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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #1
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Need suggestions for improving sports shooting

I'm trying to improve my shooting by practicing on a hockey game.

The first thing I noticed was the difficulty I had with just coordination using the camera and keeping on top of what's happening.

- If looking constantly through the viewfinder, the puck is out of my shot very quickly a lot of the time. I have to look up at the game to find it, then go back to my shot. I lose the larger view of what's happening.
- If coordinating watching the game and keeping an eye on the LCD, I can't frame the shot as clearly - cant' really see it or what's in the frame so I'm hoping for the best. I know I need to buy a larger attachment for the LCD but that will have to wait due to finances.

If I move in to more of a CU or MS it's even more of a challenge as the action is so fast.

Also, if anyone has suggestions for specific practice exercises I can do to challenge myself, to get really good on the camera, that would be great.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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What help sme to follow movement is to have an external monitor in the line of sight to what you are filming.

And to be familiar with the subject matter you are filming so you can anticipate the movement.

It is skill and talent mixed together.

No exercises, just do it a lot and watch network broadcasts a lot.

Good luck
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #3
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Hi Kell,

I've done Horse Shows, Skating, Power Chutes, and Soccer to name a few.

Once I "dial in" the Cam, I allways use a seperate monitor (5" to 15") depending on the sport. I've found the Ball Sports require me to use a larger monitor to see the damn ball, or puck.

I also use single or dual "extendable" control handles, with either IR remotes or LANC remotes attached. I find the standard control handle unacceptable for this kind of Videography. I also use a verticaly adjustable Cam to Head mount - to allow the control handles to remain where I need them, while the Can can be in any vertical position required.

As Tim says, practice is necessary - no matter what equipment you use.

If interested, PM me for equipment Pics / set ups. Or you can check out my other Posts.

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Old July 20th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #4
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Hi you guys,
I cant afford any other equipment at this time but I am interested in seeing what those things are you are recommending, for future possibilities. Could you post them in the thread? If not I will PM you at another time.

I do have a JVC monitor, a little TV. I think it has battery capabilities but not sure. Also, not sure if there's a place to set it or plug it in. That seems very impractical though. Am I missing something here? It probably would be easier to see though.

Whether I'm using the viewfinder or an external monitor, I'm still having trouble following the action. Coordinating watching the game and following with my camera.
(It doens't help that there's a little piece of dirt or something in my B/W viewfinder - pd170- that is just the size of that darned puck so it keeps throwing me off).

I suppose being more familiar with the game would be helpful as well. It's like I'm not even watching the game itself at all, I'm concentrating on framing the shot with whoever has the puck and following it. I suppose you are getting a bit of tunnel vision looking through the viewfinder as you're not seeing what else is happening.

The main idea here is to improve my shooting and simply drill, so thanks (and also thanks in advance) everyone for your suggestions.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #5
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My 2 cents: If you're shooting with just one cam, zoom out to the widest angle possible. Get a wide angle adaptor if you have to. That would make the action much easier to follow. Occasionally, when the puck is out of play, you can zoom in quickly to capture a player's face and then zoom out when play is about to resume.

(In professional sports, there's always one cam that has the entire diameter of the field in frame. This follows the actions easily and serves as the master shot. Then there are other cameras that provide medium and close-up shots of players. Those ones spend most of their time hunting for action; the director only cuts to them when they find something interesting.)
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Old July 20th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #6
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Hi Kell,

Most of my DIY stuff has been posted already - hence the suggestion that you check my other posts for the Pics. You might have at least some of the things you need, since many of my DIY items are using stuff from around the home, or are rather cheap to aquire.

I just can't see you getting anywhere using either the viewfinder or an LCD side viewer.

An external monitor is really the way to go. If you lived close to the KC area, you could try my set up in person.

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Old August 5th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #7
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Kell, I had a similar problem when I first started shooting hockey. What I found is I really loosened up my tripods friction, on the edge of uncomfortable. So loose that it would fall over it I wasn't holding the camera. This allowed me the freedom to move quickly.

For every game, at first I shot wide then moved-in steadily until I warmed up. Try not to always stay tight. Instead have a good mix of wide, mediums and once in a while tight as you can without loosing the action. If all else fails just pull out the frame to 1/3 of the ice rink and pan on the action. Also to stay ahead of the action sometimes you have to look past the viewfinder and see if there's anything happening outside your frame.

Hope this helps.
Jeff Zimmerman
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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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I've been shooting sports for pretty much since I picked up a camera. You will get used to anticipating the events and keeping with movement. I try to keep everything medium-wide when there is some action going on or when an attack is being made on goal, and then i go for those creative close-ups when play is in the middle half of the field/rink/etc. The more you shoot, the more you will get used to it.
Personally, I shoot almost all my sports footage handheld. I shot 3 years worth of soccer, basketball, and volleyball, and if you want that intense edgy feel, shoot handheld. Over time i learned the best ways to keep the camera steady (3-point contact, eyepiece and 2 hands) but it always turned out really well to do that.
Jeff Kolada
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