We encourage you to use a phone to make videos of places in Balsall Heath and the surrounding area where you feel close to nature.  Do tell us about your favourite nature spot and contact us so we can include it in our collection.  We link to the Our Garden Balsall Heath YouTube channel from our Nature Map.


Tips for creating a good video:

  • Decide what you want to say. Remember to include:
    1. Who you are
    2. Where you are
    3. What part of nature you want to talk about (a tree, a flower, a bird, some grass etc)
    4. Why is touches you and how it relates to your faith (only if it does)
  • Get your phone ready. Check it’s got enough battery and storage for a short video and that the lens is clean. If you can change the settings on your phone’s camera, set it for a 16:9 aspect ratio. Switch it to airplane mode so you don’t get interrupted with calls and messages.
  • Find someone to help you. If you are good at doing a selfie, then that’s fine. Enjoy!  Otherwise, you might want to ask someone to take the video for you.  Ask someone with a steady hand.
  • Find the right spot. Go to the place that you want to talk about, your special nature spot. Try to go on a day that isn’t too busy with traffic or too windy. (Traffic and wind affect the sound on a video.)
  • Frame your shot. Hold the phone landscape (sideways).  Try to sit or stand, so that you are in one third of the shot and in the other two-thirds there is a good view of nature. Don’t be tempted to stand in the middle. It will look better if you are on one side.
  • Test the sound. The sound in your video is even more important than the shot. Make sure you are close to the phone, which is where the microphone is.  Otherwise, the traffic and other noise might drown you out.  Do a test.  Check you can be heard.  If you can’t, move the phone closer.  Alternatively, use the headset that comes with many phones and often includes a good microphone.
  • Keep it short. Your video only needs to be about 60 seconds long. Try to record it in one take.
  • Keep it simple. If you want to zoom in or move the camera from side to side or up and down, you can.  But it isn’t necessary.  Staying still, framing one nice shot will make a video that is plenty good enough.
  • Let us know. When you have made your video, contact us and let us know what you have done.  We will tell you how to get it uploaded to the Our Garden Balsall Heath YouTube channel.