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March 24, 2014

How to instantly shoot better travel videos on your Lumia

Earlier this month we published photographer and filmmaker Kalle-Petter Wilkman’s mesmerizing pictures from Iceland, all taken on a Nokia Lumia 925. To follow those up, we’re proud to showcase Kalle-Petter’s video from the same trip, showcasing what he learned on his trip about shooting videos on his Nokia Lumia.

As Kalle-Petter puts it, “while most of the basic rules of photography also apply to video, there are few technical things that will immediately improve the quality of your videos. In the video below, he showcases the differences his tips can make, with version one before and version two after. It’s also worth remembering, while checking out his tips, that the video and audio clips are straight from the phone: no colour corrections or filters etc were used.

1. Go manual

Do you sometimes notice the odd Jell-O-effect and focus going back and forth in your video clip? The Nokia Camera app lets you set the focus manually, which is an extremely fast and easy way to make your videos look better. Setting the focus to “infinite” is usually a good idea for anything other than macro shots, giving you a nice sharp image. Setting the white balance manually avoids unwanted colour changes, which might occur when there’s lot of shadows around and especially if there’s a mix of different light sources. And of course you can play around with it, trying out all sorts of weird colours!

manual nokia lumia 925

2. Stabilise

 While the optical image stabilisation systems of the new Lumias works better than any IS-system before, having some extra support doesn’t do any harm when shooting video, especially if there’s a moving subject or you want to do some pans and tilts. A small tripod with a phone clip is a good idea or with the Lumia 1020 there’s the ever-so-handy camera grip with a standard screw mount to fit almost any tripod. And of course there’s always a chance to be creative and use whatever you have around to steady the phone. Trees, tables, cars and road signs all make great backup tripods!

stabilise nokia lumia 925

3. Good audio

Everyone knows how hard it’s to record decent audio, even with a proper external microphone. The audio quality of my Lumia 925 surprised me big time and it’s actually quite good as long as it’s not terribly windy. The clip was recorded during a choir rehearsal in the hallway of the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland. Most of the time using a fitting song in the background will get your clip to a whole new level, but remember the copyright issues if you’re planning to share your video!

duration nokia lumia 925

4. Duration

Always record a little longer clip than you would really need, as you can always cut it shorter afterwards and that extra duration will give you more room for editing. Comes handy too when filming things like geysers… It’s also a good idea to shoot the same subject in different ways, as using various slightly different clips from the same spot will give the final cut some structure. And while you probably don’t want your holiday video to look like a music video, it still might be a good idea to keep the video as short as possible. The attention span of people is getting shorter and shorter, and us smartphone users are probably leading the way!

duration nokia lumia 925

Well, ain’t it amazing how so few things make such a huge difference to the quality of your Nokia Lumia footage? Have you discovered anything else that’s transformed your videos? If so, please let us know in the comments below. And if you want to see more of Kalle-Petter’s work be sure to check out his Flickr portfolio. We promise, you’re in for a treat!