background.

Fig. 5 - A diagram of the lighting set-up. Taken from


Audio is a very important part of video and thus you want to make sure that the audio is recorded the proper way.


When it comes to recording audio fpr videos, the main two microphones that are used are Shotgun Mics and Lapel Mics.

Shotgun Mics

Shotgun mics record audio from a pin-point source and reduce background noise. These mics are used to pick up audio from a distance and thus are usually put on a boom pole that is out of the camera shot to record audio.

Lapel Mics

Lapel mics are much smaller that shotgun mics and are usually used in interview videos. The lapel mic is clipped onto an atricle of clothing near to the neck, usually on the collar. These mics are excellent for recording voices, but have a habit of picking up unwanted low frequencies.


Post-production has three main facets, which are color correction, video editing, and audio editing.

Color Correction

Color correction, is as it sounds, which is to correct the colors of an image or video. Color correction is needed because a camer's censor doesn't record light and colors as a human eye does. This results in videos having weird colors or shades of colors covering the entire image. Because of this limitation of cameras, many videographers will use a tool called a color checker, which has different colors and shades of white and black. A color checker will aid in and make the process of color correction go a lot smoother and be a lot easier.

Video Editing

Video editing is the process of cutting clips of video and creating transitions between the clips. This process is what takes the raw footage and turns it into the final visuals of a video or movie.

Audio Editing

Audio editing is similar to video editing, but for the sound portion of videos. Audio editing often includes manipulating volume levels and EQing audio. EQing is the process of manipulating the frequencies of an audio clip in order to take out unwanted sounds like the low rumbling of an ac unit or a high pitch buzz.

Depending on where a video is being watched changes how you would edit the audio of said video. The main rule of thumb is if a video is going to be played at an event over a PA system the video's audio should hover around the 0Db mark and if the video is being played on social media or listened to through headphones the audio levels should hover around -12Db