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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 03:46 AM   #91
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Re: Go Pro cameras

My comment wasn't meant as a challenge it was an observation.

It was images like those of yours Nigel that convinced me to buy a GoPro when I saw what they could achieve and yes Chris it was a bit unrealistic to expect it to achieve those sort of images in every situation, as I mentioned to you previously at 180 it cost less than a battery for my cameras.

Now that I am able to monitor the framing it is much easier to place, the footage from yesterday's wedding is a lot more useful. I used the skeleton case with the dome removed and there is none of the fogging that I got previously when it was encased in the waterproof bubble.

It looks as if I'm staring to admire this little thing as much as other enthusiasts.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 03:53 AM   #92
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Nigel. You must have been posting as I wrote my last piece so I've only just read you description of shooting the Jewish wedding which is of interest to me as as I will be shoot one next month. In all the years I've been doing weddings this will be the first Jewish one. I'm very concerned now as there will just be two of us doing it, though my colleague has done many so she should know her way around. Perhaps I need to get a few more Heros to dot around the place.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 05:58 AM   #93
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Re: Go Pro cameras

George, not all Jewish weddings are as large as that one as some are even larger:-) If you have never attended one before then do some reading up beforehand. It's straightforward but there are various traditional parts that if you are not anticipating then you could miss. There are certain shots that you will absolutely want to get e.g. just like the ring shot or first kiss in a church wedding the stamping on the glass shot is essential. Once you have done one or two then it's not such a mystery any more & you won't get ambushed by something happening unexpectedly. Luckily when we did our first one the very helpful photographer took us under his wing & guided us as to what was happening & where we should be for various essential portions. We really enjoy filming Jewish weddings as there is so much to film, lots of people beautiful locations & decorations. Rather like all the beautiful colourful saris at Indian weddings it's all a bit of a gift to the videographer. The dancing is very exuberant. Don't be hesitant in getting up close to get your shots. We still suffer from a bit of reserve after being ordered around by vicars & registrars but the participants & celebrants really do want the photographers & videographers to get the best possible shots & it is not only permissible but encouraged & expected that you will be right up close under the chuppah. Jewish weddings are wonderful joyous family occasions that are hard continuous work from afternoon to midnight but very satisfying to film & lovely when you get to review all the super footage that you have once back in the editing suite. Rather than hijack this thread even further drop me an email & I can answer any questions you may have. nigel@alicebarkerimages.com
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:05 PM   #94
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Re: Go Pro cameras

I borrowed a Hero2 version yesterday for a wedding I was shooting in the evening. At the rehearsal, I learned that the unity candle was at what I consider an odd angle, about 30 degrees facing away from the guests, so when that was going on, no one could see their faces or anything.

This was one of our larger weddings, nearly 600 guests, with 26 people in the wedding party (combined with musicians and guest readers, at one point there were 35-40 people on stage at one time) Due to the number of people on stage combined with church restrictions on movement, there was no way for a camera man to be on stage getting face shots.

So, I knew the only way to possibly see them do this unity candle would be with a GoPro.

It was provided to me by a friend in the plastic case that comes with the kit, I guess. It had a tap on the bottom for a tripod plate, so I attached a spare Bogen 501 head plate to it. Then I just sat it on the organ right beside the unity candle facing at it. I didn't have time to do a test shot to make sure it was framed well (The LCD would definately be an accessory to buy).

Anyways, I only needed it for that 10 seconds or so and it delivered. It got an amazing shot, and the colors don't look that bad at all. It mixes in nicely with the NX5U, XHA1, and XA10 footage.

I had it set on the narrower angle,127(?) because the 170 was way to wide when I tested it at home.

I think I'm going to pick one up for just such an occassion. Also on stage, there was no where to put a tripod either, especially without the risk of it getting bumped by one of the 40 people up there!

I saw some people posting about fogging. This GoPro2 ran for 47 minutes constantly. When it was done, it was very very warm, but there was no fogging on the lens dome or anything.
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Old July 24th, 2012, 04:00 AM   #95
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Re: Go Pro cameras

I used the GoPro Hero 2 for the first time at a wedding last Saturday and the results are fantastic :- ) The previous weddings I've shot since acquiring this cam did not have suitable layouts.

I should qualify that by adding that the church in question, while not light, is lighter than most and so the collapse in performance that some users have reported did not come into play.

It is a large old church and the interior design is such that finding decent shooting positions is very difficult indeed. Add to that a celebrant who does not like persons of our ilk :- )

I had one locked down cam at the very rear and that would at least record the ceremony though on its own not be terribly interesting. I had another small cam clamped to a choir pew and hidden by the pew end, unmanned as it was inaccessible during the service, to get the couples upper bodies. They were obscured much of the time by the rear of the celebrant but there is some nice usable stuff. I had a further cam on a lightstand mainly for doing cutaways to the guests in this 200 guest ceremony. And a 5DII suitably tricked out on my shoulder.

But the real icing on the cake was that I was able to place a gopro on a small stone ledge on a pillar about three feet over eye height and and about four yards from the couple. The altar was to the left of the field of view, the church entrance to the right, and the couple smack in the middle - so it was a side to side view rather than a front to back view if you see what I mean.

There were around 20 choir people and another 20 bridesmaids groomsmen etc and as the choir streamed past and the bride made her entrance followed by the bridal party it looked just great.

I'm particularly pleased because this footage turns what could have been a very limited and uninteresting coverage into something unique.

I was shooting video only rather than my normal stills and video - the couple had already booked their photographer before a friend recommended me to them. There were two photographers and it was interesting to see how they worked in the particular set of circumstances. They missed a lot of opportunities for sure, even taking into account the restrictions on movement. But crucially they had no hope of getting anything like the the shots I have from the cam on the front pew and of course the GoPro. The conditions were just light enough that I can take decent stills from that footage. They were limited to one shooting with a 70-200 from the back of the church and the other trying to shoot through the choirs heads to get the odd image of the couples faces. And the ring exchange ..... forget it for them whereas I have the lot :- )

Nigel's AR Drone thread has put some naughty thoughts into my head:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/new-micr...one-2-0-a.html

Since these devices can fly inside and you can attach a GoPro (and have it shoot a series of stills in addition to video) how about flying one in a church :- ) Only for the really awkward celebrants though! "Wassup mate, you got a problem with that?" Or buzz the togs who don't know what they are doing. Ha Ha.

Pete
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Old July 24th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #96
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Hi Peter

The first time I used on in a Church (it was actually on a lighting stand on the upper balcony so I got a semi aerial shot of the entire wedding) it really did surprise me!! I loved the footage and used it extensively and it came really handy when the main camera in the aisle was blocked by the mothers going up to light candles and people going up to the lectern to do readings. A quick cutaway to the high angle and then back to the main camera worked a treat!!

I actually had a Parrot but sold it as it was horribily unreliable!! They are a lot noisier than you think too..I don't think the priest would be too happy with the noise level or distraction...the 4 rotors spin pretty fast and generate a fair amount of noise. They are reasonably silent and 100' or more but you don't want to be that high and have the guests and bridal party look like ants!! Now if you look in the main GoPro forum the helium balloon idea would be totally silent but you still would have to get approval from the Church!!

I'm not really sure that a birds eye view would be the best angle to shoot at... If you had the time, a large ladder before the wedding and a few discretely placed cameras high up certainly would work but I find that the nicest "high angle" is probably no more than around 5 metres with the cam inclined about 30 degrees down from horizontal.

Chris
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Old July 24th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #97
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Yes I was jesting about the chopper Chris :- ) Could make a good April fools joke on an unsuspecting celebrant!

I think I'll be using the GoPro footage extensivly from this particular wedding, it really is terrific. I agree about not being too high - too much risk of the result looking similar to surveillance footage - I am aiming to have it not much more than eye high so that the altitude is sufficient to avoid standing guests featuring in the immediate foreground but not so high as to appear unnatural. At around 7 to 8 feet it can really give a feel for being there.

I'm tempted by the flying cams but in reality I'd probably only use them for a few seconds of establishing shots of venue exteriors and even then I would be at the mercy of the weather conditions, position of expensive parked cars etc. Looks great fun though especially if the range can be extended. I've been watching stuff where flyers have used model aircraft rather than copter types and they seem to have a lot more capaciity per $ Flying radio controlled model aircraft takes me back to being a kid. I wonder how guests would react to a miniature Stuka or Zero appearing out of the clouds :- )

Pete
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Old July 24th, 2012, 10:06 AM   #98
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Re: Go Pro cameras

How about something like this to back down the aisle as the bride walks in.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 01:30 AM   #99
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Well...back to the very first post on this thread...just back from a weeks skiing during which I tried my GoPro out extensively...every man and his dog seemed to have one on the slopes...not quite, but there were a good number of them. There has been a shortage of accessaries in NZ...obviously they are a demand item...

Worked out a way of doing a multi-camera shoot using only one camera...will post up a couple of minutes when I've had time to edit it all together. Unfortunately my chest mount didn't arrive in time to take with me but I got quite a few different angles never the less. Suction cup mount on a ski worked quite well...needed to very fine sand the ski surface to make sure it hung on tight...that footage needs stablising in post as it bounced around a bit...Unfortunately also, my LCD BacPac didn't turn up before I left, so I was only able to check the framing at the end of the day.

Came across an idea that could be helpful. The camera comes mounted on a black flat plate in its box. That plate with its mount could be used as a very stable mount for some situations. Don't throw it out. Perhaps some little half dome rubber feet could be put in each corner of the square plate to lift it slightly off a surface...
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Old July 29th, 2012, 03:06 AM   #100
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Hi Renton

Great..looking forward to the footage!!!

Yeah I kept by base plate as well..not quite sure what to use it on at the moment but it is very neat if you simply want to film from any flat surface...it sits and the feet grip nicely on my dining table as well as my coffee table so if you wanted to capture casual footage in a room it would be a useful mount.

The Outdoor version comes with a strap that goes around your head so you have a head/helmet mount..did you try that one. Wow!! on an actual ski should be quite dramatic footage!! I seriously wouldn't stabilise that one at all..as a viewer would expect it to bounce around and that would add to the action!!

Keep us posted!!

Chris
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Old July 29th, 2012, 03:11 PM   #101
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Hi Chris

A lot of GoPro ski footage on youtube is really boring even though they may have interesting angles...a bit like watching grass grow. That's why I've got different angles...and since getting home yesterday have found another couple I could have done!! I use a helmet and have put two of the curved mounts on it...Also got a painting roller handle and put the tripod mount on the end so my son in laws could zip down alongside and get some interesting footage using that. (A GoPro on a painting pole - or monopod - could be used at weddings usefully also I imagine.)

One of the best skiing videos I've seen, a guy (apparently got killed in an avalanche some time later) had about eight of them on him as he skied an extreme slope. Another one, some guys intentionally started an avalanche above a huge cliff, skied on it over the cliff then pulled parachutes they had on...and turned back to film the avalanche barrelling off the edge...
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Old July 29th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #102
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Yeah I kept by base plate as well..not quite sure what to use it on at the moment but it is very neat if you simply want to film from any flat surface...it sits and the feet grip nicely on my dining table as well as my coffee table so if you wanted to capture casual footage in a room it would be a useful mount.
Mine didn't have feet...snif snif...
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Old July 30th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #103
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Re: Go Pro cameras

What are the best options (format, size etc) to use to post videos here?
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Old July 30th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #104
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Here's my little skiing video with my Go Pro...

GoPro at Cardrona Skiing - YouTube
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Old August 1st, 2012, 08:32 AM   #105
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Re: Go Pro cameras

Testing out a Go Pro this weekend for the first time. Really looking forward to seeing what we come up with!
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