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Monday, June 30, 2014

Displaying Your Geocaching Skills By Creating Your Own vLogs - Part One

Back around the year 2008 you could do a query on YouTube using the word geocaching and you would find a couple thousand videos based on this amazing  activity. Today there is close to 200,000 geocaching videos ranging from a few exciting moments of the find to complete tutorial examples of what to do and not to do while geocaching. With the convenience of modern technology including smartphones, geocaching applications using built in GPSr signals, video cameras and the willingness to explore geocachers can now document their adventures with ease.


So what is a geocaching vLog and what are some of the basics you would need to know to create one?

A geocaching vLog is a Video Log showing one's details while out geocaching. This can take many forms and impressions based on the person making the vLog. So for starters let's go over some of the back themes a geocaching vLog might take. For example:

* Try to make your vLog as entertaining as possible. You want other viewers to enjoy your experiences as much as you do.
* Informative - There are several tutorial based geocaching series on YouTube like GeoSnippits that give needed help and advice to geocachers.
* Funny - If you really want to pump up the views try being funny in your vLogs, viewers love episodes like The Geocaching Vlogger or The Geocaching Doc. It's one thing to show the geocaching experience from a normal point of view and another when you can really make someone laugh doing it.
* Interesting - Geocaches bring the opportunity of acknowledging history, scenic points of interest and other fun facts. When you make your vLog and come upon these examples be ready to show them to your viewers as well.
* Something to catch your viewer's attention - Always try to start off with something of interest that will pull your viewers into wanting to watch the rest of your video. This will help with viewer retention.

Now that you have an idea in the back of your head of the theme to your geocaching vLog let's take a quick look at the equipment you may need to create repeat watchable videos. The main concern will be your budget and what you can afford. If you can come up with some of the basics you can start making your vLogs with a minimal amount of cash.  <-- Note pun and did not spell it cache.... just saying.

Starting out, if you can get either a smart-phone with a good camera/microphone built in or a single shot camera with video mode you are on your way with starting your vLog career. Most modern day smart-phones come with a camera or even a front/back camera with built in microphone. These are great - not perfect of vLogs and we will explain why in a moment but good enough to get your video shot at least. The reason we do not say they are not perfect is because most smart-phones have a poorer quality camera and sound quality than say a single shot or digital SLR based camera that also usually does not have the best steady-cam feature which keeps the video from shaking when you hold the camera. Many smart-phones do not have a tri-pod shoe which is a huge help in certain shots you may want to take. Again smart-phones are at the very least a good start.



Quality of a vLog can make it or break it. Here are some examples you may want to consider:

Video Quality (16:9) HD Resolution (720 or 1080 for best)

* Smart-phone video - poor quality, shaky, sound problems, but is a camera that is always with you.
* Single shot camera - varies in sound and video quality, can have steady shot, other features available like wide angle. Portable.
* Video-Cam - Extra equipment to carry. Usually requires tripod, sound quality better. Not great for just holding the camera up in front of you.

Audio Quality

* Smart-phone - poor quality
* One Shot Camera - fair to good quality
* Video Recorder - good quality
* Portable Microphone - best quality - A Zoom Recorder with lapel mic or boom pole with mic help tremendously

Other Equipment Things To Consider

* Batteries - Depending on your equipment and how much you want to shoot. Having spare batteries are a must. Even if that is keeping your smart-phone topped off.
* SD Cards and extra storage when on trips or longer shoots. Depending on how much you really get into creating vLogs will determine how much storage you are going to need. If you are doing a standard four to seven minute vLog you can get away with a 16Gig SD card in your phone or camera but to be safe I would go 32Gig or higher these days.
* Tri-pods, gorrilla pods (holds onto trees, etc.), mono-pods. When you need more than just holding your camera out at arm's length a good tri-pod can save you a lot of aggravation.

Part Two - Conducting Your vLog Shoot - Coming Soon

This is part one of a three part series for Creating Your Own vLog from geocacher HeadHardHat. You can watch or listen to his complete podcast based on this subject by going to http://geosnippitsreboot.com/gsrp-ep-062-creating-your-own-geocaching-vlog.

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