Use these simple tips and you’ll be able to relive the trip of a lifetime and share it with family and friends long after you’re back home!
Despite the saying “A picture tells a thousands words” there’s only so much you can do with still photo’s! Sometimes you can’t beat a video when it comes to capturing the beauty of a location. With video you get the added benefits of sound and movement, who knows, smellavision is probably only a few years away!
The principles for choosing a video camera are almost identical to those for one of the stills variety, so I won’t bore you with the same advice given above. But there are two things I would suggest, one is an invaluable addition to your kit – a tripod. Too often people underestimate the benefits of a tripod, or ‘sticks’ as those in the business know them. While one isn’t entirely necessary for photography, a tripod does come in handy during lowlight periods or when you’re doing a long exposure. But in videos, sticks make a world of difference. They help you to create a more professional product by allowing you to do steady pans across the landscape or tilts up buildings and statues.
The other piece of advice is to look for a video camera with a high optical zoom. The digital zoom is basically just a measure of how much a camera can enlarge the pixels. This often means blurry and grainy images. Think of what it looks like when you enlarge a still photo by 500% or more. Optical zoom measures a camera’s ability to magnify an image to give you great looking close-up shots. This means you get a tighter image without losing quality.
As with how to buy a video camera, the art of creating a great video is largely similar to taking still shots. But below are some simple ideas that will have a huge impact on your film.
The first thing to do when you’re capturing your holiday on video is start rolling before you hit the road. It’s always a bit of fun and quite entertaining for others to see the preparation and planning you go through before heading off. A few words about what you’re expecting and looking forward to are a great way to setup the journey.
The next tip is to get up early. I’ll use another saying here: the early bird catches the worm. In a filming context this means not only do you make the most of your day, but you also get the best light first thing in the morning. The shaddows are softer and the colours more vivid. Another benefit is that you can capture the personality of a location that often goes missed amidst the action of the day.
The third and final thing to do is let someone else film on occasion. This avoids you always being behind the camera and lets you be part of the holiday video. This can obviously be achieved by letting a friend take control, but a more fun way of doing it is to let your kids handle the camera on occassion. The footage may not be the most stable or well framed, but the fun and quirk of the shots will add an incalculable value to your holiday video.
Editing your video is a whole other cup of tea, but don’t be intimidated. There are easy-to-use and inexpensive video editing software packages available that come complete with basic tutorials on how to operate them. There are far too many variations in software for me to explain how to use it, but what I will say is that with a little practice and some experimentation, you can do a whole lot of creative and fun things. You can add transitions between shots like cross-dissolves, where one image gradually blends into another, or fades, where you slowly go in and out of black (This is a great way to signify the end and beginning of days). You can also speedup and slowdown footage, include your favourite music, and even add a voiceover! Also, these editing packages often allow you to share your video in different formats – via DVD, tape, hard drive and even online using YouTube.
TIP: Try to minimise how much of the camera’s in-built zoom you use. The zoom function reduces how much light can be captured and the more zoom you use, the harder it is to hold the camera still.