How to film walking videos for YoutubeTue Nov 28 2023

Updated Nov 28 2023 Walking video camera guide šŸŒŽ How to get started on Youtube Walking video camera guide šŸŒŽ How to get started on Youtube

During the Summer of 2020 I watched a video that obsessed me. Nomadic Ambience's "Walking in the Rain in Manhattan" shows the first person perspective of walking through Midtown Manhattan in a rain storm. The audio picks up the rain droplets and people running around. The video is 4K with colors that look like a videogame. Over the next 6 months I watched that video 20+ times and I began building instructions on how to create videos like this myself. Those notes became this post.

šŸ“ŗ One year later and I started my Youtube channel People Watching.šŸš€



I record with a DJI Pocket 2 because it is stabilized and produces high quality video. It's small enough to hold without being obvious. Other creators use GoPro cameras with its built in stabilization. Filmers looking for the highest quality use DSLRs on a gimbal. I decided against this because it's difficult to be unnoticed by the surroundings.


For my videos I use the built in microphones. I've tried external mics but they catch noise from the clothing or breathing. Some creators use Binaural Audio which gives a directional audio. This is amazing when done correctly and miserable without the correct equipment. Because it's direction based the camera and microphones have to be static in relationship to each other. The DJI Pocket has an automatic swivel movement so it isn't possible to use Binaural Audio.



Receiving views and predicting the Youtube algorithm is difficult. When deciding where to film next, I choose locations I'm interested in exploring or that I'm curious about. In general places with high populations or cultural significance will lead to more views.


Just as important as where, is when. Looking for events, weather, and day of the week make a difference. If you want people who are moving quickly, commute times are ideal. For interesting people watching, the weekends and nights are often the best. Live events and parades are excellent for discoverability.


Google is your best friend here. I start in Google Maps by saving the hotspots I want to capture. Next I search self guided walking routes to see if there are streets I wasn't aware of. Finally, because the camera captures what's in front of you, I plan to be on the side of the street that allows me to see the subjects from a distance before getting closer to make sure everything is in frame.



For my setup I hold the camera at shoulder height in front of me. It's important to maintain a level hand for the best quality video.

For the DJI Pocket 2 I use Tilt Lock mode

It's vital to be quiet and avoid making noise. Viewers tend to enjoy footsteps but jackets, keys, and coughing need to be limited.


During the recording, I modify the route based on what I'm seeing and what looks exciting. The is partly to capture better content, but also for my own enjoyment.

Post Production


Walking videos are simple to edit. I trim the beginning and end and cut times where I was forced to stop in the middle. I use iMovie but because they are focused on the surrounding, almost any editor will work.

The first 30 seconds are important for engaging viewers, It's often worth it to cut good content in favor of great content for the first minute of video!


To create the Youtube thumbnail, I capture one frame from the video and upload it to Canva. I have some saved templates that I can modify to create an engaging image.

Uploading to Youtube

The video files are large. For 1 hour of 4k the raw footage is ~50 gb and the compressed video is ~20 gb. This takes some time to upload and then even longer for Youtube to process to 4K.

I'm still learning about Youtube SEO and increasing CTR (Click Through Rate). For now I add a descriptive title, create a description with information about the neighborhood and add a few tags.

My Channel

If you made it this far šŸ™ thank you. I hope you learned something and are encouraged to go out and create your own channel. Let me know how your process is different and improved.

Watch Walk Kreuzberg which is my most viewed video so far!šŸ–¤

If you found this helpful you may enjoy Nomadic Ambience Camera Equipment or How monetized my channel