Shooting Outside and Making it Beautiful | Marshall Rimmer | Skillshare

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Shooting Outside and Making it Beautiful

teacher avatar Marshall Rimmer, Filmmaker

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Picking a Location

    • 3. Filters

    • 4. Shooting Flat

    • 5. Bouncing Light

    • 6. French Reverse

    • 7. TRAILER: Make $$$ on Stock Photography

    • 8. Thank You!

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About This Class

Video is now the world's number one method of communication.  It is estimated that the number of video cameras now surpass the number of people in the world.  Without a basic understanding of video cameras, you'll quickly be left in the dust.

Hi, my name is Marshall Rimmer and I'm a cinematographer who has been filming in high definition before the days of YouTube.  I know the ins and outs of Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, and RED.

Watch a sample of my outdoor cinematography here.

This class is designed for someone who wants to take their camera skills to the next level without spending thousands of dollars on fancy equipment.

This class will teach you how to:

  • Create beautiful outdoor footage
  • Utilize existing light
  • Properly position your subject
  • Make use of filters
  • Adjust camera settings for maximum dynamic range

If you're interested in my color grading LUT pack, use the code "ClassDiscount" to receive 60% off all downloads.

Meet Your Teacher

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Marshall Rimmer



Marshall Rimmer is a video production professional who has had his work featured on CNN, WIRED, G4TV, and IGN. Additionally, his short films have played at  Academy Award qualifying festivals including South by Southwest, Palm Springs, Austin Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, and Chicago International Children's.

Sample Projects:

Cinematography Sample

Angry Birds Movie Trailer

Facebook vs. Google+ Sketch

See full profile

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2. Picking a Location: - because we take my class. - I really appreciate it. - I think you're gonna learn a lot about outdoor photo and video. - So before you do any filming at all, - you need to go out and scout your location. - When you go to school, - your location, - there are a few things that need to look for. - First off, - just find something pretty. - Um, - I live in Los Angeles, - and it's very loud and very noisy. - Very crowded there. - So I drove 45 minutes out to the mountains here, - and, - ah, - just some a little bit more low keyed in Los Angeles. - And I found a nice frame in front of me is just a road kind of a dirt road here, - um, - to the side is nothing pretty. - And so this background was the one thing that I thought, - Oh, - this is nice us this little use. - So in addition to just finding your background, - your frame that you're going to use, - um, - you need to take in consideration the light. - Do you want to shoot in the sun, - or do you wanna shoot in this shade? - Both those options are fine, - but you need to know a little bit about each with shade is gonna be a little bit more of a - flat shot. - It's not gonna be is interesting. - You don't have a little highlights on the shoulders and things like that. - That really kind of make your subject pop. - However, - shooting in the shade is easier. - So in addition to deciding if you want to shoot in the sun or shade, - you need to know what time of day you want to shoot. - I like this background. - So I decided to come here when the sun would be behind me and I would be backlit. - If I came here in the morning. - I would have these really nasty shadows on the front of my face, - and it wouldn't be is pleasing him an image. - So time of day brings me to my next point. - Do you want your subject to be backlit or front lit? - Either of these were fine. - We have to know there are certain times of the day that allow for each. - If you want a front, - let subject you have to get up either early in the morning or later in the evening, - when the sun is more kind of level on the face that won't cause those nasty, - harsh shadows that we see in a lot of outdoor photography. - So, - really, - with outdoor video, - the main things that you're trying to do is find a nice, - pleasing background and allow the subject to not have any nasty, - harsh shadows on the face. - That's really all we're doing here. - And that's why shade is easier to shoot in because there's no nasty our shadows. - It's just not as exciting oven image. - So a good rule of thumb is never shoot midday Researcher. - Local sunrise and sunset find the middle time and never tried to shoot within two hours of - either side of that. - Basically, - when you try to shoot midday, - the sun is so directly overhead that you're gonna get nasty shadows on your face, - regardless of how you're positioned towards the sun. - However, - if you shoot earlier in the day or later in the day, - you can have the sun a little lower, - and what you can do is you could have a nice back life like I'm doing now. - You're gonna have a front light on the face that looks nice as well, - or if you're shooting something dramatic, - you can have the sun on the side and just light up half the face. - And keep in mind whatever you're doing should have a certain look. - You know, - if you're shooting comedy, - it should be bright and happy and well lit. - If you're shooting something more dramatic, - you can do more harsh shadows, - but doing a stylistic way and not just kind of, - Ah, - whatever happens kind of way. - So the position of the sun is very important. - Definitely know what time of day you're shooting and know what angles you'll be able to - shoot. - Evenings and mornings were always best to allow for both backlight and front line. - Another thing to keep in mind is ambient bounce. - If you're shooting with backlight, - you need a lot of light coming up. - You want to know if the light is if the sunlight is hitting anything that reflects it on - your face to brighten the image up, - So think of things like exterior house walls, - roads, - sand, - bright things. - Ah, - white things stay away from anything dark and any shadows right in front of the subject, - because then they're not gonna get that bounce on their face like they could. - So another thing to consider when picking your location. - Don't stand right next to the background. - Don't stand in front of a wall. - Don't be directly in front of something that's gonna be in focus as well. - If you shoot with a large background landscape like this, - regardless of what camera settings you have, - it's gonna be a nice soft background. - It's gonna really allow the audience to focus more on the subject than be looking behind - you. - However, - if you shoot against rocks, - if you're shooting, - it's something that's just right next to them. - It's a lot easier for that to be in focus and not toe look as cinematic of a shot last, - but definitely not least. - Don't neglect audio. - Go to a place that's quiet. - Go to a place that's not next to a road. - Go to a place that is, - there's not a lot of airplanes going on. - There's not a lot of traffic noise, - so find a place that is quiet and beautiful. - If you find a place that's just beautiful, - but is not that quiet? - It's not gonna be that great of a shoot, - so find a place is pleasing to both the eyes and the ears. - I know we totally world wind through that first lesson, - but the main thing is to consider our find the look. - That's right for your project. - Um, - if it's not super dramatic and dark, - then you want something that's brightly lit. - You don't want any harsh shadows unless you're going for that. - But you don't want those raccoon eyes. - Those are the main things to stay away from when shooting outdoors. - And then also time a day, - early morning, - late evening. - Those of the best times to shoot get as much ambient bounces you can, - because it's going to do a lot for your subject. - So with that in mind, - go out and pick your location. 3. Filters: - So the second lesson here is about an indie filter in D stands for neutral density, - and what it means is it's basically darkening your image. - Instead of adjusting the aperture of the shutter speed, - it's artificially just adding a layer of darkness to your image. - Now you may ask, - Why do I want to do that? - Ah, - well, - you see the depth of field or the term referring to the amount that's in focus. - Eyes directly correlated to your aperture. - If you open up your actual really wide, - you have a very shallow depth of field with just eyes and focus just a face and focus, - and we have a lot of you close down your aperture and the image gets darker. - You have a large step the field, - so everything isn't focus. - So right now I'm standing in front of a giant landscape, - so even if I close down my aperture a lot, - it would still be kind of out of focus because it's so far away. - But when an indie filter allows you to dio is, - it allows you to shoot at a larger aperture, - which would normally let in too much light and the whole image would be white and nothing - would work out. - But the indie filter darkens the image to combat that, - and it kind of equalizes out the exposure, - allowing you to have a larger aperture and a smaller depth of field. - So in layman's terms, - what it means is your ableto haven't image with a softer background and a sharper - foreground otherwise have a shot without an indie filter. - Everything would be in focus and would look very digital and not cinematic at all. - So indie filters come in many different intensities. - But the indie filter that I love the most is called a variable indie filter. - And basically what that does is it allows you to adjust the exposure exposure just by - screwing in and out the nd filter itself. - So instead of putting on Indy and looking at the images saying, - Oh, - that was too dark, - I need a lighter one. - Let me get another one. - You have one that does all of them for U. - S. - So it's really nice, - really convenient, - especially if you doing any type of run and gun filmmaking. - So I know it's silly to say, - but the very nd filter is actually my favorite piece of film equipment I've ever bought, - which is really ridiculous, - but it allows you to create cinematic images with keeping the settings in the camera the - same. - So you could do all this running gun superfast stuff, - just exposing by rotating right on the filter there. - Um, - so it's really easy. - It doesn't require a lot of thinking and allows you to shoot really quickly. - So another great filter for outdoor photography is a Grady int filter. - Basically, - what ingredient filter is the filter that with the darker top and a lighter bottom, - and what that allows you to do is it allows you to shoot sunsets and landscapes and large - outdoor photography that has a lot of sky in it. - Without overexposing your image because with camera tends to do is if you shoot a sky and - the ground at the same time with a kind of a wider lens. - The sky is always really bright and blown out, - just completely white and doesn't look great. - So you have to do is you have to either do multiple exposures or you have to get a fancy - camera that can take it all in, - or you can buy a $10 radiant filter that goes on your lens and allows you to capture the - sky and the ground. - So with these grad filters, - the important thing to know is that they're great for wide shots. - They're not great for close ups. - If I was to have a grad on this image itself, - my face would be in darkness, - because we tend to put an image with the head on the top half of the frame. - Close ups and medium shots and anything with that are focused on people aren't great for - Grady. - It filters Grady filters or more for landscape photography and things that allow you to - capture the sky and sunsets and things like that. 4. Shooting Flat: - so another tricked outdoor photography is the idea of shooting flat and by flat, - I don't mean in the shadows where there's not a lot of sun and everything's kind of the - same exposure. - What I mean by shooting flat is actually going into your camera settings and adjusting the - contrast in camera. - And basically the reason that I do that is because when you shoot outside, - there's really bright things, - like the sun and the sky and anything that's in the sunlight on their really dark things - like shadows. - But the problem is that your camera typically can't capture all of that unless it's a - really expensive camera. - Um, - cameras could only catch a certain range. - Um, - so what I like to do is I like to go into my camera settings, - and every camera's gonna be different. - But if you can try to adjust the contrast, - so the highlights are a little lower, - and the shadow's or a little higher on what that allows your camera do is to capture more - information. - The image itself coming right out of the camera is gonna look not as great as it would - normally, - but what you can do is you can go into color correction after the fact and change the image - and make it look pleasing to the eye. - So we shoot an image that's really flat, - that has little highlights and little shadows. - And then in post we take it. - We stretch it out and we add color to it, - had highlights and shadows and make it into a more pleasing image. - Now the reason I do this is because of an image is overexposed and looks completely white - on camera. - The camera actually doesn't see any information in it at all. - So if you take the sky and it's completely white in your image and you try to color, - correct it later, - you try toe. - Take that white, - make it darker. - You actually can't do that because the camera is just a computer that doesn't see any data - in those highlights. - And so when you kill the contrast and you make those highlights lower and the shadow's - higher, - you're actually putting more information into your image, - which allows you to later correct it and make it look beautiful, - because otherwise you're gonna have to sacrifice either the highlights for the shadows, - and you don't really want to sacrifice anything. - If you're trying to make your image look beautiful, 5. Bouncing Light: - so another important thing to consider is bounce. - So I know that in the first lesson, - we talked about Ambien bounce things like the road and sand and snow and things that allow - the sun to reflect on your subject's face. - But actually having a bounce board was gonna help a lot as well. - You can go out and buy expensive bounce boards that professionals use. - Or you can do things just like by posterboard, - by insulation from Home Depot, - by these just white things that when the sun hits, - it bounces right back on your subject's face. - Especially especially especially if you're using a backlit shot I mentioned before. - Don't shoot with shadows in front of your back. - Let however. - If you have a bounce card, - you can get away with that. - That's cards really help the location because they don't limit you as much when you want a - nice backlit shot. - But you realize that there's a bunch of trees in front of you. - It's not gonna be a good shot unless you have that bounce card. - So bass cards really open up your possibilities. - They really help make your image look great when it is backlit, - so it's not just kind of a silhouette, - and they do a lot for your image 6. French Reverse: - so the last lesson is actually about a very advanced technique called the French Reverse. - The French reverse allows you to shoot at the same time of day that gets you to pleasing - images when otherwise you would have to shoot one in the morning or one of the evening. - So the French Verses first scene. - It's not for a video blogger anything like that. - The French verse is between two people, - and basically what you do is you're shooting the same angle with two different backgrounds - and giving the illusion that the person is standing across from each other. - Let's say this is one shot. - Let's say I'm talking to someone who is right here. - I'm gonna be framed something like this kind of same shot. - I'll be talking right here. - I'm backlit. - I have a nice bounce on my face. - It's a fine shot. - There's no nasty shadows. - Now when you cut to their angle, - when the camera comes around and shoots this way, - they're gonna have these really bad raccoon eyes. - They're gonna be really dark and shadowy, - and it's not gonna be a pretty shot, - so we're gonna have to wait till the next day. - We're gonna have to use a lot of lighting equipment to properly expose them. - So with the French reverse, - what you do is the cameras there shooting me like this instead of having the camera come - around and shoot. - That way, - you fake it and the camera is actually pointed the same way. - You just change it. - Maybe 20 degrees to either sides. - We have a different background. - And so I would be talking to someone like this, - and when you would cut it would be something where they would be talking back like this and - the background would be different. - But it would be it would look like a conversation. - It would all be the trick, - but it would look like a conversation happening face to face, - when in actuality, - the background is different. - So just something to think about some to play around with. - It's a really fun technique that really allows you a lot of leeway with time and with - equipment, - things like that. - It's a very advanced technique, - so I don't expect you to go out and do it right now, - but just something to think about and, - uh, - yeah, - keep that mine 7. TRAILER: Make $$$ on Stock Photography: So a while back, I was out hiking and I came across a sign for rattlesnakes and if that was kind of interesting, so I took a picture of it with my thumb, that picture turned out terrible. Sign was a bit high up, so it's poorly framed. It doesn't tell a story and it's just objectively a bad picture. But I was like, what the heck. So I uploaded you have stock photography site and within a couple of months I made $4 off this picture and look for dollars is not a ton of money. But it got me thinking if a picture this bad can make real money on stock photography, there's gotta be an economical supply and demand type of approach to making passive income off stock photography with little or no photography skills. So over the past year to I've created a very pragmatic approaches, stock photography that at this point makes me about $500 a month. And look, I'm not making fine art here. Okay? I'm taking very basic pictures of things that are in demand that people pay real money for. So if you're looking for a source of passive income that doesn't require a lot of time learning a new skill set. It doesn't require a lot of money and startup capital. Stock photography is the way to go. And in this course, I will show you my very straightforward approach to making real money off stock photography that you can use with your iPhone or any camera in full auto settings. So if you're ready for some easy passive income, let's get started. 8. Thank You!: - Well, - I hope you guys learn something from this class. - I hope you learned that Time of day is everything that bounces nice, - that shadows or bad to keep things bright and well lit And then, - you know, - advanced things like these filters in these camera settings and the bounce card and things - like that. - But as you can tell, - shooting outside it's really not that difficult. - You don't need a ton of equipment. - It's actually really nice. - You don't need lights and you don't need things. - You just have to plan very diligently. - You have to know what time of day you're shooting, - where you're shooting and exactly what your shots are gonna look like, - exactly what your shot's gonna look like at those times of day. - So now that you've learned everything about location, - you've learned everything about the lighting techniques, - the time of day, - the filters. - I want you to go up and shoot your project. - This class was kind of a lot of theory leading into this simple project. - But go out and basically just take a picture. - So find your perfect location. - Find the right time of day, - either backlight, - front, - light or keep in the shade. - Remember the nice bounce as well? - If you need an indie filter, - throw that on their basically. - Just use everything you learn in the class and just upload a picture of your subject. - Could be you could be a friend, - but just your subject in your location. - That's it. - Well, - thanks again. - Guys were taking this class. - It really means a lot to me. - Keep on the lookout. - I do teach a few other classes about camera and lighting and color and things like that. - If you think you've learned a lot here about natural lighting and outdoors, - my portrait lighting class is a really good companion that allow you shoot inside. - Ah, - and if you're new to cameras and they're still trying to figure this whole thing out, - I did camera class as well. - So check that out. - All right. - Thanks, - guys. - We'll see in the next class.