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Shooting Calligraphy Videos with Phone

So, you want to make calligraphy videos, but you don't have the right equipment or know-how to do it. The good news is that you can still make great calligraphy videos with your smartphone! In this post I'll break down exactly what you need to shoot quality videos and share my favorite editing apps.

Calligraphy videos are a great way to share your work and promote your business. They can be used to promote yourself, your calligraphy courses, or even your calligraphy workshops.



The most important thing to consider is the quality of light. If you're shooting a close-up video where the texture of the paper and nib are the focus, it's best to have soft and diffused lighting. This can be done by using natural light from a window or lamp, or by placing a diffuser (like a sheet) between your subject and your camera.


One of the most important things to remember when shooting in natural light is that the position of the sun will change throughout the day. For example, if you're planning on shooting at sunrise or sunset, you'll want to be aware of lighting direction so that your subject isn't facing directly into it (so his face is backlit).

If you're trying to shoot with heavy shadows, then make sure your subject's face isn't in them. If he is, adjust for it by either moving him out of shadow or adjusting your camera angle so that his face does not appear in shadow.


Another great way to create beautiful lighting for calligraphy videos is with studio lights: either hot lights (for bright white light) or fluorescent tubes (for cooler tones). You can also try using a light box which will create soft shadows but still allow some detail in the letters themselves while hiding imperfections like stray pencil marks left behind on areas not being filmed!


In market/online there are many options available for smartphone holders. Do little research which kind of holder you want which can bear the payload of your phone and will be easily set at any direction. I prefer to use Mic stand holder which is very sturdy and easy to setup. Plus there is many holder with light attachment to it which is great for overhead shooting.


Now it's time to turn your camera on and make sure you're using video mode. If you're using an iPhone 7 or later, the camera will automatically be in video mode when you open it up and swipe to start recording. If not, just go into your camera settings and switch the setting from photo mode to video mode.

Video is a lot different than taking pictures, so here are some tips that will help:

  1. In camera setting go to video settings and keep the video format to 4k at 60fps for smooth real time video recording plus turn on the grid option for reference.

  2. Don’t use the built-in mic (or any external microphone). You don't want to hear yourself talking while making a calligraphy video because it will create an echo effect that’s distracting for viewers.

  3. Make sure your camera angle should be towards your paper on which you are going to do calligraphy.

  4. Once camera place correctly now its time to lock the focus, as you seen in video interface you will see the yellow line box with light or sun symbol near to it. When drag it up and down it adjust the light effect and when to get the desire lighting then just hold the focus to lock it.


As you're shooting, you can use apps like Snapseed and VSCO to adjust the light and color of your videos. You can also use apps like Afterlight add filters, effects and frames to your videos. If you want to make your video shorter, there are a number of editing apps that will do just that. I use Inshot for all my video editing and adjustment. Its very easy to use and you can do lot of things like speed up videos to keep them under 15 sec. for Instagram or Tiktok. You can adjust the ration of the video like 9:16, 1:1, 4:5 etc. Plus adjustment of color, brightness, contrast and saturation is very easy.


Smarts calligraphy videos with smartphone!!

Here's how:

  • First, record some footage of you doing some calligraphy. Then add a voiceover while playing it back in slow motion so that everything looks good.

  • Next, set up lights on both sides of the camera so that it looks like there's one big spotlight on the paper itself.

  • Finally, use some wooden blocks as props in front of the paper so that anybody watching knows what kind of pen/brush/nib/holder combo whatever else is being used here today because otherwise viewers might get confused about which type work you are doing.


I hope this guide has helped you on your calligraphy video journey. Writing calligraphy is an art form. It requires a specific set of tools and a certain level of skill. But, because your smartphone has all the features you need to create beautiful calligraphy videos (and even edit them), there’s no reason not to try!!!

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