We were able to shoot video while we were out running and riding in the hills, then quickly and easily edit bits of footage together
One of the best things about the modern smartphone is that you can create, edit and share your adventures while you’re out in the field using just one device. That was something we made the most of while we were in the Lake District recently for the Keswick Mountain Festival; using an iPhone 5S, protected from water and shock damage inside a Lifedge case, we were able to shoot video while we were out running and riding in the hills. Before quickly and easily editing bits of footage together and uploading to either Instagram, YouTube, Facebook when we got back to camp.
For me, I’m a fan of Instagram. I like the constraints of a 15 second video – it’s long enough to show what you’re up to, but not long enough to get boring, or for the limitations of shooting with a smartphone to become irritating. Because yes, when you’re shooting video with a smartphone there are limitations. If your ambition was to shoot movie-quality footage, you’d require at least a tripod to keep the camera steady; with an iPhone, carried with you on a run, your footage is going to be handheld and subsequently a little bit shaky. That’s not a problem in a short video, just don’t expect people to sit through 90 minute iPhone movies!
The iMovie timeline is easy to use – simply drag video clips onto the timeline and drag the ends to crop to the important bit of the shot
There are a few things you can do to minimise camera shake: firstly hold the phone close to your body, or prop it against a solid object like a wall, fence or rock, and concentrate on breathing slowly – if your heart rate is still pounding away at 180bpm, your footage will be very jumpy!
In terms of framing, if you are going to put a video up on Instagram, be aware that it crops the video square, so keep the action towards the middle of the frame. Also, using the Lifedge handlebar mount, makes it easy to use the iPhone as an action camera, shooting video footage from your handlebars, or just as an impromptu tripod. Get creative and you’ll get good shots – practice makes perfect!
Once you’ve got a handful of video clips, it’s time to start editing. While you could post a single clip without editing, and plenty of people do, it’s easier to tell a story by editing together multiple shots. I’ve had a good experience using iMovie for iPhone. It allows you to drag and drop clips from your camera roll into a timeline, much like you would if you were using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker on a computer, and then crop those clips just by dragging the ends. You can even add titles from a number of templates and music – so far I’ve just used the music supplied with the app to avoid any copyright issues.
With a little practice, even a complete technophobe will be able to create great videos in iMovie. It’s basic, but that’s the strongest selling point – it’s fast, effective, and easy to learn. If you want something a little more complex, take a look at Pinnacle Studio – it’s £8.99 and allows you a lot of extra controls over iMovie.
With iMovie everyone can tell their story in a new and exciting way at a fraction of the cost you might expect
Because I’m an Instagram fan, I’ve been editing all my movies to 15secs. If you prefer to upload to Facebook or YouTube, you can create much longer videos, but it’s always a good idea to keep things short and snappy – grab people’s attention and keep them wanting more! For that reason, titles are a good idea – tell them what they’re watching so they’re not scratching their heads before stopping the video altogether.
Once you upload to Instagram you can add filters to alter the colours of your video. The filters aren’t quite as sophisticated as the photo filters but there are some decent ones in there, so the best idea is to play around with them and see what you like.
Using hashtags will help get your video seen by more people, but keep it sensible – you will find people searching for #bouldering, #trailrunning or #escapeconnect, but it’s unlikely they’ll be searching for #ohmygodicantbelievetheviewfromuphere.
Finally it’s time to click upload, and get sharing – post it to Facebook and Twitter and wait for your friends to turn green with envy that you’re out on an adventure while they’re stuck at work.
To see the videos Andy made in the hills of Keswick take a look at our Instagram feed. And don’t forget to share your videos (and photos) with us – just add the hashtags #lifedge and #escapeconnect so we can find them.