Monthly Archives: January 2012

Winter video tips

winter video tips

Shooting in snow can be difficult

While we’re only halfway through the coldest season in the Northern Hemisphere (and we envy those of you who are experiencing summer on the other side of the globe), the days are getting longer, which means we’re tempted to go out more (with our cameras), so we’ve compiled a basic list of winter video tips.

What are winter conditions, anyway?
To give some context of what we’re talking about when we say “winter” (and we realize that there are probably many, many readers who have very little experience with the concept of “snow”), first of all, winter is cold, and when we say cold, we mean below freezing – frostbite weather. Winter can also be wet. In some places, such as the skihill, it can turn from rain to sleet, to snow – and back to rain again, very quickly. Cold and wet can be very hard on your camera.

Beautiful winter light
But winter can also be beautiful. Depending on how far north (or south) you are, the sun is typically lower in the sky, providing beautiful light with plenty of contrast and plenty deep, beautiful colors. Snow is also beautiful in its own right, and sunlight reflected off of snow can help add warmth and vibrancy to videos and photos.

Winter shooting tips

Here are a few tips for shooting in winter:

1. Stay dry

Possibly the single biggest challenge when shooting in winter is to keep your equipment dry. While rain is the obvious enemy, so is snow: snow will melt once you move your equipment indoors, with serious consequences for your camera’s electronics.

One solution is to use a ziplock bag (sturdier than a regular plastic bag) to protect your camera – cut one end out of it for your camera’s lens

2. Keep your equipment at a constant temperature

As mentioned, if it’s snowing, snow will end up on your camera, and it will melt. But if you’re shooting in colder weather, sudden changes from warm to cold can wreak havoc on your camera’s innards. For example, changes in humidity can cause condensation within your camera. Try gradually warming up or cooling down your camera in an external jacket pocket.

The moisture, believe it or not, is likely going to be caused by your own breath, and the closer you are to your camera or camcorder (say, if you use a viewfinder rather than the LCD panel to set up a shot) the more moisture will accumulate on or in your camera.

3. Watch your exposure

Shooting in snow can be very difficult. While many cameras have automatic “snow” settings that take the guesswork out of exposure, it’s not going to help you if your shoot with the sun in front of you – the sun and reflection off the snow will provide some truly overpowering backlighting. Of course, if you can, use a polarizing filter or a lens hood.

That’s all for now. If you have any awesome winter shots, send them our way!

Nevin Thompson frequently blogs about video tips on the muvee blog.

Some basic tips about movie making

muvee vacation videos

Movie making is quite easy with Reveal X and other muvee products, but there are some simple tips and tricks to keep in mind which will help improve the quality of your videos. Here are just a few:

1. Think about the tone of movie you want to make
Do you want it to be serious or funny? Being funny is good, but can be very hard to pull off, so sometimes it’s best to take a “straight” approach

2. Decide what kind of movie do you want to make
Say you went on a vacation, and now it’s time to post a polished video to show your friends and family what you were up to? Do you want to tell a story? Or do you want to compile a bunch of videos you took, and let people piece together the story on their own?

3. Write a script
The real key to successful movie making (and to get the most out of Windows movie making software) is to actually plan out your shots. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated – simply pulling up notepad and creating a few notes to remind yourself of what you want to include, such as favourite memories or interesting places you visited, should be enough.

4. Test your movie making software
At muvee, we make powerful software that makes it possible for you to create movies almost as soon as you install our products on your computer. However, the more familiar you are with movie making software, the easier it will be to make great movies, once you have all of the features at your fingertips. Practice makes perfect!

Plus, try to figure out how to get the most out of your video camera. Memorize the manual! Research basic topics such as lighting and sound.

5. Cut out the boring parts
Make quick cuts and hold the viewer’s interest. Editing between various angles can quickly show multiple things going on in the same scene. Create smaller clips from multiple shots, and then mix and match.

6. Use themes! Use music!
Make sure that your music flows with what is going on during the movie at that second. Music gives the movie an emotional stance. It changes the audience’s emotions which give them a more positive view on your film.

7. Share with friends and family!
Pretty self-explanatory, but upload to YouTube and share  with friends and family.

Nevin Thompson often about movie making and Windows movie making software

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