How to take great videos with your iPhone, as answered by Malaysian and Singaporean Instagrammers
I've come to enjoy photo walks after joining these nine Malaysian photographers (who shared 27 amazing tips!) earlier this year. Because, really, how often do we specifically head out with the sole purpose of creating a portfolio of photos revolving around one subject or location? Apart from when we're travelling, of course. The phrase, "Practice makes perfect" is true through and through.
As much as smartphones have made taking photos so much easier, sometimes we take it for granted, overlooking the extent of its capabilities. The iPhone is one great example so when an opportunity came up to join a group of Malaysian and Singaporean Instagrammers/photographers to Chiang Mai for the one-and-only Songkran festival, it was a definite "yes" from me—especially because they were going there to take videos of the whole festival. And since the latest iPhones are water-resistant (IP67 for the iPhone XR and IP68 for the iPhone XS and XS Max), there was nothing to worry about!
Two of them, you might remember from the Penang photo walk I joined previously, and still they had more tricks up their sleeves. From the best video editing apps to tips and tricks to shooting great videos unlike any, these professionals have got you covered:
Zarnizar — @zarnizar (Malaysia)
1. If you're a beginner at mobile photography, I recommend using the auto setting for taking photos and 4K 60 fps setting for video.
2. Try to wake up as early as you can, perhaps shooting from dawn at the streets or temples till the evening. Go in close to a scene, take Panoramas, and everything in-between.
3. Capture events, acts, and people to give a sense of what is going on at the festival—including the reactions of dancers, monks, families gathering, tourists, and other small details which can create a sense for the audience of really being there. A street that doesn't look like much on a normal day could be lit up beautifully during a celebration such as Songkran, where people are splashing water here and there.
4. I loved photographing people during Songkran. It can be pretty intimidating to approach strangers but most people don't really mind, and are often flattered instead.
Sufian Ghaffar — @iamod_ (Malaysia)
1. To produce a unique framing, I frequently capture my subjects through the reflection from water/mirrors, or by including other objects in the frame (eg: leaves from plants, people, etc.).
2. Another way to use the time-lapse function on the iPhone is by moving through the crowd or gradually changing the angle to show different scenes. I also like using Slo-Mo to highlight details, especially applicable during the Songkran festival where there was water splashing and the crowds dancing.
3. Move closer to your subjects to ensure better image quality.
4. I love using the app Quik for video editing because it's easier and more convenient for beginners. Even better, the transitions in your video will automatically change according to the beat of the music.
Jason Goh — @smashpop (Malaysia)
1. Try to shoot vertically as it fits perfectly on mobile devices. It's also a refreshing ratio as audiences are used to watching horizontal videos. Give them something other than what they would normally expect.
2. Record many short clips instead of a few long clips. It's easier for you to go through as you know which clip represents what content. Also, in your final video, you only need to show a scene for just a few seconds before the next one anyway.
3. Go close and show details. Normally, people would video the whole scene to capture the subject, action and background, but if you go close and focus on the details, your video will look stunning instantly.
4. Editing is key. Music is also important in order to bring out emotions and to show the pace of the video to audiences. Splice, Quik and Lu
Yais Yusman — @yaisyusman (
1. Capture longer videos because you just might need extra moments which can be used for your videos
2. I edit using InShot because it's user-friendly.
3. Ensure Live Photos is switched on, just in case you miss a moment before or after the shot.
4. Shooting in Portrait Mode is really good because you can capture a great bokeh effect on the subject with Depth Control on iPhone.
Yafiq Yusman — @yafiqyusman (
1. Capturing slow-mo videos during Songkran is a must! I love using the 1080p at 240 fps setting as it gives a nice Slo-Mo effect while retaining the sharpness of the subjects in my video!
2. In order to get good shots at Songkran, you need to get wet!
3. The Sun is your best friend to get nice rays—paired together with water droplets and you'll get an interesting effect!
4. Turn on Smart HDR as it highlights more detail in your photos. Say goodbye to overexposed photos!
Yudhi Aristan — @aristan89 (
1. First things first, get yourself a cool waterproof pouch for your personal belongings and get ready to get soaked from head to toe! For your iPhone, make sure you have your silicone case or leather case for a better grip.
2. When shooting still images in wet conditions, instead of tapping the shutter button on the screen, you can also use the volume up/down button to the left of your screen to release the shutter. When shooting videos, one thing that I really like on the iPhone is that you can take photos at the same time by tapping on the round white button on the left side of the red colour recording button (if you are shooting vertically).
3. In order to get nice water droplets or water splash shots, make sure that the area is well lit and avoid shooting under shaded areas as you might lose a lot of glistening details.
4. A backlit water splash shot can be quite dramatic. The apps I use for photo editing quite often are VSCO and Lightroom, which I love because I'll have more control of the editing process and can create my own filters and mood. For video editing, I use Quik and Splice to stitch videos together and add music or text.
In a stark comparison, here's what I managed to achieve, as edited with the Quik app:
For more things related to the iPhone, head over here.