If you need to take a picture of an object such as a piece of machinery, or of the inside or outside of a building, or of land outside, there are advantages in taking a video rather than a series of still photographs. A video will show the subject at changing angles which may make detailed features of the subject clearer than still pictures would. In addition a video which starts from a known point - such as the back door of a house - will make clear the layout of the land in a way which still photographs would not (or at least would not unless accompanied by a plan showing where each photograph was taken from).
So, except in very simple cases, it is normally best to take a video rather than still photographs. When you take a video:
1. Bear in mind that video files are quite large. One minute of recording is equivalent to about 100MB so whilst you do not want to miss anything important out of a video it is worth planning your route before you start recording so that there is no unnecessary time spent deciding where to go next when the video recording is running. Try to keep each video to less than 2 minutes. You can take more than one video, of course.
2. If the video is of the inside or outside of a building or of open land (rather than an isolated object such as a piece of machinery) you should start at an easily identifiable point, such as the outside doorway of a building or the roadside gate of a field, and take 3 or 4 seconds panning round the starting point so that the starting point is clearly shown. For example if you going to be videoing a garden starting from the back door of a house, walk several paces into the garden from the back door, then turn round and video the back door for 3 or 4 seconds, before turning round again and proceeding to video parts of the garden. This helps the viewer to "get their bearings".
3. Every ten seconds, and when videoing any important details, hold the phone/camera still for a couple of seconds.
At some stage, in the litigation process, still images may be required. For example some applications part way through litigation are considered by judges without a hearing and normally any photographs relevant to the application have to be provided as still images on paper because the "box work" (as "paper" applications are known) could be carried out anywhere and only envisages papers being considered. Also at trial it normally saves time if at least some still images are included in the Trial Bundle, and because arrangements have to be made to have equipment available if a video is to be played at trial, the court might prefer to just use snapshots in the Trial Bundle. So still image "snapshots" of selected frames will need to be made from the video, and snapshots of parts of the video when the camera/phone is being held still will be of much better quality. Even if a video seems very clear when being played, snapshots of frames where there is movement can be unexpectedly blurred. This is why it is important to hold the phone/camera still for a couple of seconds every 10 seconds and when videoing important detail. Most video apps on tablets and phones have a capture option to take snapshots from an existing video recording. Alternatively you can use VLC Media Player on a Windows or Mac computer to take snapshots from videos.
The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.
This page was lasted updated in April 2017 Disclaimer