Previous Quick Tutorial Posts:
This is another post from my Quick Tutorial series for YouTubers and those who are looking to create video content.
It’s worth reiterating: I am not an expert (by any stretch of the imagination) when it comes to video production, I don’t own or use any fancy equipment and tech, I have no background in video production or photography, and actually, I think that’s kind of the point. The point here is to show you that yeah, you can do it, and you can do a halfway decent job at creating video content as a total amateur.
Instead of trying to collect all the latest gadgets that the YouTubers with million+ subscribers are telling you to get, work with what you’ve got. I hope that’s what this Quick Tutorial series is about: maxing out the capabilities of what you’ve got.
This post in particular will consolidate some tips and tricks I’ve learned about YouTube video making at the amateur level.
Record Your Videos During the Magic Hour
In photography, there’s this thing called the golden hour, or the magic hour. Fortunately, there are two each day. The first is the hour after sunrise, and the second is the hour before sunset.
I’m lucky because that conforms to my work schedule. The first golden hour is just before I leave for work, so actually, my makeup is freshly done. Most days I make it home before the second golden hour, just before sunset, so as soon as I’m back from the office, I go straight to recording the video.
If you don’t have lighting equipment, then I would urge you to try your best at scheduling video recording time during one of the golden hours. Afternoon sunlight can be too harsh, and after sunset, it’s often too dark. Cameras tend not to like artificial lighting, so then your videos get that grainy quality.
When you record during the golden hour, you can get away with a lesser-quality camera. I’m using a 1.3 megapixel webcam for both the video footage and the audio. For comparison, most professional YouTubers opt for a 50.6 megapixel resolution camera. These days, your smartphone camera is around 12 megapixels.
So yeah, given the drastic difference, the pixel quality of my current portfolio of YouTube videos is still shitty compared to what most people are shooting at these days, but it isn’t so offensive in quality as it could be (given the 1.3 megapixel resolution) because I’m shooting during the magic hour. Shooting at the magic hour compensates for that drastic resolution difference.
For me, I’ve also found that recording during the morning magic hour by an east-facing window is the best, and recording during the evening magic hour by a west-facing window is best.
Guys, if you can, follow the magic hour in photography. It truly is magical. You get that soft diffused light on your face and that perfect balance of light and shadow in the frame. You know those expensive ring lights that makeup and beauty gurus get? Yeah, the whole point of those things is to recreate the lighting of the Magic Hour. You get two for free each day, so if you don’t want to invest in a ring light, then try to schedule your recording time to the Magic Hours.