In a world of Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram and Vine, along with social media networks built to carry videos and images readily, it only makes sense for people to want to video and photograph their exploits while on the water. Software used to create and edit the images and video is also plentiful and in many cases, inexpensive or even free.
If you do not have your kayak rigged to capture the key moments of your trips, you are both behind the times and missing a great way to share your experiences. So, what do you need to get started in self videography?
Of course, the camera is first on the list. You are not going to carry a sketch pad and try to pencil the fish on the end of the line. There are many action cams on the market, with the leader easily being the GoPro series of cameras.
The GoPro comes with a waterproof housing and has accessories such a flotation back, lanyards and remotes that work perfectly for watersports such as kayak angling and paddling. The image quality is professional-grade, high definition ranging from 720p to 4000p with varying frame rates depending on the model. It is the standard others try to follow.
Other popular choices include any that offer waterproof capabilities, such as the older Kodak Playsport and JVC Adixxion cameras. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Even the camera on your cell phone is great for both stills and video capture and can be edited easily with a number of apps available. Just make sure you are able to protect it from the water if it is not waterproof. Cases such as those made by Lifeproof will work, as will something as simple as a Ziploc-style sandwich bag.
Just as important as the camera is the media where the video and images will be saved. Most cameras use either a SD or Micro SD card. In order to capture the experience the way the camera is capable of, a Class 10 card is best. It can accept the data at a higher speed, which is needed in 1080 HD filming. It is identified on the card as a number with a circle around it. Another figure you may see on the SD card is a U with a numeral 1. This indicates the card as UHS Class 1 and is acceptable for real-time broadcasting and able to handle large files quickly.
You have the camera and a means to store the data. Now, you need to put the cameras in place. For self-filming, we will look at five angles that excel in bringing the action to the editing room.
Overhead camera. A camera set up on a pole high and behind the angler is great for getting the overall action of the catch. This is easily accomplished by using something as simple as an expandable painter’s pole in a rod holder with a camera-mount adaptor attached or something specifically designed for this like the Yak Attack Panfish mount.
Angler camera. This is a camera angle that is set up either to the front of the kayak on the side or straight in front of the angler. It is the typical head-on shot, but usually from an upward-looking angle as it is mounted lower than the angler’s body and face. It provides a great hero shot when a lunker is caught. If you stretch your arms towards this camera while holding the fish, it also exaggerates the size, making any fish look like trophy catch.
Fish camera. No, this is not a camera mounted on a fish. It is usually set up on the side of the kayak and angled toward the water. When the fish is reeled in and approaches the side, this camera gets a good shot. It also works well when the fish is released and swims away.
Point of view camera. The POV camera is often mounted on a chest strap, hat or even specialized glasses with a built in camera. This puts the viewer in the body of the angler, giving a first person feel to the action. It is as if looking through the angler’s eyes.
Landscape camera. Or should this be called the waterscape camera? This is a view as if someone else if filming away from the kayak. It is the only view in which the camera is not on the kayak. If fishing close to the shoreline, it can be taken by using a tripod and camera on shore facing where you will be paddling and fishing.
I have a camera mount made for handlebars attached just under the handle of my stakeout pole for accomplishing this capture. If fishing water less than 6 feet deep, I can plant the 7-foot stakeout pole and video without needing a second person.
After catching the fish and recording the scenes, you need to edit your video files. While there are many programs that can be used, there are several that can be used adequately for free. Windows Movie Maker is one most people with personal computers have. It is fairly simple to use and offers a good number of effects, including split-screening, which can make a catch of a single fish played in synchronization very interesting.
GoPro also has free video-editing software that includes several templates making it easy to clip, drag and drop in place. The downfall is video files from cameras other than GoPro cannot be edited with the same ease as GoPro files.
Youtube has a video editor as well. With this online editor, you upload each of your video files to Youtube first, then you can access them for editing at Youtube.com/editor. Unless you want your original unedited videos seen by all, be sure to select Private or Unlisted when uploading. Also, since you cannot edit the video before uploading to the host site, large files can take a long time to transfer.
With some different angles and a little practice editing, you can save some great trips and memories for all to see.