As a video production company in Southwest Florida we often find ourselves shooting on the beach. This can be one of the most challenging locations to shoot in, but also one of the most rewarding. Here are our top 3 tips for capturing gorgeous video AND audio while shooting on the beach.
1. Exposing your image correctly is essential. Sure, you can turn your camera on automatic and hope for the best, but you are better off shooting in manual and using your iris, shutter speed, and ND filters to adjust to any changes in lighting, blow out from the white sand, or distracting reflections from the water. Start with your iris. If you are going for a shallow depth of field, you may have to leave it open. If not, adjust it until you are happy. Next, check your shutter speed. Never lower it below double your frame rate. If you are shooting at 24 fps, 50 is the lowest you will want your shutter speed. Lastly, if you need to put some "sunglasses" on your camera to allow the iris to stay open, flip on your ND filter (if available).
2. Clean audio can be a challenge. With the wind, waves, birds, and people all around you it can prove to be a difficult task. While the waves, birds, and people portion can add nice ambience, wind is another story. Unlike most audio, which are simply sound waves hitting the mic, wind is physically impacting it. If using a boom mic, try covering it with a thick foam cover or a "rabbit" windscreen. You can also use poster boards or umbrellas to block the wind. If using a lav mic, use the person it is clipped to to "box out" the wind by turning their back to it.
3. Clean your lens! Surprisingly, sand is the least of your worries. In fact, it is the saltwater that will ruin entire shoots. Invisible to the eye, but very visible to the camera, the salt from the ocean is constantly whipped up by the wind and sticking to your lens.