December 10, 2021

How to Create Slow-Motion, Blowing-Leaf Videos

This video of leaves blowing in slow motion was created by strapping my iPhone onto the snoot of a leave blower. It’s a simple effect that required minimal equipment. Here’s how to do it:

1. Set your iPhone to Slo-Mo

Make sure the slo-mo speed on your iPhone is set for the fastest FPS (feet per second):

Settings > Camera > Record Slo-mo > 1080p at 240 fps

2. Strap it on

You’ll need to anchor your iPhone to the end of the leaf blower as seen above. The Pedco Ultrapod II is great for this. Built on an angle bracket, it’s designed to be strapped around objects like trees, fence posts and apparently on top of leaf-blower snoots. As seen in the photo, the legs are retracted and a longer velcro strap was used. There are other tripods and bracketing devices that will work. Some may require two velcro straps to stabilize.

You’ll also need a mount for your phone. The Shoulderpod is used here, but mounts like the Manfrotto Twist Grip or the Moment Magsafe will also work.

3. Compose

Set the Camera app on your iPhone to Slo-Mo and adjust. It will have to be pointed in a little towards the end of the snoot so your blowing leaves are not noticeably off center. You’ll also have too decide if you want to tilt down to just capture leaves or tilt up a little to capture the environment as well. Tilting down too far will capture the area that’s already been blown. Tilting too far up may miss some of the blowing action.

4. Roll ’em

You’re ready to go. You can use remote start on an Apple Watch. As for technique, you can walk forward or swing side-to-side. Of course, you do need it to be fall. The same technique can be used (with care) for snow, sawdust, cold ash etc.

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