How to Take the Best Videos of Your Summer

Summertime means fun and adventure and plenty of daylight to capture those moments on camera! Fortunately, taking pictures and videos are camera is convenient and you don’t need to read a manual or take a class to use it! And with manufacturers battling it out for the best phone camera capabilities; is it a camera with a phone? Or a phone with a camera? Either way you look at it, you want to make sure you maximize it’s capabilities while capturing the sights and sounds of summer.

Before you start tapping away…

Go through this critical checklist:

  1. Make sure you have ample storage on your phone or memory card. Videos can eat away chunks of space before you even dip your toes in the water. 64GB would be a decent amount. If you plan on shooting a bunch, choose 1080 resolution. 4K is a space hog.

  2. Pixels. Make sure your camera has at least 12 pixels to ensure quality and vitality of your shots.

  3. Don’t use digital zoom. Blah. Talk about pixels. Digital zoom on phones will make your video look very pixelated. Move instead of using zoom.

  4. Lens. Yes, there are mobile phone lens on the market! For macros, zoom, fish eye. Some brands to consider; Moment or Olloclip.

  5. Gear. To not only make your life easier but help reduce shaky video, consider buying a stabilizer (Gimbal is one. A little high end, but you could search Ebay as well). If a Gimbal is not in your budget, then a tripod or gorilla pod. Last resort, pick up a selfie stick. Multi-purposes there! You many think your are Steady Eddie, but one you put that video up on the big screen…you make get motions sickness. Stabilize!

  6. Keep the phone horizontal when filming. You’ll capture more and it will look much better once on the screen.

  7. Before you start on your venture, you’ll want to consider what shots to take. Think about who is going to be the audience? (Kids? Grandparents? Social club?) How do you want it to feel? (Happy, emotional, inspiring?) You’ll want to keep this in mind while shooting. As well as for post editing and adding music.

Let the fun begin…

And let it begin before you even leave the house like capturing the packing or climbing into the car. You could also try time lapse while on the road. There are apps available if your phone doesn’t have this feature.

Here are some other tips for grabbing the best shots;

  • Remember, you don’t have to shoot all video. Your final video keepsake can be a mix of video and stills.

  • Vary your shots. Take wide shots to fill the audience in on the scene, the big picture. Take medium shots for focusing in on 4 or less people. Take close-up shots for the details like a rub on the back, a ring, a facial expression.

  • Shot a lot. But not long. Go for 5-15 second clips.

  • Change perspective. Shoot from ground level, from a bird’s eye point of vide or from a child or dog’s point of view.

  • Don’t forget yourself!

  • Audio is important! Whether it’s the surrounding ambience (crickets, roller coast, ocean waves) or laughter or narrative. This is what makes video so special - capturing the sounds of the moment.

When you get home…

Capturing the shots is the first step. Don’t let them site, forgotten on a hard drive or SD card. There are options for turning these shots into a keepsake that can be enjoyed over and over.

  1. There are a plethora of photo and video apps to not only assist in capturing video, but allowing you to add fun filters and even music. The worthwhile ones you actually will pay for. A small fee.

  2. If you want to make some cuts to some shots, add transitions or other edits, a step up would be to use the software that came with your computer. iMovie for Macs and Windows Movie Maker for PCs).

  3. If you want to get a bit fancier and creative, the pro software is your answer. They do cost a large amount of money, so only consider investing if you plan on doing more of these videos as well as taking the time to learn how they work. Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro and two of the most common, popular packages. You are able to fix dark or overexposed videos, fix shaky videos, make cuts easily, add special effects, voice overs, animated text. You can connect the shots in a meaningful way. Finally, they also offer you a multiple options when exporting, either to DVD, social media, Vimeo, etc.

Putting together all of these clips into a final video makes it fun and easy to watch, share and watch again. It’s worth the effort. Or, hire a professional to add the finishing touches!

If you have an adventure coming up soon, here is some inspiration for you;

  1. Vimeo Travel.

  2. Mr. Ben Brown on YouTube.

  3. Fun for Louis on YouTube.