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


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Old April 5th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #1
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My back is killing me!

Hello everyone,

Apologies if this has already been covered in the forums, I did a search and didn't find anything relevant. I've just recently started freelancing as an event videographer. I use a Canon XH-A1 and I also have a Spiderbrace support system. The problem I have is that after about an hour of shooting, my back and one of my arms really starts to hurt!! It make shooting really difficult and uncomfortable! I'm a fairly young guy and in pretty good shape, just to get that out of the way. I'm wondering if it's possible that there are some techniques for shooting that allow for extended shoots without a lot of stress on my arms and back. Perhaps it's just something my body will get used to after several sessions, but I just wanted to check and see if perhaps there were some techniques that might help.

Thanks,
Luke
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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #2
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I've never used that device, but I wonder from looking at it if it is putting too much pressure on the nerves in you shoulder. That could be one reason you're getting pain in the back and the arm (especially if it's your right arm with the camera on your right shoulder).

I sometimes shoot 16 hours on a wedding day, and I'm usually handheld for the vast majority of it (with some tripod and monopod use sprinkled in), and I get tired by the end of the day, but I'm not in pain.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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I agree, the Spiderbrace is definitely not ideal.... but even just going handheld w/out the device I'm experiencing similar symptoms.....
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #4
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the a1 is very front heavy for hand held use.

I have used a monopod for over 12 years, and only use a tripod once a get to the reception.

Even then I still use a monopod for the end circle, and have found that it saves my back a great deal! ...and I'm 57!

Cheers Vaughan
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #5
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I shoot with a Canon XLH1, and with AB battery, Frezzi light and wireless receiver, it weighs in around 12 lbs. I've gone through several different stabilizers, including a spiderbrace (which I gave away). I was using a Tiffen steady stick for certain parts at wedings, but wasn't really satisfied. i recently bought the Multirig pro, and am more satisfied. It can be used in a variert of set ups, and the support pod can be set like a shock absorver with up-down play, or stationary for longer steady shots. You might want to check it out.
Now if I could just afford a steadycam type rig.....
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Old April 6th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #6
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Monopod...
nuff said
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Old April 6th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #7
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I use the steady stick, it's not perfect, but transfers the weight to the hips/waist. I've got a stretch strap attached to the upright for better control... for the $, it's worth a shot, and I recommend setting up some sort of QR so you can swap to a tripod.

I'm experimenting with an old Optex shoulder mount, but it's still a shoulder/chest rig, and with heavier cam it's probably not going to be comfortable for the long term. It's nice for stability, but it seems like countering all the forward weight of a larger cam does nasty things to the lower back in short order...

I personally can't get the hang of a monopod, but maybe with practice - for some reason I seem to wobble, maybe I should try drinking...

DB>)
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Old April 6th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #8
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I have a SteadyStick. The belt leaves a bit to be desired. It is just a two inch nylon belt. I actually ran the belt around a "Dead On" tool belt "with shoulder straps" rig, and it actually transfers weight pretty nicely. If you can hide that under you coat at a a wedding, might do the trick. See picture attached. Picture is reversed because it is a mirror shot. And, okay, I never said I was a model....
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Old April 6th, 2007, 02:20 AM   #9
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you need a turtle-x http://www.easyrig.se/
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Old April 6th, 2007, 04:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I personally can't get the hang of a monopod, but maybe with practice - for some reason I seem to wobble, maybe I should try drinking...
The trick to using a monopod is using both hands. With my right hand on the monopod handle I usually have my left hand lightly under the camera (for when I want to be able to correct focus) or lightly on the top handle of the camera. You don't have to use both hands, but for extended use it helps quite a bit. Hope that tip helps you.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
I have a SteadyStick. The belt leaves a bit to be desired. It is just a two inch nylon belt. I actually ran the belt around a "Dead On" tool belt "with shoulder straps" rig, and it actually transfers weight pretty nicely. If you can hide that under you coat at a a wedding, might do the trick. See picture attached. Picture is reversed because it is a mirror shot. And, okay, I never said I was a model....
I have something similar I got on e-bay from Active Industries (cheaply made from India) but only ever use it with my XL2. The problem I have using it at weddings is that it takes a bit of time to get strapped up although it is quite effective and comfortable to wear.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Hill View Post
Hello everyone,

Apologies if this has already been covered in the forums, I did a search and didn't find anything relevant. I've just recently started freelancing as an event videographer. I use a Canon XH-A1 and I also have a Spiderbrace support system. The problem I have is that after about an hour of shooting, my back and one of my arms really starts to hurt!! It make shooting really difficult and uncomfortable! I'm a fairly young guy and in pretty good shape, just to get that out of the way. I'm wondering if it's possible that there are some techniques for shooting that allow for extended shoots without a lot of stress on my arms and back. Perhaps it's just something my body will get used to after several sessions, but I just wanted to check and see if perhaps there were some techniques that might help.

Thanks,
Luke
Mail me at natovich@inter.net.il and I will arrange a demo MultiRig unit for you.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Danny Natovich View Post
Mail me at natovich@inter.net.il and I will arrange a demo MultiRig unit for you.
I purchased a multirig pro from Danny, and I'm very pleased. Get the optional belt from them. It's made well, and improves the use of the holster clip and support rod.

I'm able to use it with an hvx, chrosziel MB, and zacuto plate / rails.

I use the shoulder mount config mostly because with that much weight it seems to be more manageable. However, with the hvx nekkid I find the other configurations beneficial.

I like the fact that there's a quick release plate mount on one of the arms which makes transitions from tripod to handheld easy and fast. Unfortunately there's a bit of give when tripod mounted this way. Better than not having the option I guess.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 11:29 PM   #14
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forget any body mounted gear unless its a steadycam vest and arm..
go grab a monopod and never look back

with the 560b, u can open the feet, and "mount" it to ur belly if need be..
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Old May 13th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Luke Hill View Post
Hello everyone,

...but I just wanted to check and see if perhaps there were some techniques that might help.

Thanks,
Luke
Hi Luke,

I have been shooting with a DSR-250 for 4 years. I loved the stability of a shoulder mount camera, but wanted to switch to the advantages of shooting with a smaller camera, as well as going to HDV.

I have shot with the the Sony Z1 for just three full weddings now and this is the work flow I have developed.

For pre ceremony I shoot handheld and Glidecam. The ceremony of course is with a tripod. Then for the reception I mount a wireless receiver as well as an NRG varalight to the camera.

My biggest concern was having a steady shot during those portions of the evening that require prolong shooting periods like the toasts, which can go on for 2-10 minutes as well as those times when they do the First Dance, Father-Daughter and Mother-Son Dances, all back to back, which can last as long as 12 mintes.

I have a Bogen 682B monopod with a 3063 head on it. The head allows me to tilt up and down. I use a 3063 head because it's same head I have on most of my tripods.

The technique I use is to place the handle of the tripod head under my right arm. Then I place my right hand on the zoom rocker. I have my left hand on the focus ring and I can easily adjust the iris as well.

This technique allows me to pan, tilt, zoom, focus, and manually adjust exposure while mantaining a steady shot with the light and wireless receiver on the camera.

At the end of the night I am not nearly as tired as I was when I was shooting with my DSR-250. I have been very happy with this approach.
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