Guide to shooting the perfect outdoor videos

Tips For Shooting Video Outside.

Your job is to tell your story. Shoot your videos duly.

Smartphones are game-changers in the video industry. The quality of smartphone cameras has improved so much that it has become difficult to distinguish a video shot in an i-phone or a camera. You can shoot, edit and record videos professionally at ease with a smartphone. To sum it up, you pretty much have an entire production in your pocket.
Well, a precursor to great outdoor filming starts with ideation. A well-crafted idea helps provide a solid ground for filming with the convenience and efficiency that mobile provides. It lets you room for exploring video techniques, such as time-lapse or slow-motion, to make use in the video.

Another benefit of having a solid idea is that it provides you an opportunity to compose your frames in advance. Frames convey the message more meaningfully. This way, you can plan your shots in advance. Detailed planning will always give you an edge in every step of the process.

Shooting outside is not that easy but here are some tips for shooting outdoor videos to make your outdoor video perfect!


Frames are like canvases. If you want to make a good shot, you have to compose the elements that you want to capture in a promising way. Make use of features such as the grid option that help you notice if the screen is tilted by showing you horizontal and vertical lines for reference. But finally, it comes down to your choice to determine whether or not your shot works for what you want to achieve.

A fine composition provides a great platform to execute your story. So it is for the best if every element or object on the screen is arranged in harmony.


Lighting sets the mood and tone of your story. It is always better to carry additional lighting equipment to use if the lights seem not sufficient. This happens mostly with indoor shoots where we have to depend on home-lighting that often might not be sufficient for a mobile camera. Lighting should also be stable and steady; the image sensors in most smartphones might not always be good at capturing dramatic changes in lighting very quickly.

Precautions are there to be kept while shooting outdoor videos. Try not to shoot during noon where the sunlight is harsh that casts shadows on faces. Morning and evening lights are more preferred for shooting outdoor videos since they provide perfect natural lighting.

It is always advisable to have a basic understanding of colors before you shoot. For instance, different color temperatures evoke different emotions. The warmth or coolness of color is also known as the color’s temperature. Warm colors run from red to yellow and cooler colors run from blue to green and purple.

Focus and Exposure

Always lock your subject on focus. Every mobile camera has the feature to lock your focus on the subject. This helps to keep your subject in detail without being blurred. It is often difficult to keep a moving subject in focus. Low light situations can also be tricky for perfect focus.

While adjusting the light, remember to keep the right exposure on your smartphone camera. Strike the right balance without getting the video too dark or bright and stick to it throughout the shot.

Keep the right settings

It is very important to make sure that your smartphone camera settings are kept right before you begin shooting.

Keep the video quality and resolution to the maximum. Options such as a video stabilizer are common in smartphone cameras today that helps to shoot the video minimizing any jerks.

You can explore techniques such as time-lapse and slow-motion. Make use of it to enhance your video.

And never forget, avoid zooming in. Zoom feature is a bummer in smartphone cameras. Phones mostly use digital zoom. So once you zoom in, the visual will lose its quality. So, if you want a zoom shot, keep your smartphone a little closer.

Plan on audio

Before you begin shooting, you should have a plan on how you want to record sound. Whether you want to record it in real-time or record and sync it later, you have to get it right beforehand. Because audio plays a very important role in filming.

If you are recording your video in live sound, make sure there’s no disturbance. While the cameras on our smartphones have advanced over the years, the microphone hasn’t fared very well. It is very common to catch the wind and unnecessary environmental noise that will disturb or drown out any important audio while shooting video outside. So invest in an External Microphone and use it if you’re shooting in live sound. It provides crisp, clear audio for your viewers. A good microphone comes at a very nominal price. A wide variety of price options are out there to choose from.

There are a great set of audio recording apps for smartphones if you want to record audio separately and edit it later.


Most people who have experience in filmmaking or video shooting might say that the horizontal format is far superior to vertical video and that a vertical video is an immediate signal of an amateur video. It is true up to some level because for filming, the best option is to record horizontally. If you shoot your movie in vertical mode, you’ll have black bars on each side of the image, and your movie will not fill the entire screen on a tv or a laptop screen. This will have a damning impact on the visual.

But in recent years vertical videos have proved that they have come to stay. Apps like TikTok, IG Reels, and Rizzle have proved that vertical video has scope beyond its limitation. So, the important thing here is to recognize which format works best for your video and stick to it.


It is important that the smartphone should be kept steady while filming to avoid any jerks. While there are in-built phone options such as video stabilizer that are available to enhance stability, it has huge limitations. A minor jerk on the video will cause disruptions on your visual, especially if the video is being watched on a bigger screen.
You can minimize or eliminate camera movement by maintaining a steady hand while holding your camera, or by using equipment like a tripod. Mobile tripods make it very convenient to film without any bumps.

Last but not least, make sure your lens is clean. There are often chances dust or smudges might make their way to your camera lenses. This will have a severe impact on the quality of the video.

The best way to clean a camera lens is to use a soft microfiber cloth. Once you carefully remove any dust and fingerprint marks from your smartphone camera lens, you’re good to go.

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