When you come home from one of escorted tours, it’s likely that you’ve taken plenty of memorable photos as well as videos. Rather than just let them sit on your computer, it’s much more exciting to edit these together to make something impressive to show your family and sport your world traveler status. Here are some easy tips to turn your photos into great videos.
1. Stay organized
Once your photos and videos have made it onto your laptop or home computer, they can easily become cluttered or overwhelming. Take some time to sort through your photos and place them into folders. These can be as detailed as food, sunsets or landscapes, or as broad as the city you were staying in. If you have video files, you may consider putting them into folders that will help you when compiling your initial video: B-roll (all of your extra footage), wide shots, animals… whatever makes sense for the video you’re planning to create. Also feel free to make a “keepers” folder for the shots you know will definitely make it into your final piece. Just don’t delete anything at this step! You never know what you’ll end up using for your final video.
2. Start with a slideshow
If you are not ready to dive into a full-blown video project, start by putting together a nice slideshow of pictures set to some of your favorite songs. Windows Story Remix and iMovie for Apple are great starter programs that allow you to easily import photos and add transitions at set intervals. Here you can learn pacing and how to tell a story with pictures that you already have on your computer. Burn your slideshow to a DVD and show it on your TV to impress your friends.
3. Trim the fat
Once you’ve gathered all of the best photos and videos you took on tour, start compiling a series of your favorite footage in the order you want your video to flow. Just like any good story, your video should have a beginning, middle and end. Make your video as concise as possible and if a particular shot does not fit in with the story you’re trying to tell, leave it out.
4. Think of the dynamics
The most interesting videos all have one thing in common: they have a variety of different angles and shots. Make sure to balance panoramic views and movement with static shots for effect when you are editing your video. Duration is also crucial. You will want shorter shots as well as longer ones. All of this variety will keep your audience engaged.
5. Try adding transitions
Gradual transitions, known as dissolves, can be very effective when it comes to a travel video. Standard cuts can become stale. When you add in dissolves, they help ease the transition between shots and make the video feel more professional. Anywhere from 5-10 second dissolves usually work the best.
6. Don’t forget the music Picking a great song or themed music can set the stage for your video and help the audience connect with what you are showing. It could be restaurant music that reminds you of Italy or even your favorite pop hit. Let the rhythm of the song help guide you with the cuts you make.