10 Tips For Better Sports Filming

Videographer in Worksop

Videographer in Worksop

Videography in sport is a great genre of the industry to get into. It’s exciting, exhilarating and a subject you know is going nowhere! You have the opportunity to capture the feeling of the game / event – the highs and lows, the drama and the beauty of the sport. But it also requires a high skill level which not all videographers possess. But fear not, here are top 10 tips from a Videographer in Worksop for improving your sports videography skills and shooting only the best sport videos!

1. Knowledge of the sport

The first thing you need to consider is how much you know about the sport. It’s not enough to simply be skilled in your art – the type of sport you’re shooting will determine the style of the video and so you should have a good knowledge of the sport before you start. For example, shooting a skiing competition should look completely different to how a golf tournament should look. The intensity, pace and imagery should be portrayed in the same way the viewer would feel if they were experiencing the event in the flesh, but with extra drama!

2. Video camera only!

Some people may be conflicted with this advice as, although it’s true that DSLRs are perfect for sports photography, when it comes to quality videos, they don’t live up to the job. This is because they aren’t built to film continuously and actually struggle to run for more than 30 minutes, and when you consider the length of some sports, is nowhere near long enough. Because of this, you would need to restart the filming a number of times throughout the event, and later edit these clips together post filming! 

Another issue to consider is that DSLRs have a rolling shutter when capturing images and, when used in videos, can result in unwanted digital artefacts appearing in the end product, which is of course not ideal for shooting fast-moving sports! To achieve better quality every time, using a camera specifically built for videography is most definitely advised. You may want to consider an action camera for your work, as these are designed to specialise in capturing high speed visuals whilst maintaining its high quality.

3. High speed shutter

The shutter on a camera is what exposes light to the film and so the speed of the shutter will determine the image quality. A slower shutter means the film is exposed to light for longer and can lead to motion blur. Although this works well for certain projects, it doesn’t work well for sports videography as the motion blur can look quite distracting in high speed visuals. Using a fast speed shutter will keep the detail clean and misses nothing captured and promises to capture all the action well as more frames are created with the higher frame rate. Ideally, you want to look for a camera that has a 60fps at 1/120th shutter.

4. Telephoto lens

When shooting sports, it’s impossible to get as close to the action as you’d like, and so a quality telephoto lens is vital. A long lens will allow you to capture objects at a distance whilst maintaining the detail. These long lenses allow you to achieve great shots and angles and so investing in one of these should be a no brainer if you’re wanting to successfully offer sport videography. In most cases, a 70-200mm lens will be suitable however, for certain sporting events where further distance will be needed, a longer lens may be needed.

5. Use a deep depth of field

Shallow depth and bokeh have become popular with artistic videographers due to the aesthetically pleasing style it creates; it is not ideal when used for filming sport. These shallow depth cameras may look nice initially, but when trying to focus on anything fast paced, this can become difficult and look unprofessional. For shooting sports, choose a deep depth of field for clearer focus. This will ensure the camera doesn’t go in and out of focus throughout the video when trying to follow all of the action and potentially compromising the quality of the video.

6. Film from a higher level

It goes without saying that angle is everything when it comes to videography. You should aim to film everything at the best angle and whilst a lot of people may think the best angle for sport would be on the side-line of the action, up close and personal, this can actually lead to the viewers depth of field and spacial awareness becoming confused, by essentially compressing the field of vision and making it difficult to determine space between objects.

Shooting from above will create a wider field of vision that will help with this, allowing the viewer to better understand the space more accurately. Find a view that allows you to capture the action from above whilst staying close enough to give the viewer the best opportunity to follow the video and feel the atmosphere.

7. Don’t neglect wide shots

Staying with the importance of angles, be aware to not neglect wide shots whilst trying to caption specific subjects in action. Cropping images to show off a particular subject becomes second nature to photographers and videographers and, of course, in most cases, this should continue, as this allows the important image to be seen in all its glory.

However, when it comes to videoing sports, this can have the opposite effect! Sport is not only about, for example, what the player with the ball is doing, it’s also about what is happening around them. By zooming in and cropping out the rest of the picture, the viewer will miss out on the real atmosphere of the subject. How are the other players or spectators acting / reacting? Is there something else happening in the background that changes or adds to the drama of the clip? Your viewer wants to get the full effect of the event and so wide shots are essential!

8. Variety!

Whilst wide shots allow your viewers access to the whole action in one shot, it’s important to mix things up throughout! Keep your viewers interested with a multitude of different shots and angles. This variety is what makes sports videos dynamic and intense and can add an extra layer to your production. You should carefully balance a mix of close ups, wide angles, short clips and longer clips to show the drama of the event taking place. Wide shots are used to portray the environment and an overview of the action and close-ups used to show individual actions, reactions and emotions.

9. Keep it smooth

With any type of photography or videography, a steady hand is vital. When you add the extra element of fast movement, this becomes even more important! When panning and zooming, keep it slow! Moving in, out and around too quickly is disturbing to the viewer and can distract away from the event. So be sure to keep everything steady, smooth and slow – of course without missing any action!

10. Cater to eyes and ears!

A sports video without suitable audio can leave viewers quite underwhelmed! The audio of a sport is what makes the atmosphere! The reaction of the spectators and players, the chants of the fans, the commentary… It’s what brings the video alive! This is why it’s so important you include this in your video. Record the audio on your camera or use an external microphone to capture all the elements of the sport!

Looking for a Videographer in Worksop? Look no further! Contact our team today here

You can check out our media work here! https://castlecreativity.com/media/

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