Adventure photography is all about telling a story. It’s about capturing powerful images that illustrate your travels to those not lucky enough to join you. In order to capture the perfect moment, you need a combination of strong camera technique and a keen eye.
The same is true of action cams. Capturing great footage is much easier if you come at it from a photographer’s eye. So here are 8 tips to help you capture great footage of your adventure and share it with the world.
Don’t get too distracted from filming. Most importantly, it’s about you having fun and sharing this experience with others. The following tips should prevent you from investing too much time and energy in creating and editing your videos and losing the fun for it in the process.
2. Have a plan
Before your “shooting” check out the location in-depth. Where can you attach your camera? What’s worth getting in the shot from the surroundings? Try out different camera angles by looking at the shots on the app and change the focus according to what you like most.
If you’re filming several days in a row, you should have a look at the video material in from time to time, so that you can get your intended result in the end.
Also remember to plan for enough memory space and to charge the battery or take spare batteries with you.
Try not to take a recording all in one shot. It’s better to film in shorter clips. This makes post-editing easier and allows you to find key scenes quicker. Consider which mood you want your video to have, which scenes are suited to intermediate cuts and how your video should essentially be put together.
By doing this, you avoid getting your first great ideas when you’re editing the photos afterwards, when you then don’t have any suitable material. To do this, put a storyboard together before filming.
3. Press the mute button
Whenever action cam footage is posted online, you may notice that there isn’t any sound. This is because the waterproof housings for action cams severely diminishes the sound quality and creates very tinny, muffled audio. Do everyone on the internet a favour and leave the sound off in the final edit. Or just add some nice music.
4. Have your camera ready
Nature doesn’t wait around for you to get your camera out. Especially wildlife! The best way to miss a great shot is to have your action cam in your bag. By the time you realise that you need to get your camera out, the moment is lost and that moose has wandered off.
Always have a camera to hand (or secured to your helmet!). Help protect it by having a secure strap and protective housing. You need to have your camera ready, but you don’t want to damage it.
5. Keep the camera low
Whether mounting an action cam to a human, ski, car, or mountain bike, the closer you mount it to the ground, the faster the moving object will appear to be travelling. Your footage will look much more intense with a close up shot like this. It takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride!
6. Be steady
A good, adjustable mount is essential for attaching your camera to objects, so that you can record your experiences in professional quality. High speeds and stutters can be frequent when filming with an action cam. It’s important that you properly attach your camera to an object so that it doesn’t shake too much.
Your cam should be as near to the hold point as possible to avoid shaking. Interlocking brackets are best suited to this. These are often made of plastic and you can add extra stability with tape.
However, keep the strength of the sticky tape in mind, since not every paint varnish can hold it. To make sure that you don’t lose your beloved camera, you can also bring a restraint cable.
7. Frame Your Shot
The use of leading lines is a technique designed to draw the viewer’s eye to the focal point of your shot. Usually, leading lines start at the bottom of the frame and guide the eye upwards and inwards, from the foreground of the image to the background, typically leading toward the main subject.
Imagine you’re driving down a long, straight road. Your eye is drawn inexorably down the parallel asphalt edges all the way to the vanishing point on the horizon.
Out in the wild, you can use hedges, cliffs or rivers as leading lines to pull the viewer into your image towards the subject of your shot.
Imagine a noughts and crosses board in your viewfinder. When you’re shooting a landscape image, try placing the horizon line on either the top or bottom third. When you have a main subject try placing it on one of the intersections of your imaginary noughts and crosses.
8.Break all of the Above!
These tips are pretty universal. And to prove it, just scroll through Instagram for 5 minutes. But the great thing about making your own action cam films is that you’re in control of the creativity. So mix it up!
Make your shots unique if you want them to stand out. Capture sequences from new angles, or from close up or far way. If you just try and recreate what others have already done, you may be left with a great moment, but it’s not unique to you and your adventure.
Written by Tanya Konovalova. Produced in collaboration with Socom Tactical, a premium airsoft retailer selling an extensive range of airsoft related items.