Last week's setup. 

I am getting back in the routine of recording episodes for the Video Updates series I began earlier this year. Through these recordings I want to document what I'm experiencing as I learn to work with making videos with my iPhone 7 Plus, my OM-D E-M1, and, soon, my E-M5 II, as well as other aspects of my obsession with photography and technology. It becomes a kind of video journal for me but, hopefully, is helpful for others who are venturing into this media arena. Originally, I thought I would do two of these a week, but after suffering an almost 9-month hiatus from recording anything I've rethought that and decided to shoot for one a week. Vlogs, or "video blogs," have become popular as daily video posts but I know I can't do that. One Video Update a week will be fine, thank you very much! 

ShoulderPod attached to L-bracket with VideoMicro on LolliPod tripod. 

My plan has always been to make the process of recording and producing each episode super simple. Partly as an example that "anyone can do this," but also because I, personally, want it to be super simple! Therefore, I record each episode using my iPhone and edit the captured clip into a finished video using the Pinnacle Studio for iPad app. To record an episode, I use the FilmicPro app, though the default Camera app works fine. FilmicPro allows me to check audio levels, however, and is just a better video recording app.

Since I have my basement studio cleaned up and back in shape, I record the episodes down there. I don’t have everything back in place, but I recorded last week’s episode sitting in a chair with the iPhone and attached VideoMicro mic set up on my Lollipod tripod. This worked fine, but I am looking to have a setup ready to go with little prep necessary or rearrangement of my studio space each time I want to record an episode. Yesterday, I worked with doing just that. Now I have the ShoulderPod S1 smartphone holder attached to an L-bracket, which, in turn, is attached to a flexible ballhead on a Joby dSLR GorillaPod. I can either attach my Røde VideoMicro mic or the receiving unit for my Saramonic wireless mic to one of the slots on the L-bracket and connect the mic/receiver to my iPhone 7 Plus. This all sits on the little table I have set up as a desk in the studio proper. My hope is to be able to leave this set up so all I need to do is slide my iPhone into the ShoulderPod, connect the mic, and start recording. Ideally, I would attach some type of holder to the brick wall behind the desk, but I haven't figured that out yet.

Current setup at studio table "desk." 

The other part of the setup that needs work is lighting. I have several constant light rigs set up in the studio but, again, I want this to be seamless and easy. Those lights may not always be set up like that, so I need something else. I have two LED lights, both different from one another. Hopefully, I can configure them so setup is easy and consistent. In any case, there are always solutions and coming up with them is part of the adventure I'm on and sharing with my viewers!