An approach was developed for using video imagery to quantify, in terms of both spatial and temporal dimensions, a number of naturally occurring (nearshore) physical processes. The complete method is presented, including the derivation of the geometrical relationships relating image and ground coordinates, principles to be considered when working with video imagery and the two-step strategy for calibration of the camera model. The techniques are founded on the principles of photogrammetry, account for difficulties inherent in the use of video signals, and have been adapted to allow for flexibility of use in field studies. Examples from field experiments indicate that this approach is both accurate and applicable under the conditions typically experienced when sampling in coastal regions. Several applications of the camera model are discussed, including the measurement of nearshore fluid processes, sand bar length scales, foreshore topography, and drifter motions. Although we have applied this method to the measurement of nearshore processes and morphologic features, these same techniques are transferable to studies in other geophysical settings.