How to Film Awesome Ski Footage
Ski Expert Abby A. shares her tips for grabbing great ski footage so your videos can stand out from the rest.
Nowadays, with everyone having access to a camera on their smartphone, ski edits are becoming easier and more efficient to create. With Instagram’s Reels being the new hot feature on their app, many skiers have moved towards this feature since they can easily edit videos, pick any song/audio they want to go with it, and have it potentially get more engagement if enough people watch it to make it go viral. This is a great way for skiers to have their content reach users with similar interests.
The algorithm is very good at detecting what videos users are going to want to see, so let’s dive into what you can do to really help your videos stand out! This article uses some iPhone terminology, but it can definitely be used to help Android and Google phone users as well.
0.5x vs. 1x
Decide if you would rather shoot in 0.5x or 1x. 0.5x, or ultra-wide, is going to give you more of a fisheye effect. This is a great option when you are trying to capture more of the scenery in your shot. 1x is the “normal” lens that the iPhone defaults to when opening the camera app. I will try to film my friends in 0.5x when I don’t have my skis on and can get up close to the rail or feature. The 0.5x will give your video more of a skateboard filming style. 1x is great when filming from further away, as it has a more cropped lens than the fisheye mode. Keep in mind that it is better to be closer when shooting in 0.5x so you can see the subject well. If you are staying strapped into your gear, 1x may work better if you cannot get up close to the feature to film your friend.
Check the Position of the Sun
Film with the sun beside you and not above or behind you to avoid weird shadows. The sun behind the subject can result in unwanted glares in the lens. It will also be harder to see the subject and will make the subject dark or look like a silhouette. To make the subject pop, try to make sure they are bright and the sun is shining on them from you and your phone’s point of view.
Stay Stationary for High-Speed Tricks
Any time you are filming a friend who is hitting a feature at a high speed, always make sure to stay stationary while getting the shot. The chatter in skis makes the phone footage not as smooth as it could be if the filmer was filming from one spot. This also ensures that the filmer is keeping the subject in frame the whole time since they are focused on just filming and not trying to ski at the same time. At least stay still for high-speed filming where the clip could result in being very shaky.
If you are doing a follow cam, pay attention while you are filming! Ask your friends if they have a preference on what side of a feature you are filming from. If they don’t care where you are filming from, ask what tricks they are doing or what their line is so you are not in their way and have an idea of where you should be going to get the best shot.
Watch the Rider Through the Phone
Always watch the rider through the phone while you are recording—this helps keep them in the frame. If you try to watch the rider while filming, but not through the phone, there is a chance you will miss the shot. If you take your eyes off the screen, you are not looking where they are on the camera, so this increases the chances of a bad shot!
Switch to 4K
Did you know that the iPhone has a 4K option? You can open the phone’s camera and click the top right to change HD to 4K. Now get extra sharp footage for your friends!
AirDrop to Keep the Quality
AirDropping images is the best way to keep the quality the same as when your first took it. Don’t text videos to your friend because there is a chance the clips will come through at a quality that is not ideal for sharing or editing. If you forget to AirDrop the clips, wait until you are on WiFi so that they send without losing too much quality. Sharing videos via the cloud like Google Drive or Images works as well.
Horizontal vs. Vertical
I used to film horizontally, but ever since Instagram made Reels, I started filming vertically. If you are filming a friend, ask what they prefer before you start filming and keep it consistent throughout the day! If you are the one being filmed, make sure your homie getting the clips is filming the way you prefer.
I think filming vertically is better since it takes up the whole screen on the iPhone whereas watching a horizontal video on a social media app only takes up about half of the screen. Vertical videos mean your video is taking up the phone’s full screen making your shots easier to watch. If you have videos that were filmed horizontally, you can crop them to be vertical. This is an extra step to take for editing, but filming horizontally then cropping will give you both options.
Clean the Lens
Before you start filming, make sure the lens is free of any snowflakes or water droplets to ensure you are getting footage that is not blurry.
Engaging and short videos are going to perform best on social media platforms. Trim your videos to take out unwanted time of the subject before or after the feature so that you are only showing the highlight of each clip you took. Think about the video from the viewer’s perspective. Would you be engaged by what is being shown? Are there clips that can be shortened or taken out? Try not to be too repetitive with the clips, either. If you have two similar-looking clips, pick the better one, or show the same trick from two different angles by showing the first part of one clip and the tail end of another—this is a great transitional feature to making a clip look awesome!
Making and watching ski edits is so fun—go learn some new tricks and get a clip! Or, hype up your friends and encourage them to try something new. Filming is a great way to give yourself and your friends a little push to try something new on the snow. Remember, don’t get discouraged while filming. If you don’t get the shot you want, there’s always another day to stomp it!
Keeping these tips in mind as you film your friends will benefit your filming and the quality of your videos. Remember that it is always better to film too much than not enough! Get B-roll of your friends to spice up their edit, too. B-roll can consist of anything that wouldn’t be considered a main shot for the video. These could be shots like getting ready, skiing down to where the filming is taking place, getting on or off the lift, or anything else that would be a good transition in an edit to break up the videos and add excitement. With these helpful tips, you are ready to get out there and film some dope edits. Most importantly, have fun!
If you have any questions, reach out to an Expert here on Curated and we'll get you all set up for long days getting footage!