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Under Water, Over Land
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:43 AM   #1
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Indian Himalayas


I posted this in the A1 samples forum but thought that people here might have some suggestions. This video is from our recent kayaking trip to the Indian Himalayas. As you will probably see, a lot of the footage suffers from shake - I'm aware that a couple of the floating on the water shots would have been better with IS off - but are there any suggestions for techniques to try and stabilise footage when all the kit has to fit in a bag which will fit between my legs in my kayak. I have a carbon monopod, but that is too much bulk and there are break-down carbon poles for spare paddles in the back but they take too long to extract on the river when the filming is secondary to getting 80km of water done safely in a day with a small team (3 of us).

Also - how do you make sure that stuff is in focus when the only options to check are high altitude sun on the screen or the view finder. Any shooting tips would be greatly appreciated as I currently just have so much footage which is too poor to ever consider using there must be things I can do better.

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Old March 23rd, 2010, 01:49 AM   #2
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Having just sample-watched along the timeline of the vimeo screen, I've just read through your intro text again.

Honestly, the camera shake didn't even occur to me. The content was too good. I'd even venture to say that you need to have some acceptable level of camera shake in the action scenes.

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Old March 28th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #3
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I agree with andrews comment. Certainly some rough rapids scenes would be just fine. I think you did a fine job. The one fellows voice needs to be louder for me to clearly hear his comments.

I enjoyed watching it!!

Dale Guthormsen
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #4
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Feel the same way as Andrew and Dale; Nice work. Guess we are all very critical to our own shooting. But if one watches carefully say BBC documents, one finds that even these very expensive productions do not always get everything in focus. It's just that the contents is typically so interesting that one does not pay any attention to such side issues.

If you want to do something is post, ProDAD Mercalli Expert is rather nice software for stabilization. Adobe After Effects is also very powerful but ProDAD is much faster. Stabilizing comes with the expense of resolution.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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Thanks the positive comments! Maybe I should worry less, I binned a fair bit of footage were there was too much camera movement, particularly where it noticeably jumped or jerked. I will try to keep more of it in the future!
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Old April 1st, 2010, 04:29 AM   #6
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I agree with the others and like Lauri was going to suggest stabilisation in post, but quite frankly I wouldn't stress.

With action footage out of a kayak one has to keep shooting, knowing 50% is going to be binned.

Two suggestions for future shooting.

1) Try and get your participants to look into the camera.

2) Consider getting yourself a GoPro HD (Equivalent)and mount it on a pole behind yourself, have the pole as short as possible and mounted on a spring base filled with a polymer to stop whipping. The spring will allow the camera to flex when you go turtle up. By shooting from this vantage point you'll pick up a great perspective and get great action. In my opinion its better than a helmet mount system because it has human interest.

BTW, great to see that country, I spent 3 months trekking in Zanskar and Ladakh back in early 1984, the country and people haven't changed and I swear you caught the bus I was on on film..... :)

Well done on the rivers.

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Old April 1st, 2010, 09:08 AM   #7
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Nice production quality to your piece and nice editing with a good flow to things. It would have been lifted greatly with some bullet cams (HQ1's) strapped to the front of the kayaks, looking both out at the water and more so back and the paddler! - It would put the viewer there in the boat and give a much better idea of what your were doing visually because the narrations on the whole were very good and very watchable.
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