Five Simple Tips For Fast-Cut Video Editing

A lot of photographers have embraced adding video to their business offerings. With the rise of video-capable DSLRs, shooting video as a photographer comes naturally. Editing video, however, does not always make for an easy skill transition.

Oddly enough for me and perhaps a lot of people it is not an issue of software. With over two decades of Photoshop editing under my belt, learning the tools and how to navigate programs like Premiere Pro and After Effects wasn't difficult. Where I struggled was in the concepts and techniques that make the difference between a video and great storytelling. For client work I always hire someone who has dedicated their time to these skill sets. I'm a big believer in the right person for the job and I know when it's not me. That hasn't stopped me from continuing to improve my editing skills especially on personal projects and short clips for social media purposes.

Recently I've been going through old B-roll footage from various assignments abroad seeing if I had enough to cut together interesting clips for Instagram stories. Right away I had difficulty editing down into short pieces that paces quickly and still conveyed some sense of a narrative. That is when I start reaching out to the photographers and videographers I admire or whose work really inspire me. Brandon Li is one of those artists. Thankfully he also takes some time during his travels to create a few tutorials on his techniques.

In this video Li goes over five simple, yet not so obvious tips that helps tell the story of the places he visits in a quick fast-paced sequence. With each tip Li covers he gives a few different examples of how you can apply this in your videos.

  1. Simplify your shots

  2. Punch in/out of your subject

  3. Keep the subject moving in the same screen direction shot to shot

  4. Follow a dominant shape, color, or luma between shots

  5. Establish a cause an effect between shots

You can see exactly how Li uses all these tips in his newest video "Gateway to the Ganges: India's Holy Cities [Rishikesh, Devprayag, Haridwar]."

[via Brandon Li]

Michael DeStefano's picture

Michael DeStefano is a commercial/editorial photographer focusing on Outdoor Lifestyle and Adventure. Based in Boston, MA he combines his passion for outdoor sports like climbing and surfing into his work. When not traveling or outdoors he is often found geeking out over new tech gadgets.

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1 Comment

Love Brandon's work, great tips!