Filming on a boat? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders > Canon GL Series DV Camcorders

Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 8th, 2005, 12:14 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney, N.S. (Canada)
Posts: 12
Filming on a boat?

Hello,

I'm new to these forums and I must say, it is quite possible the best source of information for DV I've found anywhere. This summer I have been given a government grant to put together a documentary about the history of a coastal community in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I have done some research on the area and am now ready to start filming. I've rented a Canon GL2 for the project and have just started to play around with it. My first shoot will take place in a couple days on a boat, out at sea, pulling up lobster traps. I've looked at some other posts about people having problems shooting outside in sunny weather, and just wondered what would be the best approach for this shoot. Some problems I imagine that will occur are: keeping the camera still (because of the boat rocking back and forth), the sun reflecting off the water, the possible chance that it may cloud over (lighting), and perhaps audio (noise from wind/boat engine). Any tips or ideas would greatly help. Thanks.

-Justin
Justin Nalepa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Albany NY
Posts: 311
I have a bit of experience on fisheries research boats - I don't think lobster boats are much different. To start the ball rolling, I'll throw out a few opinions and I'm sure others will chime in...

Keeping the camera still (because of the boat rocking back and forth) - You could try a stabilizer, but the movement may start to cause it to pendilum on you. If you are shooting the action on the boat a tripod or monopod might work since the boat (and the people on it) will be moving on the same plane as the camera - the ocean in the background will be tossing a bit!

the sun reflecting off the water - Two words "Circular Polarizer"

the possible chance that it may cloud over (lighting) - The GL-2 has decent low light capability - if you really need light, an on camera light with a dichro filter will balance OK for outdoor lighting.

audio (noise from wind/boat engine) Need more info here - are you trying to capture dialog with the lobstermen? If so, a wireless lav would work good. You probably won't have the room or extra hands for a boom mic. A camera mounted short shotgun (like the AT897) might work OK, since you will probably be within 5-8 feet most of the time.

A couple of other considerations...

Wide angle adapter to help with the tight quarters on a lobster trawler

Extra batteries and a 12v adapter for charging (unless the boat has 110VAC)

Daylight/UV filter to protect the lens from spray and flying goop off the winch.

Rain cover for the camera to help protect from spray ( waterproof housing would really be best, but may be out of your budget.

Dramamine - Even the best sea stomach has problems when you are looking through a viewfinder in rolling seas!

Good luck on your project - sounds like a great time!
Mike Cavanaugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
I can't give you as much advice as some on this forum can, but I can maybe help some.

First, what is your experience on boats? If possible, spend some time on this boat or another boat, before you have to go start taping. You need to get your "Sea Legs," and find out if you get seasick. In addition to the rocking and rolling of the boat, you will find the smell of the boat and of the bait, especially what comes up in the traps when they pull them, to be pretty bad at times. This will aggravate your seasick tendencies. There are many medications available now to help, if you do get seasick. But, it would be best to try them before you need them. Some will affect you in ways that might not be good. For example, some will make you very sleepy, and that would not be good on a working boat.

I am not familiar with the GL2 and its features, but make sure it has good optical stabilation and make sure you use it. If possible get at least one more camera, even if it is not a great one, and find a location to mount it securely. The best location for this second camera will probably be on a high location on the boat, where it can capture all or most of the rear deck. Just a cheaper MiniDV, while it might not give you the best image, will give you very valuable footage that you will not be able to capture in any other way. Editing between that footage and what you get handheld will look great. You are probably not going to be able to use a tripod on this boat, so practice holding the camera still. You might find locations on the boat where you can set the camera down and hold it in place while shooting. You will have to locate these places ahead of time, before the trip, or while on your way to the grounds.

I fished lobster for a season or two, and you want to be prepared for things getting wet! Find some way to protect your GL2, unless you want to end up paying for it when you return it. It will also get wet and slippery on the deck, and you should have good rubber boots. Also bring good wet weather gear. If it starts raining, they are not going back to the dock! Of course, bring whatever you need to clean the camera and lenses. Even if no water splashes directly on it, there will be saltwater mist in the air. You will be on the move almost constantly, from trap to trap. Use this to your advantage by getting footage from many different locations, but you will see this when you get started.


As far as mics go, others will be better in answering that question, but I would think very directional mics would hold down some of the noise from the engines and such on your handheld camera, although some boat and engine noise may be useful later.

I hope that this helps you some. If I think of anything else, Iíll post again.

Good Luck!

Mike
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #4
Capt. Quirk
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
Posts: 3,596
I am surprised that nobody has told you to use a neckstrap, and be sure your cam is secured at all times. Otherwise, it is very possible that we will read your next post- "I dropped my GL2 in the ocean...". There have been several threads where this has happened.
__________________
www.SmokeWagonLeather.us
K. Forman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Albany NY
Posts: 311
Keith - I had that on my mental list, but it got erased! Thanks for adding that. I almost dropped a BetacamSP into Lake Ontario a few years ago - would have become a very expensive (+/-$40,000) boat anchor. Caught it by the grab handle about 6" from the water!

Justin - another recommendation - Don't let your first shoot be on the boat. Spend a couple of hours with the camera so you can locate all the controls by touch and know what kind of settings will work for you.
Mike Cavanaugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2005, 02:16 PM   #6
Capt. Quirk
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
Posts: 3,596
Mike- The worst part of your story is, that would have made a crappy $40,000 anchor ;)
__________________
www.SmokeWagonLeather.us
K. Forman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney, N.S. (Canada)
Posts: 12
crazy lobstermen

Thanks for the advice guys, especially the idea about getting another miniDv camera to capture some things I might not get myself. Checking the boat before the trip is a good idea too. As for getting seasick, unless theres a bunch of dead dolphins floating around in the water, I don't think I'll be getting sick. Once again, thanks.

-Justin
Justin Nalepa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney, N.S. (Canada)
Posts: 12
Filters

Hello again,

I've found some filters for the camera, but I'm not completely sure what they are and how I use them. I have a Bower 58mm UV filter, Bower 58mm P.L filter (which I'm guessing is the polarizer filter), and a Bower 58mm F-D.L filter (which I have no idea what it is). I'm guessing the filters just screw on, but in which order, and what ones? Should the UV filter go on top of the P.L filter? What does the F-D.L filter do? Any information on the subject would be a blessing. Thanks.

-Justin
Justin Nalepa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Justin,

I'm not sure what order the filters should go in, but the UV is great just to protect all the optics, if it is used only, maybe first. The polarizer maybe to the front, as you will have to rotate it to be most effective. (SP) It will block that reflecting light off of the water.

Mike

PS: let us know how this turns out, as I for one would be very interested in the out come.

Mike

Last edited by Mike Teutsch; July 11th, 2005 at 09:41 PM.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney, N.S. (Canada)
Posts: 12
Thanks Mike, I'll let you know how it turns out. I start filming on the boat tomorrow morning around 4 am.

-Justin
Justin Nalepa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Albany NY
Posts: 311
The Bower DL filter is "Daylight" -very similar to the UV filter. It doesn't change the image very much and is used mostly for lens protection
Mike Cavanaugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington USA
Posts: 11
Shooting in rough seas on a sailboat...

Some additional questions... I am currently in pre production for a documentary that will be filmed on a sailboat in open water. Part of the doc features a sail boat race from Victoria to Maui. I currently shoot with a canon XL2, but am considering other cameras due to the size of the XL2, and the agility that will be required in the tight shooting spaces. My biggest concern is how to shoot the sailors in rough seas. i'd love your thoughts on:

1)Waterproofing my camera (is an underwater apparatus really going to allow me any mobility or functionality? Do these camera rain slickers work well enough to protect my camera?) Anybody used a spintec to shed water from the lens?

2) capturing audio - I will bring lavs and shotguns, but am concerned again about waterproofing. Any good ways of capturing audio (mainly sailors dialouge, shouting comands, etc.) in incliment weather?

3) Since the documentary is about the boat and it's crew, I would love shots of the boat from other boats or land as we sail. We just don't have the budget for a second boat to follow along with us with a second camera crew. I am considering ways of mounting a camera out in front of the bow in a housing, but I get concerned with changing out tapes, and keeping the lens free from water.

I will be doing a lot of sailing with them as they prep for the race, and get the boat ready, but there might be some more expreience here of some concerns that I should note. I have the luxury of rigging the boat extensively with any audio, camera, or lighting gear that will be helpful during the trip. The bottom line is how to keep it dry.
Jonathan Bergstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3rd, 2005, 09:30 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Nalepa
Thanks Mike, I'll let you know how it turns out. I start filming on the boat tomorrow morning around 4 am.

-Justin

Hey Justin, how did it go? Good job?

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney, N.S. (Canada)
Posts: 12
Hey Mike,
The filming went well. As best can be expected with the weather conditions. It was mostly foggy out, but that I'm told is the norm for fishing weather on the east coast. I managed to make my own water resistant cover for the GL2 the night before the launch. I ended up using the plastic cover/casing that you get when you buy a $20 comforter at walmart, with holes cut out for the lense and camera strap. I also using the lid off a jam jar to seal the hole around the lense, to make sure no water would get in. In all, it looked pretty fancy and worked for what I needed if for. The quality of the footage came out pretty well and I am now editing it for the Documentary that I'm putting out on DVD in September. I will post some pics of my "water cover" when I can. Hopefully I'll be able to post some of the Documentary as well. It was a wonderful experience to have and made for some pretty interesting shots. The biggest bonus was not getting sick.


-Justin
Justin Nalepa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Nalepa
Hey Mike
The filming went well. The biggest bonus was not getting sick. -Justin

Glad it went well. Great not getting sick! Look forward to seeing some of it.

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders > Canon GL Series DV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:59 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network