When you take a photo, what you are really trying to do is capture a moment. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you press the shutter a split second too late. So you take another photo, and another one. But the moment is gone, and you wish you had been shooting video for the last 60 seconds instead.
But video is hard. It takes forethought and camera skills, and you rarely get what you want in one shot—which means editing, which means work. It’s just easier to take a photo. And that is what most of us do. Admittedly, I take a fair amount of both—I have 4,094 photos on my phone, and 322 videos—yet my videos still only represent 7 percent of the moments captured on my camera roll.
What if making a good video was as easy as taking photos? That is the basic idea behind Takes, a new iPhone app that just launched today in the App Store. Takes is a new type of camera. You snap photos, and you end up with a tightly edited video. Swipe up and down to add filters. Swipe left and right to change the soundtrack, and you are done. Not only do you end up with a compelling video, you get to keep the photos as well.
Takes is a portfolio company of bMuse, a product studio where I am a partner. I am an adviser to the company, and have been using the app for the past few months. Instead of shooting random video clips on my phone, only to watch them once and abandon them forever in my camera roll, I am now actually making mini-movies I want to show other people. (Here’s one I took of a walk in the woods). But don’t take my word for it. Download the app, and let us know what you think.
There are countless video apps out there. I’ve tried them all. Some are quite good, but none have become an habitual, go-to app. They require either too much work or produce videos that aren’t particularly inspiring.
Video is a hard problem, much harder than photos. With photos, you add a filter, some cropping, and almost anything looks good. Making good videos is much more complex—it’s all in the editing, the pacing, picking exactly which moments to show.
Takes is unique in that it lives at the intersection of photos and videos. Through its magic sauce, it translates the ease of taking photos into compelling, personal videos that you can share with anyone via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
It just works. Even the music engine cuts the songs dynamically to the length of each video. You never have to think about “making a video” because all you are doing is taking photos. The app groups them together by time. Hit the “Instant” button and your photos are transformed into a video. Or go into the gallery and select your own moments to put together.
But the photos don’t go away. Scrub through the video to see each individual photo. When you share a Take on Facebook or the web, viewers can toggle between the video and a gallery of the underlying photos. The pictures are literally moving.