How to Take Awesome Video in the Parks

If you’re like me, you not only enjoy visiting the parks and taking pictures – sometimes it’s just as fun to be the official vacation videographer. And while your videos may not look as good as if they were taped with the camera above, this guide should help you make a wonderful production the whole family enjoys watching.

Why Take Video?

You may be wondering why it’s so great to take video in the parks. After all, it’s close enough to a picture, plus is more hassle with an extra camera. While this may be true, video captures two elements of your experience pictures can never do – sound and motion. This makes it seem as if you’re back in the parks when you watch it at home. Let’s get started!

The Older the Camera, the Better the Quality

No, I haven’t gone insane – this can be true! Older cameras are typically larger and heavier, thus making them more stable and easier to balance. This means it will produce a more smooth, flowing result. Newer video cameras are made much smaller – making it hard to keep steady, meaning the final result will be shaky. This might just matter to me since I’m always obsessed with making everything look as professional as possible.

SteadyShot is a Necessity

Most all video cameras have a steady shot feature. Some come with this turned off and others come with it defaulted on. Either way, go through the settings and make sure this feature is on. Depending on how new your camera is (newer cameras – because smaller – can produce shaky results even when SS is on), the effectiveness of SteadyShot will vary. This feature may also be called Super SteadyShot (SSS) or Optical SteadyShot (OSS).

Always be ready

Once in the parks, always be ready for an opportunity. With all the live performances that go on throughout the day (parades, characters, stage shows, fireworks, etc.), it’s easy to miss the magic. I’m not saying to leave your camera on all day waiting for something to happen – just know when these performances will occur and be ready for them.

Try something new – angles, movements, anything.

To change an ordinary home video into something better, you must be willing to take chances. While in the parks, try something new! This can be anything from videotaping things from a different perspective – get low on the ground, then get something standing on a bench. The possibilities are endless when it comes to different angles you can get of something – so always try new things.

Keep everything moving

It’s important in video to keep motion happening. This doesn’t have to be super fast panning, just simple movements that gives it the feel of video. In other words, don’t sit on a bench and hit record…then record again staring at the castle. Get some movement in there! Instead of just capturing elements in the parks like an image with no motion, always be panning, tilting, zooming, and/or a combination of these.

It’s not all about rides

Sure the rides are fun to videotape, but if you’ve been as many times as I have (249.3, to be exact) it’s not as fun to watch the same rides on video. So keep in mind it’s not all about the rides – sometimes it’s more rewarding to videotape the atmosphere of the park, the little details, the shows, and more – all the things that you might not experience again for a while (unlike it’s a small world).

Of course, have fun!

If you’re not having fun while videoing in the parks – it’s not worth it. This has to be something you enjoy! If you think it’s to much of a hassle, don’t bother. Chances are unless you really enjoy videotaping, you won’t like doing it in the parks.

What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think – have you videotaped in the parks? What techniques did you use? How did it come out?

Photo: reinn