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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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 :D
 

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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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.
Partially cloudy/mostly sunny days are the best in my opinion. It's plenty bright, there is some blue sky, but not too bright/harsh (the cloud add a bit of diffuse lighting).

For steadiness, obviously practice helps (try to only move larger joints like you hips and shoulder and not your elbow or wrist). That should be enough for standing shots... you might need something more if you are snowboarding with the person. Using a monopod like this might help as it is easier to grip and pan with gloves (try it now... try holding a credit card in both hand and moving it around... now grip a pen and sweep it left to right).

BTW, if you have iMovie 11, it can remove some jitter as well (there are Windows versions as well but I don't know them offhand anymore). When using software stabilization, always shoot a little "wide" (zoom out or move back) as the software will crop off the sides of the frame a bit.

Personally, for a general pocket camera, I recommend the Casio ZR10 (I own the FC100 which is an older version). However it is not waterproof or shockproof (seems to have survive moderate snow exposure and occasional bangs). Photo quality is mediocre, as is video quality... but I like the slow motion playback


For good quality, small, and can take a beating... there is the GoPro Hero2. It is pretty small, waterproof/shockprooof, had video quality is good (although I don't know if they have solved the dynamic range issue)... and the Hero2 fixes two issues I had with the previous version... first it goes multiple focal length options whereas Hero HD only has ultra wide 172* fisheye. The fisheye is great for helmet cam and videoing yourself, but it often too wide if you wanted to film someone else (the camera needed to be 8-12 ft away at most else the person is really small in the frame). The other thing I is that is has a 120fps mode which, also for slow-motion playback. Here is a video demonstrating both the field of view (focal length) and frame-rate modes

 

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shiiiit son, another reason to whore out my new video from last week … watch it in 720, its amazing


hahaha, I used an old extendable schtick i had around the house, a regular sticky 3m helmet mount and a RAM mount suction cup on my snowboard. it came out allright … its all about editing.
 
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