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Shooting Martial Artists


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#1 John Nguyen

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:27 PM

Hi, I'm making the transition from still photography to videography. So some of what's new to me is this fps business and flicker/blur.

I'll be shooting some demo reel footage for a group of martial artists doing fight sequences this weekend. I'll be using a Sony PD150. I'm already cutting out audio to streamline the workload, as they won't even need it. Anyways, I'm not too familiar as to what shutter speed and fps to use (from I understand the PD150 shoots at only 60i?). I've shot martial arts for years in still photography and usually went at 1/250th as it gave me a 95% frozen image with some desirable blur to show movement.

Now, I'm guessing for video it may be best to have them move at near full-speed and use 1/125th shutterspeed to avoid some kind of "stroboscopic" look that a faster shutterspeed would give me? Or should I shoot at 1/60th and have the martial artists move at half of the speed they're used to and just speed it all up in post-processing?

What values do most Hong Kong teams shoot at? My guys will be mostly wushu kung fu martial artists and all of them can move pretty fast with good control. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanx!
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#2 Douglas Sunlin

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 04:42 PM

My largely amateur contribution:
Don't make your martial artists go less than full speed, just for the sake of the camera. But I have seen film/video shot where the motion was slower than usual (for safety's sake) then was made to "slo-mo" in post which disguised the fact that the original was slow anyway!

But it would be refreshing to see real movement that taxes the ability of the camera to keep up with it.

This is one of my passions, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the pros think.
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