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Shooting the Four Seasons

Shooting the Four Seasons

"Neither Rain nor Sleet nor Dark of Night..." will keep the dedicated videographer from capturing the essence of the seasons... and you can too, with these tips from the pros.

Whether pounding rain beats on the rooftops, or blazing heat wilts the daisies, there are many opportunities for interesting video in every season of the year. Because it's snowing outside or the thermostat hits 100-degrees the camera doesn't need to go in the closet until better weather arrives. Here's a look at the good and the bad of various times of year, and a few tips to take advantage of and work around the glorious seasons.

Spring Forward

Problem: People in the shade with a bright background are too dark.
The challenge of recording good video during a brightly-lit spring day can be surprisingly tough. The sunny hillside behind the subject can ruin a shade-tree picnic video because the camera wants to expose on the dominant bright background.

Solution: Illuminate your subject at least as well or better than the background. Or change your subject's position (or your own) so the hill and the subject have the same level of illumination. If you can't move your subject into the sunlight, use a large reflector or strong outdoor-filtered lights to match the level of the sunny background. Your camera's "backlight" button may help compensate for the bright background but be careful, this may overexpose the background. Try raising your camera higher than your subject and shooting down, this will help diminish the background.

Problem: Spring showers rain on my parade, my camcorder and me.
April showers might bring May flowers, but those showers can also bring fried circuit boards, wet record heads and possibly a dead camera should you be caught in a sudden downpour. Water and electronics are mortal enemies. However, if you must shoot in the rain, there are ways to do it.

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Tags:  August 2005
Mon, 08/01/2005 - 12:00am


Limb Reaper's picture

Too hot - too cold.  After buying my Sony NEX-VG20 this past July, we went on a vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC. We were staying in a very cold, very well air conditioned townhouse and raising the thermostat wasn't an option.  Needless to say, as soon as this camera hit the hot, humid beach air it instantly fogged up. I tried to insulate the camera by wraping it up in bed sheets during non use hours but this didn't seem to help.  The solution I found was to gently use a common hair dryer to pre warm the camera before hitting the outdoors.  It worked great!  For winter use I believe I'll try putting some of those chemical handwarmer packets in my camera bag.  I've always wanted to try this with my GoPro and just never found the opportunity to do it.