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YouTube Basics — Filming Outdoors

You might have seen our post from last week about how to create engaging videos. So we have decided to follow the great suggestions for interesting footage and tell you how to make the most out of shooting videos outside.

Some fabulous videos are shot on holiday or just in the backyard, at the park or some cool festival. As it is much harder to get things right when being in an unpredictable environment, we have some tips that will help you make some great and engaging content.

Prepare for Weather

Before you head out for a fun day of creating content, check the weather. Fingers crossed it will be perfectly sunny and calm but there could be rain forecast.

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Rain: Make sure you keep your gear dry. If there are heavy downpours forecast, maybe move things around and film later. If not too bad, make sure your camera is covered and that you don’t touch it with wet hands. Also, let your camera dry before packing it away properly to avoid any moisture building up.

Wind: This rarely gets taken into consideration. But strong winds can mess things up with your audio considerably. Before committing to shoot, rest your audio by taping a couple of minutes. Then listen back through headphones to see if you should continue. Also, consider the stability of your equipment, make sure it is secure and not shaking. For more stable and improved cinematography consider taking an attachable focus enhancer with you to have the best quality images possible.

Heat: If it’s very warm, your equipment can easily overhear. Take at least a cloth to cover your camera and other tech to block out the sun and be mindful of how long they have been in direct sunlight.

Use The Sun

The sun makes for a beautiful backlight. For that, place your subject/yourself between the camera and the sun. This will create a ‘halo’ effect that will emphasize the outline and create an emotionally charged or romantic mood. And an added bonus is that whoever is being filmed won’t have to squint!

The technique works best when the sun is at a 45-degree angle. If it is too low, there is a risk of getting lens flare and the effect won’t be as well so this is best to be tried after midday.

What’s The Time?
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Are you aware of the golden hour? When the sun is low in the sky, there is a magical time that makes things look just better. The light will be extremely flattering and you can catch is roughly an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.

This can offer a specifically beautiful mood and if you have the sun in your back, it will give a rosy glow.

Background Noise

There are always noises outside and that’s both good and bad. It’s fantastic for the added ambience but bad if you are trying to record someone talking.

To solve this, simply use a clip or a boom mic. Both can be placed close to the speaker and this will ensure that the focal sound is the speaker and you will get the whole session on tape without issues.

Capturing The Space?
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Filming outside, your spaces are much more varied and you have the chance to capture more of it. To do so, using wide-angle lenses like a 21mm or 28mm can come in handy. They will really capture the sense of space which can be great for the introduction or to show off landmarks.

Another option to generate interesting video content is to manually select a wide aperture and zooming in on your subject. This will blur the background and sharpen what you are filming. It will allow you to create a mood without distracting from your main focal point as well as minimize any unwanted movement in the background.

Think About Filters

Most modern cameras come with a variety of filters to eliminate any annoyances, think reflections or sun glare. Read your manual to find out which come with to and what they do. Then use it! If your camera didn’t have any filters, not to worry, you can often remove any issues during the editing process as well as ad filters. Or you can buy some that will match your camera.

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