Ron Guest

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My about face on Live Photos; also thanks Snapthread!

When Apple first introduced Live photos I thought they were just a gimmick - a bit of flash for some marketing buzz. After all, almost no one but the owner would ever see the live version, right? Fast forward a couple of years and I needed a new phone and after holding one at an Apple store I splurged for an iPhone X for Christmas. A couple days later we leave for a vacation and it happens… a complete 180 degree turn in my opinion. Why you may ask?

Live Photos are an amazing way to capture the perfect moment when photographing an individual or group. Remember how often someone’s expression is just slightly off, or they have just started to blink and their eyes aren’t completely open? Live Photos capture a few seconds in time and based on taking a few hundred photos on the trip are amazingly effective at capturing those β€œjust right” expressions. All you need to do is scan through each frame of the Live Photo and pick the right key frame.

I also discovered another thing about Live Photos. There can be a lot of humor captured in those few seconds as people start to mug for the camera or relax just after they think the photo is done. I found value in Live Photos even in landscape photos (e.g. at the beach). Those few seconds are often the prefect amount of time to capture a wave crashing on the beach or trees rustling in a forest - without the hassle of starting and stopping a movie capture. It just seems more natural and it really encourages short snippets of motion. At least for me, I always hated to fire up the video mode unless I was recording something that took awhile. It all sounds great, right, but …

Apple in one of those odd decisions it makes provides no way to really leverage and share the motion captured in Live Photos. I was incredibly frustrated by this because many of the Live Photos I captured on the trip would have made a great video when stitched together. I did some searching for an iOS app to help and all the ones I found initially were lacking. Then, by some miracle, one of the women I follow on Twitter retweeted a request from @becky for beta testers for an app called Snapthread. She kindly agreed to add me as a beta tester and at first I wasn’t sure I could pull off my project with the app. I feared I was still going to have to jump through the hoops to get them all into iMovie - not something I looked forward to at all. But I made a few suggestions to @becky which she implemented virtually over night and viola I had the perfect iOS app for creating videos out of stitched together Live Photos. In fact Snapthread worked so well I integrated some movies taken from the trip with the Live Photos. When it was all said and done I and created 48 clips in Snapthread (from a few seconds to a few minutes)! Becky’s app allowed me to quickly create and share memories from our vacation in a way just having some photos or videos could never have accomplished. And all made using my iPhone. Thank you Becky! Obviously I highly recommend Snapthread and Becky is absolutely justified in saying this is the best app for combining and sharing Live Photos.

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