Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Filming Your Cycling Tour

There are more and more options on the market to help us film our tours. GoPro and Sony Action Cam are only some of the most popular dedicated action cameras on the current market.
It has now become easier to be able to document a cycling trip with a short movie, share it online and show it to family and friends but mostly together with the pictures, providing a wonderful record and memory of your trip.
Traveling light can be limiting on the things I can take with me but can also result in surprises and unexpected discoveries. Gadgets nowadays have become so addictive and can add a considerable weight with their bundle of cables, batteries and chargers. As much as possible the rule is to bring things that have more than one purpose.
My iPhone is something that definitely falls into this category and more. I use it to take pictures, videos, check email and maps, read books and the list goes on but most relevant here, I found it to be  a surprisingly excellent tool to take videos while on the bike.
A lanyard around my neck is attached to the mobile phone that rests in a shirt pocket and is ready at all times to be handheld without the fear of dropping it! Whether I am still or riding the bike I can easily access it and quickly be ready to shoot an interesting scene. As the picture above shows the best position I found for filming with the iPhone is on a Brompton Bag, simply sitting on top with the strap tight above to keep it in place. This position allows for great shots of the road ahead, tends to absorb some of the shakiness of the bicycle and you can start and stop recording from your riding position by quickly touching the screen.
I don't want to risk breaking a phone and mostly losing all those videos I have taken and the best precaution I found is a lanyard (you can see the red string above) that provides extra security should the phone slip or fall while I ride. If the phone is handheld the lanyard goes around my neck or around my wrist, while the phone is on the bike I would wrap it around the bike handlebar.
Another useful tool I found especially if you are traveling solo and want some of the shots to include your very self, is a Joby Gorilla pod that together with a clip can function as a great tripod to put on the road while filming or hang on a pole or a fence to provide new exciting clips.
I find the extra advantage of using a mobile phone for filming is also the fact that I can preview and edit my clips in the evening, keep what is good and delete what is not interesting. This way at the end of the trip I won't have to sift through all the videos again to figure out what is good and what is not usable on my movie.
I really enjoy filming my trips and therefore I have also purchased a GoPro action camera in order to provide some extra clips and different views. These cameras are dedicated to action filming and thanks to a multitude of attachments and tools can be used to get some views that would otherwise be more complicated with a phone. The most useful attachements I carry are the chest strap and a selfie stick that can be used with a bit of extra caution while riding as well as to film oneself commentaries etc.

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