NEXT LEVEL iPhone Video Skills with NO Accessories | Travel Vlogging Tips

NEXT LEVEL iPhone Video Skills with NO Accessories | Travel Vlogging Tips


This video is in partnership with Artlist.
High Quality music licensing made easy. Stick around for how to get 2 months for free. You know those travel sequences where the
film maker does loads of jump cuts, packing their vast range of camera gear? Well, I can’t
really do that sequence. Because if I did, it would look like this… (Silence) When you’re starting
out, it’s easy to feel daunted by not having enough camera gear, money or knowledge to
feel worthy enough to make a successful YouTube video. Through some miracle however, armed
only with my iPhone, this channel recently passed 6 million views. And the footage that
got me there ranged from an iPhone 5S to an iPhone 11 Pro. There are certainly better
looking travel videos out there, but the point I want to make is, you already have everything
you need to make something great. And it’s the phone in your pocket. So in this video, for the first time, I’m
gonna go into super detail of how to make any smart phone video, not just iPhone, look
the best it can do without any additional purchases. This is Suitcase Monkey, on how
to shoot the best video on your smart phone. Keep an eye on the bottom left of the screen
throughout this video. This is all raw footage I’ve shot for my previous travel vlogs and
I’ll add which iPhone is being used. You’ll be able to see how your device might compare
and what is possible with each. Again, pretty much everything I’ll be talking through
is transferable to other smartphones. I’ll add the time stamps here and in the description
if you’re particularly interested in something specific. If you’re new here, we normally
make travel movies from around the world, trying to inspire you on where to visit next.
So if that sounds like your sort of thing, then please subscribe to join the Monkey Troop. So i want to start with how you can use simple
composition to make your shots really stand out. For this, make sure you have the Grid
turned on in your camera settings. This will put split your camera into sections, which
is a good reminder for something known as the rule of thirds. Roughly speaking this
is the idea that by moving your subject to where the lines intersect, it creates a stronger
dynamic within your composition, making for better framing and therefore a better looking
shot. Now i use this all the time in my videos and often find myself preferring to actually
nudge the subject well into the far third of the frame. Immediately, this will create
a more cinematic look when used correctly. Something else to consider with composition
is variety. There is nothing worse when editing than not having enough variety to play with.
For our 14 More Days in Japan video, I shot 4000 individual clips in total. In the 40
minute finished vlog, I used only 1000 of them. That travel vlog is actually my personal
favourite so I think it’s a good video to watch after this one, to see everything I’m
talking about, in action. So, whilst filming, think about getting a
wide variety of shot types. You could start with a bunch of wide shots for example, often
called establishing shots. These can make a great introduction to a scene. Maybe you
have arrived somewhere and want to give your audience a taste of what’s to come. Also
get a variety of mid shots. These are great for capturing people, since they’re usually
around waist height. It allows more information for the viewer, creating a better focussed
story, which is the ultimate goal. Also get a nice mixture of close ups, so you can really
see those textures burst onto the screen. Then, mixed within all of this, is colour.
Always look for bright colours as it can act as beautiful punctuations throughout a video.
Then for the cherry on the cake, be aware of both the light and the dark in your surroundings
since finding these can create some beautiful contrasting shots. With all of this, your phone will automatically
focus on the objects and people in front of you, and then adjust the light accordingly.
But experiment with manual focus and manual exposure for complete control. Tapping on
the screen will force the iPhone to focus on that area, which can create a nice depth
effect for the background. To get even more control, tap and hold the
screen until you see AE/AF lock. This locks both the focus and exposure coming into the
lens. This is great if there’s lots of movement or changing light in the scene, and you don’t
want the camera auto changing all the time. This is almost a must when filming things
close up. If everything is locked and you stay the same distance to your subject, you
will be getting the best results possible. Swiping up at any time will increase the light
being let into the lens. If you already have lots of light such as from the sun, swiping
down on the display will decrease the exposure to create a dramatic silhouette. Having all this variety of clips – wide, mid,
close ups, colour, light and dark – can really spice up your footage and allows for greater
options when you get to the final edit. The more options you have, the better storytelling
choices you can make. Another big thing that will really take your
video to the next level is the movement of the camera itself. You’ll notice that in
a lot of shots I do, there is often some movement involved. Sometimes it is moving the camera
forwards ever so slightly, or from one side to the other. This all helps add to the pace
of a scene, instead of it just being static shot after static shot. If you’re walking
and moving through a scene, then use the objects around you as if you’re dancing the Tango
together! Maybe you’re walking straight forward as an area starts to reveal itself
to you. Maybe you’re shooting to the side to provide a nice parallax, maybe you’re
panning from one side to the next or tilting the camera up or down? How do the subjects
in your frame relate to each other and move with each other? Are you using the rule of
thirds or playing with symmetry: There’s loads of options here. Now I have had numerous people thinking i
use a gimbal for my iPhone but i promise you, my arm is just very steady. To achieve this,
I either hold the iPhone from the bottom with index and little finger running along the
sides or add the other hand to steady it from the bottom. Connected to the movement of the camera is
the added benefit of pacing your story and emotion. So don’t forget to also film plenty
of still shots. Speeding up the pace of a scene can only really be earned if it is in
contrast to something of a slow pace. Otherwise, if everything is fast, then nothing is fast.
And that’s very deep. if you would like more tips on the editing
side of things, please leave a like below and comment to let me know what else you would
like covered. Something that helps with pace, of course,
is the music you choose for your videos. The right song often makes a good video great.
So before we look at using the ultra wide lens and delving in the settings, this leads
us into this videos sponsor. For the last 15 months, I have used Artlist to find the
best music to fit my videos. Apart from having a massive, easily searchable library covering
all moods and genres, there are a few things that set Artlist apart, and its why I still
continue to use them today. All the music is approved for YouTube, so you won’t have
any monetisation issues. But you can also use it for professional film and TV work.
Also, the music you download while your subscription is active will always belong to you, even
if your membership expires. This is not always the case for other subscriptions and was a
big reason for me to sign up in the first place. So for anyone interested in Artlist,
I have a special link below that will get you 2 months for free when you sign up to
their 12 month plan. You will also be helping support this channel so thank you to anyone
who takes up the offer below. Something else I wanted to touch on in regards
to composition is the new ultra wide lens, introduced in the iPhone 11 range. The ultra
wide lens allows us to zoom out, and introduces tonnes of new possibilities. But I think knowing
when to use it is key. I got to explore this myself when we were recently on holiday in
Barcelona. (Barcelona vlog coming soon by the way.) So for example, look at this shot
here, showing the impressive Sagrada Familia. Here, the ultra wide angle really comes into
its own, making the shot more pronounced due to the composition and movement. And here,
the ultra wide allowed both the balcony and background to be in shot providing a better
depth. Compare this to the normal wide lens which only had enough space for the background.
The wider shot allows you to show the setting as well as the subject in lots of different
spaces. But one important thing to always keep in
mind, is that the best quality lens on the iPhone is the standard 1x wide lens. That
lens will give the best quality picture out of all 3. So if the composition of the shot
is not improved by the ultra wide framing, then stick with the normal wide angle lens
for best overall results. The same can also be said for the 2x zoom
lens. Where possible, always use the standard lens to get as close to your subject as you
can, then using the zoom when you can’t move any closer. And I would also suggest
never zooming manually beyond 2x, because again, you are losing quality the further
you zoom beyond this. Just stick to 2x zoom and you can always crop into the shot later
if needed. So knowing which lens to use is important for getting the most from your camera. So lets now get into the nitty gritty. When
I asked on Instagram what you wanted me to cover most in this video, I was surprised
that so many of you asked what settings I use. So lets talk resolution. Now if you have loads
of storage space, and a powerful computer to edit those large files then 4K will always
give the best quality so just use that. Easy answer. Having said that, everything on this
channel has actually been shot in 1080 and I’ve never had anyone complain. Also, specifically
for YouTube, there’s always the chance that the person watching your video will be streaming
it on a 4G connection on their tiny phone and they wouldn’t see the 4K anyway. So
1080 is perfectly suitable for YouTube, but feel free to use 4K if the video is going
on a big screen or you have the space and processing power to handle it. But 1080’s
fine, don’t stress. There is one circumstance however, that I
do switch to 4K within my 1080 videos. because 4K is a higher resolution, it means you can
zoom into your footage and still have the overall resolution of a 1080 shot. I often
flick to 4K when I am standing in front of a view that i might want to zoom in on later
during editing. 4K is also useful for this when filming an interview or a piece to camera.
It means you can crop into the footage to hide cuts, create camera changes or just recompose
your shot. And for anyone with an iPhone 11 or 11 Pro,
you can now change your camera settings right from within the Camera app. Just tap on the
relevant presets and you will toggle through without having to go back into the settings. Next is what FPS to choose. This stands for
frames per second and basically just means how many still images are recorded within
a single second to make up the moving video. Almost all the content on this channel has
been shot at 60 frames per second. Now there are countless youtube videos arguing the pros
and cons of all of these frame rate options. 30 frames is a good standard setting for most
things nowadays, 24 frames gives a more cinematic feel to something. A bit more dreamy, especially
when the camera is moving. But I shoot in 60, because having those extra frames, allows
me the option to slow my footage down. If I only shot at 30 frames and slowed it down
by 50% for example, you would be seeing the equivalent of only 15 frames per second which
would look incredibly janky. Now, why would I want the option to slow my
footage down? Well, the main reason is to really emphasise specific moments. Take this
example in my 7 days in Sri Lanka vlog. If you watch the same footage back at normal speed, it
just doesn’t have that same feel to it. Having the footage at 60 frames gave me the
option to slow it down and emphasise these moments, which helps tell a story or highlight
an emotion, which again is the ultimate goal. With the newer iPhones, I also have high efficiency
turned on. As long as your Mac or PC has the latest software that can read the HEVC format,
its a great way to compress a movie file without losing any noticeable quality. if you are shooting a lot more video than
photos, then this next one is a must change setting. Make sure you have Camera mode turned
on under Preserve Settings. This means it will retain the mode you had previously used,
so the camera app will always stay in Video, as opposed to defaulting back to Photo. This
saves valuable seconds when you open the camera and means you’re less likely to miss something. If you’re interested in having unlimited
access to great music, please remember to check out the link in the description for
2 months free from Artlist. This video idea actually started life as a behind the scenes
but I quickly realised I couldn’t fit everything into 1 video. So if you are interested to
hear more about my workflow or editing process, or you think I’ve missed something, please
let me know in the comments and give this video a thumbs up since it really helps the
channel. If you’re not already, subscribe for our future travels and check out our back
catalogue to see how i incorporated all these tips into a fully edited vlog. Thanks for
watching Suitcase Monkey.

25 thoughts on “NEXT LEVEL iPhone Video Skills with NO Accessories | Travel Vlogging Tips

  1. Hello Monkey Troop! Did these tips help? If there are any other things you would like me to cover on my film making process, please leave a like above and let me know more in the comments below. This video started life as a behind the scenes but I quickly realised I had too much content for just one video so hopefully this deep dive into camera techniques is useful for those interested in videography/photography. As mentioned in the video, get 2 free months for Artlist music for your videos with this unique link: https://bit.ly/2PKpxym Have a great new year everyone!

  2. Thank you for this. I found it really helpful. Liked and subscribed also. Im curious to learn more about colour grading when editing though…maybe for next time 😉

  3. I just found your channel and love your videos they're simple and well detailed, it changes from certain channels to useless and uninteresting content that do too much

  4. I am a fan. To me the best about ur videos is they r slick, succinct and humorous. Many channels include a lot of time-wasting details. I just did my Italy trip following ur videos. Thanks!

  5. Amazing. Thanks for the great tips. I have always wondered how did you make such nice videos from iPhone !

    Anyway, do you mind sharing on what camera gear do you use for photography ?

  6. Great tips. Thank you. I’m excited to film our next travel adventure. Would also love tips on editing videos.

    Happy Travels…

  7. This is THE video I’ve been waiting for! I’m SO tired of lugging all my camera gear every time we travel internationally and my spouse is even more tired of stopping and waiting while I change a lens or set up a tripod. I promised her that this Spring when we go to London and Norway I would take only my phone. Granted I have moment lenses and a gimbal as well because as an older woman my hands aren’t as steady as they once were but still, it’s all light to carry and since my phone is always in my hand, quick to use. I just upgraded to the iPhone 11 Pro Max specifically for our travels. Anyway, that’s why this video is perfect. Thank you so much! And YES!!! Please do another video on editing! I am particularly interested in editing on an iPad as I don’t take a laptop when I travel. I use Luma Fusion.

  8. Thank you! Love your vlogs?
    Superb info. Maybe do a video on how you take the raw footage edited it. And what do you use to edit?

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