How to shoot sports videos

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Thought you captured the championship game perfectly only to find shaky, blurry footage? Professional photographer Nigel Barker shares expert tips for how to capture all the action in smooth, crystal clear HD video. Game on!

How to shoot sports videos

Here are professional photographer Nigel Barker’s expert tips for how to capture all the action in smooth, crystal clear HD video:

  • Record with a high definition camcorder to ensure your video is clear, colorful and in focus no matter how fast the action takes place.
  • Use a tripod or monopod to make sure your camera is steady. If you don't have either, you can steady your arms against your body.
  • The optical image stabilization setting on your camera helps you follow the action and decrease camera shake that makes your video look jumpy.
  • Don’t follow the ball or action the whole time—zoom out and use your ears to determine where to slowly pan to next.
  • Think about getting a variety of shots, from close-ups of faces to wide shots of the field and crowd. Wide shots allow plenty of room for action to take place.
  • Use a wide-angle lens for a broad view of a large field or crowd.
  • Capture emotions of both players and the fans. 
  • Change your position frequently for interesting perspectives. If you can't move, try holding the camera in different positions and take shots, for example, through the net. Or look for shots away from the action, like the surroundings.
  • And don't forget, audio is half of your video experience, so capture ambient sounds-- a whistle here, a crowd roar there, a ball being kicked.
  • At the end of the event, shoot a video portrait.
  • Record a post-game interview of a player or two.

 

Transcript

NIGEL BARKER: Hi there. I'm Nigel Barker. Today I'm going to show you how to shoot great action sports footage on your camcorder.

When you're shooting sporting events, you'll want to get the best video possible, so when you watch it years from now on your HDTV, the action will be clear and sharp.

First of all, in order to insure you get the clearest video, you'll need a high definition camcorder. Because it captures high-resolution images, your movies will be clear and sharper. And it captures a wider range of colors, so things like team jerseys, blue skies, and green fields will really pop.

Next, you want to make sure your video is steady, so try using a tripod or monopod. Of course, if you don't have either, you can always use your arms against your body like this.

Sometimes you'll need to follow the action, and that's when it's very hard to keep a steady hand. Camcorders like this one have a technology called optical image stabilization that basically reduces camera shake, so your shots don't look jumpy.

Plus, it's okay not to follow the ball or action the whole time. Let it go out of frame and use your ears to determine where to slowly pan to next.

Think about getting a variety of shots, from close-ups of faces to wide shots of the field and crowd.

Wide shots allow plenty of room for action to take place. A great feature to have is a wide-angle lens because it will give you a broad view for capturing a large field or crowd.

Get a good zoom shot of the fans to get their reactions. It's always great to capture people's emotions during a sporting event.

And if you can, change your position frequently for interesting perspectives. If you can't move, try holding the camera in different positions and take shots, for example, through the net. Or look for shots away from the action, like the surroundings.

And don't forget, audio is half of your video experience, so capturing ambient sounds-- a whistle here, a crowd roar there, a ball being kicked.

At the end of the event, shoot a video portrait. Have some of your subjects stand still for about 10 seconds. While you're at it, record a post-game interview of a player or two. Get their take on how the game went.

These are great shots to wrap up your video.

So game on! This is Nigel Barker with Sony for Howdini.

For more great tips, visit sony.com, forward slash, howdini. [sony.com/howdini]

 

 

meet theexpert
  • Nigel Barker

    Nigel Barker Professional Photographer Nigel Barker has been taking the world of fashion by storm for the past twenty years. After stints in Milan, Paris and London, Barker opened his New York studio in 1996 and has never looked back. more about this expert »

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