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3.2 Scouting

Before you grab your camera and start shooting, you'll need to find a good location for your time lapse video. In this lesson, you'll learn the best way to check out a location prior to a shoot. You’ll find out how to figure out the prime position to set up, and how to determine what equipment you need to bring along on the shoot day.

3.2 Scouting

When it comes to scouting locations, there are a number of tools available to assist you in your search for the perfect spot. Before actually heading out to a location, you can also use the tools available online, to have a virtual scout before you even get there. Google Maps is the obvious first choice. Using Google Maps we can take a virtual tour of the area before we leave the home. We can also view photographs taken by people who have visited the location before us. And get an idea of any landmarks or key locations, and see exactly where the photographer was positioned on the map. I'm looking to find some interesting spots at this nearby lake. So I can browse through the different images in a fullscreen mode, and get an idea of where the sweet spots are. And now we're getting closer to what I'm looking for. For a cloudscape, that could be something worth considering. We'll come back to the map. This area here isn’t so bad, so it’s this location I've been checking out. This is off the ski slope, and I think from up here, I might be able to record a sunset, so let’s come back and look at that. Not only is Google Maps useful for getting some visual inspiration, you can also create your own custom maps. So, by logging in and going to My Places, you can start adding pins to your own map and log the locations that you wish to visit. You may find that the images found on Google Maps is limited. A great alternative to Google maps is using Flickr. As long as photographers have geo-tagged their images, you can search within a specific location. Both Google Maps and Flickr are useful if you have limited time at a location and want to do some ground work before you get there. If you have the luxury of visiting your location before the shoot, however, then it's a good idea to charge up your smartphone and take a stroll around the location and figure out where you want to set up. Using some of the smart apps from the previous video, I'm going to visit this lake location nearby to gather some useful material to help plan a production. [SOUND] So I'm here at this lake location, checking out different spots with the apps that we looked at earlier. So I'm scouting for great little places for our time-lapse sequences. I've been using the Viewfinder app that we looked at before to figure out the composition, framing, and what type of lenses that I'll have to bring along. I'm also gonna use the Photographer's Ephemeris, or the TPE app, to figure out exactly where the light will be in our shot. This particular location we're at right now is one I'm hoping I'm gonna use for the sunset. So I'm gonna check out, hopefully over here on this hillside, we're gonna see a setting sun later on. So I'll use TPE to figure out exactly where the sun's gonna set on that. I'm also going to take a look at Star Walk to figure out where the sun is gonna be moving within the frame. So hopefully if all goes well, we'll come back and shoot something later. So join me in preparation where we'll take a look at the material that I've gathered from the lake and trying to piece together what kind of equipment we need and how we're going to pull this one off. See you soon.

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