If you are a traveling enthusiast, which you probably are if you are reading this, and you are looking for out of the box ways to step up your travel video game you are in the right place. In this post, we’re going to look at a bunch of things you can start implementing right now to make your travel videos look simply awesome. It doesn’t require money or investment in extra gear, these are just small things that you can do to make your footage look better.
Here we go.
Plan your travel video
First and foremost you need to have a clear image in your mind about how you would want your final travel video montage to look like. You need to pick a style or a theme and stick with it. That’s going to help you later on when you’re out filming.
This way you’re going to know which scenes would work well in your travel video and which would not, what angles to use, how to move the camera and so on and so forth. Picking a theme is an absolute must, otherwise, your final travel video will look like a bunch of clips put together which don’t seem to have anything in common and simply don’t work well together.
Maybe you are after an upbeat, high-paced video which captures the rush and the vibe of a big city, or maybe you want to create one of those cinematic videos where you have a lot of slow-motion going on and lots of landscape scenes.
You need to think of it as you would tell a story, which leads us to the next tip.
Tell a story
Travel videos are basically made out of a bunch of different sequences shot in various places. It’s going to the beach and going swimming and then surfing, it’s going on a hike and ending up in an epic scenic lookout, it’s basically just a bunch of little sequences or mini-stories within you travel video.
All these sequences need to be carefully planned, filmed and edited. One of the biggest problems many people have is that when they get home from a trip they realize they don’t have enough footage to make a travel video or all the footage they have essentially look the same. So you want to get as much footage as possible so you will have an easier time in your video editing process.
So if you are going on a hike with your friends on the mountains, don’t just film the scenery. Film everybody as they get ready for the hike, as they pack their bags, as they put on their hiking boots, as they commute to where the hiking track starts, as they go through the effort of the actually hiking and finally shoot the scenery and your way back. You want to have a bunch of intro shots which work like a build-up to the actual hike and the scenery which are the main parts, and then you want to have a few closing shots as well.
Oh, and if you are using a GoPro, which many travelers do these days, make sure to actually get closer and further away from your subject. Using the field of view option doesn’t really do the trick for getting those nice high shoots. But the Wide and Superview shoots will look awesome.
Use low angles
Most of the times we film from an eye level simply because that’s how we’re used to holding the phone, or camera or whatever device we’re using. And that’s fine, but if you want the people, places and things in your videos to look bigger and epic, a simple trick to help you achieve that is to simply film from your waist level.
By doing that you are in fact viewing the entire world from a different perspective. It’s like you’re a kid and everything around looks much more impressive, bigger and more interesting. This will add more drama and impact to your film.
Hold it steady
Since we’re talking about how to hold the camera, a really important aspect of it is to hold it as stable as you can. Shaky footage will make your video look amateurish and it will be hard to watch. Most of the times you will be shooting handheld shots and it’s normal to end up with a little bit of shaky footage.
The whole idea is to minimize any unwanted camera movement so that you can stabilize everything when you are editing your video. Two things that will help tremendously with holding your camera steady is to hold it with both hands at all times and to keep your hands close to your body, instead of reaching out towards whatever it is that you are filming. Also, don’t forget to use your camera stabilization feature if it has it. That’s pretty much all you can do here.
Use epic lighting
Light is super important when you’re shooting videos or taking pictures. Now, with travel videos, you will be mostly filming outdoors which is great because there’s a lot of natural light. But let me give you a little tip to make things even better.
Instead of filming at mid-day, when the sun is up in the sky, film either early in the morning or at sunset. The way the natural light, the shadows, the sky and everything else looks at this time is simply amazing. And on camera, it will look even more dramatic. This is also called “the golden hour” among photographers and cinematographers.
Over to you
With that being said, I challenge you to take your camera out and try to implement at least a couple of the tips outlined above. I guarantee you will get better shots which you can later edit into an awesome travel video.
About the Author:
Cristian is a freelance video editor, videographer, and founder of Veedyou Media – an online video editing company offering services to business and individuals all over the World. When he’s not busy in the office he likes to stargaze for hours.