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Backpacker Magazine – January 2009

How to Shoot Video in Any Condition

Beat wind, rain, and snow with 5 tips from an expert outdoor cameraman.

by: Thayer Walker

(Photo by Ace Kvale)
(Photo by Ace Kvale)

MORE FILM-MAKING TIPS

video icon Film Your Own Adventure:
Everest filmmaker, and Emmy-award winner, Michael Brown shows you how to take your backcountry videos to the next level.

video icon Backpacker Film School Outtakes:
Go behind the scenes with Brown and the Backpacker staff as they learn the art of the adventure film.

Serac Adventure Films Founder and three-time Emmy award-winner Michael Brown has made a career out of capturing high-quality video in the harshest weather–from the slopes of Mt. Everest to the tornado-battered Oklahoma panhandle. Follow his advice and the next time a storm rolls in, you'll be running for your camera, not for cover.

SHIELD IT
Protect your camera from mild rain with a freezer bag, garbage bag, or shower cap. But don't sweat the snow. "If it's snowing, I don't really worry about my camera getting wet, as long as it's cold enough that the snow isn't melting on the camera," Brown explains.

STABILIZE IT
In windy or low-light conditions, use a carabiner and a cord to suspend a sand- or rock-filled stuff sack from your tripod. It's a cheap, easy way to guarantee steady shots.

PROTECT YOUR FINGERS
"Cameramen are more susceptible to frostbite because the cold metal sucks all the heat out of their hands," Brown warns. Always wear a pair of liners or warm, thin gloves, such as The North Face's waterproof Apex Bionic Glove ($40, thenorthface.com).

MUFFLE BREEZES
Wind blowing across your digicam's microphone will distort the soundtrack. Dampen noise by covering a built-in mic with an adhesive bandage. You can also shield the mic with your hand or position yourself so you're shooting away from the wind. Capture itIncrease your camera's shutter speed to 1/250 to catch rain falling in midair. If it's snowing, shoot near the ground to catch blizzard-like billowing action.



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