Can you believe that people used to look back on their vacations with just a couple dozen prints to remember them by? Now we can take as many photos as we want and work with them in lots of different ways. More excitingly, we can make videos that capture the spirit of the places we’ve been. These are great for putting on blogs or YouTube, showing to friends or just enjoying with your loved ones when you want to relive those happy moments.
What do you need to know to make videos that really capture the spirit of your adventures?
The right gear
You can’t make good videos if you don’t have good gear, but that doesn’t mean you need the very latest high-tech kit – you probably won’t be showing your video in a cinema. What matters more is having gear that you know how to use. Invest in extra memory cards for your camera or take a laptop you can download footage onto (and make sure it stays safe). If you plan to do a lot of interviewing or talk to camera in rough conditions (from windswept beaches to busy cities), buy a small directional microphone and you’ll get much better sound.
What to shoot
Think about the things that make travel appealing to you. You’ll probably see a lot of beautiful places but beauty on its own isn’t necessarily very interesting. Try to find ways to provide context. If you’re going somewhere high up, shoot it from different angles to give a sense of scale. When you see a rolling river or crashing waves, shoot from low down to capture their movement. Explore the culture of the surrounding area. Film people, marketplaces, architecture, food and animals, Always aim to capture a bit more than you need, to make editing easier.
It’s often said that the art of editing is more about what gets cut out than what gets left in. As you cut up and splice together your videos with home editing software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro, it’s important to avoid being sentimental – don’t hang on to everything that isn’t actively awful, hone it down to the best bits and add other material only to provide context. Remember that you can add voiceover narration or subtitles to help with this.
The right frame
Just like a still image, a video can look much better with the right frame. You can create a narrative frame for your footage using simple software – explainer video makers can be found online. That means you don’t need to be an editing genius to create a final product that looks as if it has been polished by a professional, showing off your travel footage – and your skills – in fine form.
A well-made travel video is something that can give you years of enjoyment and it makes a great starting point for talking about where you’ve been. Why not share it with other travelers and enjoy their videos and stories too?