Traveling with your camera, I can’t think of a better way to spend time. If you’d like to turn your travels into captivating videos, Christian LeBlanc has ten tips for you. He is a filmmaker and a traveler, and his tips should help you get the best out of your travel videos.
1. Know your equipment
The first and the foremost: know your gear. In other words, be aware how the gear you’re using will affect your footage. Learn about the relationship between a foreground and the background. Also, keep in mind that camera shake is more prominent with long lenses than with wide ones. Experienced photographers and filmmakers already know this, but it’s a useful piece of advice for beginners.
2. Slow motion vs. fast motion
Slow motion can look appealing in your footage, but don’t overuse it. Use it only if it adds to the story and emphasizes a certain moment.
The same goes for speeding up the footage. If you want to speed something up, do it gradually and don’t overuse the effect. For example, have the clip at a normal speed, speed it up 2x, then 4x, then return to 2x and back to normal speed again. This gives a more natural transition.
3. Challenge the angles
When filming, don’t be afraid to change the angles, no matter what camera you’re using. Get down on your knees, climb a tree… Do your best to go an extra mile and get some unique angles that will help you tell the story. Don’t put yourself and the others to risk though!
4. Choose the right music
The choice of music helps to set the mood of your video and it affects the viewers’ emotions. There’s no “right” or “wrong” genre, but it has to complement the footage and the story you’re trying to tell. Make sure to use copyright free music so you don’t have any legal trouble, and Christian finds his at Epidemic Sound.
5. Stabilize your footage
You can stabilize your footage either in software or in-camera. Christian focuses on stabilizing the footage in-camera, so you don’t have to spend extra time doing it in post. For this purpose, you can use a gimbal. If you don’t have the extra gear around (for whichever reason), there are also some DIY tricks to help you get smooth videos. If you’re shooting with a drone – you can walk (or even run) around with it and get yourself a stable footage.
6. Tell a story
When editing your video, don’t just insert random travel clips. Have a concept and a story in mind before you even start shooting. Think of a clear timeline and tell a story with your video.
7. Move like a master
When panning with your camera, make sure to create smooth and uniform movement. For example, don’t pan your camera from left to right and then suddenly move it up. Start and end the sequence with the movement that goes at the same direction.
8. Dance with the music
Christian mentions earlier in the video that it’s important to find the right song for your video. When you have the song with the right mood and rhythm, you can alter the footage so it matches the beat. Since the song can’t easily be changed, you need to adapt the footage to it. With time, you’ll train your ear to make the cuts to the beats
9. Tell a story with color
Color grading is an important aspect of telling the story. It’s an art form in itself, and it can affect the overall mood of the video. Proper color grading can do so much for your videos, so make sure to learn it and use it.
10. Use effects wisely
Effects can be used tastefully, but sometimes they don’t really give the effect you might be looking for. If you overdo them, they can make your video look amateurish. So, be wary when using effects, or even better – create your own transitions in-camera and fix them in post.