How to Use video to Document Life

Country roads and clouds

It was such lovely weather this weekend that we did a short hike of 8 kilometers through the woods. I took quite a few photos with my pink compact camera (Ixus 115 HS). It also shoots HD video, something I haven’t been using very much. But with my new fast laptop the movies I have shoot actually plays really well. And it makes me remember how much I love making short films!

I took about four clips of 1,5 minutes, plus the photos. And then last night I edited some of that together, added music – and voila! Something little finished, a quick movie called A glimpse of Spring in Sweden! Yay! And it reminded me how much I love editing too!

Making Video

Using video to capture an event or the mood of the season, like I did in this short video, is great. The most important thing is to “think” while shooting the movie, and create short snippets of film that you can then later edit together. Watching hours of personal video is not fun, not even for the closest family (or yourself after that initial time)!

Instead, aim to get a few seconds of this and a few seconds of that. If it’s a birthday make sure you get all the little happenings, just like when you try to document it with photos. Perhaps even the preparations, and then opening gifts, eating cake, and the faces of all the attendees. If you want to keep the original sound, make sure you listen to the conversations to not stop someone in the middle of a sentence…

And then take the time to edit it! Do it!

Editing your Video

“Editing in the camera” is a well known expression that means that you plan what to capture, and think/look while moving the camera around. That’s what I did when I captured myself walking on the forest path, and then moving the camera into all that lush green – I know it would be a nice intro to this short movie.

But then you also need to do actual editing, especially if you want to make a finished product, something to upload to your video account, blog – or simply share with your family and friends. And it’s really easy – and fun!

You can downloaded Microsoft’s free editing software MovieMaker, which is what I use. There you start a new project, import the 2-5 clips and start experimenting with the different settings. You can easily add titles and text, music and fancy transitions between photos and videos. Longer snippets can be cut up by one button click! Just try a few things and watch the result. You can always try another way later. When you are finished you export (render) the different files into one movie clip and upload it to whatever site you want (or save it to your computer).

I love making little music vignettes like the one above, though I also think it adds a lot if you can keep some of the original sounds. Did you hear the birds in the forest?

Do you shoot video too, and for what purposes? What programs do you use? Do you use film to document any special parts of your life? Please share in the comment section. I’d love to see what you make.

Also feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

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4 Responses to How to Use video to Document Life

  1. regina says:

    What a great idea!! Love the pretty scenery. THanks for all the info. :)

  2. Love this video! :)
    I tried to make videos some time ago, but I have some difficulties in finding the good music for them. Any suggestions?

  3. Pingback: Link Love: RSS, Feminism and Flickr | iHanna's Blog

  4. uncustomary says:

    I especially love the footage of you driving.

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