Panning is the act of moving your camera from side to side to capture a sweeping view of a place.
When you’re panning in video, you absolutely must use a tripod. And you must move very, very slowly. Much slower than you think.
I also recommend that you choose ahead of time where your pan will start and end. Preferably on something interesting. But here’s the best video panning tip of all…
One thing people tend to forget is to film pans in both directions.
We tend to have a preference for moving from left to right (the way we read a book). But unless you remember to film pans in the other direction, you’ll end up with a video that feels like your viewer is going in a circle.
You’ll see what I mean in this video:
Now, see how it looks much better when we vary the direction of our pans:
Even though this is a very simple hotel video, it looks much more appealing when we use panning in both directions.
Try this the next time you’re shooting. Acknowledge that your tendency is to record from left to right… and then make a concentrated effort to record the same shot back in the other direction.
You’ll be glad you did.
Next, read how Sophie started out making easy 1-minute videos for $100 a piece here.