How-To: Shoot Tilts & Pans

Adding movement to your shots can be a nice touch, but it can also completely ruin them. Using pans and tilts in your shots gives your footage a higher level of quality and shows your skill as a camera operator. While static shots are great, throwing in some smooth movement can make your footage exciting and stand out from the rest.

Using a pan is perfect for adding lateral movement to your shots. Pans can be used to show how wide a scene or setting is. Pans are great for tracking or following a subject that is moving. To capture a nice pan start with a static shot and then slowly turn your camera either left or right. Once you reach the end of the scene, hold the shot steady again.

Tilting the camera either up or down can help show the height of the setting. Tilts are also great for showing the size of objects that do not fit in a single frame, like a building. Once again, to capture a tilt, start with a static shot and then slowly move the camera up or down and end with a static shot.

When shooting either a pan or a tilt, you want to make sure that the camera does not move too fast or too slow. Try to avoid spinning in circles, panning back and forth, or “fire hosing” which is when the camera is moving, zoomed in and shot hand held.

To get the best looking pans and tilts you are going to need a video tripod. These tripods have fluid heads, which makes any movement smooth.

If you are shooting hand held, keep your elbows tucked into your body for stabilization and turn your body to get smooth pans or tilts.

The use of pans, tilts and other camera movement needs to be practiced to get used to different speeds and equipment.

The smoother and more interesting your footage is, the more likely it will be downloaded.

One comment

  1. Stringr · September 30, 2015

    Reblogged this on THE STRINGR BLOG and commented:

    Check out this short video blog on adding tilts and pans to your shot – if executed well, your footage will instantly look professional.


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