Monday, December 18, 2017

Creative ways to summarize your travel for social media

Creative ways to summarize your travel for social media
Chaukhamba mountains over Deoria Tal, Chopta

Everyone loves to travel once in a while and everyone loves to take photos throughout the trip. Same is the case with me. Even if I travel for a couple of days, I end up with tons of photos. It takes several days to go through each of them and then sort the best photos to be uploaded to various social media channels. Along with photos, there are times when you shoot lots of videos either with your cell phone or a camera. But most of these videos are really not useful other than revisiting the memories. In this post, I'll share a couple of methods where you can utilize the videos and photos in a creative manner and share it on your social media.

When you're shooting video with a mobile camera or even a DSLR/P&S camera, it tends to get shaky if you're recording it handheld. You either have to be really still while recording video or use a tripod. With technological advancement, the cameras are becoming smaller and smaller while still recording sharp videos/images. One such camera is SJCAM. I bought SJCAM SJ5000x camera from Amazon before going for my sabbatical trip and used it as a dashcam. Which means, I was shooting whenever I was driving my car. The camera has gyroscope sensor which helps in image stabilization. The camera removes the shake beautifully and it doesn't even feel that the car is running down a bumpy road.

The camera comes with a host of other accessories which includes a waterproof case so that the camera can be used to shoot underwater as well. You can record videos with this camera while walking, or running, without worrying about shaky footage as the camera stabilizes the footage exceptionally well and records the video as if it was shot on a tripod. The lens has a wide field of view which lets it shoot almost everything in front of it. There are several recording options within the camera which includes 4k as well. During daylight, the sensor captures the video brilliantly while after evening, it gets a bit grainy. After you are back from your trip, it is time to copy the media from the SD card to your local drive. If you're familiar with video editing tools like Premiere Pro, compiling the videos to make a single video would be easier. If you're not, you can use any free video editing tool like Windows movie maker, or Apple iMovie.

You can sort the video into separate folders after copying on your local drive. Keep the videos which you'd like to use in the summary video in a different folder. The videos can then be imported into the software and placed sequentially or in whatever sequence you'd like. The creative element to be applied to the video is to speed them up. Try first speeding them to 200% and see the result. Speed up the videos until the entire duration comes to around 2-3 minutes. This is an ideal duration as the file size will be small and can be easily uploaded to various social channels, and your friends and family who will be watching the video won't feel bored.

You must have seen these videos on social media which shows a day to night transition in a city in under a minute. Such videos are known as time-lapse. A time-lapse is a photography technique where shots are taken at regular intervals. The shots are then combined in an editor where it looks like a single video. If you'd like to create a time-lapse of sunset, you'd need to first setup your camera in a steady location on a tripod.

If your camera has a time-lapse mode, then enable it and choose the interval option, and the time you want the camera to take photos. If it doesn't have the option, you may buy an external shutter release for clicking at regular intervals, avoiding the in-camera shutter button as it may shake the camera. I normally choose 2-5 seconds interval and shoot at least 240 photos as it would then give me a 10-second video. A video is generally 24 frames per second, meaning 1 second of a video has 24 images. So, for getting a 10 sec final video, you'd need to shoot 240 images, which would take around 20 minutes shooting time.

You can now guess the patience one needs to shoot a time-lapse showing transition from day to night at the same location. I'd encourage you to watch some of the time-lapse shot by Vincent Laforet for some inspiration, on his YouTube or Vimeo page. He is one of best time-lapse photographers I know.

Feel free to share your creative travel stories link in the comments. Let me know through any contact method if you have any questions on photo and video editing. Happy travelling.

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