Thursday, 15 September 2011

Filming Extreme Sports: Snowboarding

Although it may seem simple to turn on the camera and start waving it around the results don't always turn out how we expect them to. There are a few simple techniques which will produce results to enjoy for years to come.

Cradle the camera in the palm of your hands
Using a side strap restricts your freedom of movement and can make shots judder. Holding a camera in the palm allows a wide range of movement left, right, up down. It is also smoother for when you walk with the camera.

Avoid commenting on everything you see
Firstly a commentary on the obvious is very annoying. If needed words can be added later. If you want to edit a video, cutting several scenes together with talking is tricky and may restrict what you can use. Also if someone says something funny do not laugh! It will distract viewers and could spoil the joke. You are likely to be the closest to the the mike and will drown out the person being filmed.

If asking someone questions try to stand slightly to one side of the camera. It is distracting to an audience if someone looks directly into a lens. It is also distracting if they are looking to the far left or far right.

Filming on the move
I will use the example of snowboarding but this can apply to many sports. When snowboarding I have found it far more exciting to capture someone whilst boarding alongside them. If you're in one position the most interesting part is when a boarder comes close to you, the shot gets duller as they move away from the camera. Unless they're going over a big jump which if you follow them, could go badly if you are inexperienced. When filming on the move like this it is best to hold the camera with you fingers having your thumb on the cameras top. If you can attach the camera to the end of a pole for riding, even better.

Head cameras
You may wish to use a head cam, however this does have one major drawback that you have to constantly look at what you're filming. This may be OK when directly behind them but not when you're alongside or in front. After all even the most seasoned snowboarder needs to look out for ice, trees and skiers with a dubious sense of spatial awareness.
If you are uncomfortable holding a large video camera whilst speeding down a mountain most digital cameras have a video mode. Many of these give you a decent quality and have the added bonus of fitting easily in your pocket.

Copyright © Nathan Groves
This Work Is Not To Be Reproduced With Out Permission.

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