Lets get one thing clear from the start – I know how important video is in an online world.
I know all the facts and figures regarding optimal YouTube video length, the millions hours of online content viewed daily and just how many people regard video as their preferred way to consume information. I know that good videos can significantly enhance a social media profile and drive viewers to a site in their thousands.
But even though I am aware of all that, I still cant bring myself to film my adventures and produce the videos that I know would help promote my blog and garner more interest in Wild(ish)dad.
And heres the main reason why – my time outdoors is too limited.
With an ever increasingly awesome – but also increasingly demanding – toddler, I have such limited opportunities to get outdoors and have some time on my own, or with friends, that I can’t bring myself to spend precious minutes, let alone hours, of my rationed outdoor time documenting my experiences on film. I make videos regularly as part of my day job and know all too well the time and the hassle that goes into producing a decent video, and I cant bring myself to do it when out in the ‘wild’.
When I get outdoors, I want to savour every tantrum free, awesome second of it. Enjoying the sun on my back, the squelch of bog underfoot, each lung busting hill climb and gust of the wind on my face. I don’t want to be thinking about shutter speeds, aperture and optimal camera angles.
And I guess if this means that I don’t get as many followers or as much interest in my blog, at the moment, so be it.
If I am being honest, not making videos is also in part due to laziness. The simple option when I strap on some walking boots for an overnight microadventure or cram all my gear into my bike panniers is to forget about tripods, cameras and audio equipment. For one thing it makes my bags a heck of a lot lighter, so i don’t have to work quite as hard when I am out exploring the outdoors (win), but it also means that I don’t have to faff around recording anything, with the inevitable extra effort this entails. This is especially true when self-filming and having to walk/cycle past the camera, only to then retrace your steps and retrieve it!
There are a lot of people out there making some excellent outdoors/adventuring videos and, fairy play to them. Actually, THANK YOU to them, as I enjoy watching an inspirational video as much as the next time-limited, outdoors obsessed person. However, sometimes I do wonder – does the filming experience detract from the enjoyment of what the video maker is doing? Wouldn’t it be better if they put away the camera sometimes and just enjoy the time they are spending outdoors?
I guess it is different if you are a full time adventurer, if your livelihood relies on keeping people interested in what you are up to and your next, exciting project. I am always amazed that Dave Cornthwaite manages to do day-by-day videos and uploads during his latest expeditions (he is currently cycling along the coast of Norway – on water…), which must require a huge amount of effort and, ultimately, be a timely distraction during an arduous expedition. But I can understand this effort; sponsors need to be kept happy, social media followers updated and interest in a quest maintained.
Anyway, I digress.
In conclusion – fair play to the likes of Ed Pratt (who is producing some excellent videos of his current adventure unicycling around the world) and co., but at the moment I wont be joining their video producing ranks. I may be missing a trick and I may regret my decision in the future, but at the moment I am just going to concentrate on making to most of every second I have outdoors and selfishly savour every immediate experience, just for myself.