September 20, 2015


This week we’re going behind the scenes to look at the making of a weekly YouTube show.


It’s currently 4:30am as I write this, which is a pretty good representation of what it’s like to be a “YouTuber” (can I call myself that yet? if so, should I?). Writing throughout the week, plus Friday evening, most of Saturday and most of Sunday (including all night) for shooting and editing is what it took to put this video together. Anyway, it’s been almost a year since the last behind the scenes at DSLRguide and a lot has changed, so here’s how to do what I do:


I figured I’d talk about making the blog post on the blog post.

Here’s an overview:

CONTENT: When I first started this blog (to celebrate reaching 1000 subscribers) the blog posts would simply have an embed link to the main episode, nothing extra. I gradually realised that no-one’s interested in rehashing the same content without adding something new.  So now the blog posts have become ‘additional content’. It can be links to other videos that I mention in the main episode, or photos and text to explain things in more detail. The point is that it’s new content, not just the same thing you can find on my Twitter and Instagram.

HOSTING: I’ve built the site on WordPress, purchasing the domain & hosting from ‘JustHost’. I’m no expert at web design, but the layout for writing blog posts is fairly well thought out.

THE PROCESS:  I add the thumbnail images (one at the top which has a drop shadow around it). Then I add a ‘Read More’ thing below those which is what will show up on the main blog.  Next I type out any written content, be add images and YouTube videos, as well as embedding a tweet & instagram post from that week.




 cameraCanon T3i Body cameraCanon T3i Body
monitorAputure VS-3 Monitor monitorAputure VS-3 Monitor
ntgRode NTG-2
ntg Rode NTG-2
zoomZoom H5
zoomZoom H5
sachtleraceSachtler Ace Tripod sachtleraceSachtler Ace Tripod
al5280Aputure HR 672S al5280 Aputure HR 672S
c-standKupo C-Stand Kit cstandKupo C-Stand

More detail about making thumbnails:


I start by writing on a whiteboard in black marker.


Then I’ll take a photo with my phone, and bring it into the computer.


I use a negative filter and then adjust the shadows until there is no detail in the dark parts.


Finally I change the blend mode to ‘Screen’ so the shadows become transparent.




Those of you dedicated enough to get this far down the blog post get some insider’s information.. 10months ago when I made the video below, I estimated that I put 16hrs of work into each episode.  These days, I’m lucky if I can get it done in 30hrs of solid work. Add that to my 30hrs spend in school, plus sleep… I’m grateful that I’m a teenager (low living costs, no family to look after) but it makes me wonder about people starting a YouTube channel when they’ve got a full time job and a family. Dang.



A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on


Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Mikuláš Pohribný

    Simon thanks a lot for another great video! I’m starting my own vlog soon, because of your hard work. Your videos are inspiring every week, you’re giving to us so much valuable information. Thanks again.

    • so glad to hear this, you’re welcome buddy!

  • Ashish Devrani

    how old are you simon??

    • Skylar Hinrichs

      17, I think.

  • Giovanni Peña

    I noticed something purely technical in your latest video. I know that technicality was not the point of the video. However, it appears you are using Magic Lantern 2.3 to achieve a shutter speed of 1/47. Although the difference between 1/47, 1/48, and 1/50 is negligible… If you check the latest Nightly Build of Magic Lantern (600D) and apply it to your card ( replace files over the stable 2.3), you will notice it has other features. The shutter speed is at 1/50 instead of 1/47. Move over a few tabs and you will find image fine tuning. Click on that, find shutter fine tuning. Now shift it +85 to get 47.995. Now when you see your shutter speed you will get exactly 1/48 — 180°. Of course you know of the potential “risks” when using Magic Lantern, so I would keep that in mind. But this will give you a cleaner set-up (nightly over 2.3) with a 1/48 shutter speed (giving you more control). I have been using 1/47 for a long time. I discovered this myself, just yesterday.

  • Skylar Hinrichs

    What program do you use to do the whiteboard drawing effect?

  • Robert Stiles

    What lens do you use for your home studio videos?