Down the Aisle with DSLR? - Page 2 at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 14th, 2011, 07:18 AM   #16
Major Player
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 768
Re: Down the Aisle with DSLR?


Try using some sort of follow focus rig. Usually I have to shoot in dark churches so my lens's are wide open.
This is my workflow for anyone coming down the isle or reception entrances as well.

- use the magnification key and focus onto something towards the entrance
- mark it on the follow focus wheel
- do the same above for a mid point, center isle...
- then again for the end point...

This way all you have to do is focus to the marks on the wheel as the bride comes down the isle. I found that I'm usually not turning the focus wheel very much for the first 40 ft or so.... But once she's about 15 ft from my lens I have to speed the process up... Of course, this depends on the lens your using...

practice also, I usually have my wife walk down the hallway in our house a few times before every wedding... Just so I get back into judging walking speeds. Also I practice this again with my assistant a few times when I'm preparing for the reception entrances.
I mark a spot on the dance floor where I "ideally" want to stand so I can always go back to there and know that my focus will be set for the upcoming entrance.

Ohh yeah, And grab some b roll shots. Such as the groom looking down the isle waiting for his bride....

Stephen J. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #17
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Posts: 29
Re: Down the Aisle with DSLR?

My technique is similar to Stephen's (3 points) but I've given up gettting one continuous shot of the bride coming down the aisle--at least until I become a dragon-master of focus-pulling. Instead, I pick three spots down the aisle, each with a flower or ribbon on the pew to serve as focus point. I focus on the furthest point, the bride walks through it....then I focus on the next point, the bride walks through it...then focus on the final point, usually the end of the aisle. Since I'm in a rush, I use the instant autofocus button. With this, I get three good shots. Actually, I find the effect of the bride walking from soft focus into crisp focus is really lovely.


Last edited by Keaton Clark; July 19th, 2011 at 08:24 AM. Reason: just read another's previous post, don't want to be redundant
Keaton Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #18
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 244
Re: Down the Aisle with DSLR?

Thank you all for the wonderful pointers. Has anyone used the Rack Focus function in Magic Lantern for the down the aisle shot? I've never used that function at all - it seems like it would work too slowly, even if you did the three focus areas technique Keaton referred to.
Michael Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #19
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,898
Re: Down the Aisle with DSLR?

This is one of the more challenging portions to shoot with fast glass. I usually end up with a 70-200 2.8 on all but the shortest aisles. So 2.8 isn't too bad. As others have mentioned it's important to practice, and through my experience I've found the focus pull as the bride walks towards you isn't linear in accordance with her distance. The focus ring needs to be pulled faster as she gets closer.

Once you get the feel for it you'll nail it. I've been pretty proud of myself at how accurately I've been able to focus my processionals, however it wasn't always that way.

Another challenging situation is at the reception shooting with fast glass (ie 135 f2) for a best man who paces back and forth diagonally. That happened to me last week and it was quite a challenge following him with the focus ring for 5 minutes. I know it was 90% on and 10% slightly off but that's what cutaways of the couple and crowd are for.

Btw, that program Mark posted is pretty sweet. I didn't even know it existed. Thanks!
Glen Elliott
Cord 3 Films
Glen Elliott is offline   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

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

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

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, 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 > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:48 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network