A Short Journey Between Two Homes (Video)

Following my previous success with compiling a travel video and getting some good feedback, I thought I’d use another travel opportunity to shoot and edit another one. Truth be told this is quite a personal piece for me.

To provide a little bit of a background. Last year before I left home for halfway around the world, I was invited to two good friends’ weddings this August – one as a guest and another as a groomsman. When I finally settled down in Sydney, I knew I had a very slim chance of actually making it back for the summer for two reasons: flights around this time are usually quite expensive, and more importantly, I wasn’t sure what I would be doing in 7 months time.

It was only until May, when I had gotten back from New Zealand, that I was looking up some deals for my travels when I came across a very lucrative flight from Sydney to Vancouver that is about $300 cheaper than usual. I decided to just go with my gut instincts and purchase the tickets, and just let whatever job I would find know well in advance (in the end it worked out perfectly, as my current boss is quite flexible).

I was quite excited to return to Vancouver during the best season of the year – summer. But in order to minimize my time away from Australia, my plan was to only stay for 8 days.

Since I knew that no one was expecting me to fly all the way home during this year, it was the perfect chance for me to take it a step further and make it a surprise visit. In order for this to happen, no one – and I mean no one – in Vancouver, even my parents, could know that I was hopping on the plane except for the two wedding parties involved.

Days leading up to the flight were the most difficult to keep my plans under wraps, with lots of questions such as, “When are you coming back?” or “Where is your next travel plans?” I managed to fend off each one with a generic response. When I finally arrived at the door of my house without my check-in baggage (thanks for the delay, United and Air Canada!) after spending 25 hours on trains, planes, and in airports, my mom was the one that opened the door displaying a priceless reaction.

I spent the next week surprising more family and friends, attending weddings, accompanied by fulfilling my delicious food cravings whenever I got a chance.

The music is “Welcome Home” by Radical Face. When I heard it after my trip I knew this was the perfect song for the video, and was glad that the pace and lyrics fit nicely.

Onto a bit of tech talk. Some people have asked me what gear I had filmed this on, stating that it looks very much like a GoPro footage with the first-person point of view. I would’ve actually loved to have done it on a GoPro if I had one, as that would save me some trouble trying to figure out how to balance a camera in one hand and handle my luggage and documents in another. It’s pretty much the same setup I have with my previous videos – Canon 7D with a 10-22mm ultra-wide angle lens on (with very small portion from my camera phone). Normally I would carry my 24-105mm as well since it has a really good focal range and image stabilization, but I couldn’t be bothered with carrying so much weight this time. The advantage of using the ultra-wide is that a lot of the handheld motion is naturally reduced, and is somewhat correctable in post-editing with the right software.

Ideally in the future, I would get a smaller camera like the Sony RX100 just for the videos. I’d get a lot less attention compared to walking around with a whole dSLR + lens stuck in people’s faces, and it’s easier to carry. Maybe one day when I’ve saved up enough and am going down this route.

So there you have it. 8 short days, 28,000km and 60 hours of journey time, condensed into 5 minutes. Definitely a trip to remember.

2 Comments

  1. W

    What a sweet video!
    Your mom is so cute – I loved her reaction and teared up of course! Your friends are hilarious, some of them 好像看到鬼 lol!
    Thanks for entertaining my very early Sunday morning ;)

    • Sam

      Haha yeah! Those raw reactions is what makes it priceless! Many people have told me it’s not often you get surprised anymore these days :P

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