Travel like a content creator

Date:30 April 2018 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:, ,

There are few people who travel with more gear than technology reporters, but YouTubers are definitely it. We spoke to two ­– Tom Falck and Miklas Manneke – to find out what’s in their bags and how to up our travel insta game.

Tom Falck

Tom is a producer/filmmaker who’s freelanced for Facebook, UNHCR and others and has now started his own web series called Cape Secrets.


How can I take better vacation photos?

Take photos early morning or late afternoon, around sunset to avoid the glare of the midday sun. Try and get high up or get close up, don’t try to do both. Then take your time. Enjoy the moment and be patient, your third pic will usually be way better than your first. Play with angles, depth of field and the rule of thirds. Don’t think about what other people will like, think about what you find beautiful and it will make your photo even more special.


There are a lot of regulations around flying drones in South Africa, how do you manage to get such amazing footage on your travels?

When I’m in SA I try to fly my drone on private property – with the owner’s permission. I also use an amazing app called Hover which shows restricted airspace near you. There are some obvious rules like “don’t fly near airports” (10 km radius), people or houses (minimum 50 m). I also set a limit on my drone of roughly 250 m (the legal ceiling for unauthorised aircraft). If I can’t see it with my naked eye I wouldn’t feel comfortable because you can’t see what’s behind or above you on the monitor.


What will we find in your bag when you travel?

Well if I’m heading to London you’ll find a LOT of biltong and fish paste! Normally I’ll have my rather large camera bag with me, insisting to airport staff it’s my ‘laptop bag’. It’s usually filled with all sorts of adapters, charge cables, batteries, my laptop, my drone, GoPro and camera.


What’s your one piece of indispensable travel advice?



How do you make street photography look less weird?

Haha! I don’t think you can make street photography look any less weird unless you get a permit and block off the entire street so you’re all alone.

When I produce commercials I really feel bad for the actors or models having to do ridiculous things with people on the street gawking at them. But when filming my own stuff and holding a camera I realise I must look like a complete loon swaying from side to side trying to give my recoding some movement. But heck! Embrace it, don’t be shy or you’ll miss a good opportunity.


What’s your next adventure?

I’m nearly finished filming the second lot of episodes for my web series called Cape Secrets (@cape_secrets on Instagram), which explores beautiful places in and around South Africa, for tourists and South Africans alike.


Miklas Manneke

Miklas Manneke is a South African filmmaker/creative director and Student Academy Award Nominated Director.


What’s your staple travel gear?

Backpack, Leica Q, MacBook Pro, Drone, iPhone, Bose Headphones (noise cancelling is a must for flights), Vitamin tablets, Notebook, Pen, Sunglasses, Battery Pack, Converter plugs.

You’re dropped off in the middle of a city you’ve never been in and have 48 hours there, what’s your first move?

I’d reach out to some local Instagrammers. In every city that I’ve explored, I’ve had Instagrammers show me around. It is as simple as reaching out and asking for some good photo spots in their city. Often they will be willing to show you around because they proudest of their city and love sharing their favourite photo spots with others. Some of the best moments I’ve had on my travels is meeting Instagrammers in new cities, grabbing a coffee or drink and getting to spots that I would’ve never known otherwise.


One indispensable piece of travel advice?

Download Google Trips on your phone. This is a great way to plan your trip before the time. Take note of locations you would like to see within the app and also to download the maps to your phone for when you have no internet connection.

Google trips also gives you great information about transport options, local food and things you need to know (local emergency numbers, tipping)

Another piece of travel advice is to book your trip with an airline that has a layover in a city you would like to see. It is easy to book an extended layover of 10 or 12 hours. It gives you the opportunity to get off the plane and see an extra country or city on your trip. Maximise your travels!


How can I improve my vacation photos?

1. Photography is a method to really amplify your travels and help you take in the moments. It is important to treat your travels as a hunt for beautiful moments. Use photography as a way to see things that you would otherwise miss. Use it as an excuse to get lost, remember to look, see and take in your environment more than shooting.
2. To get the best possible photo is also about having amazing light. Try shoot at the right times of the day to get the lighting that you want. I find it best to shoot around sunrise and sunset.
3. Don’t travel with too many cameras, too much gear tends to complicate things. I find minimal gear has always made travelling more pleasant.
4. Have enough SD cards and make sure your batteries are fully charged.
5. Do your homework before travelling. Look at Instagram hashtags and places that will inspire you before your trip. Find the spots that you would like to shot at, it really helps to know this and then being able to navigate through a city. It helps you make the most of your time.


There are a lot of regulations around flying drones in South Africa, how do you manage to get such amazing footage on your travels? 

1. It is important to travel with someone who has a drone license or to get one yourself.
2. You also need to be familiar and respectful of the rules because they are there for a reason.
3. Make sure that you are very comfortable with your drone and have watched enough tutorials.
4. Have a subject for your shots.
5. When it comes to filming or taking photos with a drone it is about taking your time to set up the shot. I know many people will just start filming or taking photos the second the drone goes up but I feel that it works better when you find the photo or moment you want to capture and only start recording then. This starts even before you start flying, by scouting the area and getting to grips with what you believe would make a good photo.


What’s your next adventure?

I am flying to Paris, Boston and New York over the next couple of weeks. I’ll be sharing the trip on Instagram @miklasmanneke. Recently I uploaded a video where I asked over 400 people around the world to dance for me which you can watch on my YouTube channel Miklas Manneke. Follow @danrubin and @alexioso who helped me out with these tips.


Latest Issue :

Nov-December 2021