Customer Service Software: A Time Saver!

cssatsThere are various companies that offer you free Customer service software that you can download from their web site. The primary reason for using this is to automate a time consuming process. You get to use Customer service software instead of hiring people to do the job. While this may be the trend these days as it does save a lot of money on labor, you may find that people of the old school are still trying to get used to it. When you are given a toll free number, you can see the annoyance when you are constantly asked to press one number or another before you can even reach the concerned desk. On occasion, the lines may get disconnected and you have to try again. Before this trend began, one had to go personally to either complain or register your grievance in the company’s logbook.

The whole concept of customer service has taken on a greater importance because of the consumerism to a certain extent.  We spend money to buy the latest gadgets and other household appliances. With such acquisitions, come problems with its repair and maintenance. The product manufacturer must have a support centre that can handle vast volumes of people. Good customer service software has emerged out of this inability to handle the customer base manually.

Get Improved Productivity By The Use Of Service Desk Software

The help desk services are an important part in any business being minor case among colds. There are a number of companies that employ the service providers of help desk services for addressing complaints of clientele. This is an efficient way to make customers feel satisfied and free of worries. The use of service desk software is widespread and all the companies are using these services for addressing such problems for all their employees. There are several uses and benefits of service desk that companies can utilize for its benefits.

There are several companies that are continuing to find out the methods of ensuring the customer support for efficiency and productivity of the company. Moreover, the service desk software is used by the companies to make them available with good productivity they are looking for. The presence of such software helps a number of companies by providing them a good and well maintained system. The products of software help customers in many ways to give them more profits.

Previously, such service support software was nonexistent and people had to work on a lot of work. With service desk software, the employees can work easily with productive and efficient ways the company’s important issues.

Posted in Software | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Become Exceptionally Attractive With Anti Aging Creams

aacs2A few months ago, I was a different person. If not for the anti aging creams that I became aware of through the internet, I am definitely still this kind of unpleasant individual. When I was still suffering from wrinkles, I did not want to go out of my room. Despite countless invitations from my friends and guys who considered me interesting, I preferred to spend my days alone. When I was younger, I never thought that wrinkles can actually have this intense effect on anybody. But I experienced its cruelty. It was difficult to be thought of as 40 years old when I was actually barely 30. It’s painful when people confused you with the oldest child when you are actually the youngest. I was well aware that all those people who made these remarks did not mean to offend me. Nevertheless, the damage has been done. By good luck, I found an answer with anti aging cream. I came across a really good product and used it religiously. Surprisingly, my wrinkles faded in less than a week. It was a magical experience that I will never forget. Now, I am back to my old determined self. I am ready to face the world with my exceptional aura.

Anti Aging Creams Help Cure Damaged Confidence

My wife accompanied me to a pharmaceutical store last weekend. We were supposed to purchase some medicine for my allergy when we bumped into a number of anti aging creams. I have been silently worrying about my wrinkles. I remember mentioning it to my wife but she did not seem to bother. She simply said that I still look good despite my wrinkles and I should not worry too much about it. But she definitely does not understand what it feels like to have creases. She’s younger than I am and not exposed to sunlight. She is not employed and she’s less stressed out than I am. These are probably the reasons why wrinkles have never been an issue to her. But no matter how hard I try to explain, she will never understand how badly it affects my self-esteem. Having all these anti aging products in sight made me realize that there are actually a lot of things that I can do to eliminate my wrinkles. I was just not observant enough to realize that earlier. I know that spending money for a wrinkle treatment will not please my wife. But she has to understand that it is important to me.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anti Snoring Pillows: The Best Cure For Snoring

spbcIf you fail to provide a proper rest to your mind and body, it is certain that you not only will spoil your personal health but also the enthusiasm of your body. Many people tend to be lethargic and weak during the daytime, as they do not obtain a good quality of sleep at night. This most often happens in many people due to their habit of snoring frequently. How to stop snoring is a widely asked question in the field of medicine and the answers range from anti snoring devices to pills. Anti snoring pillows is one of those popular solutions to snoring by which many people have benefitted.

Sleeping on anti snoring pillows is neither a magical spell nor a charm that cures your snoring. Snoring mainly occurs in a person due to the reason that the air that passes through the nasal and mouth gets blocked due to some reason such as the narrowing of the airway. Anti snoring pillows lets you place your head and face in the right posit
ion in which the airway is opened properly for the air to pass through easily without creating any vibration in the throat that turns into a snoring noise.

Features Of Anti Snoring Pillows

There are so many anti snoring pillows that have been medically proved the snorers. The anti snoring pillow can either help you or your partner, whether a snorer or not. When your partner uses it, at least the snore eases or goes completely and you are able to get some sleep. This kind of pillows having been medically proven to be legitimate, they have gone way far to help so many Americans who suffer from sleep apnea.

The anti snoring pillows have some special features that are not found in any other type of a pillow. They will make sure to provide the best sleep ever to you and your partner as well; having in mind that the partner is the one affected most. It also gives a more wide awake day too. Not every person love sleeping on the pillows, but because of the comfort and the way of make, you find liking it better than before.

Due to the comfort that is needed, some of these kind of anti snoring pillows come in a memory form which is soft and smooth, while others come in the normal form. Some people will buy a kind of pillow and it ends up not helping, it is therefore advisable to discount using it and consult your doctor for a better pillow to match your effects.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How to Choose The Best Data Recovery Company

video-drivesHard drive crash can be unpredictable and inevitable, and can be especially harsh if you have a ton of video on your drives. You can avoid this completely devastating situation by creating a safety net to fall back. But sometimes a hard drive failure can occur before your files are saved. You should not be troubled because there are still chances that these files can be retrieved. A data recovery company can help with this.

There are certainly a lot of data recovery firms out there. But the challenge rests on finding a reliable firm that offers retrieval services at a competitive and reasonable rate.

What To Do!
 The first thing that you should do is to obtain the list of recovery firms that are accessible to you. Once you have the list on hand, you should inquire about the services that they offer with corresponding rates. It is not advised to settle on a data recovery service just because their rate is much cheaper when compared to others. But it does not necessarily mean that expensive data recovery services are much better than others. You should not equate the cost to the quality of the services. It is suggested to read the reviews of the previous customers of your prospective data recovery firm. These reviews can offer information which can be helpful in making a sound advice.

A smart user should create a backup for their files. This will save them from being totally burned in the event that their hard drive crashes. Hard drive failure is difficult to prevent because there are several conditions that can create it. Sometimes the crash occurs before you can save your files. Fortunately, these can still be retrieved with the help of a data recovery firm. But it is vital to be oriented that the extent of damage can influence the number of data that can be restored.

If the hard drive is terribly damaged, it will be difficult to get back everything. The hard drive will be scanned thoroughly if the cause of the crash is a logical failure. A very low-level scan may be needed to search each sector of the disk. You may have to wait for a couple of days before the hard drive is restored to its original condition prior to the crash. If the cause of the crash is a mechanical or electronic failure, a comprehensive knowledge of electronics will needed. The damaged components will be replaced with new ones. The magnitude of damage and availability of the damaged components will influence the length of time of the repair.

It is not easy to determine when a hard drive will crash. This is for the reason that there are a number of circumstances that can prompt this event. The best thing that a computer user can do is to research about the causes of hard drive crash. This way, he or she will be informed about the things that should be avoided. It is also essential to study about hard drive maintenance. Since it is difficult to predict on when the hard drive would crash, computer users are encouraged to create a backup for their files. It is also crucial to be certain that the components of the computer are in good working condition. This is because damages on the physical components can be contributing factor for hard drive problems.


Computer users should consider installing recovery software on their computers. This type of software can be very helpful during a hard drive crash because it can retrieve the lost files. The retrieval may take some time if there number of files is substantial. It is also vital to know that recovery software product should be purchased. But computer users can assess its efficiency by downloading the trial software.

 

Posted in Hardware, Video | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Um, Your Video Isn’t On The Web?

Have you considered showing yourself on the Internet? I’m not talking about posting some naughty pictures; I’m referring to putting your video creations on a public Web site for international distribution and enjoyment worldwide.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Many people already post their videos on their own private personal and business Web sites. However, there are many public sites that are designed to spotlight videos.

In addition to the smaller private business and personal sites, the big boys are starting to play in this area. According to DFC Intelligence, broadcasters ranging from ABC to The WB are rapidly extending their over-the-air signals-franchise online, with almost 38 percent of affiliate sites now hosting some form of simulcast/on-demand content.

Of the approximately 840 major broadcast-affiliated Web sites (including those operated by ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, WB and UPN), 318 host some form of video programming. The broadcast-TV industry has recognized this potential and is jumping in with both feet. You should too.

How To Do It

Years ago, when I went to film school, getting your productions shown at festivals and to the public was very difficult and expensive. First, the actual production was complex and costly. We had to shoot in 16mm film. That required obtaining cameras, sound recorders, and other support equipment, buying lots of raw film stock, and then after shooting the film, getting the film developed. Then I had to cut the film manually and lay in various tracks of audio on mag tape. The audio had to be mixed, voice, music and sound effects cut in, balanced and sweetened. When that was done, I then had to re-cut and match the original footage to the work prints. The next step was to send the footage to the color lab for printing. Then there were several cycles of getting the color right.

After everything was done, I then had to pay the lab to strike copies of the prints so I could distribute them to the various festivals and agents. That required special film shipping cases and covering Federal Express costs. Aaagh! My short 16mm film “Killer Toasters” cost me about $20,000 for equipment and lab costs. Nowadays I could shoot and edit it on DV for about $500 or less!

With today’s digital technology and the Internet, I could e-mail off digital copies of the finished short to numerous possible exhibitors in just a matter of minutes.

Who’s Showing Video And Film Shorts?

There are a bunch of Internet Web sites that broadcast streaming videos as well as provide a source for downloading videos for later review. Some of these sites provide an opportunity for you to market your productions; others will pay you. Some just provide a free way to promote yourself and your talent. Check out the sites and their particulars.

Bit Screen

“The Internet provides many advantages for the film- and video-maker,” said Nora Berry of Druid Media, sponsor of the Bit Screen Web site. The Bit Screen is a streaming Web site that welcomes submissions. In addition to spotlighting cool and unusual videos on the site, they also maintain a “Best of Bit Screen” at Broadcast.com, the big daddy of Internet video. The Bit Screen accepts short films, Web-casts, animation and multimedia programs made specifically for the Internet. They are looking for shorts (3- to 10-minutes long) that work with the Internet medium and “simultaneously expand its parameters.”

“In addition to being less-expensive and easier-to-access, the Internet provides interactivity as well as the ability to tell a story in many different ways,” added Berry. “An Internet-based video does not have to be a straight narrative. We are always looking for new ways to tell a story.”

Bit Screen adds new programs every week on its sites. Some wonderful Bit Screen shorts include “1,000 Moons,” a short dramatic monologue about a woman’s love life, and “City Halls,” a strange experiment in filmmaking. Every time you access it, it plays back differently, mixing voiceover, imagery and music into an interesting and ever-changing collage. It’s pretty cool. I particularly enjoyed “Hamster,” a short film about a hamster trapped in a bowl, racing around a kitchen. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is hilarious.

Always Independent Films www.alwaysindependentfilms.com

You can access Always Independent Films (AIF) through Broadcast.com or through its own URL. The site features lots of great new videos and shorts, as well as an archive of previously featured material. AIF is focused on exhibiting independent films and delivering a worldwide audience, all without any cost to the filmmaker. Recent hot tiles included “Tiny Bubbles,” a short documentary about the making of the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Pageant, and “The Dark Angel Psycho Kickboxer,” a short action film featuring world kickboxing champ Curtis Bush.

In addition to providing a showcase, AIF also sponsors an annual film festival to recognize excellent examples of filmmaking. As well, the AIF site provides forums where you can exchange comments and suggestions with other filmmakers.

The Sync

The Sync, is another cool Web site spotlighting videos. One of the older Web video sites, it has been around for over two years, Web-casting videos and Internet entertainment. According to the producers, “The purpose of The Sync is to create compelling, interactive content that is specifically tailored for an Internet audience. This is not television recycled, but the beginning of a totally new medium.”

The Sync doesn’t have channels. Instead, it has shows designed for specific Internet audiences. Viewers can interact with show hosts and other viewers, changing the nature of broadcast video from a one-way to a two-way street.

One of my favorite streaming video sites is Digital Entertainment Network (DEN). It produces and airs high-quality Web broadcasting. Some of the network’s productions, like “Tales from the Eastside,” are truly incredible, combining outstanding video technique, great acting and excellent storytelling. DEN says that their mission is “to provide the youth of today with a revolutionary replacement for the passive, brain-killing experience of watching network and cable television.”

DEN viewers have the opportunity to communicate with writers, actors and producers, and help shape the programming. They can contribute their own ideas, as well as explore story and character background, and communicate with other viewers. They even have the opportunity to be cast on the shows or join the DEN team.

NewVenue And The Digital Film Festival

In June 1998, The D.FILM Digital Film Festival unveiled its “The New Venue,” a Web site showcasing movies designed especially for the Internet. The site’s creator, Jason Wishnow, presents a different film every week and also includes valuable resources for producing your own digital films.

NewVenue features narratives, documentaries, public service announcements, monologues, music videos, comedy sketches, computer animation and experimental QuickTime and Flash movies. The only requirement is that the entire file be under 5MB. The D.FILM site also hosts it own very short, under 5MB digital videos. Check out “Digital Date.”

There are a bunch of new sites coming online that will also spotlight digital videos. ClickMovie will host a Personal Producers site, and already is an online video store for distribution of commercial videos and uses their own proprietary Tranz-Send viewer software. Once up, the Personal Producer site will provide you with instructions on how to get a free version of special video-editing software. When ClickMovie receives the completed video, it will automatically squeeze it using Tranz-Send technology and place it on a special Web page.

How To Shoot For The Web

Most people who use the Internet are bandwidth-challenged. Many people access the Net at 28K or 56K. If they are lucky, they will get a small stamp-size image of stuttering video. Others–like myself–have a cable modem or DSL connection that can provide wide bandwidth. Unfortunately, what with Internet congestion and the strain on the Web servers dishing out the video, even the best Internet connections only provide a postcard-sized screen with relatively smooth video.

Video can be delivered in three ways–true video streaming where the video plays as it reaches your computer; downloaded video that doesn’t start playing until the entire file has been downloaded; or semi-streaming, where the video begins playing after a portion has been downloaded. Real.com’s RealPlayer G2 and Microsoft Windows Media Player are good examples of true video streaming. Apple’s QuickTime is a good example of pseudo streaming technology that downloads a portion of the video before it begins playing. Other technologies require you to download the entire file before playing it, using your computer’s AVI or MPG movie player.

What all of these technologies and techniques have in common is that the smaller the file, the better it will play on your computer. For in-depth technical details, check out FlickTips at NewVenue.com or D.film.

So how do you keep your file sizes small? The more stuff going on at any one time, the larger the file. That goes for movement, for complexity of image, for the number of colors, you name it … Once you know how to manipulate file size, you can harness the beauty and the potential of the digital flick. Digital movies have no standard image size. Most are either 320×240 pixels or 160x 120 pixels (dimensions which preserve television’s 4:3 aspect ratio). However, you don’t need to stick with those. You can create video formats of any size or shape.

In some video formats it is possible to compress your movie at a smaller size and then blow it up for playback. Remember, though, the smaller the image, the harder it is to make out details. You can also adjust the frame rate to suit your creative goals. A lower frame rate also reduces file size. Film and television have standardized frame rates, digital flicks do not. By the way, lower frame rates are less noticeable on smaller images. You can experiment. Click Cinema on the @Home network recommends a frame rate of 10-15 frames per second. Film runs at 24 frames per second and TV at 30.

Video, with less movement, doesn’t necessarily require as high a frame rate. Try to avoid panning shots or zooming in or out. Nora Berry of Druid Media recommends, “A straight cut is the best transition. We have seen zooms that actually crash and freeze the video while the audio moves on.” A good technique is to lock down the camcorder and have your subjects move in and out of the frame. That avoids the tiny movements that are created by handholding the camera.

Compression is very important to Internet video. Streaming video establishes a frame rate based on the viewer’s connection speed and you can’t predict how it will look. This can be arbitrary, from the viewer’s perspective. With nonstreaming video you have complete control over frame rate.

Posted in Video | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Life In An Aquarium

There are, of course, easier ways to get a close look at frogs. You only have to visit your local zoo, aquarium or animal park to find dozens of interesting amphibian displays. Most commercial terrariums are well designed, well lit and mounted flush with the wall offering you a window into an exotic rain forest environment, complete with ponds and thriving vegetation. Frogs live happily in a terrarium as long as the humidity and temperature are correct, and as long as they are regularly fed. I figured that shooting into this kind of confined space would be the easiest way to capture some close up frog footage. But I wasn’t aware of all the obstacles I had to face.

Recording LED

Shooting fish, frogs or lizards through the clear glass walls of an aquarium or a terrarium shouldn’t be too difficult, I thought. That was before I realized I was also recording my own reflection. Unless I moved the lens really close to the glass plate, I picked up not only the reflection of myself and my camcorder but also the bright lights shining behind me. Although, my polarizing filter removed much of the unwanted reflection and toned down the glaring highlights, my own tally light was still clearly visible in the glass. To remove that last annoying obstacle I had to either cover the LED with black tape or turn it off altogether via the menu.

Avoiding Reflections

By shooting through a glass display at an angle you can avoid your own reflection but you may still encounter the reflection of other visitors. If you want to record straight from the front, a rubberized lens hood allows you to place your camcorder a couple of inches away from the glass wall. This technique works well by cutting out any reflection, but on the minus side it will only let you capture a limited area behind the glass.

Wide Conversion Lens

If you intend to shoot larger areas inside an aquarium or terrarium without stepping back and being bothered by your own reflection, a wide-angle conversion lens is the answer. By holding your camcorder lens as close as possible to the glass you’ll avoid reflection from behind. While shooting through glass, I always use manual focus; this prevents any annoying focus hunting of the camcorder. In the auto focus mode, the camcorder has a tendency to focus on reflective highlights in the glass, while throwing out the focus of the main subject.

Steady Footage

Many modem aquarium and terrarium displays are designed to be especially user-friendly towards children. So, if you’re of average adult size, like I am, and if you want to get to the bottom of things, as when shooting a small frog sitting at the base of the display, you have to squat or kneel in front of the exhibit. You’re unlikely to hold your camcorder steady in this awkward position unless you can support yourself against the glass. But putting too much pressure on the glass can be risky business so a tripod is a far better solution. With your camcorder tripod-mounted at waist level and with the LCD screen flipped out, you get ease of operation and a comfortable view. When using a tripod to shoot into aquarium/terrarium displays, I always try to pick a quiet day (usually during the week) where my tripod and I won’t interfere with the free flow of other onlookers.

Clear View

Glass display windows at children’s level get quickly smudged by small, sticky fingers and ice cream coated faces, so another vital aid to a clear picture is to come equipped with a soft cloth and some spray-on window cleaner.

To separate a frog from the background and make it really stand out, I often choose a shallow depth of field. Shooting wide open in aperture priority mode will effectively reduce depth of field and blur the background. For similar results you can also use your camcorder’s auto setting of portrait mode or sports mode.

There are specially designed amphibian displays that allow you to observe the animals on dry land as well as below the waterline. Video footage of crocodiles, frogs, lizards and turtles becomes especially interesting when you can record these amphibians both above and below the watermark. Without getting your camcorder wet you can tape these creatures in two totally different environments, following an animal in a single pan as it slides from its dry rock into the depths of the water. Since underwater views magnify your objects use auto focus in this situation.

Video Lights

Although a video light is a useful accessory for the serious videographer, I avoid using such external light sources when videotaping nature displays in zoos and aquariums. Even though the frogs and lizards don’t seem to mind when you lighten up their home environment, your white balance cannot cope with two different light sources. Camcorder-mounted video lights will also produce reflection unless, as I mentioned already, you shoot through the glass at an angle. Battery-powered video lights can be held flush against the glass, away from the camcorder, thus creating no reflection while still illuminating the display. Personally, I try to avoid using any video light in a public place, as it is bound to disturb other visitors.

Infra-Red Light

The only light source I feel at ease using is an infrared illuminator to cast light into a nocturnal terrarium. Nocturnal displays have become very popular

but they are far too dark to capture watchable footage even using the best low-lux camcorder. To date, only Sony can offer an impressive range of night vision camcorder models that let you record in total darkness. It’s made possible with the help of an in-built infrared illuminator. Even while shooting through glass, you can illuminate an area of 5-6ft in front of you. The owl or the nocturnal possum will stare back at you with wide-open pupils, totally unaware of the bright but invisible light. Your fellow visitors looking at the same displays won’t be disturbed either; they’ll have no idea that you are illuminating the dimly lit display with bright infrared rays.

Although the light beam of the infrared illuminator is invisible to the human eye, your camcorder will faithfully record its bright reflection in the glass and close down the auto iris. To avoid recording any infrared reflection, use the same shooting technique as if you Were using normal video light.

Balancing The Light

All aquariums and terrariums have their own in-built light sources, usually neon lights that produce little heat and won’t upset the thermostatically controlled environment. Unless the display is designed for nocturnal animals, there is sufficient illumination for the average camcorder. Modern camcorders with engaged `auto white balance’ produce natural-looking colors under most artificial light conditions. The problem starts when you mix different light sources. Videotaping a terrarium in broad daylight (in a home, office or pet shop situation) can reveal a noticeable mixture of light making the display look unnatural. If possible, try to reduce the ambient light to such an extent that the illumination inside the terrarium derives from just a single light source.

Shooting Glass Houses

Recently I was asked to photograph and videotape a newly designed terrarium holding frogs, lizards and turtles. But shooting the whole display was not as simple as focussing on selected areas inside the terrarium. I couldn’t shoot at an angle to avoid my own reflection; instead I had to center my camcorder to prevent any key stoning of the glass walls. With the whole display in the viewfinder, there was a large empty space above and below the terrarium. To make the display stand out, and to reduce distracting elements in the picture, I covered the white wall behind the terrarium with a black cloth.

Posted in Video | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Don’t Take A Fall When Fall Comes

I’d never realized how beautiful a common maple leaf could be until I inspected one closely through my camcorder lens. Every detail of the rich color, texture and intricate veins running through the leaf became clearly visible. To best capture steady close-up footage of these attractive features it’s imperative that your video camera is tripod-mounted. You can either zoom into a single leaf or move the camcorder closer to your subject matter. For this kind of macro videography, you need to pick a day when there is little or no wind moving the branches and leaves.autlv

The best camcorder lenses let you focus in the macro range only a fraction of an inch away from your subject matter so you’ll have no trouble filling your viewfinder with even a small portion of a single leaf. The only limitation on your recording will be the shadow of your own camcorder. You can overcome this problem, and move the lens even closer, if you point up to the sky when focusing on a semitransparent leaf. With strong backlit illumination of the leaf you’ll be able to record its intricate web of veins and capillaries.

Digital Dissolves

The ground cover of autumn leaves can be attractive subject matter, especially if you give nature a hand and slightly re-arrange the composition. Even a single leaf on the lawn, footpath or in the gutter can look strikingly beautiful when you zoom in close. With a tripod-mounted camcorder you can capture colorful stills and create some stunning special effects using digital dissolves and wipes. These digital features, found on most of today’s high-end camcorders, will help you achieve creative transitions when recording a series of colored leaves.

To make your dissolves look professional, focus on still images and keep the recording time to less than five seconds for each segment.

Flying Colors

Although autumn storms create undesirable wind noise in your microphone, on the plus side, they move countless colorful leaves through the air like a never-ending swarm of butterflies. But it’s difficult for your camcorder’s auto focus to capture sharp images of individual leaves floating through the air. And zooming in on a single leaf is almost impossible.

Instead, if your camcorder is rolling when a strong wind gust hits the trees, try panning the leaves as they float through the air. Although a high shutter speed (4000/sec) should theoretically capture sharp images of the whirling leaves, personally, I prefer a slow speed of 1/6 or 1/12 per second. This kind of low shutter speed will create colorful painted streaks, and then it’s not important if your leaves are somewhat out of focus. You’ll be delighted at the wonderful visual effects you can achieve when you handhold your camcorder on medium zoom using slow speed. And if you point skyward as you pan the leaves, bands of warm, rich autumn colors will trail across the blue sky.

Digital Effects

When you focus your camcorder lens on a branch that still has all its leaves attached, you can capture a different kind of movement. Again, when shot at slow shutter speed, the gentle swaying of the bough with its fluttering leaves looks dreamlike, almost unrecognizable. In this situation, also try out some of your camcorder’s special digital effects like Solarization, Tracer, Mirror, and several others, as these can help you produce even more innovative video footage. But do remember that when you use digital effects, the camcorder’s auto-focus doesn’t work, so you’ll need to focus manually in the normal recording mode before you start your recording. A contrasting even-colored background will best show off your artistry.

Backlit Recording

When shooting into trees covered in autumn leaves, I try to pick a sunny day with a brilliant blue sky. But before pointing my camcorder into the crown of a tree I always make sure that the sun is well covered by the spectacular array of shapes and colors. The effect of the sun’s rays shining through the brightly colored leaves makes the backlit canopy glow as if it were on fire. And, when occasionally a strong wind gust moves the leafy branches, shafts of light pierce the foliage in sharp flashes adding sparkle to my footage.

Manual Exposure

To successfully capture the brilliant hues of autumn and the bright rays of sun as your eyes see them, you need to lock your automatic camcorder exposure or set it to manual. A camcorder, in the auto mode, would instantly close the iris and render the colorful autumn leaves only as silhouettes. A word of caution! Be very careful when using this manual technique. There is always the potential danger of damaging the camcorder’s recording chip if the sun directly hits your lens for more than a fraction of a second.

Polarizing Filter

If you don’t want to record the autumn foliage from a backlit angle, but still want to intensify the brilliant colors and dramatize the blue sky–a circular polarizing filter is your answer. With the aid of this unique filter you can cut glaring highlights and unwanted reflection, and as a bonus you’ll also be rewarded with stronger, richer colors. Although some videographers may think a polarizer works only on a sunny day, this filter will effectively cut reflection even in overcast conditions. The circular polarizer is such a useful accessory that many camcorder enthusiasts permanently leave this filter on their lens as a recipe for punchy, saturated footage.

Enhancing Filters

A dull and overcast day doesn’t necessarily have to translate into dull and pale images. Popular photographic warming filters such as 81A, 81B and 81C can help to improve the autumn glow of your foliage. But if you really want to set your fall colors ablaze, look for an enhancing filter. These special filters, made by Tiffen and other U.S. companies, create selectively stronger and more saturated reds, oranges and browns with little effect on other colors of the spectrum. If this year’s fall display turns out to be a disappointment, an enhancing filter goes a long way to correct the problem.

Taping In The Rain

Wet from recent rain, autumn leaves and rugged-looking tree trunks really show off every hue of their colors, especially when videotaped in full shade. And while most of us tend to aim high for our fall foliage, remember to also point your camcorder at the carpet of wet leaves on the ground. But on a wet day beware of reflection on the glistening surface. Although a circular polarizer absorbs almost two stops of light and dramatically reduces the depth of field, it is the only filter for reducing unwanted reflection. By turning the outer filter ring, you can selectively eliminate reflective highlights on the leaves and saturate the colors in your recording.

Protection

The climatic conditions in late autumn can be harsh on outdoor videographers but we can always dress warmly, wear a hat and use gloves. At times like these, our expensive camcorder also needs some protection against the rain and the strong winds. Tiny rain droplets, pushed by strong wind, can otherwise enter the camcorder housing and potentially damage the electronic circuitry. A raincoat for your camcorder is the answer. While I use a simple clear plastic bag with an opening for the lens and the viewfinder to keep my camcorder safe and dry, there are also purpose-built camcorder raincoats available.

Even though you may have engaged the camcorder’s electronic wind filter, strong wind gusts are still likely to adversely effect your audio recording. In windy situations, I always use the wind filter, but for added protection I also attach a piece of foam rubber to the microphone to cut out as much wind noise as possible.

Posted in Video | Tagged , | Leave a comment