March 2020 Multimedia Jane Willow Web Exclusive


Living near water brings many benefits and makes people happier and more creative. Away from the bustle of city living and surrounded by stunning views, spending time on a houseboat gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural world around you. Whether you enjoy the romance of living on a houseboat permanently or simply relish a few days of peaceful calm on vacation, recording the sights and sounds of your time on the water is a great way to relive and share your special memories. 

Recording Tranquil Soundscapes 

The sound of wildlife and moving water can be very evocative of your time on a houseboat, and listening to recordings of the natural world can take you back to a different time and place. Recording birdsong is not only a magical way to capture the essence of a location you have visited, it can also be a great way to identify different species. The sounds of nature alone can create a wonderful sense of setting, but the ambient outdoor sounds can add depth as well to a voiceover or personal interview. With an external microphone you will get a more professional recording but you won’t need any bulky equipment as it can simply be plugged into your smartphone and used with a recording app. Even with a microphone, it’s a good idea to wait for noise pollution from boat engines or loud voices nearby to die down otherwise it  will drown out the more subtle sounds you are trying to capture.

Filming Impressive Sunsets

As you relax on your houseboat in the evening, you may be in the perfect position to watch beautiful sunsets over tranquil waterways.  If you’re an early riser, the sun climbing up through early morning river mist can also provide stunning views that you will want to capture on film. However impressive the colors of a sunset, it can sometimes be difficult to replicate a true reflection of the light and intensity.  Using a neutral density filter on your video camera can reduce very bright light while enhancing color and contrast. Framing the view correctly is also important as the sun will brighten the centre of the image but leave objects around the edge in the dark. Zooming in will eliminate unnecessary peripheral trees or buildings and allow you to concentrate on the pure light source of the sun.  

Capturing Moving Water

Being able to gaze out over calming waterways and enjoy magnificent views every day is what makes living on a houseboat so special.  The water around you is constantly changing and reflecting light and is a great inspiration for taking photographs. Pictures of pretty dappled light on the water or swans gliding on a river are quick and easy to take with the camera app on a smartphone, but with more sophisticated equipment, such as DSLR camera, you can be more creative. Using a long exposure to photograph moving water causes it to blur which in contrast with a static background creates a striking and unusual photograph.

Whether you are recording specific sounds, filming artistic nature shots, or simply wanting to recapture and evoke the happy memories of your time spent on a houseboat, there's plenty to inspire you in an outdoor setting on the water. 

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