Tom David Frey
5 Tips on Making Super Epic Travel Videos
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
You've seen travel vloggers make a living crossing the world and seeing places you've only dreamed about. They post travel videos on YouTube for thousands of followers or even millions.
It's a lifestyle you want to emulate and make your dreams of travel come true.
How do you make videos that look professional?
Your worst fear is creating videos that look as if they were done a shoestring budget...even though they were. Who's going to subscribe to that?
You don't need an expensive camera and entourage of lighting people to create videos that look great and will entice your audience.
Follows these tips and you'll be on your way to a television show on The Travel Channel in no time.
Shaky Cameras Make For Bad Travel Videos
We've all seen the GoPro travel videos where a beautiful scene is suddenly interrupted when the vlogger runs and shakes the camera. You're disoriented, nauseous, and quickly click to the next video.
Shaking cameras make videos look amateurish!
When shooting, try to stand still or move very slowly. Ideally, have a Tripod, but if not, hold the camera in two hands, close to your body. This creates a more stable position.
There are editing programs that can help with stabilization, but only for light vibration and not a spastic sprint to see a pelican close up.
A good alternative is a motorized gimbal that automatically keeps your camera stable, even while walking or running.
Beware of the Black Bars
These days, people are used to shooting vertically because of how they hold cell phones. It's tempting because you can get a nice full body shot and you don't have a lot of extraneous visuals on the sides.
We don't recommend shooting vertically because it may look great on the camera, but it won't in a video!
Most video players like YouTube are configured horizontally. A vertical video will end up smooshed on the screen with black bars on the sides.
Why? It's fitting the video to fit the horizontal screen, so it shrinks images and uses black bars to fill up space. It's best to film horizontally.
By the way, there is a great gimbal for Smartphones that keeps it steady for smooth filming. It is affordable, small, does a good job and the battery life is superb. You should check it out!
Keep Editing in Mind
We know it's easy to focus on the present when filming, especially if it's fun and exciting, but keep editing in mind. One important videography tip is to try out different angles such as close-up, medium, and wide shots, so you have a variety when editing.
You don't want to have a great video -- except for that one shot that doesn't look right.
Unfortunately, it's the only one you had.
Remember to frame the shots and have an idea or outline of your video before you shoot it. It's fine to change the plan once you're editing, but at least have something you know you can put together.
People see vlogs and travel videos from the perspective of the host but liven things up with drone aerial photos.
Modern drones are portable and many have quality cameras built-in. You can keep it in a small bag and get some unique views and perspectives of mountains, bazaars, and other popular video subjects.
Edit them in with your point of view and other footage to create a multi-angle video that looks great and is different from everyone else's.