Canon XL2 Outdoor Filming Techniques

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When filming outdoors with the Canon XL2, consider the time of day before changing the settings on the camera, as dawn and dusk require significantly different settings than mid-day. Use a tripod when filming outdoors using a digital camcorder with tips from a professional videographer in this free video on cameras.

Part of the Video Series: Canon XL2 Guide
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Video Transcript

Wildlife shooting techniques... Now one of the things that you've got to know when you are hunting wildlife is that you've got to be out there when the animals are out there. Most of your big game are going to be out in dusk and dawn. A lot of small things like squirrels will be out in the middle of the day. Rabbits? They're only going to be out at the very early or very late time of the day. So all of your settings are going to be dependent on what time of the day you're shooting. Middle of the day... 'bout the only chance you have of getting some good pictures of critters is if you're just driving around, which is crazy, with a camera 'cause the set up is so tough, is if you get on water. Almost all animals will have to come down to water sometime during the day. So I like to set up at a site where you're looking at a pond or a feeding zone if you... especially if you see a lot of sign... a lot of tracks coming down. I like to set up there and be ready and then just wait and see what happens during the day. At night, I might move to a different spot, but no matter what the animals in the Arizona dessert always need to go to water. And if you're on water you will see animals. When you're shooting wildlife out in the wild, you're going to have to make sure that you're not seen. As you can see, I'm wearing camouflage, but that doesn't do you a bit of good if the sun is glinting off of your tripod and your camera, so what I always do is I always bring a sheet of this camouflage and I cover my whole camera, and the only thing I do is I poke the lens out through one of the holes in the camouflage so that the lens can see and be clear. And also you go to remember that all of your meter need to be able to see too. But now the animals can't see this. And if you have an opening here for your eye, an opening here for your lens and then pull it back off your mic a little bit so that no rustling of the wind or anything can make any noise, then you'll be in good shape. If you're going to be moving, you're going to want to carry a good mono-pod, mono-pod that you can set your camera on, that you can open and close easily and that way you don't have to carry a tripod or anything else. You're going to be a little more dependent on your own ability to stay still, but a mono-pod is a great tool for out in the wild. And it packs up easy and you can throw it on your backpack real simply. Another thing too is if you're moving, you're going to want to make sure you use camouflage over your face. And it doesn't take a whole lot, just something to break it up. Like this here set up here, I carry when I'm huntin' or when I'm shootin' and it covers all over my face so that the animals don't see me and I'm broken up well. Another tool I've found really helpful, especially if I'm hunting in a tree stand is this arm that comes out that you can mount your camera on here. It's made for cameras. It's made for binoculars or whatnot, but I use it a lot for my camera. It won't hold a super heavy camera like and XL2, but it will hold an XH real well or any of your smaller cameras. I usually use this as an over the shoulder stand when I'm sitting in a tree stand and I want to have another camera watching all my action to the back of my head and my bow and arrow usually. You can also leave it in a tree for cameras that are operated by motion and so it's a real handy rig to have. I've got some good pictures off these kinds of stands. And my favorite thing to have is the blind. The blind you can set a chair in and I'll show you a little bit about that. Now if I really want to spend the day filming wildlife, what I'll do is I'll set up in a blind. I'll set my camera inside the blind and the nice thing about the blind is you can put a chair in here, a cooler. You can have lunch and some drinks and spend the day filming. You can even take a nap in one of these things and you won't be alarming animals. A lot of times you might wake up to find an animal inside your camera range and you almost missed it. So a blind is a really nice way to do animal photography. So the big thing to remember is that when you're filming wildlife, you gotta have patience. You gotta have patience. You gotta get in a good spot. You gotta get over water. You gotta be in some place where the animals are going to come to. You want good equipment. You want a good mono-pod if you're going to be moving. A tripod if you're not going to be moving. An XL2 is an excellent camera to set up on a tripod. It's very well built. It's sturdy and it's good equipment to take out in the woods with you. An over the shoulder mount is really nice for your camera and a blind is really important. I wouldn't hunt wildlife without a blind. That's just the way to do it. And so keep these things in mind. Check your settings constantly as the light changes, clouds come in, you might end up in a shadow. Check your light settings. Just be real sure of what you're seeing through your camera because when that one shot comes, you want to make sure you get it and get it clear.


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