Lead Director for Vox Media Inc.
Hey! Sorry for the delayed response. We’re just coming down off of the next-gen launch binge.
Most of our music comes from the APM Music library. The song in question is called ‘Solar Commune’
I still think it may be the dumbest, but it’s also one of my favorites. :-)
Glad you like what we do! 90% of our content is shot with natural light. It’s about recognizing what light you have available and using the right tools to best use that light.
First thing I’ll tell you is that your lenses are the most important part of your bag. Use prime lenses whenever you can for multiple reasons. Primes are typically really fast which gives them the ability to see better in darker locations. My favorites are the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and the Canon 24mm f/1.4. These are great, but also expensive. There’s a lot of different options though. I started shooting on the Canon 50mm f/1.8 which is a phenomenal lens and only costs $100. Shooting with primes will also make you a better shooter because it will make you think and move to get a shot as opposed to just standing and zooming. We’re also not a fan of zooming in general. Snap zooms, slow zooms, and any other form of zooming while recording is never done here. Find your composition/focal length and stick with it.
When a lot of light is around (like the sun (that bastard)), our general rule of thumb is to shoot into the light as opposed to having direct light on your subject. Shadows are just as important as light. Try to plan your shoots to happen at specific times if you can. Wait for dawn or the afternoon to shoot outside if you can because any light between around 10am-4pm is going to be too top down and look pretty bad. If you’re stuck in that situation, just expose for your subject and accept what you get. There’s nothing you can do about and no way to make it look better. Or find shade if you can. Inversely, we try to shoot our indoor stuff in the middle of the day because the light from windows will be more consistent. When shooting indoors with windows, kill all incandescent lights because you don’t want that mixed light look. That never looks good. And again, shoot into the light. Don’t be afraid to blow out a window because that can sometimes be kind of pleasing and dramatic.
The biggest tip I can give you though is to practice. Everyone says that, but it’s the truth. Recognize what other shooters do and try to mimic it. Master basic principles so that you can then evolve them to better fit your style. Accept the fact that not every shot is going to be perfect and after the fact, look back and try to assess what you could have done differently and apply it the next time. Only way your going to get better is by recognizing what your doing poorly and by understanding how to improve it. Also lenses ;-P