Video is perfect for conveying the experience of a journey: image, sound, and movement come together to capture the essence of a place and a moment. Good videos manage to convey to the viewer the feeling that they are also on the trip. But making a good travel video is not that easy. Below is a selection of tips to keep in mind to create original and entertaining videos.
Best travel video tips for beginners
What camera to take on a trip
Let’s start with the basics: which cameras guarantee quality videos? One option is digital SLR cameras, also known as DSLR cameras. There are many price ranges, but even the cheapest ones shoot high-quality video and can be equipped with a wide selection of lenses, although the most recommended is a mid-range zoom, for example, with a focal length of 24-105mm, which is the most versatile.
But if the idea is to share videos online or on social networks, the truth is that an iPhone with maximum memory offers fantastic results. Regardless of the chosen smartphone, it would help if you always tried to film in landscape mode (that is, with the phone horizontally) so that the final video format is optimal.
Prepare everything before leaving
Before leaving, you should think about what will be filmed and how it can affect the location, the time and the accessibility to some energy source. If you are going to be out all day, you have to take a couple of extra batteries. Any filming that lasts more than a day involves looking for energy sources to charge the batteries.
You have to take into account:
- If you’re going to be filming in rough terrain, it’s worth investing in a good camera bag, and ideally, choose one with a hip belt, tripod mounts, and a back brace.
- If you travel to a place with high humidity, you have to look for bags, suitcases, or waterproof covers for digital cameras.
- If you plan to shoot action scenes, you may need to invest in a state-of-the-art GoPro camera. Small and light (and easy to carry), they are versatile and allow you to create very dynamic videos.
- If a list of exciting locations and places or elements is made, the effort will be maximized.
You have to spend some time planning what you are going to shoot before you start; or even before starting your trip. Are you going to shoot a video for yourself or to share it with other people? Do you want to publish it on the internet or networks during the trip or store everything filmed while traveling? Knowing what you want makes it easier to have the right equipment, the necessary social media links, and anything else that might come in handy.
The video of life may have been filmed, but it would have been useless if the card failed or the camera disappeared. Always keep a copy of your files in at least two places and not on memory cards that are easily damaged after repeated use. Online storage providers like iCloud, Dropbox or Flickr are good options for saving smartphone videos, but uploading them requires a lot of data, and storing large files will eventually become expensive, so this option is not the most practical if a digital camera is used.
Another more convenient option is to carry a fast card reader and, if possible, two off-road hard drives that can withstand the stress of travel. You also have to check the specifications of the camera and choose the resolution with which you are going to film.
Carry enough batteries
In the most remote areas, there are not always sources of energy. If the trip goes off the beaten track, it is worth considering solutions. If you use a digital camera, carry plenty of spare charged batteries (as well as memory cards), take every opportunity to charge them, and never assume they’ll always be ready. If you buy an external hard drive, make sure it loads directly with a laptop; Thus, as long as the laptop has a battery, you can save files.
Audio is also important
Many video fans spend time and money on images but neglect the importance of sound, even though the sound is often more important than the image. Bad audio spoils a film, but you can always superimpose good images on top of bad ones with good audio.
If you are filming with a digital camera or smartphone, make sure that any sound you want to capture is within 10 meters of the camera; if this is not possible, a microphone will have to be purchased. They plug directly into the camera, so they don’t need a battery, and the audio is automatically synced in post.
Tips to be used when shooting a video
The most successful bloggers are the ones who know how to communicate with their audience in a natural way. Everyone can have their own style, but there are some basic tips that will work for everyone, such as:
- Look at the camera as if you were talking to a friend. And speak to the target to establish eye contact with bystanders.
- Not worrying about formulating perfect sentences, feeling free to laugh, pause or make a fool of yourself gives authenticity.
- To be honest. Not everything is wonderful; sometimes strange and unpleasant things happen, and you have to talk about them. Describing beautiful sunsets quickly gets boring.
- Be more lively and cheerful than usual: videos always win if you go a little overboard. But that doesn’t mean clowning around. It is about speaking with confidence and assertiveness to try to entertain people.
- Discover the most flattering camera angle, the low angle, and try to use a lens as wide as possible. Combine various types of shots: full shots, close-ups, and long and short-medium shots. Viewers like to see the vlogger and his surroundings in the same image, not just one face.
- Sometimes it is not easy to express yourself in the voiceovers because you only have the audio to explain yourself. You have to speak as normally as possible.
How to start making your travel videos
The first thing to do is very basic: if you are using a smartphone, you have to activate the airplane mode before starting to avoid a phone call interrupting the recording. When you have defined the material and who is presenting the video, it is very useful to make a list to know what is going to be filmed:
- A good starting shot: this is how the viewer is placed and, in addition, a title can be added to the project in the post-production phase.
- The opening scene should establish what is being done and what is going to be done next; don’t be afraid to show your emotions, even if you are tired, hungry, or in a bad mood: it is also interesting to see how you react.
- Shoot a lot of footage of the surrounding sights or adventures. The image must always be held for at least five seconds. If you sweep from left to right, you will need a very good hand or a small tripod. You can then use a voiceover for these sequences or superimpose the images on the sound of other fragments.
- If possible, take advantage of voice clips from short interviews with local people to liven up the video.
- Summarize at the end everything that has happened, the reflections and emotions, and add a nod to the next chapter, if possible. The viewer should always be left wanting more.
- Don’t forget to add your own watermark on every video. Try to design a unique logo for yourself.
Great videos are being shot with new cameras and smartphones, and editing software is now more accessible than ever. The YouTube generation shows that everyone has their audience; and that you don’t need degrees or years of experience. In addition, if travel experiences are shared on social networks, videos have much more power than a simple photograph and they go viral easier. So now go out and start making a travel video.