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Useful Tips for Creating Awesome Travel Videos

John Miller April 13, 2017

Eight Tips to Make Amazing Travel Videos

Do you enjoy the adventure and excitement of travel? Many of us who do also enjoy sharing the experience of our journey with our friends and larger social network, and one of the best ways to accomplish this task is to create a travel video.

Professional video editors know many techniques to help create compelling and engaging travel videos, but many of us enjoy the idea of creating a video that is part of our own internal creative process. And the process of creating the video is a wonderful way to relive the memories of a special trip, too. If you’re determined to create your own video, here are eight tips that help you create something amazing.

Study other videos

Film directors, professional video editors, and other pros are the first to admit that they study the work of others to get ideas and pick up new techniques and styles to help them create their works. There’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same. Search online for travel videos and start taking notes about what appeals to you about specific videos. You may find many appealing attributes in the videos you watch, including the overall video structure, use of titles, special effects, and more. Pay particular attention to travel videos of trips that are similar to what you’re planning. For example, if you’re going to a tropical island, take note of videos from similar trips.

Have a plan…

Now that you’ve gotten some ideas, start sketching out the elements that you’d like to see in your video. This doesn’t have to be a formal process. Professional video editors will often plan out a video with storyboard sketches, but for your purposes, a list of the main portions of your video is a great way to develop a framework that will help tell your story and keep the action moving.

…but be spontaneous

Remember that your trip is an adventure. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture interesting footage when it occurs. The key is to always be prepared. Even when you don’t have your main video camera with you, a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera can capture interesting events and spontaneous moments.

Stay organized

Professional video editors understand that good editing takes time, and it takes even more time if your footage isn’t organized. Consider taking several memory cards with you for your camera, and use different cards for specific events and locations you want to capture during your trip. At the end of the day, or as you go, take notes about the shots you’ve gotten – a small pocket-sized spiral-bound notebook and pencil is all you need.

Seek out original shots

Professional video editors love working with imaginative cinematographers. It’s much more interesting to put together imaginatively shot footage, both for the professional video editors and for the end audience. When you’re shooting footage, look for different angles and imaginative camera placement. For example, a beach scene is much more interesting when shot from a low angle with some dune grass in the foreground.

Capture footage during the “golden hours”

One of the techniques used by holiday video editors and videographers to capture the most dramatic footage is to shoot during the early part of the day and at dusk. These “golden hours” offer the best lighting and the potential for dramatic shadows and contrasts. While it may be tempting to sleep in, getting up early to capture nature and landscape footage will pay big dividends in the look of your video.

Capture “B roll” footage

“B roll” footage serves to set the scene and provide extra information about where you are and what’s going on around you. Imagine you’re shooting footage of a trip to the local market on a tropical island. Rather than just documenting the shopping, capture footage of the details of the market – the stacks of produce, the vendors, interesting architecture, and crowd scenes. Professional video editors understand that when this footage is cut into the final mix, the end result is much more interesting and entertaining.

Use music to create different moods

When you studied other travel videos, you may have noted that the best ones created different moods with music. Further, you may have realized that the really compelling travel videos didn’t stick with one single musical background, but shifted music to match the mood. Experienced video editors understand the power of music to create and sustain a mood. So, choose your music wisely and use it to help tell the story you want to tell in your amazing travel video.

And a bonus tip – Don’t be afraid to experiment in the editing room

Even after you’ve planned your video and carefully collected the shots you wanted, you may find that what you planned isn’t quite working out the way you expected. So don’t be afraid to experiment when you’re editing your video. Make different versions, cut out sections that don’t work, or expand parts that are more compelling. Practice makes perfect, and you may find that you don’t get it quite right the first time. Don’t be afraid to start over!

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