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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:13 PM   #1
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Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

Hey,

I am going to be shooting professional rugby on my Canon 7D for a doco that I'm apart of and I'm interested in experimenting with different shutter speeds to increase the energy of the impacts and hard hits during the game.

I will be operating my 7D with a Canon 100-400mm from the end of the field and will be just focusing on individual players throughout the season. Has anyone had any experience playing with the shutter speeds to make the impacts feel more intense. (Obviously it will be helped in post) but the director is looking for a unique feel in the game footage.

Thanks
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

This is a good call. Shoot your interviews in 24p 1/50 and shoot outdoor action in 30p 1/200 (or even faster). Slow the action to 24p for a subtle slow motion. Push the contrast of the action scenes in post. Play driving, rock and roll music. This is a good start for pushing the intensity. From there, you can get as creative as you'd like in post. Also, with the fast shutter, you can grab some action stills for yet more variety.

Best of luck with your project!
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

Jon,

I was thinking of pushing the shutter even further to 1/1000th and combining it with quick rack focusing and fast pans.

Thanks for the idea of stills, that hadn't crossed my mind yet ;)

On the interviews I'm thinking of a fast shutter again. I have been watching HBO's 24/7 Capitals/Penguins and really liked their style of shooting for the interviews. From what I can gather its a shutter of 1/200 - 1/500 maybe, with two kino style lights of the floor in front of them point up and a background light, which is lighting a kind of halo behind them on the wall. The framing is very tight and they are talking off camera.

I think doing something like that would mix well with the action as it will be the players mainly who will be discussing the games.

Thanks.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

Depending on the speed of the action, anything above about 1/250 or so should look good and crisp. You might shoot at 1/2000 under direct sun and 1/250 under a cloud and it should cut together nicely - assuming that you color balance the shots.

Fast rack focusing should be fine - if you can hit your marks. Fast pans could be a problem due to rolling shutter tiling. You might experiment with slower pans that you crank fast in post. Just make sure that the NLE drops, rather than blends, frames when you speed it up by 4x, 8x or whatever. In general, you can mix fast and slow motion to give it attitude.

Do you have a long, zoom lens? I'm not a fan of zooms for narrative, but they're a good technique for an energized documentary. Alternatively, two cameras - one slightly tight on the action, the other VERY tight on the action - can give more editing opportunities. Renting one or two very long ($$$) Canon IS lenses might be the way to go. A super-wide or fisheye would rock if you can get on the field during practice. You can practically throw a fisheye across the room without rolling shutter problems.

I shoot narrative, so I go for the middle lenses (28-85). But if I shot action sports, I would go for super-longs (for when I can't get close) and super wides (for when I can) with a portrait lens for interviews. Middle lenses are just too dull for action stuff.

Sounds like a fun project to shoot and edit!
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

I used a mix of shutter speeds for the following piece:

http://smalldog-media.com/samples/K1...p_Overview.mov

Interviews are all at 1/50, most of the training is at 1/250 - I couldn't push it much higher because I was limited by the gym's lighting. At that speed it eliminates most of the motion blur and makes the action seem more crisp, but isn't necessarily obvious as an effect. I wasn't shooting with particularly long lenses though - mostly 50-100mm range - so I'm not sure if it would make skew more noticeable when you pan.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 04:21 AM   #6
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

Lighting would definitely be limiter for fast shutter speeds. The games will be at night under lights, but I've seen high speed camera stuff work with the available light, so I think I'll be able to shoot between 1/250 to 1/500. I think I will use this weekend as a test weekend.

Yeah timing will be tough when they are tackling etc for the rack focusing but I was thinking more of using it when a player is walking in front of the roaring crowd and pulling from him to the crowd etc. The rest will b me playing catch up to the action :)

I'll be using a Canon 100-400. I've used it at practice sessions and it is perfect for the game situation. The ability to zoom in for a different shot instead of being stuck with one focal length suits the style of shooting better. We do have a second and third camera but they will be focused on being in the coaches face and the third camera will be crowd.

They will be running either Canon 50mm 1.4 or Canon 15mm fisheye. We always use the 50mm for interviews and shoot at either 1.4 or 1.8 as we have established a style with that way of shooting already.

Thanks Jon for your feedback and I will be passing on your comments to the Director.

I'll try and post some sample footage after the game (if I am allowed - this project is for broadcast and they are pretty tight with footage as you can imagine.)

@ Evan, that crisp look is what I am trying to achieve but possibly even more punchy but I think that will be left to the editor to tweak that adjustment, by dropping frames like Jon said.

Regards.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 06:55 AM   #7
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

I shot this at 1/1250th on a Canon 5D at the old 25p (before the firmware update). Slow motion is at 5m:25s. Some of the leaves and walkers look a little strobe like.

Lately I have been shooting with the 7D at 60FPS and 1/100th.

However I am not that happy with the visible lack of detail between the 720p when mixed on the timeline with the 1080p from the 5D - especially in low-light like indoors.


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Old March 1st, 2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: Shooting Sport with Different Shutter Speeds..

Well as it turned out I couldn't use the desired shutter speeds for the shoot due to the low lighting. I was surprised how little lighting there was. Photographers around me were saying they only had the lights on for 1/2 capacity apparently.

So hopefully I can get a day game instead of a night game and try the shutter speeds there.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts though.
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