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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: One of the problems that I often face when shooting is having a stable shot. I think it's because I don't sleep enough. I have young children. Robbie Carman: You drink way too much caffeine, no doubt about that. Rich Harrington: Way too much caffeine. Robbie Carman: Yeah. Rich Harrington: I don't smoke. Robbie Carman: No, that's good, that's good. Rich Harrington: But, you know, there's all these environmental things that if I just held my hand out, it shakes ever so slightly, and if I put the weight of a camera in there-- Robbie Carman: Oh yeah. Rich Harrington: It's not so slight. Robbie Carman: It's bad news. Yeah, I was never destined to be a surgeon either when it comes to my shaky hands, and it's one of the things about these cameras is that we are so used to taking photos with them, they fit nice in your hands, but the thing you have to remember, is that when you are taking a still picture, it's just one frame.
Rich Harrington: Oh yeah, it's freezing it. Sometimes it's like a 1000th of a second. Robbie Carman: Right, right. Rich Harrington: So you could be like riding on the back of a rhinoceros, it would still get a sharp picture, because it freezes it. Robbie Carman: But when you come to start taking video, you are taking obviously continuous frames, and one of the things that happens is just that these are not very stable, even with two hands on them, and then over time, I mean, they weigh a couple of pounds. Your arm is fatigued, your hand starts shaking, and you kind of get this thing going on. And so stability is the name of the game when it comes to shooting video. You are going to get much better results and clients and the end product will appreciate that the footage is stable.
And one of the ways that we can do that of course is with a tripod, but if you want to go a little bit more lean and have a little bit more of a compact package, a monopod is a great way to do that. Rich Harrington: Yeah, exactly, I like that. The fact is here you see that we've got this, I could just take my two hands here and just sort of rub them together sort of like that classic fire rubbing-- Robbie Carman: Yup. Rich Harrington: --and I can do an easy pan or a tilt, or I could use things like lean forward. Robbie Carman: Yup. Rich Harrington: --and back to do a reveal or a tilt up. So even though I don't have a fluid head, I've got all that flexibility, I just absolutely love that.
In fact, sometimes if I am running and gunning, you'll notice that this actually has a little notch here. I could go ahead and turn that and just flip that up, and then, boom, right under my arm, I've got a nice stable platform here. So now I could turn with my body and you see that's really fluid much more so than trying to hold that camera in front of you. So this is just great. You really transfer this from just the shakiness of the hands to using your whole body to support. Robbie Carman: Absolutely, and as we mentioned earlier, monopods are going to have different sort of configurations, and your monopod has a traditional photography ball head on it, which is nice, nice stable platform. It can be a little difficult when it comes time to pan and stuff, and like something like this guy has a nice fluid head on it so I can do nice tilts and smooth pans.
But depending on the model that you get you'll have additional features like this little tripod feet on here, and again the idea is that when you put this down on the ground and on the surface there, it provides even more stability, right? And that's the name of the game. Now I want to be clear about something, Rich. Monopods are not tripods, right? Rich Harrington: Yes, you don't want to do this. Robbie Carman: Right, exactly. Rich Harrington: Bad, bad idea. Robbie Carman: But the point is that, there is going to be even if you are pretty stable, there is so going to be some of that motion, and one of the things that I really urge people to do is practice with your monopod, right, because depending on the camera that you have on there, depending on the lens that you have on the camera, it can be different each time you put a different body or lens on there and the amount of movement and the strength that it takes to maintain that stable image.
So for example, one of the things I like to do, just kind of how you did the armpit trick, is if I have a fluid head like this, where I have a little handle here, I'll just maybe lean the handle against my body like this to provide another contact point, especially with a heavier setup that's going to provide even more stability. Rich Harrington: Yeah, and I like to use the wrist strap for some extra protection. But going ahead and just sort of letting that extend out there, I can go ahead and use my body for fluid movement, and I really will just sometimes lean into the shot, pull my body back, and using that more like a fulcrum point. So instead of doing all this right here, I am literally just moving the body in and then rocking back for out.
Robbie Carman: Absolutely! Rich Harrington: By making that a full body movement you get better control. So don't feel like, oh, I am just going to waive this stick around. That's part of it, but use your body, so move the shot, as you are moving the body side-to-side, this is just going to transfer that movement and make it that much more stable. Now when we come back, there is one thing I love about this, and this really ties to my concert photography, but I love the ability to get the camera high, and hey, a six-foot pole with a camera attached is going to open up some new shots. So we will be right back and we are going to talk all about getting a higher angle shot.
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