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Thread: Eye level for talking head video

  1. #1

    Default Eye level for talking head video

    I'm making talking head videos for my blog, either sitting or standing at a whiteboard. Basic question: how high should the camera be relative to my eye level? And if I'm using a teleprompt script on my computer, how high should the laptop be in relation to both? Is distance a factor?

    I do realise I can puzzle this out by trial and error, the thing is, I have a million things to puzzle out, from setting up the cache to make the website faster to how best to host the site for mobiles ... not having to experiment with this detail would be most appreciated!

    Kind regards

    Andy
    Bristol

  2. #2
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    As a general rule, we're looking at the rule of thirds - split the image into thirds with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines (in you mind, obviously - you camera might even have something which gives you these guidelines in your video) and you should aim to put the key part of your subject on one or more of the four points where the horizontal and vertical lines cross.
    In the case of a video blog (is this the same as a vlog or is a vlog a specialised type which is full of jump cuts and teenagers making "profound statements"?) - a piece to camera - you sould certainly aim to make your eyeline two thirds up the screen. Then you can either put your nose on one of the vertical lines or, of close up, put each eye on one of the upper intersections.
    This is a matter of choice and experimentation and this is not a hard and fast rule, but it's a good starting point.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    As a general rule, we're looking at the rule of thirds - split the image into thirds with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines (in you mind, obviously - you camera might even have something which gives you these guidelines in your video) and you should aim to put the key part of your subject on one or more of the four points where the horizontal and vertical lines cross.
    In the case of a video blog (is this the same as a vlog or is a vlog a specialised type which is full of jump cuts and teenagers making "profound statements"?) - a piece to camera - you sould certainly aim to make your eyeline two thirds up the screen. Then you can either put your nose on one of the vertical lines or, of close up, put each eye on one of the upper intersections.
    This is a matter of choice and experimentation and this is not a hard and fast rule, but it's a good starting point.
    I agree, but technically you can position the eyes of the subject exactly where the lines cross no matter what the height of the camera is relative to the subject (i.e. by angling it) - I like to put the camera lower than my head (makes it easier in downtown traffic) but MB seems to like put it higher than the subject's head - I'd try it out both ways and see

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    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    I agree, but technically you can position the eyes of the subject exactly where the lines cross no matter what the height of the camera is relative to the subject (i.e. by angling it) - I like to put the camera lower than my head (makes it easier in downtown traffic) but MB seems to like put it higher than the subject's head - I'd try it out both ways and see
    Good point Zam, I hadn't touched on where the camera is (should have read the question). With your driving vids, having the camera height at eye level could lead to an accident and as for Midnight - let's just say he likes to look down on people

    Generally though, if the camera is looking down, it makes the subject look weaker and if the camera is looking up it makes the subject look more powerful (so long as you're not looking right up his nose). Lens at eye level is a good neutral position and starting point.
    Tim

  5. #5

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    Ok, thank you guys, most helpful. Yes, I do think I could build up a following by "vlogging" while putting makeup on while drunk, I would certainly be the only middle aged white guy doing it ...

    Cheers

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy3142 View Post
    I would certainly be the only middle aged white guy doing it ...
    Andy, please may I introduce you to the Internet. No matter how weird and wonderful an idea you may come up with, I can absolutely guarantee someone has already done it, and also done it ten times as weird and wonderful as you can dream.
    Tim

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