Group Project:  Start shooting short video clips and/or stills from the moment you arrive at the workshop: candid shots, closeup shots, group shots. Clean your camera lens and microphone (both at the rear of the phone). Start and stop recording video often rather than leaving video on for longer than, e.g., 15-20 seconds.  After the workshop, photos and video clips will be sent to moliviasalas@gmail.com who will edit them into a short video for sharing in the next newsletter.

            The GCA recently added video as a class in flower show photography divisions.

            “A video can include regular time video footage, time-lapse photography, slow motion photography, and/or still images. The video can be one of the previous formats or a combination of two or more.”

Why Shoot Video?:

  • As an artform, e.g., film/movie
  • As a tool for education, PR
  • Sharing on social media (TikTok, YouTube, etc.)
  • Sharing with friends and family.  We will assume this is the most immediate purpose for workshop participants.

Preparation for the Workshop:

  • Beforehand download:
    • Clips (free app)Make sure you have QuickTime Player on your Mac.  It’s the default on Mac computers.
    • iMovie for iPhone (free).  iMovie is preloaded on all Mac computers.


            Mobile device: this workshop is presented within the context of use of an iPhone, however, most of the information translates for other mobile devices.

  • iPhone – What model can I use?
    • The film “Tangerine” was shot entirely on the iPhone 5S and released in 2015 to critical acclaim.
  • Taking it to the Next Level:
    • Tripod and remote shutter release
    • Gimbal (to eliminate camera shake)
    • Microphone(s) (to enhance audio)

File Format – Setting up Your IPhone Camera.

            Video files take up large amounts of storage.  This is a major consideration both when shooting video and when deciding how to share (output). What can you tolerate? Let’s get started.  At the end of this worksheet is an in-depth guide to resolution, file format, etc.

Go to “Camera” > “Record Video” to set your preferences. Default: 1080p HD at 30 fps (130 MB for one minute of video).  What aspect ratio should I use?  See this guide.  The answer depends upon how you plan to use the video.  E.g., most social media is geared toward a portrait mode and each has its own specific specifications regarding resolution, size, etc.  See this resource that lists the specs for 2023.

Start Shooting!

  • Clean your camera lens and microphone (both at the rear of the phone).
  • Tip:  Start and continue shooting after the main event you wish to capture.  This extra/buffer footage often is helpful when editing clips.
  • Camera shake is the most common mistake when shooting video.
    • Equipment solution:  Gimbal, tripod
  • How to capture the best audio
    • Point your mic(iPhone) at the sound source.
    • Equipment solution: External mics, baffles



1.         Shooting Video.  Go to “Camera” > “Record Video” to set your preferences.

Translate:  1080 p(rogressive scan) H(igh) D(efinition) at 30 f(rames) p(er) s(econd)

  • HD: HD videos are either 720p (1280×720) (which is the lower-quality version of HD) or 1080p (1920×1080) which is the standard resolution for which HD is recognized, often referred to as “Full-HD”.
  • 4K: The term “4K” simply refers to the approximate horizontal resolution of the image (roughly 4000 pixels across) (The iPhone screen does not have that many pixels.)
  • Frames Per Second:  See “Beginner’s Guide.”  Basically, 30fps will do the job unless there is excessive movement (a sporting event with fast action, etc.)

2.         Sharing Video/File Transfer.

  • (Very) Short videos.
  • Longer videos involve two steps:  Sending the video from your mobile device to a computer which can accommodate the large file size and then convert to a usable file format:
    • How to use QuickTime
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) is the most common type of video file format. Apple’s preferred format, MP4 can play on most other devices as well. It uses the MPEG-4 encoding algorithm to store video and audio files and text, but it offers lower definition than some others. MP4 works well for videos posted on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • MOV (QuickTime Movie) stores high-quality video, audio, and effects, but these files tend to be quite large. Developed for QuickTime Player by Apple, MOV files use MPEG-4 encoding to play in QuickTime for Windows. MOV is supported by Facebook and YouTube, and it works well for TV viewing.

VIDEO APPS:  There basically are two types of applications:

  • Editing your video:
    • Top of the list will be Adobe Premiere (Pro and Rush versions) which are subscription-based.  Amazing tools but worth it only if you decide to get serious about video editing.iMovie preloaded app on Mac computers and mobile version (free for Mac users).
  • Enhancing your iPhone to improve the settings for shooting video:
    • Filmic Pro (subscription) tops the list of recommended apps