Video Analysis Taping Tips

 Back to the main Video Analysis Page When are you taping skiers and riders on the mountain, keep these tips in mind.

Review hand signals with your skier(s) before taping. If you have a group, have the next skier separate from the group and raise a pole so you know who’s next. When you find the skier in the viewfinder, set the zoom out a little bit and start recording first. When you wave your skier to start, the camera will shake. While your skier counts to 3 before starting you can settle the camera, refind your subject and do the final zoom in as they start. Having extra space between clips will help you when you are moving the video to the computer. If there is a fair amount of traffic, instruct your subjects to watch the camera and move sideways if another skier "parks" in front of them. Remind your group to stay 20 feet away from the camera to avoid giving the camera person a heart attack.

The best shots are when the skier is coming directly at the camera keeping the camera in the middle of their turns. Pick starting and stopping points out of traffic zones where there are no rolls in between (so you won't lose the feet).

From the side shots are difficult to do well, but can be useful to check alignment.

Use the zoom controls smoothly. Try to keep the skier using up 2/3 of the frame. If the skier is doing wide fast turns, keep them a little smaller and leave room in the shot in front of them. 

15 seconds is a long clip – you only need 3-4 turns. 6-8 turns makes a good clip.

Avoid using digital zoom. With practice you can tell from the picture quality where the digital zoom stops and the optical zoom starts working. Once you've figured it out, you will know how far down the slope to go before you are out of "optical range". Digital zoom shots look ok on a TV screen, but they look terrible on a computer.

Don't worry about sound when you get started. TheRusty never even captures the sound onto his computer. When you get skilled at taping, you can try to do commentary while you tape. However, when you start, it helps to focus only getting a good shot. 

Place your camera bag on snow either zipped up or with the open lid facing down slope so it does not catch any snow. Keep the camera in the bag as much as possible to keep it warm.

Use the highest shutter speed that you can in full sunlight. Go to slower shutter speeds on cloudy days and at night (assuming the slope lights are on, duh). In lower light conditions, start your subjects closer to you than you would on a fully lit day.

Most video cameras will not have moisture problems if you only take them out for taping runs and bring them back inside quickly. If the camcorder gets cold and the indoor area you bring it into is very warm, your camera make get some condensation action going on. If this happens just let the camera sit for 5-10 minutes to let the condensation dry out. If it is bitter cold, your batteries will not last long. If it is bitter cold and humid, your camera could freeze up or start acting weird.


Copyright 2004 Rusty Carr All Rights Reserved