My video/photo editing workflow

Updated January 2022.

A #CovidGoal was to improve my video editing.

A secondary goal, to improve photos and start sharing them more. I started an Instagram account for my hiking pics – BestHikeVisuals.

Mostly I’ve been disappointed with the many limitations of Instagram. I’m not at all a fan of that platform.

I shoot iPhone photos in HDR (High Dynamic Range) but do not use HDR for video as it’s complicated to edit. The BIG advantage of phone cameras is the black magic used in the automatic setting.

After posting my French Creek tribute, I declared I was GOOD ENOUGH at video editing for my purposes. Approaching “Concious Competent“. I could sit down at a table with a professional video editor and understand 75% of what they were talking about. 😀

The remaining 25% has mostly to do with colour. Skin tone. Complicated stuff. Creators who can afford it often send their own work out to a specialist for colour correction.

NEXT STAGE = STORY

Story. Story. Story.

Every edit should contribute to the STORY.

I threw this one together quickly as a teaser for upcoming West Coast Trail videos. But in some weird way, it’s evocative of that wild and challenging hike.

I’m particularly happy with the audio.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Mostly my videos are for outdoor recreation, but I also hope to get back indoor soon shooting Gymnastics.

  1. I’m usually shooting solo
  2. 3 cameras (Sony ZV-1, GoPro 7 and iPhone 13 Mini with-or-without DJI OM 4 gimbal)
  3. For video I’ve switched from 24fps to 30fps as it’s a little clearer, though less cinematic. 
  4. ZV-1 is primary A roll footage.   It has by far the best audio
  5. Ignoring advice of most experts, I mostly shoot Intelligent Auto Mode.  In fact, I shoot Intelligent Auto Photo Mode almost all the time — as it’s QUICK to take a 5472 × 3080 [16:9] photo and QUICK to switch to Intelligent Auto video 4K 30fps. With 4K I have plenty of room to crop or zoom to my final product in 1080p.
  6. The biggest risk of shooting Auto is shifting exposure during the same scene.  When that happens I’ll have to crop scenes so as not to show the flickering.  One exception is with the DJI drone — with the exposure is set to Auto while flying, I can LOCK 🔓 it in by clicking the small button bottom lower right of the Fly app display.  I might adjust exposure compensation to lower to about -7 before locking.
  7. Shooting auto I tend to get video more saturated than reality.  To that, I add even more saturation and contrast.  I like that exaggerated look though it’s considered uncool in 2022. 
  8. ZV-1 Memory Recall #3 = 1080p / 60fps for slow motion (60 is better math when slowing for 30fps output)
  9. ZV-1 Memory Recall #2 = ??? TBD
  10. ZV-1 Memory Recall #1 = is for Time Lapse  photos 5472 × 3080 [16:9].  This setting I use mainly for photos, choosing the best from the collection. 16:9 ratio makes for a time lapse that matches the dimensions of my export video.  
  11. PHOTOS
    1.  I often shoot photos in RAW and JPG both — but usually edit in RAW.  
    2. Apple’s free Photos app on the Mac is not perfect, but I’m still using it for organization.  And quick edits.  It’s a much better photo editor in 2022 than just a couple of years ago.
    3. I’ve switched to Pixelmator Pro for editing the best of the best photos for Instagram.  
    4. All photos are archived in my Flickr Pro account
  12. I quit trying Sony video S-Log2, S-Log3, and other HLG profiles used by the cool kids as it was way too much hassle for dubious gains in quality. 
  13. iPhone 13 Mini on the OM 4 gimbal apps: Camera, Moment, DJI Mimo, SkyFlow
  14. the 13 Mini probably just as good as the ZV-1 in bright daylight.  But I’ll use it mostly for B roll: slow-mo, time lapse, special effects, etc. (always 4K and 60fps for slow mo or speed ramping.  30 fps normal. 24 fps low light).  I shoot HDR High Dynamic Range 10-bit. The better quality ProRES is not available on my 13 Mini.
  15. I’ll probably switch to the dedicated SkyFlow app timelapse app as it’s so quick and simple.
  16. The 13 has less stabilization than 13 Pro or Max, so I’ll use it on the gimbal as much as possible.
    1. One great gimbal feature that only works intermittently is GESTURE CONTROL to start and track me.  Stopping the video with a gesture almost never works.  That’s only available on the DJI Mimo app.
    2. Space on the phone is not a worry as I’ll transfer photos and videos on the fly via a tiny SanDisk 256GB memory stick.  
    3. The 13 Mini will be a dedicated camera.  I’m currently using an S.E. mini as my phone phone. 
  17. GoPro 7 is for B roll: action, water, fake drone, etc. (mostly 2.7K 60fps as 2.7 is the highest it can go with Superview (16:9 aspect ratio) enabled.  I’d only switch to 4K if on a tripod.)
    1. low light set on auto
    2. ISO min 100, max 400 (400 might be low)
    3. Protune off
    4. Head mount, chest mount, handlebar mount, selfie stick, or tripod, depending on the situation. 
  18. I’m planning to add drone footage in 2022.  The DJI Mini SE.   
  19. Editing video with Final Cut Pro X on a MacBook Pro 14″ 2021 with 16 GB internal memory.
  20. Export in 1080p
    1. master file using ProRes 422
    2. export ‘Computer’
    3. export H.264 Faster Encode
  21. Shoot 120 fps only for smoke, fire, fast moving sports, etc. 
  22. As little hand held video as possible.  Use tripods.  Handheld would only be used to show ACTION.  Close-up motion.  I don’t shoot much of that. 
  23. Shorter the better for my videos. 
  24. No ads

Keeping electronics powered while on the road is one of my bigger problems.

For the iPhones, I’ll use a Anker 20W charger adapter as 20W is quickest.

For the GoPro, I’ll carry at least two 3.85 Volt batteries and a tiny charging case. I find these batteries die too quickly.

I’ll sometimes carry a solar panel in addition to a charging battery (or two).


The Sony is by far my favourite camera. But when it breaks I’m planning to continue using only an Action camera on tripod and iPhone & gimbal. Both are small, light and durable.

And — sometimes — a drone.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

One thought on “My video/photo editing workflow

  1. Hey Rick, I’m going through the same growing pains with video. Seems like a lot harder process going from knowing how to hike to learning about capturing video than the other way around. I find editing a video can take me a lot longer than do actually do the hike. I also find I have to slow down a lot then just taking pictures on hikes. Anyways, it’s definitely a time consuming process than just hiking. Anyways, thanks for sharing your experience.

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