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We are wedding photographers based in Indianapolis, Indiana with a focus on storytelling.  Our husband and wife team excels at capturing candids and romantic portraits to help tell the story of two people in love.

Jennifer Van Elk Blog

Shooting, Editing, and Color Grading on an iPhone

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A husband & wife lifestyle wedding photography blog, highlighting the sessions captured by the team. Located in Indianapolis and South Bend.

Shooting, Editing, and Color Grading on an iPhone

Steven Van Elk

I shoot a lot of video on my iPhone, and I typically only ever use my iPhone for very minimal editing and color grading. Well, last year I decided it was time to change that, and so I started trying to think of fun, little projects I could shoot and edit completely on the iPhone. Some trips with my son to go apple picking and to play on the playground seemed perfect for this.

I used the built in camera app on the iPhone to shoot the videos and then I used iMovie to edit them. They were both fun projects, but I quickly learned that it's incredibly hard to edit any video in which my son is the star. With other subjects I can quickly make cuts and edit out the bad parts, but with my own son it was very hard to make decisions to cut out any of the clips. I just don't see the bad parts.

So what was it like editing on the iPhone? Slow. It was incredibly slow. It was definitely interesting and a new experience, but it was just really slow. Also, I missed a lot of the controls I have with FCP X. iMovie does a great job of managing the little things, like audio fades, for you. It definitely gives the video a little polish. It just seems lacking though. It was interesting to me that on the iPhone you can slow a clip down all the way to 1/4x of the intended playback speed, but you can't speed the clip up at all. It was also frustrating that I couldn't layer clips. That's mostly frustrating because I've been so spoiled by Final Cut Pro, Adobe's Premiere Pro, and Avid's Media Composer over the years. It seems like a basic tenant of video editing to me, but I don't have much experience with consumer editing programs.

In the end though, I was left wondering how beneficial it could be to have FCP X on an iPad some day. I imagine it'd be a very useful tool for editing in the field. Bringing a laptop to edit just seems to be difficult in comparison with the ease of use an iPad would afford. I'm mostly thinking about the way a laptop forces you to sit while editing and the fact that you'd have to be much more closely tied to a power source with a laptop.

Anyway, if you have an iPhone I greatly encourage you to get out there and start shooting videos. You can edit them together pretty easily with iMovie. For short, fun projects it's a really powerful tool.  For processing anything over 5 minutes of video clips, it's just laborious. You're going to want to be at a desktop/laptop computer.