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


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Old November 9th, 2012, 01:39 AM   #16
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi Rob

I wonder how the viewer's brain works in relation to right and left?? We read left to right!! If I'm circling the couple on stedicam I almost always go around them clockwise and the stedicam arm is on my right but the camera is pretty much in the middle...For me I would feel awkward going around the couple counter-clockwise ...but I could of course. Stedicams can also be flown with the arm on your right or your left and it's an operator preference but sliders are in a fixed position so it would be equally easy to slide left to right or right to left ... I wonder what is considered "correct" or doesn't it matter??? I have often see rail dolly shots go right to left during a scene where there is no destination point. If you are sliding from a non interesting point to a focal point and the focal point is to the right, do you then slide left to right so you finish on the focal point?? Whether it's a slide or a pan or a dolly track, there is always a reason to move and that's so you guide the viewer to a new point of interest.

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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #17
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi Pete, thanks for the nice comments about the rotation shot. The tripod adapter is from an old velbon tropod and it was mounted on the slider. I just tilted the camera right back and slowly rotated it. I was lucky because the roof was made for a shot like that , it was beautiful .
I never really thought about the slider shots always going the same way, i am right handed so perhaps thats why. The shot of Ka Yin walking down the stairs was originally planned to be from the opposite side , so would have been left to right, however after talking to the photographer and planning where we were going to both shoot from the decision was made to swap to the other stairs.
It was nice working with a photog that understood what we wanted to achieve and was happy to work with us to get the shots first time without getting in each others way.
Best wishes john
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:19 PM   #18
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

yeah after some more practice i've done right and left pans/slides and of course as Chris pointed out it's all to do with where you want the viewer focus on.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #19
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Most times I do the slider shot both ways, and pick which one looks best next to the other shots when I edit. I'm not moving the rig when I do it. I just get one shot sliding right, then one sliding left, unless I specifically need to reveal right to left, or left to right.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 06:00 AM   #20
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Well I like my glidetrack HD (.75m) but until I can find a bag for it I won't be taking it out - as a single shooter I just need to be able to whip it out of a bag, get my shot, and put it away again with a minimum of fuss. Having the 701HDV head on makes it tough to find a bag
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Old November 18th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #21
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Had a play with slider yesterday.

New way I'm thinking about slider opportunities: (1) anywhere you're tempted to simply pan or tilt is probably somewhere you could have combined that motion with a slider, like wedding cakes or panning around a reception room; (2) any place where there is simply a distinct object of interest, like a bride as opposed to a group of people, is a maintain-composition slider opp, but especially when combined with foreground elements; (3) any place where there is a horizontally moving object is a slider opp, either tracking with the object or as a reveal going the opposite direction that picks up and stays with the object.

I don't know if the slide is really anything more than window dressing for this stuff, but it's nice window dressing. In some cases, you can have three things going at once -- slide + pan/tlit + zoom/pull focus.

Wide shots with no way to feel the slide are not slider opps, at least with short sliders, but even in these cases low angles give you the floor in shot, so that gives sense of movement.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 07:28 AM   #22
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

i have my glidetrack in a tripod bag at the moment it's got a 501 HDV head so to actually get it in the bag i have to take the feet off, but it's pretty quick to attach them when setting up!

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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #23
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

I use a Konova K2 with a 701HDV head and that won't fit in the provided Konova bag (nice package by the way for a reasonable price)..so I decided to put a manfrotto quick plate release on the Konova so that I can attach the 701 head for transport. I didn't want to be screwing the head on and off on the Knova slider.
It works fine..this way I can still use the bag the Konova came in. Using the 701HDV head allows for more dynamic shots with some tilting etc but sometimes if I need to use the Konova vertical then I use a Gorilla Zoom ballhead. So far so good.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #24
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hey Erick, does that bag actually fit the slider with the head attached? If so, I'm on the point of reaching for my wallet; that's one problem I've never to my satisfaction solved. I currently use a large wheeled Cinevate bag, which fits a bunch of stuff -- two tripods, slider, two light stands, microphone stand, monopod... But I often take three tripods and leave the slider at home.

You definitely don't want to be attaching and reattaching the head every time. I've damaged my slider doing this. Head wasn't threaded onto the screw properly, and when I panned it, it bent the screw.

By the way, I've configured my gear so everything works with Manfrotto quick release plates. I also have one permanently attached to the bottom of the slider, so it can be centre-mounted on tripod quickly. The tripod I prefer to use with the slider is a Sachtler one with a strong centre column -- can easily adjust height without fiddling with locks for three legs. I never try to go vertical or diagonal... I should be more creative.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #25
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Great thread, I'm considering buying a slider as well but with my glidecamHD2000 I'm not sure I need it, and I'm not sure I'd use it all that much?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 08:20 PM   #26
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

What are you using it for? I found that I use my slider more than steadicam on most projects
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Old November 29th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #27
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

I posted in the video clip forum but I'll post it here too,


Basically what I end up doing with the glide cam isn't just a straight slide or for a reveal because I can't pull focus on it at all. I use it for circling and following the subject mostly, and for a lot of vertical stuff (I'm 6'5" so I can get a lot of shots that look like I used a jib crane). If you notice the shot of the curling irons and hair and makeup, that would be a place where I would have used a slider, or with the book of photos as the beginning.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #28
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi, I think you use a steadicam in an unusual way, and that a slider wouldn't necessarily suit your style.

Guessing: 5dMkIII with Faithful picture profile and Canon primes? (I'm probably completely wrong.)

Unusual because: (1) you stay on it pretty much all day (whereas many people might just pull it out at key times); (2) you sometimes achieve some nice shallow depth of field shots with it (instead of stopping down till everything is in focus); (3) you don't seem to be using the sort of really wide angle lens most people use (is that right?); (4) shooting the whole wedding at high frame rate I think is unusual (to smooth it out a bit in post?); (5) the sorts of moves you make I think are unusual; for instance, you do some really interesting circular moves with it.

Wouldn't necessarily suit your style because... Well, I think the video has a kind of flowing, organic, human feel to it. You're sort of using the steadicam as a smoother shoulder-mounted cam; it's not like some sort of floating perfectly smooth ghost point of view. When you switch to tripod, or were you to switch to slider, I think there's a change of feel.

Just my AU$0.02. I'm sure you could incorporate a slider to advantage... But is the fiddling around with it worth it, instead of getting more beautiful steadicam shots? Your call...

By the way... wedding pie instead of wedding cake? That's a new one to me.

Edit: One more thought. Before every wedding I do, I always stress about whether or not to bring slider. I find it such a PITA to carry and use. But I think if you're going to the trouble of using it, you have to make it pay its way. You know, don't just use it for two reveal shots. Do things with it that you can't do with steadicam, like really low angle or really close to a table, or combined with a pan, tilt, focus pull or zoom, or getting really slow and deliberate shots, or in windy conditions. I think one of the most limiting things about a slider is that under event conditions you're normally carrying a short one, and there's not all that many places you can use it where the viewer feels the slide movement. A steadicam is just so much more useful.

Last edited by Adrian Tan; November 29th, 2012 at 03:37 AM.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #29
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

I think the problem with using steadicam too much is that you lessen its impact. If you have mostly static shots and sliders during the ceremony, then brought the steadicam later on then it would seem more dynamic. Also with a steadicam you're limited to what lens you can use, you may get tire, and it may get out of balance. Also you can achieve a shallower depth of field with a longer lens. I say just get the slider, you can't improve if you don't try new stuff.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #30
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Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Adrian,

That video was shot with a canon T2i with a neutral setting, a 24mm-1.4 prime on the glidecam and a 70-200 2.8 L on the tripod. And yes, I shoot at 60fps in order to slow down a lot of the ceremony shots of people walking down the run way to give it an ultra-smooth and romantic/emotional look.

I wasn't aware I was using the glide cam in an unusual way although I suppose that makes sense, as most people would shoot with a shoulder rig and tripod. I shoot a lot of events, and I find the glidecam gives me the biggest bang for the buck, as I move around a lot and a tripod/slider would get in the way and be a hassle to carry around. I also like the glide cam because it's very smooth, and if I want a more intense feel to the shot I can introduce some camera shake by simply holding it by the arm or/or camera instead of the handle.

I do agree with Victor, that I may over use the glide cam, and this will change as I tinker with other equipment. I have connections to a local photo/video store that lends me equipment to try out, so I might grab a slider for the next wedding and see if I like it. The other problem here, I only shoot with one camera, and I'm the only one that shoots so I can't really use the slider during the ceremony as I might miss important moments switching from the glidecam to slider. During the reception, however, I could use it, and between the ceremony and reception or the 'getting ready' shots.

Thanks for the response guys, very helpful!
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