Remember when taking home movies involved bulky camcorders, temperamental projectors, or clunky reels of film? Well, that’s another relic of our youth that has been handily replaced by the cellphone. And I, for one, couldn’t be happier about it.
Today’s smartphones record pristine, high-definition video that you can easily capture, view, edit, and share right from the palm of your hand. By keeping these 4 important tips in mind, you’ll be creating mini-cinematic classics in no time—or, at least, capturing beautiful memories of family gatherings, holidays, and special events that are well lit, tightly focused, and just plain fun to watch.
Start by checking your video settings. Make sure that you’re using the highest quality setting possible; for high definition video, this is 1080p. Use “HDR” (high dynamic range) to get the best color and clarity. And turn on the motion stabilization option, if you have it, to keep your shots steady.
Be aware of your environment—shooting in natural light, or at the very least a well-lighted area, will always yield the best-looking video. To make your shots a little tighter, move closer to your subject if possible. This way, you’ll avoid using your camera’s zoom, which often produces pixelated, distorted images.
Remember that video creates very large files, which will use lots of storage. Try saving videos to an SD card, or to cloud storage, to preserve your device’s memory. Though it seems like a natural thing to do, avoid narrating if possible—when you’re taking video with your device, you are much closer to the microphone than the person you’re filming, so your voice will be extra loud.
Finally, for a much better viewing experience, be sure to turn your phone to the side and film video in the horizontal, or landscape, position. In addition to capturing more of the scene, it will fill much more of the screen when being played back on a phone, laptop, tablet, or other display device.
Turn your home movies into art with these simple, effective tips. Who knows? Maybe your next “Family Movie Night” will be spent watching your own newly created masterpieces!