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-   -   Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/513154-wedding-video-camera-placements-number-cameras.html)

Matt Thomas January 4th, 2013 04:53 PM

Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Hi guys,

Shooting a Wedding video later in the month, it's the first one I've shot myself and my friend's second. We have 3 Z7s available to use to shoot it and I was wondering about placements for the actual ceremony.

My instincts would be to have 4 cameras/positions, 1 wider static, 1 on the bride, 1 on the groom and 1 on the vicar, it would be good to have extra ones of guests, but with lacking equipment and people to operate the cameras, I feel those 4 would be the key elements to focus on. I'm not too sure where I would put a camera that focused on the vicar. I'm guessing the wide would most likely go at the back as ideally I'd like it to go behind the vicar, quite high up, so you get the guests faces not just the backs of their heads, but I don't think there'd be anywhere to set it up.

Also, as we only have 3 Z7s, if we did do 4 cameras the only ones we have ourselves are my 550D and Sony HC3 and her 600D, so I wouldn't be sure which to use. The Sony HC3 is HDV so might match the Z7s better but is only 1080i rather then Z7s which can be 1080p 25p, so wasn't sure if that would be an issue. I know we could use 1080i on the Z7s but I'd rather shoot progressive.

Anyway, if anyone as any advice on camera positions etc, I'll be extremely grateful,

Thanks
Matt

Adrian Tan January 4th, 2013 05:17 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Here's one possible plan, amongst many (a huge amount depends on the layout of the church, details of the ceremony, etc).

-- Basic play: two 45-degree cams, one straight-on wide cam (unmanned), as you've suggested. Don't have the 45-degree cams stuck to the spot, but let them move around to get reaction shots of audience, cutaways, etc.
-- Stick with three cameras, so that you don't confuse yourselves, and don't have to worry about matching cameras in post.
-- On entry: have your friend operate the groom-favouring camera to get a first look. Worry about being masked when people stand up for the bride. Set one unmanned camera from back of church, on a high tripod, framed for entire bridal party, vicar and readers. Crouch down at the front with your third camera on a monopod, on the groom's side (so you're not crossing the line), pointed up the aisle towards the church door, to get the bride's look as she approaches the groom, then scamper out of the way at the last moment. (This is something I often do, but I know other people don't like it. If it's possible for you to position your camera amongst the pews, a row or two from the front, or even behind the vicar, you could probably capture bride's first look from those positions as well).
-- During ceremony: reposition your crouching camera to be the bride-favouring close-up camera.
-- Hopefully you and your friend will have the freedom to move your 45-degree cameras around a little. You don't have to stay stuck on bride and groom for the duration. Can move towards front of church and turn around to get cutaways of mother of bride crying. Can get shots or of musicians or details around the chuch, etc. As long as that wide you've got rolling is reliable. When someone goes up to do a reading, make eye contact with your friend and work out who's going to take the shot, and use one of your 45-degree cams for a midshot. The vicar can be covered in a similar fashion if he steps up to a lectern to deliver a sermon or whatever.
-- Rings -- might be hard for you to get a clear close-up of rings. That's one of the trade-offs for this setup.
-- On signing the registry: could be a mess. Use one camera to get static, safe, wide-shot, continuous coverage. Use one of the other cameras to get close-ups (of hands writing, of faces), and reaction shots from the rest of the bridal party, the guests, etc. The camera at back of church you could just leave there, since it might be tricky to move it around.
-- On exit: Camera at the back of church will hopefully cover aisle. Position one camera outside the church, to get that iconic shot where they throw rice. Position last camera... your choice. Could be at initial 45 degree angle, getting mid shot of last few announcements before they start walking "Could everyone stand and welcome the new Mr and Mrs...", then letting them walk out of frame, to be picked up by the back-of-church camera.

By the way, don't forget to worry about sound! Lapel mic (radio or plugged into small recorder) on the groom, and, if possible, one on the celebrant is pretty standard, plus any other recorders and mics you can strategically place to get good sound.

Nigel Barker January 4th, 2013 09:13 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
It's much easier to match up footage when they are all from the same model camera so I would use just the 3X Z7. Assuming that the vicar is OK with your camera positions (not a given so go to the rehearsal to show what a good guy you are) then one locked off on bride's side facing the groom plus one operated on the groom's side facing the bride plus another roaming camera at the back should cover all you need. The vicar won't like the operator at the front moving about much except for moments like when when he & the couple go & sign the register or go off to the altar for some prayers. The operator at the back can probably move about a bit more shooting cutaways of the congregation.

It's superficially appealing to have as many cameras as possible but it becomes a nightmare in post to match up footage from a load of different cameras & it just increases the work if you are cutting between a bunch of different cameras.

Don Bloom January 4th, 2013 09:27 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Your camera placement might be limited to whatever the officiant says it is. Don't get locked into one way of thinking. Perhaps if possible you could stop by the venue beforehand to see what the ideal placements would be then ask someone affiliated with the venue to find out what they allow.
It's a silly thing to mention but remember, it's their house, their rules. I've seen photographers get scolded and yes, ask to leave a church during a ceremony because he couldn't help himself and play by their rules.

D.J. Ammons January 4th, 2013 10:12 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
We generally use 3 cameras and one is a shoulder held (via spiderbrace) at the front (operator usually on right side front row. The second is a center cam on tripod or crane depending on the venue. This one is also is a manned camera utilizing tilt, pan, and zoom as needed during the ceremony. Our third cam is a stationary one that is also a center cam but fixed on a wide shot. It serves as our emergency B roll camera in editing if both of the other cameras shots are not good. That third fixed cam on the wide shot has saved our butts more than once!

Dave Partington January 5th, 2013 01:51 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Matt,

Three cameras is usually plenty for churches in Yorkshire ;)

1) Unattended in the choir stalls looking back at the couple
2) At the back of the isle (manned), you'll be able to see the vicar and the couple and choose what you want to shoot
3A) A side camera (manned) at the front (a little behind the couple) will give you an alternative shot of the vicar 'and' give you options for readings and if you're lucky you'll see the bride's face during the vows / rings. The positioning of this camera varies from church to church and some churches there is simply no room for it.

3B) As an alternative to the side camera, a high/wide camera from the back to give you editing options while you focus / zoom in / out for the readings.

Simple.

Occasionally we find a church that can benefit from a 4th (or even 5th) camera, and some churches there are options for only two (front unattended and one at the back of the isle) and a couple we've been in that you get to squeeze a couple of cameras right next to each other in the isle, one wide and one to play with and zero other options ;)

So, there is no hard and fast rule, but there are certainly some recipes we follow depending on the church layout.

Dan Burnap January 6th, 2013 01:26 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
I'm considering buying a light \ mic stand and sticking a new GoPro Hero 3 on top, checking the angle via the smartphone app and letting it film the congregation unmanned. The reasons for this are:

Apart from the standing up and sitting down the guests dont really do anything. The footage although wont match brilliantly with the main cams footage is a good cut away, backup which you can insert pretty much anywhere.

Set it up early enough and you could do a nice timelapse of guests filling up the church.

A three metre light stand has a small enough profile, can be put to one side and wont be obstructed by any guest standing in front of it.

Paul Mailath January 6th, 2013 05:50 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adrian Tan (Post 1771210)
that iconic shot where they throw rice. .

I don't know what churches you shoot in but rice/confetti/anything is banned in most of the churches I work at - Greek being the exception

Chris Harding January 6th, 2013 06:08 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Hi Dan

I either put a Hero on the top balcony or on a 3m stand beside my aisle camera...No-one can block that or walk in front of it and it's nice to cut away to the Hero when the readers walk up to the lectern to strut their stuff and then cut back to your aisle cam for the actual reading....It's saved my bacon many times.

I just use 3 cams...the Hero up high and then my main cam on the right hand side of the aisle (to favour the bride's face) and the second on my shoulder to shoot cutaways, wides and any action away from the main camera which is usually quite tight on the couple..the main cam carries all the audio too.

Chris

Peter Riding January 6th, 2013 12:20 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
I reckon the ideal is 3 actual cams plus a GoPro if there is somewhere suitable to place it (placing a GoPro is by no means easy at every wedding even though you'd think it would be).

This ensures that you can cover the bride plus the groom plus have a wide angle / scene setter, and cut to the GoPro for extra effect. You should be able to operate one of the 3 main cams at any time to accomplish appropriate reframing / change to vicar / change to readers / change to guest shots etc. Meanwhile the other two cams are locked down either temporarily or permanently depending on the venue regulations regarding movement and the practicality of you moving positions without causing distractions or ruining the stills compositions.

However in practice churches seldom meet ideal shooting conditions even with the most cooperative of celebrants because of their physical features and layouts.

For example this forward area has no suitable position from which to capture the brides face and no chance of shooting from within or oblique to the altar area (were that even desirable):

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/643-stad/images/015.jpg

In these conditions the small cams that work well in low light such as the ridiculously cheap Panny X900 can be a godsend as can place or clamp them anywhere. Look on the stone shelf above the left fellows head in this photo to see one in action:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/643-stad/images/018.jpg

I also had a GoPro on a lightstand just off centre right above the guest in the white tie.

A second cam was placed right at the back of the church for this view:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/643-stad/images/051.jpg

The third cam was positioned at the front in line with but several yards away from the left of the assembly in front of the altar (see 1st photo of altar area) from which I could shoot the grooms face if indeed he ever looked sideways rather than forwards, and also get the readers and cutaways to the guests:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/643-stad/images/043.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/643-stad/images/039.jpg

These are stills rather than frame grabs but you get the idea.

Its a case in point where even with a very co-operative celebrant and an enthusiastic couple you can only do what you can do.

I would be very reluctant to mount locked off cams on substantial tripods as they soon wreck the ambience of the event, going some way to being why wedding videography s not nearly as popular as it ought to be. Try using single column lightstands with heads instead the new small cams usually have very effective IS built in so a little vibration is a non-issue. Or use magic arms and clamps.

At this wedding it was completely impossible to shoot from ahead of the couple (this shot with a Canon 15mm fisheye:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/641-mpgs/images/028.jpg

I had a GoPro on a lightstand immediately left of the camera position, a clamped cam on the rails behind the vicar, a locked off cam on a lightstand at the rear, and the main cam with me for this:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/641-mpgs/images/058.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/641-mpgs/images/042.jpg

A civil ceremony showing two cams at the front. Its not obvious but there is a string quartet front left so no room for anything there other than a lightstand with a small cam on it behind their seats. Main cam on this occasion is front right. 3rd cam was locked off at the rear after the processional:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/636-gmrs/images/030.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/636-gmrs/images/037.jpg

I shoot alone. Imagine what its like if a photog and a videog are fighting for positions front right! Horrendous for the ambience.

One last one. Again impossible to get ahead of the couple or shoot through the railings:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/631-gjpl/images/049.jpg

But a small black cam you can just see clamped to the wooden structure top right captured the couples faces, ring exchange etc beautifully:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/631-gjpl/images/054.jpg

Its always worth it to get along to the rehearsal if its an unfamiliar venue or if you think you may not have much prep time on the day. You can then think it through and try stuff out without feeling any pressure.

Pete

Adrian Tan January 6th, 2013 03:46 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Mailath (Post 1771445)
I don't know what churches you shoot in but rice/confetti/anything is banned in most of the churches I work at - Greek being the exception

Come to think of it -- you're right. Only seen rice once. Confetti never.

But rose buds -- quite a few times. Bubbles -- more often.

Jim Snow January 6th, 2013 09:41 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
A general comment to keep in mind when you consider camera placement. When you look at an empty venue, don't forget that a number of apparantly good camera positions will be blocked at the ceremony by attendants, flowers and other decoration as well as guests. You can determine many of these if you are able to attend the rehersal.

Matt Thomas January 7th, 2013 05:20 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Thanks guys, you've given me sound good things to think about.

We will be going to the rehearsal, so will get a chance to have a look before the day.

Peter Rush January 7th, 2013 10:14 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Riding (Post 1771478)
In these conditions the small cams that work well in low light such as the ridiculously cheap Panny X900 can be a godsend as can place or clamp them anywhere.

Peter, tell me about the X900 - I'm looking for a little cam to put on a light stand as well as my GoPro but don't really want to spend more than 700-1000 as I already have 2 main cameras. How wide is the lens angle and just how good in low light is it compared to say the TM900?

Pete

Nigel Barker January 7th, 2013 12:51 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Even more intriguing for a locked off unattended camera is the X800 which has the same optics & sensor but is just 499 while the X900 is 699. The zoom lens on both is a 30-360mm full frame equivalent

Peter Riding January 7th, 2013 01:20 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Peter, the X900 is the successor to the TM900 so I would expect it to be the same or better performance in low light. There have been one or two reports of "worse" but I suspect that may be caused by user error.

I have several TM900's. They easily compete with the 5DII until the conditions are very dark at which point you are pretty much stuffed anyway ..... you're not going to put up a C300 unattended or use a bank of video lights in a church :- )

The wide end of the TM900 is about the same as 35mm on full frame dSLR's. The X900 is a little widerYou can add wide angle convertors and these are quite cheap if no-name from ebay but you don't really need them if you have multi-camera coverage since you can always cut to alternative views anyway. Plus the use of brackets / magic arms / suckers on windows etc enable you to get the units into positions that are impossible for their larger tripod-dependent brethren - meaning that the extra distance you can put between the cam and the subject compensates for the not so wide maximum wide angle ..... if you see what I mean :- )

Its that time of year when product updates come around and there may be a revision to the X900. That may be why they are so cheap now. I haven't done a comparison in ages but you can compare side by side using a table on Panny's site. There were reasons why I didn't go for the next model down from the 900 but I can't remember what they were.

I have the type with the built in 32gb flash drive but I would just buy the SD card version in future. I only ever use 32gb class 10 Sandisks and I can download these very quickly using USB3 rather than faffing around with USB2 direct from the cams.

Sony and Canon have similar offerings all be it more expensive in Canons case. However the pannys have features that make them very desirable for unattended lockdown at weddings 1) the autofocus is very effective and intelligent 2) the backlight compensation feature means you can fire and forget as they will compensate continuously on the fly for changes in backlight to couples standing in front of sunny windows. Dunno if the Sony and Canon are likewise.

Of course the small size means you can carry several on a belt pouch etc making speed of placement and breakdown attractive. But we are venturing into the "small handicams for weddings" thread territory:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-...handicams.html

One other factor I meant to mention for the OP is that once you start adding multiple cams you must have some regard for how you are going to deal with all that data. Typically I have 3 x TM900 tracks all at 1920 x 1080 50p, several 5DII clips at 1920 x 1080 25p, multiple audio device WAV tracks, and a GoPro track.

My main desktop can play all that back in Vegas Pro at a high quality setting without the need to transcode (and in that process make the files much larger). But using the new GoPro Protune setting kills it and I do have to transcode those files to AVI in Cineform before they are usable for a mid-edit playback.

Pete

Peter Rush January 7th, 2013 01:28 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Thanks Pete - you've convinced me to pick one of those up - it'll be a good replacement for my Sony A1E which was my 'little' camera of choice for tight spots which has now bitten the dust.

I'm pretty much used to mixed formats in my CS5.5 timelines - 25i footage from my Ageing Z1 (soon to be replaced with the new EA-50) and Fx1 cameras, 25p from my 5D and GoPro - haven't tried protune yet though! Also Wav files from my Zoom and .wma files from my Olympus audio recorders!

Currently finding the X900 for about 600 with the TM900 still going for about 850

Pete

Peter Riding January 7th, 2013 04:08 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Yes that sounds about right for the X900 card only version.

The cards I'm using are these 32gb Sandisks:


At little more than 20 each you can't go wrong and at class 10 they ought to be future proof up to a point.

They also work with the GoPro 2 - but I think you need micro cards for the GoPro3.

That price for the TM900 is probably for the one that has an internal flash drive as well as an SD card slot. They are well respected and in demand so the 2nd hand prices are not low.

Pete

p.s. you probably know this but for USB3 use you need an expansion board for a desktop motherboard or an expansion card for a laptop, plus suitable cables, plus USB3 external drives and a USB3 reader. But its so quick its bliss. I do all my editing direct on external USB3 drives now.

Peter Rush January 7th, 2013 04:23 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Already there Pete - Invested in a new editing desktop with USB 3.0 a few months ago and have just ordered a fast laptop to use when my editing PC is busy - also with USB 3.0 - I have duplicates of my projects on external hard drives as well

Pete

Peter Riding January 8th, 2013 03:23 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
The X900 replacement has been announced:

Panasonic X920 flagship camcorder adds Wi-Fi and triple BSI sensors - News - Trusted Reviews

Not sure whether the wifi capability would include operating the cam via a smartphone - that would be good.

Pete

p.s. it does include wifi smartphone control:

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/4900...s-and-hands-on

Next challenge will be how to control several cams at the same time :- )

Mark Ahrens January 8th, 2013 08:19 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Hey Pete,
Could you elaborate or list the clamps that you use? Perhaps ones to stay away from, too?
I really like the way you find discrete placements.
Thanks for posting all the pictures to illustrate your methods.

Peter Riding January 8th, 2013 11:14 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
I will be putting details on my website when I get the time but meanwhile:

My default supports are lightstands rather than tripods. This is because they are far more discreet as single column rather than 3 leg support. So they do not dominate compositions from other angles plus they a lot easier for moving guests to get around than tripods in aisles are. Also they can get your cams a lot higher than even the tallest tripod so work great when the shooting position is behind guests who may be standing for some of the time.

I use three Cheetah C12 Air lightstands. These are man enough to take a dSLR with lots of extras so easily cope with smaller cams. The Air feature helps you lower the stand quickly without shocks to the cams. I have a tripod sling on each so that they can be carried to and from together easily. They all have the auto-ollapsing feet so are quick to reposition and that can be done with one hand whilst your other hand is holding / doing something else such as holding a dSLR for stills shooting.

https://www.cheetahstand.com/Cheetah...r-p/c12air.htm

Its tempting to put a simple ball socket on top but these are far from ideal for quick and accurate framing or recomposing so I now have Manfrotto 701 pan and tilt heads on each lightstand:


You can drill these heads and arms to put in your own 1/4 x 20 screws if you wish to attach equipment such as audio recorders. They use the standard sliding plate which is interchangeable with other Manfrotto heads such as the larger 503, and the 577 adapter:


So it makes sense to have plates on each cam by default and so to save setting up time.

The Cheetah C12 / 701 combo will also take a cage such as the P&C GB02 or a shoulder rig such as the PR-1 if necessary (use of Manfrotto 577 quick release adapters or the Calumet cheaper equivalent recommended):

GearBox GB-2 - Video Accessory Cage w/ 15mm Rod Adapter by PNC | Photography and Cinema - Store

PR-1 Prime Video Shoulder Rig Kit by PNC | Photography and Cinema - Store

I also have 3 of the smaller Cheetah C8 stands and these work on the same quick fold principle as the C12. They are just about man enough to hold the X900 type cams; they are great for GoPros audio recorders and LED lights.

If stands are not practical or desirable its over to various clamps.

By far the most used are the magic arm ebay knockoffs. They come in 7 and 11 versions. 7 is rather short for cams but is great for audio devices. You also have a choice of one end terminating in either a hotshoe adapter or a clamp of some description.

11" Adjustable Friction Power Articulating Magic Arm | eBay

New Articulating Magic Friction Arm Large Super Clamp Large Crab Pliers Clip | eBay

These make placing audio recorders securely in flower arrangements / on lecterns etc very quick and easy.

Hama does a more discreet version but it is not nearly as grippy and is only really suitable for things like the Zoom H1 when used in its clamp rather than in its tripod mode:


For extra strength or for wider mouth opening I have several large Manfrotto superclamps:

Super Clamps - Clamps - Photo | Manfrotto

These have several screw and socket options for attaching just about anything. Two can be fastened together if necessary.

These Manfrotto heavy duty flexible arms attach to superclamps and work great for getting around corners etc:

Manfrotto 237HD (237) Heavy Duty Flexible Arm with hexagon stud to fit Super Clamp 035 (520mm)

These Delkin Fat Gecko Dual Mount units work great on windows and other flat surfaces. Ideal when there is a window in front of the couple but you cannot get in front of them at one side. Just use one on a window offset from centre so as the celebrant does not block the view.

Fat Gecko Dual Mount - Delkin Devices

These Delkin Gecko clamps can be better than superclamps. They do need a ball socket on them though to assist composing or use the extension kit.

Fat Gecko Vise Mount - Delkin Devices

Any ball heads need to be small yet strong. These ones work great:

FLM CB18 Ball Head - Ball Socket

Lesser ones may sag under weight.

For audio recorder placement during the speeches and sometimes at other points as well I use a combination of the above ball head attached with this screw:


slotted into standard flashgun feet:

Univeral Flash Stand Bracket Foot F Flashgun Speedlight | eBay

Best to get the feet with the longer fronts as above for extra stability the ones that come with Canon and Nikon have short front feet so equipment may topple forwards. They look very neat on tables and are not easily knocked off axis by guests :- ) Look for ones with metal tripod sockets underneath as well so ou have even more options. Its this arrangement that I used for the small cam featured in a photo in my earlier post the one that is sitting on a stone shelf above a grooomsmans head.

Pete

Mark Ahrens January 8th, 2013 11:36 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Outstanding detail, Pete. Thanks for taking the time!

Matt Thomas January 10th, 2013 04:29 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
What do people think about using a steady cam as one of the cameras for a wedding?

Adrian Tan January 10th, 2013 05:19 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
If the operator has the strength to hold it still for an hour, it's proabably only a little worse than shoulder mount. I personally put everything on sticks during ceremony.

If you can dedicate a camera to steadicam, and use it for entry, exit, and cutaways, rather than for one one of the main coverage cams during, then that's not a bad option. Saves on a lot of fiddling.

Anthony McErlean March 26th, 2014 11:30 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Riding (Post 1771478)
I had a GoPro on a lightstand immediately left of the camera position, a clamped cam on the rails behind the vicar, a locked off cam on a lightstand at the rear, and the main cam with me for this:

Thanks Pete for all the links you have supplied.
With you advice I have just ordered a Manfrotto Super Clamp (035) and Manfrotto 237HD Heavy Duty Flex Arm for my GoPro3+

Thank you again.

Robert Benda March 26th, 2014 12:46 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Instead of light stands, have you considered microphone stands? Instead of legs, they use round base plates. Some can get to 8 feet. Smaller footprint and most base plates have a little weight. If you're worried, add a sand bag or slip a 5 - 25 pound weight over it (the kind that goes onto a barbell, that has a hole in the center).

For using a steadicam style device at a wedding, most folks who do it seem to only use it at certain points. Watching the Joe Simon BTS, or StillMotion, they might use it to trail the processional or recessional, but don't seem to use it during the ceremony proper. I've thought about it as a *someday* idea, but would probably designate a camera that stays on the Steadicam/Glidecam all the time.

Clive McLaughlin March 27th, 2014 04:01 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Previously I've just operated on a DSLR on tripod in one front corner, with an unmanned autofocus handicam in the opposite corner.

Recently however, I've decided to free myself up. I realised that in 90% of my wedding I could have moved around if I needed to.

So now, I'm doubling up and having autofocus in both front corners, and my DSLR is on monopod with an 85mm lens. I take this and go where I wish to get the best 'beauty shots'.

For the record - my DSLR beauty shots are mostly what my highlights trailer is made up of. The handicam footage is fine for the final DVD however mixed in with my DSLR footage.

Dave Partington March 27th, 2014 04:15 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin (Post 1838593)
For the record - my DSLR beauty shots are mostly what my highlights trailer is made up of. The handicam footage is fine for the final DVD however mixed in with my DSLR footage.

The danger in doing this is that your customer (and potential customer) is expecting the entire DVD to be the same quality as the highlights, especially if they see the highlights in advance of the full DVD.

Clive McLaughlin March 27th, 2014 04:25 AM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
During the ceremony and speeches, my handicams make up about 20/30% of the finished edit. The rest of the day is all DSLR.

I think at those parts of the day, the clients are content to watch a difference in quality.

I don't believe that documentary style and cinematic are totally separate - I think they have their place.

My clients don't expect the mass to be cinematic, and they couldn't give two hoots about how that part of the dvd looks, as long as they can see what is happening.

Soumendra Jena March 28th, 2014 10:38 PM

Re: Wedding Video Camera Placements and Number of Cameras
 
All the images are missing bro!
Please re-upload.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Riding (Post 1771478)
I reckon the ideal is 3 actual cams plus a GoPro if there is somewhere suitable to place it (placing a GoPro is by no means easy at every wedding even though you'd think it would be).

This ensures that you can cover the bride plus the groom plus have a wide angle / scene setter, and cut to the GoPro for extra effect. You should be able to operate one of the 3 main cams at any time to accomplish appropriate reframing / change to vicar / change to readers / change to guest shots etc. Meanwhile the other two cams are locked down either temporarily or permanently depending on the venue regulations regarding movement and the practicality of you moving positions without causing distractions or ruining the stills compositions.

However in practice churches seldom meet ideal shooting conditions even with the most cooperative of celebrants because of their physical features and layouts.

For example this forward area has no suitable position from which to capture the brides face and no chance of shooting from within or oblique to the altar area (were that even desirable):

Ashton Lamont Custom 404

In these conditions the small cams that work well in low light such as the ridiculously cheap Panny X900 can be a godsend as can place or clamp them anywhere. Look on the stone shelf above the left fellows head in this photo to see one in action:

Ashton Lamont Custom 404

I also had a GoPro on a lightstand just off centre right above the guest in the white tie.

A second cam was placed right at the back of the church for this view:

Ashton Lamont Custom 404

The third cam was positioned at the front in line with but several yards away from the left of the assembly in front of the altar (see 1st photo of altar area) from which I could shoot the grooms face if indeed he ever looked sideways rather than forwards, and also get the readers and cutaways to the guests:

Ashton Lamont Custom 404

Ashton Lamont Custom 404

These are stills rather than frame grabs but you get the idea.

Its a case in point where even with a very co-operative celebrant and an enthusiastic couple you can only do what you can do.

I would be very reluctant to mount locked off cams on substantial tripods as they soon wreck the ambience of the event, going some way to being why wedding videography s not nearly as popular as it ought to be. Try using single column lightstands with heads instead the new small cams usually have very effective IS built in so a little vibration is a non-issue. Or use magic arms and clamps.

At this wedding it was completely impossible to shoot from ahead of the couple (this shot with a Canon 15mm fisheye:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/641-mpgs/images/028.jpg

I had a GoPro on a lightstand immediately left of the camera position, a clamped cam on the rails behind the vicar, a locked off cam on a lightstand at the rear, and the main cam with me for this:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/641-mpgs/images/058.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/641-mpgs/images/042.jpg

A civil ceremony showing two cams at the front. Its not obvious but there is a string quartet front left so no room for anything there other than a lightstand with a small cam on it behind their seats. Main cam on this occasion is front right. 3rd cam was locked off at the rear after the processional:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/636-gmrs/images/030.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/636-gmrs/images/037.jpg

I shoot alone. Imagine what its like if a photog and a videog are fighting for positions front right! Horrendous for the ambience.

One last one. Again impossible to get ahead of the couple or shoot through the railings:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/631-gjpl/images/049.jpg

But a small black cam you can just see clamped to the wooden structure top right captured the couples faces, ring exchange etc beautifully:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/631-gjpl/images/054.jpg

Its always worth it to get along to the rehearsal if its an unfamiliar venue or if you think you may not have much prep time on the day. You can then think it through and try stuff out without feeling any pressure.

Pete



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