Learn to hold your phone sideways, please?

It seems everyone is uploading videos online these days, but it is astonishing how so many STILL don’t know how told hold their mobile phones. There is one aspect to it that bothers the hell out of me and many others. I want to give all of you budding film makers out there a tip on how to properly film for social networking sites from your phone.

Just about everyone has a mobile phone camera, so Facebook feeds are filled to the brim with home movies. Whether it’s of a night in a club or at a family day out, there really is a correct way of shooting video from your phone.

Facebook, TheLADBible and YouTube all use a widescreen aspect ratio when they embed your videos – even televisions, laptops and PCs are widescreen. What this means is the images you see are longer than they are taller – sounds simply but it really is quite shocking how many people still don’t get it. There are two ways of holding your smartphone when filming your subjects.

The first is portrait which is the most common way of holding a mobile as everything you do on your phone from sending a text message to surfing Tinder is a little easier in this postion. It feels natural. Problems emerge with this hold when it comes to taking pictures and video – it produces a portrait image when watching back on screens that are not naturally held vertically, like a laptop or PC, and of course that giant screen TV. If you watch the images back on a mobile phone, then it’ll fill the entire screen, yet you miss out on so much detail as your phone screen is only so wide. I know most social network users are browsing on mobile phones, but come on, think of the rest of us.

filming tutorial 2

The picture below is laptop screening a film I shot while holding my mobile phone in the portrait position. Notice the lack of detail in the shot, plus those distracting black boxes on either side of the film. These things can be avoided if you hold your phone landscape.

filming tutorial 4

The second, and correct way of filming with your mobile phone, is landscape. This gives a true widescreen image for those social networking websites you upload to. It will fill the entire frame so when you watch back on a PC or laptop screen there will be no black areas on the footage, and will capture as much detail as possible in the frame.

filming tutorial 3

Now if you hold your mobile phone in the landscape position while filming, your video would look like this to social networking users. You can fit so much more into the frame plus you’ll notice that those distracting black boxes have disappeared. It makes people’s viewing of your videos so much more pleasurable as you’re not distracted by a narrow field of view.

filming tutorial 1

I hope I have managed to shed some light on your film making skills. I want to enable you to get the most out of your hand held technology. So come on all you budding movie makers – this is not rocket science. Let’s have fewer videos shot vertically and more with widescreen as the Gods of video intend.

 

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