Even though I’m releasing this video on National Dunce Day, it seems that no matter what day it is, there are certain things I overlook time and time again when I’m out filming nature and wildlife.

The dictionary defines a dunce as someone that is incapable of learning. I don’t think I’d consider myself a dunce, maybe more forgetful than anything else.

Filming wildlife is mostly 90% waiting and 10% a blur of frenzied activity. Oftentimes you only get a few fleeting moments with a wildlife subject before it’s gone. So when an opportunity presents itself to film wildlife, I often go on auto-pilot and make camera adjustments without even thinking about it.
The problem is that once I’m done and I’m packing up my gear, I often forget to reverse those adjustments in preparation for my next filmmaking session in the field. It doesn’t matter if my next filmmaking trip into the field is the next day or the next month, I often forget about the camera adjustments I made during my previous outing. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of video footage ruined because I overlooked a few settings.

So I came up with a solution that for me at least works.

It’s certainly not a foolproof solution. I mean if a mountain lion jumps up into a tree in front of me as I’m just getting out in the field. the last thing I’ll be thinking about is camera settings. But in most situations it seems to work pretty good and has saved a day out in the field more than once.

There’s nothing that kicks you in the gut harder than to be riding the high that comes with filming a difficult subject only to review the video footage and discover that a camera setting made the footage worthless. I’ve been there more often than I care to admit.

So check out this video and see if this could be a possible solution for you as well when it comes to making sure you’re getting the best possible footage you can get.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please share with your friends!
And as always, shoot the ordinary and make it extraordinary!

Kevin J Railsback is a wildlife and nature filmmaker