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Capturing Video


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#1 OFFLINE   Wannagrip

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 11:08 AM

Capturing Video
by Heath Sexton

Capturing a good video close of a gripper is tough to do if you donít have the right set-up. Several things go into getting a good video. The most important thing is to have someone film that knows what you are doing and what it should look like. This also holds true with taking a picture. I had a lot; I mean a lot of pictures taken by a professional photographer when I was trying for #3 certification. Exactly none of them were what was needed. One day while in college my roommate and I were sitting around and he asked if I had gotten a picture yet. My reply was simple, ď#*@# no.Ē He asked if I wanted him to try the picture. Long story short, he snapped 2 pictures, one close-up, one torso and I was through. He had little to no experience with a camera, but he knew what I needed for the picture. Now, if I need a gripper picture I go to him. My girlfriend takes most of the video that I donít film myself. She knows exactly what I am trying to do and knows the angles and what must be shown. Packing the number(s)/letter(s) on the bottom in chalk will also help. It will make gripper identification easier.

Most people close a gripper with it being parallel to the ground. I have seen very few that close it perpendicular, either way I think the best way to capture video is to have the camera slightly below the gripping hand and have the camera facing slightly up. Until the MMG came out, all the videos of mine in the gallery I filmed myself, this is how I figured that below the hand works best. With the camera below the gripping hand you can fully see the set. Even if you are fighting to position the gripper the setting hand will not block the shot. After the gripper is set to place, pull the setting hand back towards the body and the whole close is right in the cameraís eye. Try to keep the gripping hand movement to as little as possible. If your hand is flailing around it will make the close more difficult to see. With a hard gripper some movement is expected, it is after all maximal effort. You also run the risk of having the gripper and hand leave the screen whilst flailing it around.

One thing to be careful of is to make sure the camera is pointed straight at the ends of the handles. If the camera is slightly off to one side you will not get a good look at the set depth, the angle will be off. Have the person filming kneel on the floor with the lens 1-2 feet away from you hand. This will remove the need to zoom and screw everything up. Also, if you need the handles closer, donít have the filmier move; simply push your hand forward slowly. This will allow the bottom of the handles to be clearly seen and it wonít be jumpy or out of focus. Find a place that has good lighting as well. Shadows are the devil when it comes to grippers. The handle bevels can be misleading and in the wrong lighting they will make the gripper appear unclosed. A room with good lighting is sufficient or a nice sunny day.

Finally, it never hurts to practice. I used to get really nervous in front of a camera. I can vividly remember the first time I tried to video a #3 close. I was killing the thing, had been for months. A friend shows up to video, I missed by ĹĒ. We shut the camera off, I killed it, camera on, bad miss. I have hours of footage that I have filmed myself from a stand, or someone has filmed, now I am comfortable with it and that makes for better video. Work with the person you are going to have film you so it turns out top quality.
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#2 OFFLINE   24-ba

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 02:09 PM

I agree. If you look at any of the videos I or my friend take of the straubs, we will be far away is it is a pinch or lockout, but will we get right in there with the camera to make sure that gripper is closed!

Now as for taking pictures, I would suggest other wise... IF and only if you can get a good camera and you know how to take still frames from it. I can take still frames if you need and I'm sure Wannagrip and other editors can as well. I only suggest this because 1) You get a video which is usually cold, hard evidence that you did whatever you were trying to do. and 2) Still frames act the same way camera do, so you're not loosing in quality.

Good luck on all of your future trails and accomplishments! :rock

#3 OFFLINE   gazza

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 09:38 AM

Well put Heath :D

If people are going to take the time to record there lifts/grip/strength feats,may as well make shure that it is done properly,it will be a nice keep sake.

#4 OFFLINE   Left Side

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 07:08 PM

Excellent article Heath.

#5 OFFLINE   GatorGrip

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 07:37 PM

Boy I wish I had read this very informative article before I started trying to take video clips of some of my gripper closes. I know for a fact that the gripper was closed even with the click yet those beveled edges on the ends of the handles shadow and a judge will think that it must be a hog hair from closed. I have literally taken up to 6 closes back to back trying to get that crisp clear shot to make a close look like well a close.

I like the idea of getting under the gripper so to speak to get that setting hand out of the way and a perfect precise shot of the handles touching.

Again Great Job Heath, as this is one of the most useful things I have read on this board since I became a member.

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#6 OFFLINE   Bearcat 74

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 08:46 PM

Thanks guys

#7 OFFLINE   ewokhugo

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 06:40 AM

great post by Heath! it helps a lot! thanks:-)

#8 OFFLINE   IZMAN

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:30 AM

Thanks for the great article!

#9 OFFLINE   Cannon

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 04:18 AM

Guys, I wanted to reiterate two tips that I believe will help with capturing video.

1) Put the camera on something stationary. Ideally a tripod. Otherwise a counter, box, shelf, something. No matter how hard your cameraman tries, it's impossible to track exactly with the movement of your hand. If your hand is moving around AND the camera is moving, this dramatically increases blur. It can make capturing stills of the set and close more difficult, or even impossible. Also, practice presenting the closed gripper handles to the camera before your certification. The ideal angle of the camera might be different than what you expected.

2) Shoot one of your warm ups in the exact same place and in the exact same way you will take the cert video. Watch the attempt and make sure you like everything about it. The lightling, the angle, etc. Pay extra attention to the lighting. Are there shadows on the gripper handles? Is light from a window washing out the footage? Is it too dark in general? Lots of light directly overhead is your friend.

Hope this helps.
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#10 OFFLINE   Jedd Johnson

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 10:16 AM

I've tried the stationary camera thing and it has been a real hassle. Does anyone have tips on how to get used to this kind of a thing? I am pretty "active" with my gripper hand when trying a close, and often swing the gripper out of range. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.

Jedd

#11 OFFLINE   Cannon

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 10:23 AM

Does your camera have the ability to focus during the video? This can really help because you can start farther back in the frame and then come forward once the gripper is set. You still have to be careful that the set is visible enough, though.

My camera does not auto-focus during a video. I also don't move around too much so it's not a big issue.

One idea I've had is to shoot through an actual frame. You'd have to make it out of something, cardboard, anything. Set up your camera and size the frame so it's just outside the what the camera can capture. That way it won't be in the video, but you know if your body and hand are within that outline, then you're on camera. At that point you might just want to deal with a cameraman though :)

#12 OFFLINE   Jedd Johnson

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:46 AM

Does your camera have the ability to focus during the video? This can really help because you can start farther back in the frame and then come forward once the gripper is set. You still have to be careful that the set is visible enough, though.

My camera does not auto-focus during a video. I also don't move around too much so it's not a big issue.

One idea I've had is to shoot through an actual frame. You'd have to make it out of something, cardboard, anything. Set up your camera and size the frame so it's just outside the what the camera can capture. That way it won't be in the video, but you know if your body and hand are within that outline, then you're on camera. At that point you might just want to deal with a cameraman though :)


This is the most brilliant thing I have heard in at least 20 years.

Yes, my Sony camera will focus, my Flip does to a degree, but not close-up.

#13 ONLINE   Chez

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 01:36 PM

At that point you might just want to deal with a cameraman though :)


I only trust my sister to shoot my videos. She lives close by and is a perfectionist like myself. I would find someone who is really good with a camera and make them your permanent camera person.

#14 OFFLINE   Cannon

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 01:00 PM

I wanted to bump this thread and reiterate one detail which I will type in all caps as if to be yelling:

 

DON'T PUT YOUR LIGHT SOURCE BEHIND THE CAMERA!

 

You also, obviously, don't want to shoot into a light source either.  Such as toward a window. 

 

Ideally the light source would be rather bright and over head.  Sunlight works great most days.  Consider shooting outside. 


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#15 OFFLINE   John McCarter

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:12 PM

Matt is really pointing something out that needs to be addressed when people film grippers.

 

All I will add to this, if you're going to have light on the gripper, have it come from above or down at an angle so the light isn't directly on the gripper. Lighting is important but it can make things really had to see at times.


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