I find that I absolutely love video diaries of backpacking.. I have been following and watching them for years on YouTube, but I never really got around to doing it myself. I’ve tried a few times on a smaller scale, but never any real effort. My YouTube channel I don’t even bother marketing and in general I’m not very active on there. I’m not sure why this is to be honest, i guess I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work in practice while holding onto my ultralight philosophy. As well as being stuck on just doing gear reviews, which honestly, is a chore. On top of that I’m not really a computer guy – I don’t like editing video or photography and making an interesting video out of hours and hours of footage is no easy task.
With that said, because I love the format of video documentaries, I am going to start working on it more and more. I am changing up my camera gear for my upcoming trips along the High coast trail in northern Sweden and my two weeks through Sarek journey. My strategy is simple: Record everything! I found out the hard way that it’s damn difficult to make an interesting movie with limited footage. I have been editing my Iceland video now and realize that I hardly recorded anything at all, so as an embarrassment to myself and to the suffrage of everyone watching my videos, I do a 2 minute intro where I’m just describing what was happening… In any case, it kind of works, but would have been better to show instead of tell.
A link to the video: Alone in Iceland part 1.
This means that my Fujifilm x-t2 camera and lenses have been sold to make room for video gear and after my Iceland trip, I’m convinced a pocket camera works wonders for what I do. So some of the gear that my Fujifilm x-t2 has financed so far are as follows:
Gopro hero 3 black edition with accessories – used cost about 150USD (200 grams)
Ricoh GR – An excellent digital compact camera that I absolutely love 200USD (245 grams)
I used the Sony RX100 in Iceland, however I find the Ricoh GR to be a completely different beast altogether with regards to picture quality
DJI Spark drone and controller with two extra batteries 1000USD (550 grams complete)
The DJI Spark is a tiny drone with serious power
To top it all off I have two 20100mhv battery packs to keep everything charged along the way.
I’ve sold all my Fuji gear for around 2400USD
Total weight for my new photography and video gear = 1095grams
Total weight of Fujifilm x-t2 with lenses and batteries = 1114grams
Weight of battery packs 490grams each (added one for the drone)
Total weight increase for new system: 300grams
Total money savings: around 1000usd
I can live with a total weight increase of 300grams for so much more flexibility and control. The Ricoh GR works fantastic for me as almost all my photography in the wild is at 28mm, no matter what lenses and cameras I have with me – my shots are always wide. and now I have true video capabilities.
Concerns about drones: I got some feedback with regards to bringing a drone with me or drones in general. It seems to be a very hot topic in the USA and something I hadn’t thought about before as drones have never bothered me personally. I will call it the “road rage syndrome”, there are people who have an incredible amount of pent up rage and are looking for something to go bezerk over and I have to take this into consideration when flying the spark.
To the advantage of the spark it is tiny, unobtrusive and quiet. With that said I think drones should fall somewhere between loud music in camp and deficating on the trail. Neither of these should be practiced, and with proper fore thought and consideration for others, can easily be avoided.
My strategy for succeeding with video:
Record everything! Better to record days and days of video and edit down to a highly interesting 30 minute clip, than to take minimal video and try and stretch it out.
I also need to work on my editing skills. I don’t like working on computers that much, so I will have to find presets and styles that I like so I can get my editing done quickly. I also know what kind of footage I like – So I will try to emulate this.
Where it could possibly fail:
I like to keep things simple, sometimes it’s a hassle to record. To always have to think about the shot. To pull out a drone and start recording takes me out of the moment. hopefully I can overcome this, as I find I really love the video format, and I love watching my old videos of all the hikes I’ve done. (sadly I have barely edited any of them… so nothing is on youtube yet)