Setting up the shot

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Setting up the shot

Unread postby kd_1014 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:24 pm

While chasing a train, i found it was very difficult to totally set up my tripod once I got to my spot due to time. Is there a better way to quickly set up the tripod?
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Re: Setting up the shot

Unread postby SD80MAC » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:01 pm

Tripod? Are you shooting video?
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Re: Setting up the shot

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:15 pm

kd_1014 wrote:While chasing a train, i found it was very difficult to totally set up my tripod once I got to my spot due to time. Is there a better way to quickly set up the tripod?

Well ultimately you need to figure out how much time it takes you, how much time your shot will require, and how fast the train is coming :lol:

Basic tip is to leave the tripod as setup as you can between shots. For me in my car that means the lowermost portion of the legs are always extended, saving a few moments. Also start with the lower portions of the legs first, so you don't do the odd reaching grab for them I see all the time at steam/special event chases and always makes me giggle inside as people fumble around for the hasps like they've never held a tripod before.

That having been said, also be prepared to not shoot with the tripod fully raised if necessary. I have quite a few low-to-the-ground shots over the years that I made work, and some have become favorites of mine. I also regularly shoot down-lows by design as well.

So once you have your tripod itself set, LEVEL IT. This is the step most forget but really does make the difference between handheld and tripod shots. I'd almost rather watch a handheld shot than one that is on a tripod but isn't level. At least get it close. Use the gridlines if your camera has them. Make sure objects in the center of the frame are level - pointing the camera slightly up or do will cause the angles to be off at the left and right edges, so you cannot just go off of those.

And final note, don't attempt to pan unless you have professional equipment, everything is 100% level, and you're a god. That is to say, don't. Instead, opt for the really fast swing-it-around, level it off, and keep rolling that way. The fade cut will take out the garbage and leave it looking much more professional.
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