Since a couple of years back, video and filming are becoming more and more important in social media, reaching the highest levels of engagement in history.
Furthermore, we all know seeing films after a trip is one of the most exceptional ways to remember how good it was to live it.
It takes time, probably more than photography, but it’s really worth it!
1. Before the trip
The first step is always to think about where are you going and what do you want to film. It depends if you want to film a daily vlog, a documentary or just a good souvenir from your trip.
If everything is organized you will save many hours of hard thoughts and despair because remember you are traveling, so having a great time is mandatory.
It’s very useful to YouTube a couple of places you are about to visit and feel the inspiration you want to film from there.
Once you know what you want, you can choose the right equipment, and be sure to do it well, there is no way back home to change it!
These days there are an incredible amount of cameras to buy, it is possible to spend more money than deserved just because you receive a bad advice. With a modern smart phone, it is already possible to do a great film, although I hardly recommend you to at least have one action camera, the first-hand videos are really valuable. Most action cameras have fish eye options, so if you use your smart phone for narrow views and the action camera for bigger ones, you have covered almost everything you will need. The lowest admissible resolution for good results is 720 px and 60 fps (if it is possible to reach 1080 px 60 fps everything gets so much better).
After choosing your cameras, the following gadget to get is your stabilizer. They are expensive, everyone knows it, and if they are not expensive they are insanely big, maybe too much to keep all the time in your backpack, but it is a must have for your trip. You could choose between gimbal or hand-held stabilizers, it depends on your budget. But when there’s no budget for more, there is always a good tip to learn, if you stretch your camera strap as much as you can while you are filming, you could reach a good stabilization quality for your videos.
Depending on what you have planned, you will need a tripod (at least a small one it is almost mandatory for your time-lapses); a harness and a pole for your action camera, and another must have, those tiny gadgets that make your camera compatible with your accessories, don’t ruin your trip before the start!
One really good option is to carry a LED flashlight with you, you could buy a Chinese one very cheap. Remember the regular flash of cameras is not very useful taking video.
2. During your trip
Start from the bottom, remember you are filming a trip, so everything matters: airports, journeys, chats, planes, friends, local people, etc.
Focus on people, you are showing how you travel, so let people join your film. Even if you travel alone you will meet people on the road.
Always choose the right settings. A big advice here is to film everything in 60 fps (NTSC standard) or 50 fps (PAL standard), you will avoid the horrible freezing effect of the 30 fps. Even if you need to use a lower resolution than 1080 pixels, it is probably worth it.
Remember you want to post process it, so try to film some transitions. In every software, there are plenty of transitions, but to be honest, only a couple of them are usable. Give a try to a classic one: start the clip filming the sky and turn your camera until it is looking to whatever you want to film, then end the clip turning your camera to film the sky again.
The last unforgettable point here is to avoid filming image and sound at the same time if you don’t have a good mic, almost anyone carries a mic if they are not professionals, but the results using it are better.
So don’t forget to bring more than two or three memory cards (yes, storage is cheaper than another trip, do not save on that) and enjoy the journey.
3. After the trip
There is always a hard part in everything you do, and this time is tough.
After the trip, it is the time to process your videos. You could do it daily for your vlog or after the trip for a longer film, but every video needs some hours of editing before posting it. So grab a coffee and start the process.
First of all, and highly recommended to do it before the trip, it is to choose some songs that fit the flow you are searching for your video. It is even more important now with all the problems of copyright, if you think it with time, you will find the perfect song with free of rights.
Above all, it is very important to follow this rule: segments usually need to be shorter than 4 seconds and the whole video’s duration should be shorter than 5 minutes. These days people attention spans are short, so you will need to make them love your video if you want it to be effective, and you need to do it fast.
Do not use many different transitions, try to keep a homogeneity for the video, even more, if you could, try to have your own style for every single video you post, and keep it constant.
4. Best Video Editing Softwares
Smartphone Video Editing Apps
If you are planning some on-going edition using your smart phone, you could pick one of the last GoPro acquisitions: Slice and Quik. If you want more, Adobe Premiere Clip for smartphones or iMovie for iPhones is useful too. All of them are very intuitive, it will only take you a couple of attempts to do a great and simple video. They let you cut clips, use some transitions, add music and filters, even now a lot of them analyze music and video to adjust the timing perfectly.
Powerful software to edit video on your laptop
But if you are searching a really good video, you will need to use your laptop. The most popular software are Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. They are professional editors, so the level of complexity is higher than usual, if you are not in the mood of spending hours to learn basic things you could always use an easier but not worse option, the GoPro Studio (not to be confused to Quik Desktop), the workflow is almost like the other two and the results are not the same, of course, but for social media videos is more than enough.
There’s another option if you are a really photography lover, like me, and you are used to Photoshop interface. If you just want a good, simple and effective short video for your Facebook or Instagram page, you could start by editing timing and music with the GoPro Studio and then using the video module of Photoshop finish color adjustments and filters by layers like you do with photos. It is possible to edit it completely using Photoshop, but it’s too heavy for a regular computer, so it’s better to just adjust colors and fades, the results are pretty amazing!
Now it’s your time to put these travel video tips in practice. Don’t forget to let us see the results!