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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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General Camera Tips

Was wondering if people that have some experience filming on the mountain could offer some tips about what has worked well for you and what has not. I got some footage of my kids at Wolf Creek last weekend that was good in some ways, but let me know I have a lot to learn about getting better quality footage for our movies. The equipment upgrades I purchased beat my iphone from last year, but any tips on achieving more steady shots, better quality in different lighting conditions, and others would be great!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:12 PM
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I like the footage you get with a hand held pole mounted camera. Much steadier than helmet or body mounted camera.

Like this:

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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That's interesting. I would have thought a pole mount would be less stable, not more. I'll have to try that.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 11:38 PM
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damn where can i get that pole mount at?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 12:17 AM
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I was just going to use a PVC pipe or ski pole but that thing looks nice and professional lol. How much does it costs though?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal1024 View Post
Was wondering if people that have some experience filming on the mountain could offer some tips about what has worked well for you and what has not. I got some footage of my kids at Wolf Creek last weekend that was good in some ways, but let me know I have a lot to learn about getting better quality footage for our movies. The equipment upgrades I purchased beat my iphone from last year, but any tips on achieving more steady shots, better quality in different lighting conditions, and others would be great!
My random thoughts

- Take off your board before filming (that really helps avoid the shakiness). You can do follow-cams... but that requires practice.

- Try to avoid using super zooms (again that makes the image MUCH shakier). I don't know what you are using to take the video... but try to keep it below 150mm (or 4x zoom). This is even with optical image stabilization.

- Anticipate the motion (I often make a practice video swing before the person goes by to see if I'm in the right position and they aren't too big/small in the frame). In my opinion, due to the angle of the slope, looking at someone uphill always looks better than downhill.

- Avoid pointing the camera into the sun... so usually you want your back to the sun (and the subject in front of you). Note that you might have decide between this and the next rule.

- If person is riding regular, it's better to be on the downhill right side the person's face and chest are scene (versus their back/snow-covered butt).

- For "pass-by" shots (when the rider goes pass you)I generally like to point my legs/hips downhill and twist to look uphill... this way I get a smoother panning motion as I follow the person past me.

- Since you are filming your kids... having them wear something that is not black is *really* helpful (colorful clothes!)

Some of my videos:

Quick segment:


Longer sequence:


Just a regular segment video someone for video review instruction
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 01:13 AM
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Never even thought of some of these techniques but now that I think of it, my videos would have been way, way better if I had used some of these
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 05:07 AM
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Get establishing shots of the scene
Avoid dumb chairlift commentary that only you and your friends think is funny.
Avoid butt shots
If you can afford a camera with a good optical zoom, use a Tripod with a Fluid Drag Head.
Never use Digital Zoom
Get as many establishing shots as possible to break up all the action.
Film guys or girls who rip!

Ski Pole nonsense:
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 05:14 AM
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Here is how I make videos with just affordable helmet cams.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Those are some good ideas. Like I said I was a little disappointed with my Wolf Creek footage and want to improve for our February trip to Breck. Sunny days definitely looked better as well the kid that was wearing the brighter colors. I like the tip about body facing downhill and then turning back up to the action for a smoother pan. Also liked the idea of more establishing shots (which I had to look up).

I need to work on the steadiness of shots, so the comments about the zoom make sense. I'd like to possibly get some kind small tripod but it would need to be easy to use and carry. Not sure how practical that is on cold days where you don't want to take off gloves.

Also, I have the VIO headcam which I think will be nice when I get the settings dialed in, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do for a handheld. My wife has a pretty nice Canon HD that I get nervous about taking out. I'm going to research cams that are good quality, small, and can take somewhat of a beating (possibly waterproof) that I won't be uneasy about using. Please share if you guys have one you like.
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