First a little background
YouTube has come around in a big way. After Google, it has taken the number one place in searching content on anything under the sun. The creation of short length videos for information is of immense value in today’s time as the mobile applications are making advances by leaps and bounds.
For me, it was blogging first. Then , when the trend of vlogging started, I also jumped in the wagon. Actually I am pretty late to jump in but better to be late than never!
So, what’s vlogging? Vlogging is a video version of blogging. A vlogger, as one is called, makes videos on some specific niche to give out information or entertainment. It is similar to blogging where one writes about a specific niche.
Vlogging as for me, became an extension of this blog which you are reading right now. Video making opened up new areas in content creation when simply blogging about running was getting a bit boring. And it is very exciting.
At the start, I was conscious of being in front of the camera but as I kept practicing I improved. Also, like it is said that to be a good writer, one needs to read a lot. Same is the case with making videos.
Who all are vlogging?
There are many runners who make vlogs. And they are very inspiring and entertaining. The whole point of making the video also is to inspire people to take up running, or to motivate them when they are feeling down or to educate them. In addition, the brownie points are that as you get popular, you may get noticed by brands who may hire you to be influencers. Earning an extra buck is not a bad idea!
Below are few runners, who are vloggers too, whom I follow.
- Sage Canaday – He is a champion ultra runner who is noted for his climbing prowess and high speed over highly technical terrrain. I love his videos on coaching and various tips on running and as well as his lifestyle vlogs. Great stuff. Click here for his channel.
2. Ginger Runner – He is a runner who makes killer documentaries on races, does interviews, product reviews and shares his life in the internet. Click here for his channel.
3. Jamil Coury – He is a Race Director who loves to run and make videos. His videos are very raw and bring out the exact emotions of suffering and joys of running. Click here for his channel.
4. Billy Yang – Another great filmmaker and runner. He makes feature film style videos with very high production quality. A visual treat. Click here for his channel.
- Randy Kreill – He is a vegan ultrarunner who runs in huaraches. Click here for his channel.
These are some of the runners who produce awesome content on running. There are many others as well. Any ones I missed that I should follow? Do let me know in comments!
Now, vlogging is done with the help of any video recording device. There are a plethora of cameras in the market. Which one is best suited for you depends on a number of issues like kind of usage, budget, ease of use, performance, ruggedness(especially if you are carrying it on the runs) etc.
However, I will give a short disclaimer before we start geeking out on the gear and that is that story is king and gear is secondary.
However, to support a good story or narrative, basic vlogging gear is required which are listed below.
- DSLR – I use a Canon 700D. A very basic entry level DSLR but it gets the job done. It has much more features than a mobile phone or a point and shoot camera. The footage looks much more professional and has a tons of options to shoot in different conditions.
I suggest you to invest in a basic DSLR to “UP” the vlogging game. You may consider investing, eventually, in some lens other than the kit lens.
- GoPro – Nothing beats a GoPro to film yourself when you are out there running. It is small, rugged, waterproof, records a decent audio and video and is extremely easy to use. It is my “go to” camera. In fact most of the time, when I am time crunched, instead of using a DSLR, I generally use a GoPro.
I have a GoPro Hero 4 Silver. I love this model because it has a LCD back which is helpful in framing of shots. Otherwise, any GoPro will do. Alongwith the camera, it also helps in buying some of it’s accessories like head mount, chest mount, small tripod, selfie stick and various types of nuts and bolts to fix it in all kinds of different places.
- Mobile phone – A mobile phone is the best kind of camera you can have to film. It is always on you. Whenever, you have a thought, you want to share, just take it out of the pocket and record.
I have a iPhone SE and it has a decent camera. Nowadays, lot of my footage comes from it. It doesn’t feel awkward when filming in public too.
- Stabiliser – Like Sage Canaday and Jamil Coury, you may like to invest in a stabiliser. It is helpful in stabilising the shots when you are talking while running. Plus you can have the smooth pan transitions too. But I don’t use it or I will say own it as of now because I haven’t yet felt a need for it. Maybe in future I will invest in it.
Tripod – When you are filming in our house or outside and want the camera to be static or at one place, then a tripod comes handy. I have a very cheap tripod which does the job for me. But I may buy a good one in near future.
In case you don’t want a tripod, then you may like to get a gorilla pod. The one Casey Neistat, the legendary vlogger, has. Check out his channel here. A gorilla pod is a very versatile small tripod with flexible legs and can be fixed anywhere. It will take your vlogging to a whole new level.
- External mic – If you are using a DSLR, then you may consider buying a external microphone to record audio. In case, the audio in video is not good, then chances are that people will quickly close it and go over to another video. Therefore, it is imperative you invest in a good mic.
There are tons of different kind of external mics out there. After a lot of research, I homed on to Takstar mic which is cheap and produces very high quality audio. It is a directional shotgun type mic.
- Light – Sometimes it is beyond the capability of the camera to shoot at low light conditions without not producing grains. That’s where external light source is required. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube about how to use lights or using natural light. You may like to check it out.
I have a cheap LED light which is quite decent and does the job. I may switch on to bigger studio lights in future.
- Editing software – With good footage and poor editing, it makes a poor video. Again there are tons of video editing softwares out there. There are free and paid. The paid ones have got tons of cool features which the free ones don’t have. I suggest if you are a newbie then try using the free ones. Later as you start understanding the editing process, go for a paid one.
The best paid softwares are Final Cut Pro(for Apple devices) and Adobe Premier. I use a PC and use the free Movie Maker(I hate it because it keeps crashing). All have been made on this free software. I do wish to have more cool transitions and colour grading but at present I am still testing my hands on basic editing skills.
The total cost of my gear is given below. Prices may vary from when I had purchased.
Photron Stedy Pro 560 Tripod – Rs 2301
Canon EOS 700D DSLR with 18-55mm + 55-250mm – Rs 42415
Octopus Gorilla Pod Stand 11.8 – Rs 900
GoPro Hero 4 Silver – Rs 34900
Erligpowht 13 in 1 Holiday Travel Kit – Rs 3264
Total – Rs 91,899 or approximately $1427. Mind it that this whole list of vlogging gear has been bought over a period of 3 years. Bit by bit! And there are small little miscellaneous items which I have not included like focus ring, cleaning kit etc.
Why you should vlog?
As runners, do you need to vlog? I say, why not? The videos will create memories which you will like to see after some years for now. And in turn if you can create a fan following or motivate and inspire people, then there is nothing like it. Here are few reasons that you should take up vlogging.
1. You may have a blog – Chances are that if you are a runner, then you may have a blog. It is because more often than not, while running we get so many ideas which we like to share. And blogging seems to be an ideal form of sharing platform. And if you have a blog, then taking up vlogging is a natural transition to promote your blog. It helps getting more eye balls to your blog and help in generating that little extra buck.
2. Vlogging is fun – Yes, it is tons of fun. Filming your friends on the run or filming your highs and lows and putting it in front of the internet gives a lot of adrenaline rush. Plus, it unleashes the creative side which you may have never known to have existed.
3. You may become the next Casey – You may not copy Casey Neistat exactly but can definitely get inspired to work hard to make better content. And if it brings fame alongside, then it is not bad at all.
4. Video is the next future – Day by day, people are getting more hooked to videos. With the advancement in mobile technology, videos have come into a whole new dimension. Video is what people crave for. The actual and raw feeling or moments is what everyone wants to watch. And if you have a message along with it, then it will totally be a kick ass thing.
Phew, it was a very long article I wrote after a long time. Hope this post has delivered some value and may have motivated you to pick up that camera to start filming. Here is one of my videos to finish up with. Hope you enjoy it.
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Till then stay fit and keep running.
Note : There are affiliate links in the article. If you purchase any item from those links, you don’t pay anything extra for that but I will get a small commission from Amazon, which will help me in running this blog and my YouTube channel.