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


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Old August 12th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #16
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Zebras, cant believe I forgot to mention them.

Love the zebras.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #17
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I shoot in full manual unless I'm on the steadicam. Even then, I tend to try to use as much manual as possible.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 06:03 PM   #18
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I shoot manual everything except focus. I ride the focus all day but give priority to the auto. Everything else is manual. Thing is, you are trying to control what you do. Don't let the camera do it for you.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #19
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I shoot Auto Focus outdoors and well lit places when I am moving around lots(unless I am doing pull focus shots), when I am stationary or low light I go manual. All other settings are manual always like shutter, exposure, sometimes I use white balance K option rather then white balance to a card as indoors I find the lighting varies lots and I can just set the temp instead. Zebras at 95%. Sometimes I use the push auto focus if I really don't have time to adjust or its difficult to see on the lcd what's in focus although peaking is on all the time for me. So the auto functions are great as an assist tool but using all the time will not give you the best results.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 08:47 PM   #20
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great thread Richard! I am soaking it all in.

BTW I used to shoot in full auto, but have now made the transition to TV and AV modes. Hopefully as the work begins to pick up, I will gain the experience/confidence to shoot in full Manual. This seems to be the way to go.

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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #21
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The way I see it is - How can you get what you want out of your cam unless your in control? Auto is great if you don't really know what you want out of the cam, as it will always get you pretty close BUT if you don't know what you want out of your cam and your okay with pretty close, then I think there are some other things to think about first before learning manual controls.

We all shoot in manual and when we use Auto, it is used as a tool, just like the many other functions in a cam. When any function is relied on too much though, you certainly can do more damage, and that certainly holds for Auto vs manual control. So problem one is that your just getting decent images from your cam, but problem two, and this is the biggie, is that it severely hinders your creativity in that you see things in a much more monochromatic way when your now riding the controls.

Many of shots we do at every shoot have evolved only because we stuck with manual controls and here and there started seeing things different and finding news ways to shoot them. Auto will always shoot the same thing in the same way, and to me that really sums up why it is so bad.

Sorry, thats a little more philosophical than it is practical tips.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 04:02 AM   #22
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Hey Richard,

With my A1s I almost always shoot in TV mode and the Exposure Lock button is my best friend - something I've carried over from my XL2 days. Auto focus a lot of the time unless the camera is struggling or I want control.

For inside situations where the lighting is fairly constant I'll go manual mode. But for 'run & gun' situations it's TV Mode + Exposure Lock for me. 99% of the time I want my shutter speed locked to 50 (PAL) anyway.

My experience was that I missed too many important moments by running in full manual - especially at weddings. While I was fiddling around with the iris to get the exposure right I missed the moment.

As most of our shoots are outside using natural light, the technique I use most often iis to quickly point the camera at somewhere that is correctly exposed, hit the Exposure Lock button and away I go. Takes me way less time that trying to nail it in full manual mode. Plus, hitting Exposure Lock puts me in manual mode anyway - so if the camera is confused or I just want to full control then I've got it.

Ultimately, it comes down to understanding your camera and the results that it's going to give you, both in camera and then in post - i.e. if I do this ... then I'll get this result. Or if I use XYZ settings on my camera in XYZ lighting situation then I can do XYZ in post.

Like Patrick said "How can you get what you want out of your cam unless your in control?" Smart guy that Patrick. If only he was an Aussie then he'd really have it made ;)
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Old August 13th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #23
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i REALLY regret not making myself clearer now!....i DO press Exposure Lock all day long at a wedding, i DON'T rely on AF, and yes i DO 'know what every button is' on my camcorder....d'oh!

but yes, Matthew has hit it on the head for me: FULL manual for a wedding 'may' mean missing a few of those spontaneous shots until the time i can very quickly know what exact controls to go for in every situation. So until then, i think going for TV mode for example is a good suggestion, cheers.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:23 AM   #24
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Sony guy here. What does the TV mode give you control over? Just the shutter speed?
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #25
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TV is shutter priority, and is always the way movies should be shot.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:43 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
TV is shutter priority, and is always the way movies should be shot.
Oh man! All this time I thought that by shooting in TV mode it meant that my footage would be compatible with TVs. Gosh, do I feel stupid ;)
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #27
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So in TV your effectivly lock off the shutter speed and control the light with the iris (which you also lock).
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #28
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Yes. Lock down the shutter speed (at the default) and the gain. Select a ND filter that will allow you to shoot at apertures wider than f/5.6. The iris button will then toggle between auto and manual.

Ask the camera - what do you think? Then lock in this auto-selected aperture reading and use the wheel to open or close the aperture depending on the zebras present and your experience.

tom.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #29
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Why the f5.6 limit?
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #30
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The camera uses really tiny 1"/3 chips Danny, so diffraction sets in really early. Think of it this way, the lens is designed to perform at its best wide open. Internal flare and vignetting (less exposure given to the edges of the frame - easily shown by the zebras) mean that at about two stops down the lens is at its very best.

We're now at f/4 or f/4.5. Go any smaller than this and the pictures get softer and softer. It's not Canon or Zeiss or Leica - it's the laws of optics. And the shorter the focal length, the bigger the problem - that means more sharpness loss at small apertures.

tom.
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