Create a Video Tour of your Garden
There is nothing like having visitors in your garden and sharing the love of plants with them. Second best is to have people to experience your garden in any possible way, should your event be cancelled, postponed or even when it's still going ahead. We all like to see updates from fellow gardeners, share tips and get inspired. So thank you so much for considering a video tour of your garden. This has been new to all of us, so we’re learning as we go… Here are a few tips from when some of us created our own videos...
Firstly, we found it best to use a smartphone (such as iPhone, iPad, etc). While you might have a good camera, many don’t have 'stabilisation' so walking videos can be incredibly shaky. A phone can do a much better job (but careful not to get your finger in the photo, haha).
Aside from this, there's a very useful article on our blog on taking photographs at https://scotlandsgardens.org/how-to-photograph-your-garden/. And of course, you can see some video examples on our website (What’s New) and our YouTube channel. It’s a good idea to have a look at a few to help you decide how you’ll approach your video.
There are a couple ways to go about it…
You can hold your camera and go round your garden chatting about what you have here and there. In this example no one sees you – see Shepherd House video for a good example with talking and Kirkmuir Cottage as an example without talking.
You can also have someone else hold your camera on you as you walk around. Most of our videos don’t show the speaker, but we’ve a couple excellent ones where the Garden Owner is seen – see South Flisk and Hunter’s Tryst videos as popular examples.
You could also send us a series of photos for us to use to create a slideshow. In this case, we suggest you start at your gate and take photos moving through your gardens to help us make it feel like a tour.
Plan to create your video in smaller parts/clips, lasting a minute or less. Perhaps these are logical parts of your garden. If you do it in parts this will give you a chance to have a look and see what you think – then keep or delete and start again. And then you can send us the video clips and we can put these together for you (just note that we’ll probably put them in the order they were taken so tell us if the order should be different).
And do practice a little – a few practice runs. Think about things like keeping the horizon at a similar level across your video clips. And do make sure to MAKE YOUR VIDEO LANDSCAPE (thus holding your phone so it’s widest across the horizon). About 3-7 minutes seems a good overall length for a video but this depends on what you have to share. And don’t worry too much about it, just be casual - people will enjoy seeing your garden!
We also suggest that you start with a nice view, leave the camera on this for about 5-10 seconds, then introduce yourself and what you are going to show. Similarly, at the end, say thank you and that you’re at the end, and then leave your camera for 5-10 seconds on a nice view. This allows us to add a title, and be sure it doesn’t end too abruptly.
To send to us, we suggest using WeTransfer https://wetransfer.com and they allow to send up to 2GB for free. You can send to our email@example.com email and this will be sure to be seen (as we’re rotating furloughing just now). And if you can, please send us a nice landscape photo of your setting to use with your video for our website and social media posts.
And finally, about donations. We are asking for donations from viewers and this is bringing in small, but steady, amounts. We ask that you offer your garden videos for our general fundraising efforts to support SGS and our core beneficiaries as the totals raised for individual garden videos is looking too small to be worthwhile. If, however, you would like to raise for your charity please let us know - we’re happy to state this with your video and encourage you to promote it to others to increase donations.
Please get in touch with any questions, to me or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again, please stay safe and well.
As well, here is the link to download another 'how to' document with a slightly higher level set of suggestions.