April 11, 2013 @ 1:43 pm - posted by Robert

In our last post on Vine, Liz gave a brief introduction to Vine and some ideas for using the App on your Career Break or Sabbatical leave.

How to use Vine and upload onto your blogAlthough it’s always fun to film friends joking around, the initial appeal soon wears off and you’ll probably be wandering what else you can do to improve your Vine clips and share your Career Break travel experiences with others.

You don’t need expensive equipment to create beautiful Vine’s of your Career Break. You just need a Smart Phone, a few inexpensive extras and your imagination.

Preparation & planning

You may be using a mobile phone that’s easy to use but to create great results with Vine you need to plan ahead. Remember that you don’t have the advantage of editing your video later, so you need to plan your shots in advance. I suggest working out the shots you want and even visualising them on paper in advance. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be another Walt Disney, a few simple stick men will do.

If you want to capture the magic of your chosen location, start by taking a good walk around. You can use your phone to take pictures to help visualise your final video. You may be tempted to just shoot at will, but don’t be surprised if the results are rubbish. Don’t worry, you can always delete the clip and start again.


When composing your shot, try not to position everything centre frame. Experiment with composition and positioning and you’ll soon develop an eye for what works best for you.

Being aware of your surroundings will enable you to both use them to create better shots and avoid common mistakes such as trees and lamp posts seemingly grow out of people’s head. Simply by adjusting your camera position slightly, it’s an easy mistake to avoid.

Key frame & End frame

The first frame of your Vine also serves as your Key Frame, meaning that when viewers are browsing through clips, you want your first frame to really stand out.

Unlike traditional video where you’d likely open with a wide establishing shot to set the scene. With Vine it’s better to open with a dynamic close up and then cut to a wider shot if need be.  Rarely is an eye grabbing kickass Key Frame achieved with a wide shot; unless you have a spectacular one such as the Grand Canyon under an apocalyptic sunset.

Don’t forget that your Vine clip will loop, so when planning your final shot try and avoid a similar composition that will jar with your Key frame. Ie if you’ve chosen a close up as your key frame, use a mid or wide shot to end.

A Glif, a Tripod or a Gorilla?

Hand held videos have their place but that doesn’t mean it’s for everything. The internet is awash with shaky amateur unwatchable videos.

The Glif

To really create great Vine Videos, I’d recommend getting a Glif. This allow’s you to attach your iPhone to a tripod for control and stability. They are light, easy to carry and small (the width of your iPhone).  If there’s one thing I’d recommend that will greatly improve not just the quality of your Vine’s but also add to the enjoyment you get making them, the Glif is it.


The Glif design

The Glif



Glif for recording on iPhone

It’s well worth shopping around on eBay for the best price.

The Tripod

Armed with your Glif, you’ll also want a tripod to attach your phone to. The good news that because you’ll be using it with your ultra lightweight iPhone, you won’t need an expensive heavy duty one.

The Gorilla

If you want the stability of a tripod without the hassle of carrying one around everywhere, you might consider a Gorilla. These mini tripods with their flexible ‘grippy’ legs are ideal for the iPhone. I also use mine to give extra support for hand held shots and they can be used to wrap around just about anything for some really interesting shots.


Using a Gorilla with a mobile phone

A Gorilla Tripod

So a few of the key things to remember when making great Vines are:

  1. Plan your shot before you start filming as you cannot edit in Vine
  2. Open with a dynamic close up shot for your Key Frame. This is the first thing people see and it needs to grab them.
  3. To avoid shaky handheld videos, look at getting a glif and tripod/gorilla

In our next post, we’ll cover:

  • Lighting
  • iPhone lens attachments
  • Recording Sound
  • Shooting stop frame and effects
  • Refilming through a TV or Monitor.


Happy Vining.




About Robert

Robert was born with a Wonderlust and nothing excites him more than travel. He recently spent time living in Vietnam teaching English. Upon his return, he and Liz set up CareerBreak360 to help others achieve their Career Break goals.

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