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Pro Video Tips is designed for busy videographers like you. This series brings you a new tip every week, on everything from controlling reflections to hiding mics. Host Anthony Q. Artis covers shooting techniques for particular video challenges like portraits, tools to help you control light and judge exposure, and advice for the traveling videographer, such as putting together a great lens kit or packing a truck. Come back every Tuesday for a new round of tips.
Just like with any other type of shoot, it all starts with preparation. Before we get out here in the sand and water, we want to make sure that everything is ready to go. First off, if you're shooting a surf video, apart from picking a good scenic location with a decent camera position from shore. You also want to check to make sure that the weather and water conditions are suitable for filming surf videos. No sense in loading everything up for one foot waves on a rainy day. Preload your camera with clean media cards with plenty of recording time.
We don't want to handle these tiny SD and mini SD media cards around the sand anymore than we have to. Build and check the mount you plan to use and make sure you have all the necessary parts and accessory for your camera and that everything actually fits together and works as it should. Of course, you also want to make sure your camera batteries are fully charged and ready to go. I highly recommend, you get a car adapter so that you have the option to recharge on location or on the way. USB car adapters are very inexpensive if you're device connects to a standard USB port.
You can also get some more expensive, but versatile, AC card adapters from a hardware or camping store. In lieu of a car adapter, however, you can also charge up a camera or batter pack that connects to a USB device, via laptop computer, which is always good to have to manage media cards and serve as an impromptu playback monitor. If you're shooting with a POV action cam that doesn't have the LCD screen or other means to play back via an IOS device, a laptop is also highly recommended so you don't just go home with your fingers crossed that you got what you came for.
We want to be sure before we leave the beach. Apart from the camera gear, make sure that you also dress properly for the weather conditions. Weather on the water can often turn from hot to cold or vice versa pretty quickly in morning and evening hours when the light is best. So I recommend wearing layers and don't forget a hat and some sunblock. Lastly, to keep everything sand free, don't forget to bring a large blanket as a staging area to spread out and build your gear, and a can of air is also very useful for keeping sand off of sensitive equipment.
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