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Get High and Stay Wide

Great video analysis for sport starts with the video capture. If you get this right then your life is always going to be much easier. We’ve all seen that horrible shaky footage of games that makes you feel like you are on a roller coaster. With a couple of small steps its easy to transition from theme park to stadium grade footage.

First off think of who you are assigning the role of camera person to, this is relevant even if you are using a fixed camera system like VEO. You want to pick someone who has good attention to detail, all to often great sports footage has been lost by someone forgetting to press record! If your nominated camera person is one of the team or support group that gets very animated and emotional on the sideline, then maybe think of giving them a different job! 

Next have a look at the equipment. The best camera is the one you have with you or indeed already have, if this is a mobile phone, tablet, GoPro, DSLR or Camcorder then great. Get started with what you have available to you, the quality of video you can capture with todays video equipment is really quite remarkable.

A tripod is essential, a heavy duty video tripod is preferable. A video tripod brings stability and height to your work which leads us on to height which we feel is the essential part of sports video analysis footage. You want to get as high as possible.  It allows you to get a birds eye of the pitch and see patterns of movement properly. Hence the tendency to use drones these days for sports video analysis. Have a look at these two lineouts.. which is easier to see what’s going on in?

The next thing to think about is pitch coverage – you need to make sure you get a full view of the pitch. If you are filming rugby and the score is in the corner, can you see the corner from your location?

Don’t be blinded by the light. You want to make sure that you are not shooting directly into sunlight and indeed that the sun isn’t in your eyes.

Get protected. One final thing to consider are the weather conditions. If you are videoing in the rain, have you some cover. Camera equipment (excluding action cams like GoPro’s) generally don’t like the rain. What is the direction of the prevailing wind…. Wind and rain onto the camera lens leads to sub standard footage. Another one… not normally an issue in Ireland but in the recent heat we’ve seen a number of batteries fail because of the heat so best to protect the camera as much as you can… even a simple umbrella will help.

To wrap it up:

  1. Test before you shoot. 
  2. Use a tripod or for Smooth movements, pans and zooms
  3. Get High and stay wide. If you don’t have a location pitch side to get high like a gantry consider buying a mast.

Feel free to give us a call or drop us an email if there is anything that you are unsure of before you get started this season.

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