Down and Dirty List To Shoot Better Nature Videos
OK, so you’re an avid birder. I get that. You enjoy just spending time staring at your backyard. You get a thrill watching all the characters back there interact with each other. How many times have you found yourself saying”Man, I wish I had that on video”. Well, I’m here to tell you you’ve run out of excuses. The technology has gotten cheaper and easier to use. Now there’s no reason you can’t be showing off your latest migratory bird find to all your birding buddies.
Let me give you a few quick and easy ways to make this happen. Hold on!
- Get a decent video camera. Doesn’t have to cost thousands or even hundreds. HD is nice but not necessary. I use a Sony DCR-SX44 Handycam Camcorder and it’s been great for this. Keep in mind, If you’re looking to do talking head type shots that the microphone on this camera is very good. Also know that as soon as you move up to a camera that allows an external microphone you will be spending a LOT more for it. This has more to do with your budget and interest in higher end gear.
- Get and use a tripod as much as possible. If you think you can get good shots holding your camera, think again. The video will be jumpy and the subject will look like it’s lost in a tornado. Plus, it’s extremely annoying for anybody trying to watch the video. I know there are times when you have a shot that you don’t have time to set up and you’ll have to wing it. If you follow my next suggestion, that shouldn’t happen to you too often.
- Be prepared to shoot a TON of video so that you’ll have the cream of the crop when you start editing. Get the biggest external card your camera can handle and make sure you have an AC power source if you’re shooting at home or plenty of charged batteries because you’ll use them.
- Use iMovie to edit your video. It’s that simple. If you don’t have a mac, find a friend that does. You won’t have to look far. I have never used Windows Movie Maker and have no idea how well it works. I only know how easy iMovie is to use and how powerful it is. Or you can jump all the way up to Adobe Premiere Pro if you enjoy a challenge and have about $800.00 you’re not using-LOL!
- Make sure to add narration or at least music. Video without any aural cues is very hard to watch for any length of time. Be creative. Write a story for it that you can dub into the movie.
These are just the bare-bones minimum suggestions for making and improving your own nature videos. Don’t be afraid of the technology. It’s gotten a whole lot easier to do since the super 8 days.
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