5 Tips For Outdoor Home Movies

A popular way to preserve your family's memories is through home movies. By following some of the following shooting tips, you can easily make entertaining home movies.

1. Outdoor Light Considerations

Considering the weather and the type of light available is important when shooting your home movies. Outdoor light is an excellent light source when used properly.

Mid-morning or early afternoon is recommended for the best lighting, as this is when the sun is shining down at a diagonal angle. If you shoot when the sun is directly overhead, it can create deep shadows under your subject's eyes and chin.

It is usually recommended to not use the sun as a back light, as it can over saturate the light in the photo. However, this method can create an artistic effect.

2. Key Light

The key light highlights the form and dimension of your subject. When shooting outdoors, your key light is often the sun. For example, if you shoot your home movies on a very sunny day, it will produce sharp shadows due to the high contrast. To diffuse any strong sunlight, you can use a portable screen or create one by stretching a sheet over some type of a support.

On a cloudy day, your key light will produce more diffused lighting with a low contrast. If you want a sharper contrast, you can add additional lighting.

3. Subject Positioning

A key to any great photo or home movies is the positioning of the subject. Position your subject so that the sunlight is coming down at about a 45 degree angle. This helps to optimally distribute the light in the video.

4. Use the Sun as a Fill Light

You can use the sun as a fill light to fill in shadows around your subject. You can reflect sunlight off of a white board or reflective material to create the light filling effect needed. The reflector should be placed on the opposite side of the subject.

If this method does not work, use additional artificial lighting with a blue filter as a fill light. This also helps with backlighting a subject or on cloudy days.

5. Video Continuity

When you go to edit your home movies, you cannot make adjustments to get consistent light. This is best controlled during shooting.

If you are shooting home movies over a period of days, shoot video on days with similar weather and lighting conditions. It is also recommended to try to shoot at the same time each day. This will help keep the lighting of the video at a similar level and will create continuity.

You can also create continuity in your home movies by using a theme. You can shoot regardless of the weather by announcing at the beginning of the video each day a title or description of what is to follow. For example, you could say "Day 1 - Welcome to Cancun," "Day 2 - Stormy Day in Mexico," etc.

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