Making of "Back to the sea" video

creating a video using photographs with Final Cut Pro X

“Back To The Sea” is a video of a series of photographs taken in summer 2019 in Scotland that I wanted to showcase. The images are of seabirds and places.  I wanted to consolidate and present this material into a single video and after considering alternative editing tools, Final Cut Pro X was used. 

The purpose of this post is to give readers an overview of the equipment used and the creative and technical steps that went into the creation of my “Back To The Sea” video. It is hoped this post will encourage others to give this a go, or to use a 3rd party.

Back To The Sea can be seen here.


Cameras and lenses

Over 50 photographs were used for the video. The cameras used were my Nikon D850 full frame DSLR and my Lumix GH5 and G9 Mirrorless Cameras. Each type of camera has its own characteristics in terms of format, megapixels and how images are to be processed for presentation.  Image processing was needed to bring the photographs to a common standard and format.  Care was taken to crop the images and to ensure that they were properly exposed and that grain and colour was addressed.  Multiple lenses were used for each camera, from wide angle to long telephoto.  This variety of equipment and the results they produced provided lots of interesting images that I wanted to show. 

Video production hardware and software

We have a number of software packages to choose from.  I decided to use Final Cut Pro X, (FCPX), because it gives editing flexibility, particularly around the use of special effects and music. Close examination of the above screen capture video shows the use of multiple sound effects for wind, sea and of bird noises. A variety of backgrounds and textures were used to frame images. These techniques together with the photographs come together to create a landscape and soundscape that draws viewers into the video.  Particularly important is the choice and use of music because it sets the scene and takes the viewer on an emotional journey.


A minimum requirement for video is to process and reformat your photographs into a common format such as 16 by 9. This is to display images in a consistent way.  Cropping photographs and adjusting their exposure, contrast and colour balance is needed and this requires a suitable computer and image management software such as Adobe Lightroom.

Video editing and rendering software is also needed. This varies considerably in cost and sophistication, and whilst there is free software available, or packaged into suites such as Lightroom, it is likely that a more feature rich package is needed. This will incur cost. FCPX costs more than £300 because it is professional software. It is designed to give the creator the tools to process images, add video and audio effects, to manage music and to render videos for broadcasting, for TV, mobile devices and DVD.

Above all, creation of a video using lots of photographs requires a good eye to create a video you would want to watch. It requires a willingness to learn new skills, a modern computer and software to manage and process photographs and then to edit and render the final video. This demands lots of time. Expect to repeat the final parts of the exercise to get result that you are happy with. This can be a frustrating and costly process. Projects often fail and disappointment results.  

We do not want you to waste time and money but to enjoy the end result.  That is why we offer a service to create videos using your images.  Find out more about costs and timescales, call us for a quote.