You may not be able to take every family member and friend backpacking with you, but you can shoot a nice video and send it home to them. The only challenging part is getting the right equipment. You need a fancy camcorder, a DSLR, and lots of extras, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, you can get away with using some simple equipment, some of which you probably already own.
Ready Your Combo Camera and Video Recorder
All you need for great shots in the wild is your – wait for it – the smartphone. Yes, really. If you’ve ever tried taking photos with the raw lens on your camera, you know how frustrating it can be. There’s always a lot of “noise” in the picture, and you can’t always get the lighting right – especially at sunrise and sunset.
Enter detachable lenses. There are a lot of manufacturers out there that have gone and created upgrades to your smartphone’s native lens, which is admittedly weak. An add-on lens is going to improve the image quality because the lens can do the work so your phone’s camera doesn’t have to. That means better image quality and reduced noise. It also translates into better videos.
If you want to really geek out, then opt for the Sony Qx10 or Qx100. Those are camera replacements that let you either attach the camera body to the phone or place it up to 20 feet away from you for a perfect shot that’s triggered through a personalized wi-fi hotspot.
Take A Few Optional Items
A few optional items you might find helpful include a tripod, a rig of some kind for stabilization when shooting video, and extra battery power.
Getting The Right Shot
Getting the right shot, whether it’s video or pictures, is a matter of framing your subject, capturing light properly, and then imagining a story you want to tell. With every shot, think, “what is the story I want to tell here?” Let that guide your shoot. Make sure that you’re not including random individuals in your shot, that your shots are straight or in-line, and that your videos don’t introduce a lot of noise or camera-shake.
Editing and Sharing
Editing and sharing both images and videos shouldn’t be all that difficult. iMovie for Mac, and Windows Media Player for Windows, are more than capable for any video project. They employ precise controls for importing, cropping, and doing light edits.
You can even make compilation videos if you want
When you’re ready to share your creation, consider using P2P file-sharing software. It’s a lightweight program that allows you to share your video or photos with other people directly instead of having to upload your stuff to a third-party website.
Of course, you can also do that too. YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr are the most popular sharing sites out there for video and photos. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that you should strongly consider using discretion in sharing, using strong privacy settings whenever you use third-party sites, and never hand out any personal information to anyone you don’t know through any P2P community forum.