How Do We Do It?

P4 Pro Shooting Aerial Footage for OV&P

Here at Outdoor Video & Photographic, we’re privileged to have long-standing relationships with some of the finest corporates and property developers in South Africa. What’s really cool is how much we’ve learnt over the past 18 years that has enabled us to improve and refine our techniques and technology so that our clients are always excited about the work we produce for them.

A big game changer over the last 10 years has been the advent and exponential growth of what is known as image stabilisation, which is achieved through powerful technology being built into hand-held filming platforms such as the DJI Ronin. Even more amazing is the use of similar technology in remotely controlled quadcopters known as DRONES, like the P4 Pro pictured above.

When we create a video or short film there are a multitude of factors that come into play which, if not choreographed and planned effectively, can result in lost time, money and more importantly, one’s reputation in the videography industry. Ground based filming, usually done with gimbals or tripods, as our good friend and freelance cameraman Chris Duys demonstrates below, is the foundation of most filming projects, but being able to add a whole new dimension (literally) to the storyline has upped the ante bigtime.

Chris Duys Shooting Video for OV&P

This is where aerial drones and hand-held gimbals come into their own. The technology used in drones has enabled manufacturers to shrink the size, reduce the originally exorbitant price dramatically and exponentially increase the functionality and quality of these amazing pieces of engineering art, to the point that if you don’t take advantage of them you’re going to get left behind in terms of missing the opportunity to exploit the potential power of your online and traditional marketing efforts.

The silver bullet is the incredible level of stability one can achieve using these three axis gimbals with the latest tech stabilising the image irrespective of the wind buffeting the drone every which way or the jarring that is almost impossible to obviate when walking, running or jumping around with a hand-held camera that is not stabilised.

In the past filmmakers have used huge pivoting structures called jibs to track moving objects on the ground and they’ve had to use expensive helicopters for aerial shots with expensive gimbal systems to stabilise the video and stills footage. All of this new, amazing tech is particularly effective when combined with other elements to achieve the desired look and feel for each production.

Chris Duys & Dave Estment of OV&P

On the technical side, this involves combining elements such as ground based tripod footage and ground based gimbal footage with stabilised aerial footage (the new dimension), as well as time-lapse footage where applicable. This is created from multiple interval images such as Chris and I were setting up here to capture construction in progress. Some other key elements that come into play are creative aspects like shallow depth of field, focus pulling, lighting, audio and slow/fast motion effects, colour grading, etc.

Using one element on its own is limiting and far less compelling than leveraging our creative and technical talents to merge all of the options available, be it to create content for construction, corporate, wildlife, commercial or any other visual tool intended to enhance credibility, highlight differentiators and showcase value systems on behalf of any business out there.

I hope this brief explanation of how we do it and what tech we use sheds some light on the complexity of options available to our videographers in their quest for excellence. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to post a comment below. We’re happy to chat!