Tools and tips on documenting your tour whether you're blogging, capturing your memories with photographs, shooting video, or all three.
Photo by Tom Allen
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Making videos of our bike touring adventures has never come naturally to me. I can often be found muttering to myself, wondering what that button does or how best to combine those two clips. At the end of the day, however, I'm always satisfied to complete a film about our cycling adventures. A video captures the sounds, movements and emotions of a trip in a much more lively, engaging way than a photograph. It is a living memory.
Making videos of your bicycle holidays is a great way to relive your adventures and share your passion with others, as I found out about four years ago when I made my first slideshows of my bicycle holidays. Soon after, I started filming instead of taking pictures. My cycling passion extended to a passion for filming. Three years ago, I founded World Cycle Videos a bicycle-touring video group on Vimeo, a video-sharing platform. I regularly get questions from group members: How do I make a good video? What camera and editing program do I need?
In September, Adventure Cycling announced its first Bicycle Travel Video Contest. Since then, we've enjoyed a slew of submissions from touring cyclists around the globe. We've also had the great pleasure of publishing a series of how-to posts on creating bike-touring videos, contributed by some of our volunteer judges -- all experienced touring cyclists and knowledgeable videographers. Their posts covered everything from storytelling to equipment. We thought it would be fun to offer a round up of those expert posts so you can enjoy them all in one place.
I have spent a lot of time trying to improve my photography and filming skills. Filming something well is almost identical to taking a good photograph. The same principles apply. Learn how your camera works. Give some thought to how to take a good photograph or video clip. If you don't do that then even the geekiest post-production expert will not be able to create a masterpiece for you.
I know what you're thinking -- there are a lot of commas in that title. Just know that they're there for emphasis. You might also be thinking about creating videos on your bike tour and posting them to your web log, or "blog" as the kids call it these days. Well great! That's why we're all here. You've learned how to make a bicycle touring video, you've learned what tripods to use, and you've learned the art of storytelling thanks to the other bloggers and judges so far.
No two tours are the same, and so no two videos will tell the same story. But regardless of the specifics of your trip or your filming ambitions, the same key considerations will make your video project as successful as possible. Some of these considerations relate to the technical aspects of filmmaking, or of shot composition, editing software, and the like. But this kind of information is readily available, so I'd like to touch on something less-often mentioned but even more fundamental to success: the science of storytelling.
Having traveled for the last year and making the slow transition from stills to video, I’ve played with more than a few different tripods in search of THE ONE. Depending on how serious/heavy your gear you’ve got a lot of choices. Here are a few different styles of tripods I’ve used over the years to consider.