We all know that video is a powerful medium for telling stories. When done well, video can transport viewers to another place and time, giving them an immersive, fulfilling experience–and this should be your goal when creating and sharing your travel videos. If you’re looking to create better travel videos, we have five essential tips to help you get started. Whether it’s lighting, framing, or even free music tips, you’ll need a little help to get those videos off the ground and into the homes of your fellow travelers.
Shoot From Different Angles and Perspectives
One of the best ways to make your travel videos more engaging is to shoot from different angles and perspectives. This will help add interest and variety to your footage, keeping viewers engaged throughout. Get creative with your shots–experiment with different heights, distances, and vantage points to find out what works best for your story. And don’t forget about using movement to add another layer of interest to your videos. Also, it’s good to get up close and personal at times, but always remember to pull back and show your surroundings. Let your audience see the whole picture, especially when you’re surrounded by a beautiful landscape.
Use Transitions Between Shots
A smooth transition between shots will keep your viewers engaged and make it easy for them to follow your story. There are many different ways to transition between shots, so experiment and find what works best for you. Common methods include fading to black, fading in from black, dissolving (or cross-fading) between two shots, or simply cutting from one shot to another.
Use Quality Background Music
Music can set the tone for your videos and help evoke the right emotions in your viewers. According to a study in Psychology Today, pleasing background music can make people feel motivational and boost their mood. When choosing music for your travel videos, try to find tracks that are upbeat and positive but also appropriate for the destination/culture you’re filming in. Avoid using copyrighted material unless you have permission from the copyright holder.
Speaking of copyright, there are a few things to know about finding the best royalty-free music for your travel videos. It’s in your best interest to use a well-known, legitimate, royalty-free, and copyright-free music site such as Epidemic Sound, Premium Beat, or Soundstripe. These royalty-free music sites allow you to download sound effects and all the music tracks you need without having to worry about legal issues when using them in your videos. A stock music site is a great resource for creating a library of stock music for your video soundtracks.
Frame Your Shots Carefully
Choosing the right composition can make or break your video. A well-composed shot is pleasing to the eye and tells a story–so take the time to frame your shots carefully. When in doubt, use the rule of thirds: Imagine your frame is divided into nine equal sections, then position your subject along one of the lines or at one of the intersections. This will create a more balanced and visually appealing composition.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the background of your shots. Be sure to check what’s behind your subject before you start filming–you don’t want anything distracting or unsightly in the frame. If possible, position yourself so that there’s a clear, unobstructed view behind your subject. And if you’re shooting indoors, be mindful of any busy patterns or bright colors in the background that could be distracting.
Be Mindful of Lighting Conditions
Lighting is everything when it comes to video. The right lighting can make your footage look amazing, while bad lighting can ruin even the best shots. When possible, try to film during the golden hours (around dawn and dusk) when the light is softer and more flattering. If you’re shooting during the day, try to find a shady spot to avoid harsh shadows. And if you’re indoors, make sure there’s enough light so your footage doesn’t look dark and grainy. If you’re savvy enough, you can manually set your camera settings from scene to scene, or if you’re more of a beginner, your auto settings will suffice in most situations.
Create a Story
Your travel videos should be more than just a collection of pretty shots–they should also tell a story. What’s the overall theme or message you want to communicate with your video? What are you trying to say about the destination/culture you’re filming in? Answering these questions will help you come up with a storyline for your video and make sure all of your footage is cohesive.
An engaging storyline will keep your viewers hooked from beginning to end, so take the time to plan out your video before you start filming. Jot down a few key points or scenes that you want to include, and make sure each clip supports the overall story you’re trying to tell. Also, don’t forget to add a bit of excitement (and even some humor). Remember that music will help play a part in telling your story too.
Good Editing is Crucial
Last but not least, good editing is crucial to creating a successful travel video. Editing can be the difference between a video that flows smoothly and one that’s choppy and disjointed. Take the time to edit your footage carefully, paying attention to things like pacing, transitions, and overall flow. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of helpful tutorials online. Just remember: practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. With a little time and effort, you’ll be editing like a pro in no time.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when planning your next travel video. While you may have your locations and schedule all set, you’ll still need to focus on other aspects, such as framing, composition, transitions, lighting, and using amazing music tracks. Remember, a great travel video doesn’t have to be perfect–it just has to be engaging. So have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to experiment. The more you practice, the better your videos will become. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to creating amazing travel videos that your viewers will love. Safe travels!