Your Travel Video

 Making your own great travel videos

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Choosing a Camcorder
Camera as Camcorder
Choosing a Camera Bag
What to bring along
Shooting Techniques
Publishing on Youtube
Books and Links




Making Your Own Great Travel Videos

Information, hints, tips and tricks to using your digital video camera to help you make your own great travel videos

Planning a vacation ... maybe the trip of a lifetime ... or any trip where you want to bring back precious memories? Your trip will likely be unforgettable - hopefully because you enjoyed it so much. However, if your memory is anything like mine, relying on it to preserve all the important details might not be such a good idea. Take the trip my wife and I took last year to Paris. We had some friends over last week and we started telling them about the first museum we visited which was ... hmmm ... what was it again? We couldn't recall. Oh well, no matter! We just looked in our DVD library, popped out the DVD of our trip, popped it in the DVD player, chose the appropriate chapter, and there we were!

The lesson here: The best way to give your memory a helping hand is to shoot a video of your trip. You can call it a travel movie, a travel film, a videolog ... whatever! Videomaking can be extremely satisfying and it allows you to bring back a unique record of what things looked and sounded like. Taking a few snapshots is fine, but in my view, nothing can compare to seeing a moving scene on your Tv screen, along with the ambient sound. It's just like reliving the trip again and again.

If you're not too sure how to shoot video, beyond pressing the little red button on your digital camcorder, no problem. This site will give you basic .... and not so basic ... information on how to do it and by the same token, allow you to return from your trip with a digital camcorder full of great travel memories. Whether you're new to the subject, or an experienced home video enthusiast, whether your final output will be a DVD, Youtube, Yahoo Video or Vimeo, you should find helpful information here.

Sure, the final result will be determined by your original footage, the amount of effort you want to put into the project and your own basic ability and talent.  There is no guarantee that you will end up with what everyone would call a work of art, but the more you know, the better it should be. A little extra effort can go a long way.

So whether you are shooting High Definition or not, whether you've got a mini DV or mini DVD camcorder, a flash drive or hard disk drive (hdd) video camera, or you are in the market for a digital video camera, we hope you will find the information you need on this website.

Travel and Vacation Video Subjects we Cover on this Site

So, what subjects are covered on this Web site? The information is divided into eight sections, and each section covers the following material. (Click on section title to jump directly to that section):

An Introduction to Making Great Travel Videos

When reading a book, I am always very tempted to skip the Introduction chapter and get right into the meat of the subject. I suggest you resist the temptation as much as you can and take a couple of minutes to read through our Introduction. It could be time very well spent. There are different types of travel and vacation videos and it must be absolutely clear in your mind the type of video you intend to make.

Choosing a Digital Camcorder for Travel Videos

If you already have a digital camcorder (often referred to as a Digital Video Camera), you might just skip this page. If you don't, or if you're even slightly tempted by the idea of upgrading to a new one, this section might just help you out. We discuss the different types of digital camcorders (SD and HD camcorders) and go over subjects like aspect ratios, compression, zoom ratios and image stabilization.

Using a Digital Camera as a Camcorder

 So far we've mostly talked about getting and using a camcorder ... an apparatus designed from the ground up to shoot video. There is another option however, and an interesting one: using a digital photo camera as a camcorder.

Choosing a Camera Bag for Video or Photography

 As much as vacation travel is exciting, it can be an exhausting and uncomfortable experience at times. It is well known that a good pair of shoes is essential, but if you are bringing along a film or digital camera or a digital camcorder, the camera bag is undoubtedly the second most important factor in your comfort. Choosing the wrong one can literally add to the pain of travel.

What you should Bring Along to Shoot Great Travel Videos

 So, you've got the digital camcorder and bag, but what do you really need to bring along? This page should enlighten you. It also contains a helpful checklist that you can print out.

Vacation Video or Travel Video Shooting Techniques

 The particulars of your digital video camera are described in your user manual. However, there are general techniques to using a digital camcorder and they are described here. We cover both the technical and the aesthetic sides of the subject. Among the subjects covered are focusing, exposure, composition, camera moves and a whole bunch of shooting tips.

 Editing Travel Videos

 You've returned from your trip with a few hours of digital video raw footage and a few hundred digital pictures. Now, you want to put this together into a sleek DVD movie that you are proud of. Friends and family are all eager to see the final result. Editing is an immense subject and cannot be covered in detail here. However, we will cover the more general aspects of the subject to help get you started in a very satisfying part of video making, where you end up producing your own video DVD. You can even publish a short excerpt of your production on Youtube, and let the whole world see your work. 

Publishing Your Travel Videos on Youtube or Vimeo

Not too long ago when you wanted to let your friends and family have a copy of your travel video, you would give them a VHS or Beta cassette copy of it. More recently, you are probably giving them a DVD of the video. But what if you're aiming for a much wider audience, or your friends and family are located elsewhere in the world and sending them a DVD just isn't practical? Well, now you've got the option of publishing your video on the Web with such services as Youtube and Vimeo. See how it's done.

Travel Video Accessories

Which video accessories do you really need and what can they do for you? Find out here about wide-angle and telephoto lens adapters, lens filters, tripods, microphones and even a do-it-yourself wind sock.

Travel Video Books and Links

There are a great number of books and web sites that cover different aspects of producing video. We will describe a few here.


How these web pages are designed.

Each visitor to this web site has his (or her) own particular requirements, and he can even have varying levels of interest from one visit to the next and from one section to the next. To satisfy this need, certain pages have the information divided into two levels. A yellow window presents The Basics which will give you an overview of the subject matter. We then move on to more advanced subject matter in the rest of the section. If you just want a basic overview, fine ... just stop after The Basics. You can go just as far as you wish.

The Basics

This section contains the most basic information on the subject. If you just want an overview, read this. Once you've read it, if you want to know more, read on.

You're now ready to start. You can use the list on the left side of the page, or the subject headers above, to navigate to the appropriate page.


What's new

  • 4-08-10  Begin building site
  • 4-19-10  Added "The Basics" section to the "Choosing a Camcorder" page.
  • 4-20-10  Added text to the "Choosing a Camcorder" page.
  • 4-24-10  Added "Choosing a camera bag" section
  • 4-27-10  Added information in the "Shooting Techniques" section.
  • 5-01-10  More information in "Shooting Techniques" page.
  • 5-03-10  More information in "Accessories" page.
  • 5-06-10  More information in "Introduction" page.
  • 5-11-10  Add content to "Editing" page and "What to take along".
  • 5-15-10  Add content to "Editing" page.
  • 5-16-10  Add content to "Accessories" page.
  • 5-17-10  Divide "Editing" page into separate pages.
  • 5-19-10  Completed "Editing" and "Editing - Transferring" pages
  • 5-20-10  Add images to "Accessories" page.
  • 5-27-10  Add content to "Techniques" page.
  • 5-28-10  Divide "Techniques" page into separate pages.
  • 6-01-10  Add content to "Choosing a camcorder".
  • 6-03-10  Add content to "Techniques - part 4".
  • 6-13-10  Modified layout of main page.
  • 6-16-10  Add content to "Techniques - part 4".
  • 6-19-10  Add content to "Editing the raw video".
  • 6-24-10  Modify Home page.
  • 7-14-10  Add content to Camera Moves section.
  • 7-16-10  Add content to the "Editing - Authoring" section.
  • 7-17-10  Add content to "Shooting Techniques" section.
  • 10-8-10  Add content to "Shooting Tips" section.
  • 10-10-10  Improve text in the "Accessories" section.
  • 1-31-11  Improve text in the "Editing Raw Video" section.
  • 2-08-11  Add content to the "Introduction Page".
  • 3-03-11  Add content to the "Using photo camera as a camcorder Page".
  • 3-14-11  Add "Publishing to Youtube".
  • 6-14-14  Page revision


Disclaimer: All material on this website is (c) William Jones. Material cannot be used or copied without the written consent of the author. Any information given here is done so without any express guarantee of results.


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