Monday Memo: Camera Technique for Radio | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Monday Memo: Camera Technique for Radio

| June 3, 2019

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI –With radio broadcasters scrambling to populate all the platforms with which we share listeners’ attention (and advertisers’ do-re-mi), here are some tips from the pros:

Tips for shooting better still photos for your web site:

From National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit Magazine:

  • Watch your background. “I start by carefully looking at a scene.  If the background is terrible, I move.”
  • Work in the right light. Try to “shoot at the beginning or the end of the day.”
  • Find the heart. “Leading lines, like a road or a railing, draw the viewer in because they point to the emotional center of the photograph.”
  • Look all around. Think about your perspective “from a bird’s-eye view, a worm’s-eye, and from 360 degrees.”
  • Be prepared. “Know the settings on your camera.  When something happens – those dramatic moments take place in an instant – you’ll be able to get it.”

“But WAIT…there’s MORE…”

…from Dan’s Camera City (

  • Fill the frame. Step closer or zoom to your subject, to eliminate distracting clutter.
  • Put heads at the top. When taking photos of people, put their heads toward the top of the image, not in the middle.
  • Turn the camera. For pictures of one or two people, the vertical format works best.
  • Up, Down and All Around: Instead of taking pictures of kids and pets while standing over them, get down to their level.  You’ll capture a more flattering image.  And try walking-around your subject, for different backgrounds and lighting.
  • Use your flash outside. Sunshine often creates undesirable shadows.  Using a flash outdoors fills the shadows with light.

 Tips for shooting better YouTube videos…

…from Glen Mulcahey, who publishes Mobile and Video Journalism Technology Blog:

  • “Look for the most interesting parts of the action and then capture those as the detail/close up shots.”
  • “Get 1 wide shot, 2 mids, and then 3 close ups.”
  • “The general rule is either a minimum of 10 seconds or as long as the action requires, particularly if something is entering or leaving the scene.”

Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  He is the author of acclaimed “Holland Cooke: Greatest Hits” available exclusively from Talkers Books.  Click the ad banner on this page.  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke


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Category: Advice