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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #1
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What are you bad at?

Hi All,

I was inspired to start this thread (and see if anyone bites) by another poster who admitted to various camera operation failings which chimed with me instantly especially as it was pointed out that these are often far more important than the quality of camera one is holding e.g. I often get exposure badly wrong, keep knocking the tripod, don't notice my shadow looming over the shot etc. There are always so many things to get wrong - let's hear about them and any novel tips for avoiding mistakes!
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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #2
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OK, at pain of having people laugh and throw things, I can't break the habit of zooming...as much as I have preached "leave the zoom alone" in classes, when I'm behind the camera I can't help "making it a little better" --- usually right where I need to cut....comes from being a still photographer for many years and always trying for a little better frame .... but it makes editing a challenge. Solution? Er, handcuffs, break my fingers, I dunno.....LOL .../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old July 31st, 2009, 03:21 AM   #3
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Yeah I do that too Battle - constant attempt to get the perfect framing and in the process somehow failing to notice some great action going on which is ruined by pointless fiddling!

So to avoid the constant fiddling problem, on a recent trip to Nice I set up the camera on manual to the best of my abilities, walked around with it attached to the tripod slung over my shoulder and at a good looking location plonked it down, removed lens cap, switched on and pressed record, moved on, - some of the shots were great!! Hardly the best method but worth a try as sometimes the best shots are pure 'chance'
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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My biggest faux pas is ALMOST not getting "the master wide"

Big wide shots are boring and therefore I hate getting them. I go in for the interesting tights, the rack focuses and all the fun stuff and have had to SERIOUSLY work at getting the "meat and potatoes" shots LIKE the master wide. And this is after 11 years doing broadcast so it's not like I don't know better...
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:53 AM   #5
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Exposure is hard cause I don't use a monitor. I'm getting better at thinking of b-roll though...
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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Probably not exactly what you were thinking but I think my worst trait is in not being able to sell myself to clients.

Like everyone, I do have other issues, as well. I felt my composition in 4x3 SD was pretty darned good. I have been less satisfied with my compostion in 16x9, but I am much happier now than when I got my first HD camera. I don't pay as much attention to audio as I should when I am a one man band. I really need a sound guy with me all of the time.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:22 AM   #7
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Of course I can always be better and work on all of my techniques. My biggest problem is under valuing my work. I have trouble asking for what I am worth. I'm a sucker for a sob story. That's why I only do side work, and have a full time day production job. I'm not a good business man.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:05 PM   #8
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Agreed with the last 2 posters. I wish I was more gung-ho with it and pursuasive onto others, but I'm more reserved. I'm trying though.

One thing I'm bad at is the whole Depth of Field, and understanding the whole circle of confusion & all. Basically, trying to get something in sharp focus, and the background blurry. I've read it takes a wide aperature (low F-stop#) and I think a fast shutter speed. But I just cannot grasp the whole concept or technique. Especially when out on a shoot/wedding. I wish I studied photography more as a youth, I was strictly video production.

Last edited by David Barnett; July 31st, 2009 at 05:38 PM.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:40 PM   #9
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I'm never happy with the smoothness of my pans. I would like to blame the head, but I know its me. I have gotten in the habit of trying to to do a fixed shot right after a pan just as a backup.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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Sport! Shooting it, not playing it. All the decent cameramen seem to be able to predict what is going to happen. I can't. I react - and this is too late. Cricket is worst for me. Batsman bowls, ball goes left or right - so 50% of the time I lose it, have to look away from the viewfinder, find it, then frame it. I've worked with people who seem to be able to get it right many more times than I can. Football (soccer type football that uses feet) is better - I'm pretty good at predicting where in the frame the ball will re-enter. I just cannot do cricket or Golf.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Sport! Shooting it, not playing it. All the decent cameramen seem to be able to predict what is going to happen. I can't. I react - and this is too late. Cricket is worst for me. Batsman bowls, ball goes left or right - so 50% of the time I lose it, have to look away from the viewfinder, find it, then frame it. I've worked with people who seem to be able to get it right many more times than I can. Football (soccer type football that uses feet) is better - I'm pretty good at predicting where in the frame the ball will re-enter. I just cannot do cricket or Golf.
try picking 1 car out of 43, coming at you at 180mph and the director yells in the head
phones, "pickup #27"! WHAT!?!? Where? Can you give me hint? How about a COLOR at least? Oh well, I don't do that any more so....

sometimes get a little itchy on the zoom (shame on me) and sometimes forget to get all the B roll I want/need. Must be age which brings out my sometimers disease. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I don't.
Gotta love this biz!
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Old August 1st, 2009, 11:12 AM   #12
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try picking 1 car out of 43, coming at you at 180mph and the director yells in the head
phones, "pickup #27"! WHAT!?!? Where? Can you give me hint? How about a COLOR at least?
Hockey and football were very similar shooting experiences for me. Thankfully, running backs don't get up to 180 mph but it's STILL a learned skill that I only cripple through... Slap shots in hockey are more of a "swing the camera in the right direction, pull a bit wider and hope for the best..." thing
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Old August 1st, 2009, 11:32 PM   #13
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never shot hockey but I have done football and yep, it can be a real cluster **** trying to find the ball sometimes. I've been fooled more than a few times. :-(
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 12:06 AM   #14
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Shot selection and movement.. I tend to go for cool looking still shots but will then forget to get some good closeups, steadicam shots, etc. Storyboarding helps but for guerilla type shoots we're normally hunting for a good spot, setting up quickly and getting out of there and on the way back I'm realizing all the cool things I could've done but missed out on
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 06:10 AM   #15
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I tend to forget to do my "noddy" type shots that you can visually overlay to mask an audio based edit. Can't have too many of those.

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