Five Techniques for Better Digital Storytelling:
1) Drop your audio files into Audacity
Do you ever find yourself recording audio over and over again to get that perfect take? Is your audio not quite loud enough? Drop your audio files into Audacity to do quick edits, level audio and multi track/take recording. It is free and easy! http://www.uwb.edu/learningtech/dml121/tutorials/audacity
2) Use color correction on photographs for better consistency
Photographs, especially non-digital, are often plagued by lighting and contrast discrepancies. You can fix photos relatively quickly in Photoshop by doing a batch process, on all your photos, for color, tone and contrast. http://marckean.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/use-photoshop-batch-to-process-all-photos-in-a-folder/
3) Record your audio using an external microphone
Camcorders manufactures often cut corners when it comes to microphones built into the camera. They do this so you will buy external microphones as an add-on item. While I don’t condone the practice, I would take them up on their offer. External microphones can really benefit your digital story’s audio quality. You may not think your audio is a big deal, but inaudible sounds can disengage your audience and even ruin your story. For UWB students and faculty, the IT helpdesk offers microphones for checkout. Absolutely free! You have nothing to loose only better audio quality to gain.
4) Lighting is everything
If you are going to be recording an interview or simply taking pictures, lighting is one of the important things to take into account. Don’t worry! You do not have to have an expensive lighting kit in order to get great lighting. Try moving around the room, standing under lights, use a flashlight as a spotlight, try tilting lamps in the room or adjust external lighting sources (blinds and curtains) till you get the image quality you are looking for.
5) Have more legs to stand on
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal of the Blair Witch Project, people running though the woods being chased by a crazed individual out for blood is thrilling. Yes, Yes, this type of shaky-cam may work for in this one instance, but 99% of the time this type of cinematography does not work. Tripods and handheld-camera stabilizers are your best friend in the fight against shaky camera, so use them to your advantage. Can’t afford a tripod? Place your camera on a table and use books to stabilize the image, angle the camera upwards and maintain a consistent still image.