Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Six Unorthodox Tips For Shooting A Video Diary & My London Video Diary

London, UK

So its time for another video diary and this time it will actually work and not only that but I am also sharing six unorthodox tips for shooting a video diary that I picked up from this trip! My Kumasi Video Diary from Ghana last year would not play because the music I used was not allowed to be used. And then when I went back to edit it out, my totally out of date Movie Maker would not mute the noise of the videos and wouldn't until I saved the entire thing without audio and added music from there. 

But not again, this time I learned my lesson and shot my entire London video without audio which made it a lot easier to edit. I shot my videos with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera and had a lot of fun playing around with the manual video settings and recording that way. I found a lot of great tips from this article I read on the bus on the way to the airport. It's a great read that gives easy instructions to be able to shoot in manual yourself.

London was such a great city to be in mostly due to the awesome people I met whilst there like my Couchsurfing host and also a fellow couch surfer who is bursting at the seems with positivity. It was my first time using Couchsurfing and  I spoke about the experience I had with it on the blog Sunday. If you missed it you can check it out here.

For this post yes I am sharing with you my video diary for London but I am also sharing tips on shooting video with a DSLR. I'm noexpert at all and have limited knowledge of cameras but I've learned a few unusual tricks from my attempts to record video diaries and YouTube videos. Tips are below the video.

1) Learn about your camera

If you are a complete beginner, have never ventured out of your auto settings and do not understand your DSLR camera you would be better off learning about how your camera works first. This doesn't mean you fork out a few hundred euros for a 6 week course to learn how to use a camera you've already paid hundreds of euro for. There are plenty of free resources out there on the world wide web that will give you tips just as good and sometimes better than what you will pay for.

When I first bought my Nikon D3300 I really wanted to get into photography and learn about my camera so I went in search of the resources that'll teach me what I needed. It was at this time that I came across The Digital School of Photography who basically teach you everything you need to know about your camera, for free! I'm a little ashamed to say I didn't do all the lessons, but I learned the basics and that was more than enough if you just want to get acquainted with you camera and are not an aspiring world class photographer. Click here to cover up your basics and begin a journey into getting to know and love your manual settings.

2) Don't Fear The Manual Settings

For this trip I made the bold decision to go manual when shooting video despite the fact that my experience with videography is about as limited as a fish's ability to climb a tree. The appeal for me was the fact that I would be able to control the mood of my videos especially the lighting It was a little scary because I obviously didn't want to come away with badly shot videos that were too bright or too dark but I also didn't want to auto setting to run the show. I read a few articles about how to better shoot in manual settings, the most useful, at least for my beginner level, was the article I shared above which you can also click here for. When you start using manual settings, you'll be surprise dhow quickly you'll get acquainted with the buttons and controls of your DSLR camera.

3) Lights, Camera, Action

There's a reason why this saying starts with lights, if you're thinking I'm going to tell you what this reason is, you are wrong. I do not know why but I'd imagine you'd need light to be able to see anything once the camera is rolling no? I love watching brightly lit videos, I mean who wants to be squinting at their screens trying to pick out the shapes of people they can't see? Also well lit videos just generally look better. As I mentioned above, the ability to control lighting was one of the main reasons I even decided to use my manual settings for London.

Leaving your camera on auto takes out the hassle of having to adjust your settings and be more aware of your surroundings but sometimes it just doesn't cut it when the end result is a poorly lit video which although true to life just looks miserable. Using your manual settings can take away that disappointment when you upload your videos to your laptop and realize that pretty market you went to actually just looks dull and drabby on you camera.

4) Count The Seconds

I don't know how orthodox this rule is but I found it to be super helpful when I was shooting this video diary. Have you ever filmed something and tried to edit it only to realize you didn't make it long enough to be able to trim it without making it look really jumpy? Well I tried counting the seconds I recorded if it was something short like a panorama of a landscape. 

The idea occurred to me when I visited the Sky Garden is London and wanted to capture a view of the city. I counted 20 seconds as I shot the panorama, as slowly as possible. When you count the seconds you do not turn around the camera as quickly as you would if you were not counting because you are consciously recognising how many seconds you have shot and a quick 10 second pan is not as good as a 20 second one. The end result is that you end up with a lengthy video that you can edit, speed, up, and stitch seamlessly into other videos. Take it slow, shoot as long and as many times as you want. People are going to stare sometimes but hey, they'd be staring if you were doing nothing at all.

5) Turn Off Your Microphone

For this trip I shot most of my video bar one or two without audio. Why? Because it makes it so much easier to edit. Also chances are if you are planning to play music in the background you do not want the added work of muting all you clips so don't have them in the first place. Besides what do you want with snippets of strangers' conversations on the underground anyways?

6) Enjoy The Moment Then Pull Out The Camera

You are not on your holidays to experience the whole thing through your camera. I get that you want to take the best videos possible so you can make the best video diary and make everyone who watches it want your life buuuut it will be at you loss not theirs. No matter what I am doing, I always make sure I have settled in and am enjoying myself before I even pull out my camera. In fact you could say I wait till the excitement wears down and then I start recording or taking pictures, especially with activities like riding the London Eye, or visiting The Shard. Imagine walking out to a beautiful city laid down at your feet and you immediately turn your back to it for a selfie?

Additionally if you wait to enjoy the experience before pulling out your camera, you will have a much better idea of what you want to capture than pointing the camera and taking in everything. How can you expect people to share in your excitement if you don't even know what you are excited about or showing them?

So those are my non-expert tips from mistakes I learned from shooting my Ghana Video Diary and now my London Video Diary. I hope you were able to pick up something new to add your your own arsenal.

What are some of your own tricks you use when shooting video?

Also if you could take 30 seconds to complete this travel survey that I am doing for market research I would really appreciate it. I would like to know how interested you would be in a free service that connects you with locals who will act as your guide in their city. It's just 5 simple questions and it would really mean a lot to me guys. Click here.

Till next time my pretties xxx

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5 comments so far

  1. That vid looks damn good to be honest! Great tips, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm delighted to hear that you like the video xx

  2. These are some pretty good tips, thanks for sharing! I can't even remember how many times I too was in the situation that I thought my footage was long enough and then I didn't have anything to edit haha! x

    1. Hahaha I have probably been there just as many times too! xx

  3. Love the video diary!! Looking forward to the second part!


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