How to Shoot Video for MA

How to Shoot Video for MA

Postby jbotti » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:00 pm

Too much of the video being posted in the MA section is shot in a fashion that makes it very hard to do quality MA. When we have video that is shot this way, often the best we can do is guess because we really can't see what is going on. It is the student that misses out when the video quality is poor.

I have asked Max to post here with a tutorial. He is the best I have seen at shooting video for MA. Before he posts here are some basics:

1. Always shoot from a stationary position. Skiing behind someone may be a nice effect but it makes doing quality MA a chore
2. In general shooting someone from the front is preferable to shooting them from behind.
3. The best video has the skier taking up 50% or more of the screen. This means the videographer can't be a huge distance from the skier.
4. Too high a zoom (anything beyond 10X) will make the video shake the whole time without a tripod (which no one uses to shoot skiing video).
5. The ideal video has the videographer positioned so he/she can capture 5-6 turns from the front and then capture the next 5-6 turns from the back after the skier passes. Pretty much anything that tries to capture much more than 6-8 turns (from front and back) will be of poor quality on the turns where the videographer is furthest away. Remember, 6 turns from both sides is plenty for MA. Most issues reveal themselves in less than 12 turns.

Max can give better specifics on how to accomplish much of this.

If you will post video that follows these guidelines, the quality of the MA will be much better and you will learn much faster!!
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: How to Shoot Video for MA

Postby h.harb » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:35 am

To get professional video results it takes lots of experience and practice. Practice is probably your most important lesson. Take the video you shot back home and watch it. Learn from you own mistakes.

Most amateur video I see, the subject is too far away, too small in the frame. People rarely know how to use the zoom feature on the camera properly. Another mistake is shooting on a crowed slope. Try to make your subject the only skier in the video. Very simple stuff, but it makes a huge difference. Try to be slow and smooth with the camera movements and controls like zoom. Panning is an art. Panning means moving the camera with the subject or following the subject.
Slow panning is also combined with zooming in or out on a single subject, leaving the subject in the same portion of the frame, to emphasize or de-emphasize the subject respectively.
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Re: How to Shoot Video for MA

Postby Max_501 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:00 pm

Stand about half way down the run. This depends on length of run and amount of terrain you can see. Generally I try to split the visible filming distance so I can get an equal number of turns from the front and back. Video at least 5 turns of the front, as the skier approaches, and then at least 5 turns from back, as the subject skis away. Pan smoothly as the subject passes keeping the skier in frame so we can see a side view. Use the zoom and OIS features if your camera has them. I suggest a max of 10x-12x zoom which will help with image stability. Disable the digital zoom in the camera menu. If your camera has an optical zoom that exceeds 10-12x try to find a function that locks the zoom at 10x (or as close as you can get).

Using a camera with good OIS and zoom systems helps a great deal. Panning and zooming smoothly is a skill that takes time to develop. You can practice by filming cars (or bikes) coming downhill. Try to find a road that has a 35 MPH limit (give or take) and find a safe place to stand even if it means you have some trees and cars blocking some of your view (sidewalk or in a yard – note that the sidewalk may be too close to the road to get a nice zoom out and smooth pan as the car/bike passes so standing farther away might be a better approximation of filming a skier.) The key is to practice steady smooth zooming out as the subject approaches and then smooth steady panning as the subject passes followed by steady smooth zooming in as the subject pulls away.

Drill - Start with the camera zoomed all the way in (full optical zoom but not to exceed 12x, the subject is far up the hill so will look very small in the viewfinder). As the subject comes toward the camera don't do anything other than move the camera ever so slightly to keep the subject centered until it takes up about half of the frame, at that point begin to smoothly zoom out so you keep the subject roughly the same size and try to keep the subject centered in the frame (avoid big jumps in zoom level). As the subject passes your position you will pan (rotate your body from looking uphill to downhill) while zoomed all the way out and then begin to zoom back in as the subject pulls away, try to keep the subject roughly the same size (about 50% of the frame) for as long as possible.

If you are serious about taking good MA video get a camera with OIS, optical 10-12x zoom, and a viewfinder. While an LCD screen can work in some conditions it makes taking stable video much harder and they are difficult to see on bright sunny days.

Samples of good video for MA purposes:

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Re: How to Shoot Video for MA

Postby Max_501 » Mon May 04, 2015 8:32 pm

I've had a few folks ask for detailed instructions on taking MA video. Hopefully this previous thread will help.
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Re: How to Shoot Video for MA

Postby DougD » Tue May 05, 2015 4:59 am

Should be a sticky?
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