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


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Old July 10th, 2014, 02:11 AM   #16
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

With the latest camera's having great viewfinders there is less reasons why not to shoot handheld with a OIS lens, I also agree with Clive shooting handheld with a dslr only (only for run and gun, otherwise it's all tripod for me) is very liberating, especially with small sized and light camera's. During the photoshoot I just follow the photog around with one dslr and one (ois) lens, feels like I"m on holiday :)
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Old July 10th, 2014, 12:16 PM   #17
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

Right on ! I follow the photographer with an ultra light shoulder rig and keep out of his way. I let him/her do all the posing and people fetching while I stand like 30 feet away and using just the zoom. The zoom is the nicest invention ever made.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 01:11 PM   #18
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

So, there seems to be several that use monopods, and even handheld shooters. Do any of you provide a long form of the wedding or are you just picking short clips to put into an edit? How long (clip duration) do you shoot with a monopod/handheld? I believe I know your answer Chris. You probably shoot all day with your spring loaded contraption. :)
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Old July 10th, 2014, 03:33 PM   #19
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I do mostly in-cam edit, so I know what I want and be very selective. That means that 90% of all the clips I take to make up that under 2 hour capture are short 4 to 7 seconds of this and that. These small clips have the slight possibility of being shortened or eliminated in case someone passes in front of the camera etc. I did use at one time tripods and monopods but I feel that for the majority of the time they are not really needed if you use wide to normal views. For that tele long distance shot, I just take a deep breath and try not to do any focusing that may introduce shake. That is why I have an AF camera with the zoom controller as part of the grip. I can zoom if needed without touching the camera controls at all.It is just a technique that comes with experience. I can also do a kind of slider effect by putting my feet as far apart as possible and crouching a bit, swipe the camera from the extremities. the trick is keeping the camera level and at the same distance from the floor during the swipe. Less gear to schlepp around.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 05:10 PM   #20
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

Bryon, I have to say my handheld/monopod a-cam stuff are all quite short clips 5 seconds or so would be the average.

For the long form stuff like the ceremony I use 80% b-cam footage (I know how that sounds) which are auto focus cameras on locked off tripods. The a-cam footage is clips taken throughout this period of time and dropped into the timeline and synced.

But for the speeches, i go monopod with my 2 locked off b-cams again. This time, the a-cam on monopod is much longer length clips. I don't find fatigue or anything too much of an obstacle.

I find the monopod invaluable at speeches time since you have no idea who in the room will get a special mention. With the peace of mind of locked off b cams, you can quickly turn and move around with the monopod to get a shot of any of the guests.

Hope that helps - what are your concerns? Fatigue? Camera sway/wobble?
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Old July 10th, 2014, 08:10 PM   #21
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

Hi Byron

Not quite..I'm lazy so I shoot only what I have to. At Bridal prep I use just the B-Cam (yes it's on the spring thingy always) so clips there are around 30 seconds (I'm like Arthur, we are old school and used to linear editing which were a pain so we shoot for edting..90% of my shorter clips only need a top and tail)
I have the A-Cam on tripod which does the entire ceremony usually off centre right and apart from a bit of reframing that camera runs the entire ceremony likewise my C-Cam is an elevated wide shot of the ceremony. The B-Cam does bridal entry, and basically cutaways ...I keep my cutaways to 10 seconds (no shorter) and again they get a heavy top and tail. I don't do 4 second shots ..If I'm going to pick up the camera I really don't want to have to put it down 4 second later so I'll probably shoot a whole set of cutaways making sure some are generic enough to put out of sync to cover blocked shots.

My A-Cam which runs the entire ceremony plus all the speeches carries my audio receivers too so that only has "big" clips on it. B-Cam is the handheld so that gets everthing else that's short and often not so short ...normally though clips wouldn't exceed 6 or 7 minutes (like the first dance/bridal entry to the reception and suchlike)

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2014, 08:46 PM   #22
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I would say camera shake is my main concern. Then second would be fatigue induced camera shake... I did a test run tonight with the canon 100mm macro tracking my kids running around the living room. I was impressed by the IS. With the motion involved, shake was definitely a non issue. After I get them in bed I will try to hold a closer shot like I might do during bridal prep. That will be a better test. Although the four little ones were great practice focusing on moving targets.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 09:49 PM   #23
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I think that most are going a bit overboard on the tiniest wobble!

The next time you watch TV instead of looking at the content carefully watch the top of frame and you will see how much the handheld camera moves around. Programs like the CSI series and I even see them in ads. Now, I see them ONLY because I'm looking for it. No-one else see it cos they are looking at the content. Has a bride ever come back to you and said your handheld shots are wobbly? Of course not because they are looking at the shot not the framing.

As long as you don't hold a tiny camcorder and start waving it around with one hand brides will simply not see any movement in the frame because they are not looking for it so don't over think the handheld shots too much. I also wouldn't give too much attention to those who post clips here and ask for comments ...there WILL be comments as viewers here feel they are expected to at least find something wrong. They actually feel if they don't find something wrong then it makes them feel bad.

Concentrate on giving the bride well balanced and framed footage with good content and she will be over the moon ..wobbles included!

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2014, 10:05 PM   #24
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I do have a monopod, but I seldom use it anymore.

I have a very light carbon fiber tripod with 40mm level ball head, and a 701 head. if I am on tight spot I can just spread the feet 12 inches at a minimum. Best thing with this is that I can leave the camera rolling while checking other camera.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 10:11 PM   #25
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

That is a good point Rickey. I do run several cameras, so the monopod camera would suffer while adjusting the others... I guess bridal prep is a good place to start. I have used a monopod there before with a vg30 and an XA20 - just never with a DSLR.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 07:57 AM   #26
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

If its not the ceremony or speeches we are monopod. Its our weapon of choice for nearly everything else.

Height adjustment isnt an issue for us as were pretty quick at it now.

It takes the weight off your poor arms plus it stops the most undesirable camera movement of all... roll!

If I were to go freehand I would probably look into a shoulder rig to help reduce that roll.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 10:12 AM   #27
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I don't know if this is helpful at all, but I DJ'ed a wedding this weekend and posted some highlights shot with a monopod (Manfrotto). Its very light weight, so this is how I practice - when I'm not being paid to film. I also feel I'm doing much better with white balance (tungsten), a flat profile (Cinestyle here), and minimal color grading (curves, upped the contrast a little).

I was able to keep the monopod moving pretty smoothly, I thought, and the feet allowed me to set it on my table and leave it, like a tripod. Used a Canon 5d Mark ii, 50mm, f/1.8, ISO 1600

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Old July 15th, 2014, 11:50 PM   #28
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I never shoot weddings free handheld EVER, even with IS. For everything other than ceremony and speeches I use a monopod. See my work for results. For wedding ceremony and reception speeches I'm on the sticks.

John Summerfield
Summerfield Films | Toronto Wedding Videography
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:59 AM   #29
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

I currently use the manfrotto 561BHDV-1 with modified 701 head (TBH I think the feet are a marketing gimmick as it feels no different from conventional monopods to me) but only for ceremonies and speeches where space is tight. I'm thinking of using it more during the day but don't want to feel 'tied' to it - especially height adjustment so I've got a Manfrotto Neotec so I can adjust the height really quickly with the trigger thing. I don't however want to swap heads so may purchase another modded 701.

What heads are you guys using?

Pete
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Old July 16th, 2014, 03:29 AM   #30
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Re: Do you use a monopod?

For those that use a monopod, if you use stabilised lenses, do you leave the OIS on or off? I know when on a tripod it's essential to leave it off because the OIS can result in unwanted movement at the end of a pan motion, but not sure what gives better results on a monopod.
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