Most of the videos that you view online today have a lot in common: They are shot on a digital video camera, are cut together to some music, have had some titles added, and are compressed and then uploaded. The online audience has an insatiable appetite for aerial footage, and you want to make sure that your content looks as appetizing as possible. We’re going to discuss some techniques that, with practice and patience, will give your videos the cherry on top to stand out among all the other eye candy.
Most of us purchased a traditional camcorder-type camera or one of the many popular action cameras to capture life’s moments. The average consumer will take the camera out of the box, charge the battery, insert a storage card, and start shooting without changing a single setting. This method produces satisfactory results for most, and if you fall under this category, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. If you’re more of a “prosumer” or an aspiring cinematographer who likes to take advantage of all the features of the camera you paid for, then you might have noticed that the camera has much more to offer.
Depending on the type of camera you shoot with, you might have different user-selectable modes that alter how the video is recorded; they could be named something as simple as “vivid,” “cloudy” or “cinema.” These settings make certain assumptions for you, such as shutter speed, white balance, and ISO (sensitivity to light). All of the camera presets have their own pros and cons, and for most videos that go straight from camera to YouTube, you probably won’t need anything more. Those of you who are willing to spend some time in postproduction, should do yourselves a favor and find the mode on your camera that gives you a very low-contrast, low-saturation image, which is commonly referred to as “flat.” Some of the most popular “aerial friendly” cameras on the market allow you to control how flat the image is captured. On GoPro, there is a setting called “ProTune”; with Canon, it’s “Log”; and DSLR has “CineStyle.” The correct term for this look is “Log” (logarithmic).
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