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View Full Version : Greetings from a complete noob!!



Fight2Fly
12-04-2012, 12:54 AM
Hello, my name is Jason and I am in dire need of some encouragement/mentor ship as I really have no idea what I'm getting myself into. :-) I feel a bit like a fish out of water as I've been an aviation photographer for over six years now, but have made the move over to video, partially by circumstance, partially by choice. :-)

Anyway I came here because, although my photography buddies are AWESOME people, I felt I needed to talk to some people within the video community.

First of all, since I am new to this, I don't have the best equipment (yet). Right now I'm shooting airshows with a Canon HG20 and an occasional GoPro when I can get some cockpit access (seldom right now). I shot video the last year and a half, and am getting bored with just covering the events/flying themselves. I really want to spend this winter/spring learning everything I can about film making so as I can really go out and make an impact this summer. Having said that, my films will be documentaries.

The other important information is that I'm only a substitute teacher right now, desperately trying to pay off student loans, and a couple operations my wife and I needed this summer, so my budget is $20. Thanks to my generous family and friends, I have slowly accumulated some equipment to help. I've got a set of three studio lights, green screen, an external microphone (eh, it's OK. Slight improvement over the on-camera one), and a brand new fluid pan/tilt head on its way. I built my own shoulder-mounted camera rig for shooting aircraft.

I am utilizing crowd-funding to purchase a new camera (which I'll post in the appropriate forum) so I can put out a decent product. Since I have started taking video more seriously in the last year, my friends who make a living on aviation photography are now starting to come to ME for video. I live about five minutes from an airport that has one of the rarest collections of FLYING WWII aircraft in the world, including over a dozen different types, so there is a rather large community of photographers here. I, however, am the ONLY person shooting video now, and have created a nice little niche for myself along the way. If the museums need video for a news story, they come to me.

Personally, all I can see in my video is the shakiness and all the things I wish I could fix. However, they seem to see something else. And I want to take advantage of that.

I'm sorry if that was really long winded for an intro... I rewrote this about four different times. :-)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to learning a lot about the world of filmmaking and getting to know you folks!

Jsthompson79
12-04-2012, 01:06 AM
Welcome to the forums. One thing I'd suggest is getting thisfor your current camera. It will help with the shakiness.

The camera you have if I am reading the review correctly shoots in 1080p this will be a good place to start for documentaries. Documentaries as a general rule don't have to have all the bells and whistles of a film.

Feel free to ask whatever questions you have. There are a lot of knowledgable people here. I am currently in my 2nd year of film school but still don't know everything lol. First year was pretty much degree requirements and no core stuff.

Fight2Fly
12-04-2012, 02:02 AM
Thanks for the welcome! Actually, the later stuff (since July) has been shot with a custom-made shoulder mounted rig... counterbalance and all. I know I shouldn't rely on image stabilization, but man, it sure doesn't seem to do anything most of the time. Especially that little "twitch" it does while panning.

And yes, for the interviewing part of what I want for the next summer, the Canon will do. However, it's for the flying that I'm desperate for something new with greater features. Namely, an EYEPIECE! :-)

Thanks again for the welcome!

Jsthompson79
12-04-2012, 08:41 AM
Well you could always go with a Canon DSLR that would allow you to take photographs as well as HD footage and you can get a viewfinder for some of the models. You'd have to do some research on which ones. Having a DSLR would also allow you to get many different lenses for different purposes as well.

Nick Soares
12-04-2012, 09:23 AM
Welcome!

Fight2Fly
12-04-2012, 10:38 AM
Thanks Nick!

Fight2Fly
12-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Jeff - since I still do a lot of still photography I do have a T3i, which I love. The video is great for well-lit scenes and when the camera can be stationary. It's a nice second video camera to have for interviews. Tracking airplanes? Not s much. I know I have a lot of excuses, but its because I've tried just about everything within my budget.

steve87
12-05-2012, 02:29 PM
Welcome from a newbie myself, in both film and this forum. I have been wanting to get the museum you mentioned. I have friends in Everett. We have a museum here in Virginia Beach called the Military Aviation Museum. Check out their web site. It is the largest, privately owned, flying, collection in the country.
Some of the best advice I recieved about finding out about a subject was to buy a book. There are so many. I have books on stroyboarding, green screening, setting up shots, lighting. Some proved to be not overly helpful, but there was always something I learned from each one. I can give you a list of the ones I have and bounce those titles off of others to get feedback.
I'm not sure what the camera was that you mentioned you use. But DSLRs are really making a strong case in the film industry. They have great depth of field, recording media are SD cards (so no capturing). They do only record 20 minutes segments at a time, but when do you remember a single camera shot being that long?
I read my books, and still need to get some info, thats what brought me here. I am shooting miniatures for cost and ease of production, the books I have don't quite deal with them.
Welcome and as I mentioned, I am new to this as well, but will help if I can.

Fight2Fly
12-05-2012, 11:59 PM
Hi Steve! You are probably familiar with a bird that was built by my friends here in Everett... "White 3" an Me 262. Got a picture and small piece published on that bird last year. Messerschmitt 262 - Legend Flyers final flyer - YouTube

Sounds like you've got some great resources! I've been enjoying several very informative channels on YouTube as well.

DSLR video is great and I have used it for static shots. Again, shooting aircraft yields terrible results without a decent tripod head (i should be receiving a good one by Friday)

How does one zoom and focus while tracking a fast moving object? I've tried a few times with awful results.

steve87
12-06-2012, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the great video Jason! Talented mixing of the "white 3" and two seater footage. I am familiar with the plane, but unfortunately the museum boasts a grass airstrip so they keep the 262 at a different airfield. So, at airshows we are only graced with fly-bys, and after the FAAs change in rules, are not allowed to fly over the crowd if certain space restrictions aren't met. But it is great to see flying! I am trying to get a ride in it as well. Hoping to swap a painting of mural for them for a ride for me! Thanks again!

Nick Soares
12-06-2012, 10:47 AM
Subscribed

"How does one zoom and focus while tracking a fast moving object?"

Well if a camera has external focus rings for manual use, then this would be your best bet. Using anything with auto focus, you are counting no a computer chip to do what you want when you want. When you take that out of process and use manual you will be able to get what you want, IT WILL take some practice to master this though.

Hope this helped :)

Fight2Fly
12-06-2012, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the great video Jason! Talented mixing of the "white 3" and two seater footage. I am familiar with the plane, but unfortunately the museum boasts a grass airstrip so they keep the 262 at a different airfield. So, at airshows we are only graced with fly-bys, and after the FAAs change in rules, are not allowed to fly over the crowd if certain space restrictions aren't met. But it is great to see flying! I am trying to get a ride in it as well. Hoping to swap a painting of mural for them for a ride for me! Thanks again!

Thanks! The two-seater footage is actually "White 3" during its ferry flight from Everett to Virginia Beach.

That's great you've been able to see it fly! I was the envy of local photographers because I had the inside scoop as to when they were going out on test flights. Plus as a teacher I had a little extra time off during the summer to go "stalk" it.


Nick - Thanks for subscribing!! Once I get this situation fixed with my tripod and new head, I'll have to go out and see what I can do with the DSLR.

Fight2Fly
12-18-2012, 09:59 PM
I got my aluminum tubing and got it all hooked up to my tripod and fluid head and I even had some time to head out to the airport to give it a try! I love it! It is going to be excellent for some of the taxiing shots, perhaps even takeoff and landing. For high speed passes I'm going to have to do A LOT more practice to get proficient. Even though my hands were numb in the 28 degree wind with 12-knot wind I was able to pull of some very stable shots of Cessna 172's landing.

Here's where I need help (again). When using a tripod to track an object traveling in an arch around you, say 200 degrees, where does one stand? I know when I'm panning using my shoulder rig, or shooting photos, I'm supposed to place my feet where I want to finish the pan... however, this seems a bit awkward and tricky when working around tripod feet.

Now some good news... one of my friends is willing to be a guinea pig for me and is allowing me to shoot a promotional video for the flight school he owns. I've shared with him my vision and my shot list and he said he's very excited to see what I come up with! Shooting will begin as soon as we get a break in the weather (ha!). This will be my first time putting together a plan, working with people on a film, executing that plan, and producing a finished product for someone. Hope it works out! :-) I'll be doing some interviews of the owners, flight instructors, and perhaps even a student, then I'll record the pre-flight, place a GoPro inside the cockpit, and have the instructor and a student do one touch and go and then a full-stop landing. For one landing the GoPro will face the pilots, for the other it will face out the front, unless I get access to a second one before the shoot. I will be shooting the taxiing and takeoff/landings from two different locations just for variety. I will use the footage to make several videos of varying length: from about 5-min to 30-sec.

And then a REAL paid gig will be coming up this Spring/Summer when I cover the first flight of a soon-to-be restored WWII aircraft. This one will be one of only two examples in the world that are flying. The paid part will be for photography and an article in a warbird magazine, and while I'm there, I will also be catching everything on video for my own YT channel.

I'm really hoping that by the time they're ready to fly this plane I have raised enough money via crowd funding to purchase a new video camera.