Need to shoot videos in nothing but bright sunlight? It’s easy to do as long as you keep a couple of parameters in mind while you do it.
For instance, you need to think about how to protect yourself while under the sun, how to prevent your gear from overheating, how to properly compose your shot or how to make the light work for you instead of against you.
Whether you’re a solo filmmaker or a videographer working for a video production company, you’ll find these tips useful when out in the field filming.
1. Think Shade and Keep Yourself Safe From the Heat
Overheating is a serious thing, not just for your gear, but especially for yourself and your crew. So, first thing, don’t get dehydrated while slaving away under the hot sun. Before heading out, make sure you have ample water and means for a shade. Consider the location and plan ahead in case there is an emergency.
Drink a lot of water during the shoot especially when shooting in the summer. Always have an option for shade especially when working in open areas for much of the day.
2. Keep Your Monitor Shaded
After your safety, you want to make sure you can see what you’re shooting. Depending on the camera you’re using, the monitor position might be troublesome. For instance, a Canon 5D Mark IV has a built-in monitor at the back. When shooting in bright sunlight, you won’t have many options to view your shots because it will be too bright. Some cameras will have side-mounted monitors, allowing you to rotate and have more flexibility in viewing.
You can also DIY the shade by having a shirt or towel cover your monitor while checking your shot. If you’re lucky, you can get your hands on an external, portable monitor as well, which would make it easy to check your footage in the shade.
3. Be Aware of the Sun’s Position and the Shadows
Sure, shooting in the middle of the day, under the harsh sun might not be the ideal shooting condition. But sometimes, there are instances when this type of shot is exactly what you need. The sun shifts and changes all day, so if you’re going to be outdoors, you need to know where it is and make the most out of it. Doing so will help you in creating a dynamic composition even under the most unflattering of lights.
4. Get To Know Your F-Stop
Using your camera’s F-stop so you don’t end up blowing your shot is crucial. Generally, the F-Stop tells you how much light your camera lens allows. A lower number F-Stop (1.2, 1.4, 1.8, 2) allows more light to come in while a higher number F-Stop (8, 11, 16, 22) will limit or minimize the amount of light the lens lets in.
Knowing how to use and manipulate your F-Stop to your advantage can make shooting outdoors in bright sunshine easier. You can adapt your settings to make sure it works best for you.
5. Use ND Filters
Once you know how to manipulate F-stops properly, you can also take advantage of accessories like an ND filter to help reduce the amount of glare and light. Some cameras have a built-in neutral density filter but you can also buy one and just screw it onto your lenses. An ND filter helps bring out the image color as well as the contrast in the scene, offering more control of the depth of field in your shot.
Shooting your video under bright and harsh midday sun can be tricky. But, with a little planning, you can easily make shooting under the sun work for you.