The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, Angie from lostgirlhikes.com. We were discussing the improvement of our latest video Outside Our Box – The New Season Begins. We only started making videos a little more than a year ago and the improvements are quite obvious. The very first processed video we did was not really processed, it was Scott standing in front of a very flooded Brazos River at the Tres Rios Resort on May 10, 2015. The sound was horrible, the filming I did was really bad, but it was a start. Everyone has to start somewhere and that day was our start.
While I was watching the two videos today in preperation for this blog post, I found myself listing all the issues in that very first video. The two that stand out the most are the sound quality and the filming; yeah pretty much all it. We were filming directly into the wind and there was no control of the sound levels. Then, of course, there is the way I whipped the camera (actually my phone) back and forth possibly making all of the viewers sea sick. We didn’t know how to use video processing software correctly and had no concept of how to make an interesting story; all we wanted to do was tell everyone about this historical event that was happening right then on May 10, 2015.
One of the things that has really changed over the past year is the equipment we are using. It started out being nothing more than our phones and this was fine to start out with. However, we have found that if we want to get the higher quality, we need to be using better cameras. Now, don’t get me wrong, I tend to use my phone more than anything because I am comfortable with it and I know I can get some good photos and video out of it since I have moved to the better phone recently so there is that. I am using the Samsung Galaxy 7 and have found it to be a really great camera, but it does have its issues. One of those issues is how the audio and video are not always in sync. We have been battling this issue more and more, but only last night did we figure out how to adjust the setting in the phone and the video processing software. Then we also figured out that the two cameras (front facing and rear facing) were not set correctly! I’ve had this phone now for about three months so there has been a huge learning curve.
Scott started out using his phone as well, but was introduced into the world of “real” photography by our friend who loaned him a Nikon for a few months. Within a matter of time, Scott decided he wanted to go with a Sony A6000 (mirrorless) system and the quality of his images and videos has improved greatly since December 2016. He has spent many hours watching YouTube videos about how to take great photos and video; he has spent even more time taking photo after photo after photo to learn exactly what he is doing and how to do it right. This has helped to improve our uploads on YouTube as well. Granted, we are still learning and figuring things out, but this is how you get better and learn.
Something else we have been learning over this past year is when and where is the best place to take photos or video. We have found that when the sun is just coming up or just before it does down because the light is diffused and not harsh like the noonday light. Unfortunately we are not good at getting up really early to catch the light at it’s best in the mornings, but we are aware of it. This is one of the things we are planning to really focus on so our videos and photos are not getting us squinting into the bright light. Unfortunately this means we have to do a little thought and research before we start doing our videos which isn’t always the case. We have always been so “spur of the moment” with our trips.
Hopefully you have found all of this interesting and worth your time. Both Scott and I are enjoying sharing our adventures with you, but feel you deserve much better than what we have given in the past. Because of this, we are trying to up our game and use better equipment, software, and plans. I believe that doing these three things will help to entertain, educate, and thrill you as we hang out together.