Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

How to make a movie of your trips using only your phone

First it was the 8mm cameras, but the video cameras gave the final accolade to the rite of meeting with family and friends to show the video of our vacation. Often consistent in showing lots of very long scenes and without any kind of assembly. A little torture This does not have to keep happening.

Following some tips when it comes to shooting, mounting and showing our video this may even be considered a worthy travel movie. Enough even with employing the phone to shoot and mount it. Especially since many smartphones are already capable of recording with extraordinary quality. Although if we do the final assembly with a computer can be more comfortable.

It is possible to use only the phone to shoot and mount the footage

The first thing we must keep in mind is that you do not have to go crazy recording videos during the whole journey. It is essential to enjoy the trip. But at the same time, you do not have to be lazy to dedicate a few minutes, or even some time, to filming at times a scene that calls for it. Let's think that it can be a good idea to synthesize all the footage in a maximum of 15 minutes. It seems little, but in reality it is quite time.

We do not have to use a short script, just go filming following a temporary order for days. It is a good idea that the plans are varied. That gives interest to the video. Collating different types of shots gives quality to the shoot. So it is worthwhile to capture from detailed plans to large general plans. Which by the way are usually the most used in travel videos to capture landscapes. Nor should we go crazy with camera movements. In the video that appears below these lines you can see the different types of planes.


Remember that many mobile phones, although when zooming when taking pictures, there is a reduction in quality because digital zoom is used, in video that does not happen. At least it does not always happen. Digital video zoom often does not cause quality losses if we apply two or three magnifications. That makes it easy to record different types of plane.

Another important technical advice. If we are going to record from time to time in poorly lit environments it is better to choose to shoot at 30 fps (frames per second) than at 60 fps. Well that will increase the light that is captured because each frame remains exposed to light for a longer time. We also strongly recommend filming the 4K if possible. Even if we do not have a TV of that type, if we have it over time, the difference is important compared to recording in Full HD or HD.

If we are going to record from time to time in poorly lit environments it is better to choose to shoot at 30 fps (frames per second) than at 60 fps, that increases the light that is captured

Stabilization of the image is key when filming. And here several factors play. We must know if our phone has stabilization, optical or electronic, when recording video. If this is not clear, take this test: hold the phone free and try to record a video of 30 seconds holding it still, without moving your hands. If there are no vibrations in the image that is because you have a very good pulse or your phone has a stabilization to record video.

But as stabilization is one of the things that we should value the most when it comes to recording video, we recommend two accessories to record some shots. A tripod with a grip that allows you to record video and be light. The Compact Action Manfrotto meets those two qualities, and although it is not to be loaded all day, if it is light enough to take it out on occasion.


Obviously, we also need an accessory to adapt the phone to the tripod. Another option of Manfrotto: its PIXI clip allows you to attach a small LED light or a microphone on it to aid in recording. Finally, if we really want to record with an enviable stabilization we can resort to DJI Osmo Mobile 2. Which is a real joy for the smoothness with which you see the frames.

To improve the light we can use both the LED light of our phone and use an external LED lamp that provides more power. This product, Lumimuse of eight leds, it is quite small, it is charged with a USB port and increases the light level considerably when shooting. Do not forget that a light of this type can be ideal not only outdoors, but also if we want to shoot someone at close range and enhance it in the image. Even in broad daylight.

To improve the light we can use both the LED light of our phone and use an external led lamp that provides more power

It's time to start filming. But before a warning: do not forget that in reality the only essential is our phone, the other accessories simply help achieve better recordings. But they are not essential either. What is really important is to get excited when recording.

Some advice: it is good to be spontaneous, but nothing happens if we want to repeat a plan. As long as this does not take too long. The golden rule is that if we are traveling for pleasure, recording our video should not become a source of stress. But if we have fun doing it, go ahead and do several shots.


We can also take advantage of downtime to do some things how to record a time-lapse. Many phones, if not almost all, incorporate this function among those that come in the options of recording video. This is what is called the fast camera mode.

The time lapse serves to show in a few seconds the movement that takes place in a crowded city or how the clouds advance at high speed in a landscape. They are also ideal if we catch from dusk to dusk. This resource can be especially interesting to give the feeling that we are moving forward in time of the movie. Of course, here it is completely necessary to use a tripod.

We can take advantage of the downtime of the trip to do some things like record a time-lapse

Another type of very interesting possibility is record in slow motion, especially when we find a scene with a frantic movement. The recording in slow motion is ideal to see in detail things that happen at high speed: from the fall of water from a waterfall to some street dancers who are performing stunts. Although in that case we are forced to record in Full HD.

Once we have all our material ready, it's time to watch it and go discarding the failed plans or that have no interest. Once all the material has been classified, we must begin the assembly process.


So far we have not talked about sound, which is a very important element in any recording. We have not done it because to record sound with quality we need a more or less sophisticated equipment and It takes some time to achieve a quality sound. Too bulky for a trip in which we intend to disconnect. But having said that, it is enough to remember that when assembling the video we can perform several operations with sound.

We can eliminate it completely, or at least at certain times, and replace it with a soundtrack. A good place to find soundtracks is the Youtube audio library. One recommendation: do not introduce music that we simply like but that can be completely harmful to use in the video. Let's try to find a soundtrack that matches our video.

A good trick for sound is to replace it with a soundtrack

In order to choose applications Kinemaster Y PowerDirector are two of the best options in Android, but to use them completely we must pay to access some options. In iOS we can use Apple's iMovie, which is free, but it may also be worth using the new editor Adobe Premiere Rush (which is also compatible with all devices that have Android 9). Although it costs 12 euros every month that we activate it. But despite this we think it's worth it, because the license also allows us to use it on the computer.

In the assembly process it is convenient that the plans do not exceed, if it is not absolutely necessary the 15 seconds, but that they are not too short, of a second or two. Obviously, we must play with the rhythms according to what we are showing on the screen. Finally, we must be careful with the use of transitions, video effects or using image filters.


For the headline, let's use a font that thinks it's good to read on a phone screen but does not look huge on a TV screen. Finally, when exporting the video, let's do it with the maximum resolution to which we have recorded. But if we are mixing for any reason scenes in 4K and others in Full HD then we encode in Full HD.

If we are going to spread it on social networks, it is convenient to know if all the people who are near or not appear in it agree that the footage should flow through the internet. Mind you, we do not talk about anyone who appears walking in the background. We refer to people who play a fundamental role. Finally, although we have not mentioned in the recording section that it is advisable to record horizontally, let's think about one thing: if the video is going to be shown on a television or a monitor and we have recorded vertically, the vast majority of the screen will be occupied by a black strip.

It almost goes without saying that we should shoot horizontally, because if we shoot vertically the final footage can only be seen on a smartphone or tablet

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