TRIPOD- single most important piece of training equipment
NO, I"m perfectly serious. Ok.. I"m not perfectly serious, I'm way too goofy to ever be...
You know how everybody wants a critique of a video, and videos are GREAT and I mean SUPER ways to improve....
Yet there is no way in blazes anyone can do a proper viewing/critique/learning session when their eyes are about to jiggle out of their head and they start to feel like they are going to have a seizure watching all that shaky jumpy blurry nonsense that 99% of people seem to feel is somehow acceptable for viewing. Point in case, the Long Stirruper thread of a super cute looking pair.. none of which is viewable. Such a waste. A tripod would have given that person a treasured memory. Just picking on that one b/c it looks so nice, yet it's the most horrid quality ever, plus it's timely, and it's typical.
If you're not going to pay for professional videotaping, please please PLEASE invest the $30 and get a half-decent tripod. Then you can see your own ride and others can do a great job of critiquing for you.
We use one all the time in the summer (my BO and I that is). We set it up on the hill overlooking the arena and just hit record before we start jumping. It works great and we can review them in the tack room. It really is an awesome tool and much safer then one of us trying to record as the other jumps while sitting on a horse (and easier to view!).
Luckily the way the ring is situated lends itself really nicely to 'hands off' videoing with a tripod. It's still a little hard to see detail when we're on the farthest side of the ring but you can tell the biggies.
Also, if you're videoing for someone at a show and don't have a tripod try to find a seat somewhere where you can see the whole arena and use your elbow and knee as a make shift tripod. Works great and you can barely tell the difference. I can't even remember how many sales videos I've done that way.
Ohhh that sounds perfect. Unfortunately, I'm in the position where I can't get decent viewable tape without someone doing the point and zoom thing. I"m going to try shooting from the deck this summer, hopefully that will do it.
But really.. if your mom/dad/SO is taping, they realllllllllly NEED to use a tripod.
I use a monopod when I need to be nimble. This will be easier on your back and give you better results than a cheap tripod when you have to swing the camera around fast, like the section in the middle of this video:
Lets face it, a lot of times video gets shot on an impromptu basis. I don't shoot professionally, just for friends and rescue horses, and I am a lot more likely to have the monopod stashed in the car than my 30 pound tripod when the weather is suddenly decent enough in a Western Washington winter...
If you have to shoot totally handheld, a couple of things will give you better results:
1) do not zoom in more than absolutely necessary - that will accentuate shakiness
2) stand with your legs apart, knees slightly flexed. Turn your body to pan, rather than just turning the camera with your hands. If you are able to plan the shot in advance, place your feet for where you want the shot to end, then turn back to get the beginning - that way you'll end in a stable position
3) follow the horse - any movement will be less distracting if the horse stays centered in the frame
Last edited by monicabee; Mar. 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM.
You can also get a shoulder brace for almost size video camera. They make a big difference when a tripod is not practical.
Also, all tripods are not suitable for video taping. There are still photography tripods and there are video tripods. A quality video head makes a big difference for a tripod, however they can be expensive.
I am handy with the video editing, so I have been known to put together quick sale videos for people to throw up on youtube and the like.
One of my trainers from many moons ago once handed me her camera with tape inside and asked me to put something together.
I went to the nearest Panera Bread, uploaded, fiddled around for half an hour, made a pretty little video with still pics, a slow-mo jumping pass or two, and two or three regular-speed courses, put it up on youtube, sent the link in an email to the desired target, finished my muffin, and went home.
The next morning trainer and I went back to Panera Bread to check emails, and to see how many hits the video had gotten on youtube.
I click on the youtube link, and the very FIRST thing to come screaming out of my computer in the middle of a packed Panera Bread was:
NO WONDER THAT HORSE WON'T FUCKING JUMP!!!, followed by an extensive diatribe about everything under the sun, which made it very apparent that rider and videographer were having the Grand Pooh Bah of all arguments during the taping of this particular video.
During my editing of the video, my computer's sound had been on mute the whole time because I was in Panera and didn't want to bother anyone with computer noises... so I thought the video was mute.
A friend received a 2-hour video of a horse she was considering for a client. Yup - two hours. Showed grooming, tacking up, warming up, one hour BASIC dressage lesson, dismounting, untacking, cooling off - and tying up. And I don't mean in a grooming stall or to the trailer. I mean medically/physically tying up.
Needless to say, client never saw the video.
I AM a professional equine videographer (in business for 15 years) and we've gotten a lot of busines over the years from folks whose parent/spouse/SO did the video thing ending up with a lot of dirt & sky, discussion of yesterday's shopping trip or how much they'd rather be playing golf....
You're right - a steady camera and a zipped lip are critical!
And right again that video is a priceless learning tool - with or without a trainer. I tell customers that video is for your education; photographs are for your ego. (we do both)