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Video Cameras

Shooting video in bright and hot locations

I'm taking my camcorder with me on my summer holiday. Do you have any tips on shooting video in bright and hot locations?

I'm taking my camcorder with me on my summer holiday to Majorca. Do you have any tips on shooting video in bright and hot locations?

Jack Freeman

The first thing to be aware of when shooting in the sun is the stark contrast caused by shadow areas on the face. If you're not careful, you'll find that parts of your image are underexposed, while others are overexposed. In bright sunshine you want to aim for an even exposure across the skin -- this can often be tricky. There are some tips on doing this using reflectors in our Become a Camcorder Pro article.

The other thing to watch out for when shooting in bright light is underexposing your subject. Many camcorders will expose the picture to match the largest area of the image -- often the sky. If you shoot your subject against a bright sky, your camcorder is likely to correctly expose the sky, but underexpose your subject. This results in a shadowy black mess where your loved one should be. Many camcorders have a 'backlight' setting that you can select to let your camcorder know that it needs to overexpose the image to match a subject in the foreground.

Finally, don't leave your camcorder out in the sun! Your camcorder chassis may seem fairly solid on the average day in the UK, but when temperatures are pushing the mid-thirties, you might return to find a thousand pounds worth of sticky plastic in a puddle.