Are you one of those people who look at their phone and see all the settings and you’re just too scared to try them? You should get over that and start playing. One really fun feature is the Slo Mo which allows you to get slow motion video. You can do amazing things with and slow mo video and birds.
The above video is a green jay and great kiskadee on a suet feeder at Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park in south Texas.
I love this video. When it’s at regular speed, it looks like the great kiskadee is banging itself against the suet log. However, when slowed down to 50% you can see that the bird is actually hovering and getting big fat chunks of peanut butter suet out of the log. Plus the green jay looks gorgeous as it flies off. You can take pictures with your phone by holding it up, but it’s next to impossible to get decent video because your hands will shake too much. That’s where the PhoneSkope case some in so handy since it firmly attaches it to your scope.
The one downside to slow mo is that all the ambient sounds–especially human voices can sound monstrous because they are also slowed down. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to view northern goshawks Maine. One thing you should know about this hawk is that if the female finds you anywhere near her nest she will very loudly and aggressively escort you out of there. She is relentless and not afraid of making contact to your body with her talons. Here’s a brief video of the encounter:
She especially sounds terrifying in slow motion.
Sometimes I will try fix this. When I’m out in the field taking pictures and videos, I’ll also record some ambient sounds. It works best if you do this in video mode. The microphone video uses on your smartphone is much stronger than the microphone the voice memo features uses. Since I have an iPhone, I edit my videos in iMovie which will let you load videos in as ambient sound. Here’s a video of some snow geese in slow motion with sounds of snow geese are regular speed put over it:
Just more amazing things with and slow mo video and iMovie makes it very easy.
Note the positioning of my phone on my scope
A pro tip when you are taking video is to keep your phone horizontal. Most of the video sharing platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo are all in a landscape format. Trying to squeeze in vertical video reduces the image size and people won't get to see your spectacular footage.