How to Use Photo Motion in Your Video Projects

Shot of Energy

Film itself can be a mixture of a whole number of different media types, but it needs to maintain a certain amount of energy throughout. When using still photography in the film project you may want to give it the same kind of movement as you would with the video to ensure that the pacing and audience attention continues. There are a few things you can try to bring the concept of photo motion into the useful framework.

Video Editing Console

Slow Motion

When using photo motion people often want to make the picture move around very quickly and have a large amount of image change. This may be appropriate for a few situations, but most of the time the audience would just like to be able to see the image. In this case you should limit the amount of motion zoom you apply and how much across the image the camera moves. All you need is just a very small amount of motion to maintain energy.

Start With a Focal Point

Focal Point

Decide ahead of time what part of the image you find the most important because you are going to want to shift the motion in that direction. For example, if you have an image of some people standing in front of a house that is nestled to the left of the image you may want to try and zoom and shift in the direction of the house. Even a slight bit of pointed motion like this will guide the eyes of the audience directly to the image you want.

Fast Experimentation

Experimentation is a good idea if you do not know what you want to do exactly. Often times you see television programs that use a whole variety of flashy quick movements, and you can try these out and see if they work. Remember, purpose and clarity are the most important features of your image so shoot for that.


If you have a wide shoot you may just want to do a panorama view where you go either left to right or right to left. The best way to do this is to size the image in the frame so that all the main information top to bottom is there and then just start as far to one side as you can. Keep the motion slow enough so that people can see everything that is there. Try the same thing for skinny images, except go top to bottom or bottom to top.

Shane Burley

Shane has been working in online publishing for years, writing about topics ranging from media technologies to mobile platforms. He works professionally in the film and video industry, working as an independent filmmaker and producer.