kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #18251440
What would you guys like to see in a (landscape/nature) photography vlog?
I would like to see a lot of interaction between the video that you shoot on-site and maps, graphics, and other supporting visuals. For instance, if you are traveling in a national park and showing video that you shot whilst driving or hiking thru the park, I like it if that is prefaced with really good, clear views of graphic maps that show the area surrounding the park.
In short, I like it when the filmmaker provides the viewer with a really good, in-depth understanding of the entire surrounding area, and then moves in to cover the specific locations that were given primary focus.
Also, the first time you mention a place name, you should flash to a map that clearly shows that place, with enough surrounding context so that the viewer may readily know exactly where that place is in relation to the overall area that you are featuring.
Sourcing in some arial footage or arial stills would also be a very good way to show some greater context for the areas that you highlight.
Also, you can incorporate brief interviews or commentary form people that you meet at the sites. Perhaps a park ranger would speak into the camera for a moment or so whilst explaining the geologic significance of the scene before you. Or perhaps you could ask a wildlife photographer something about the animals he was just photographing. Or when you encounter hikers or motorists or campers you can just ask them what it is they are doing there, or what it is that they hope to do while they are there.You never know when a person that you solicit will be well spoken, and contribute something useful and compelling. Shoot 100 or so impromptu "interviews" and you just may end up with 5 or 6 that you can incorporate into the final cut!
Adding to what I just wrote, I would like to emphasize that I really like to see footage that includes experts, or authorities, on the topic being shown. Many such people are readily accessible and would be more than glad to speak into your camera for a minute or two. Just be sure to get their name and title. There are a lot of park rangers, biologists, geologists, curators, business owners, craftsman, and graduate students doing research out in the field and at visitor centers and museums and iconic businesses. They are a wealth of information and their presence in your videos can add a lot of perceived credibility to your work.
Mix it up! Show each area in overcast conditions, clear conditions, backlit, frontlit, at noon, at sunrise, at sunset. Show some stuff real close up. Show some stuff from real far away. Show it in between. Shoot from the valleys, looking up at the ridge tops......then show it from the ridge top, looking down at the valley that you were just in. Remember that viewers today get bored and lose interest very easily. Make sure that every few seconds they are getting an entirely new, different aesthetic. Many popular music videos do a great job of this - study them to see how camera angles, scenes, lighting, subject matter, etc change every few seconds. There is no good reason why in-depth travel documentaries can't be done in much the same way.
I don't like it when the footage consists of long clips that all pretty much look the same. See the last paragraph above (the paragraph starting with "mix it up").
I also don't like it when narration is done in a "lazy" manner. Sound deeply passionate about the things you are discussing. Use perfect annunciation. Be conscious of the way you are projecting your voice. Review your narrated footage and critique your narration honestly, then re-shoot the scenes, as needed. Think carefully about how you are going to say the things you are going to say. Do some wordsmithing so that when the red light is on you already know how you are going to phrase things, and then the words will come out smoothly, without any amateurish pauses, stop-starts, or sentences that just kind of trail off without ever finishing the thought.
Yet another thing I don't like is when people who create content assume that their viewership is familiar with words or ideas that they are not familiar with. Do not assume that other people know terms that are relatively new. For instance, avoid using a term such as "vlog" without first explaining what a vlog is. Many folks are a little resistant to new words and changes in the way that our language is used, so keep that in mind and try to stick to traditional phrases and words that have been in use for quite some time, or are of such widespread usage that everyone knows what they mean. If you do use a relatively new term, take the time to explain what it is for those who may have never heard of it before. You really don't want to make people pause your video so that they can get on Google to see what the heck you are talking about, do you?
I would also avoid using local place names without first explaining to people what each place is. For instance, if you were doing a video on Yellowstone National Park, and you mention that you are on your way to Silver Gate, then the first time that you mention Silver Gate you should say that it is a tiny town just outside the Park's northeast entrance. Otherwise, people won't know if it is a town, a service complex, a picnic area, a campground, or a geological feature (such as a gap between two silver-colored rock ridges). Ditto for Yellowstone (it is a small picnic area along the N.E. Entrance Road). Ditto for Roosevelt (it is the junction of the N.E. road and the Grand Loop road). Ditto for Sheepeater Cliffs (it is a geologic feature with a parking area). If you don't tell people what each place is, they will have no convenient way of knowing what you are talking about.
"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".