HD video in DSLRs is a hot topic, and more nature photographers see the potential for creating a new way to display and share images. OP went to a seasoned pro for the secrets to a first-rate production.
Fluid Head Tripod. Without it, panning and tilting will be jumpy and unusable. Otherwise, you’re limited to static shots, which gets old fast. 16 GB Or Larger Storage Cards. Video burns through memory incredibly fast. Keep a laptop and external hard drive nearby to offload your memory cards, which will fill up several times in a busy day.
Lens Cloth/Dust Brush. You can’t retouch the dust out like you’re used to doing in Photoshop, so make sure the sensor is clean and your lens is pristine; otherwise, you’ll get artifacts showing up that will take some visual-effects magic to get out.
PNY Optima SDHC 16 GB memory card
DSLR Pop-Up Shade. This is a useful accessory for stills and video, but crucial when trying to view the LCD screen in bright sunlight while shooting in live-view mode.
Marshall 7-Inch HDMI Monitor. If you’re planning to go hardcore, an external shooting monitor is incredibly useful for focus and to see what you’re getting.
Marshall Electronics V-LCD70XP-HDMI
iStoragePro Pocket II RAID drive
Extra Batteries. Battery life while in video mode on a DSLR is short. Bring three to four for a long day of shooting.
Hard Drives. Video footage takes up a lot of storage space. It’s a good idea to invest in an extra external hard drive or two. Bring portable drives on your trip and make copies of the day’s footage back at the hotel.
Ian Shive is a Los Angeles-based nature photographer and the cofounder of Wild Collective, a multimedia production company specializing in environmental storytelling. Visit www.waterandsky.com.