Readers Ask for Sports Videography Articles
Jennifer O'Rourke: Hi, welcome back! I'm Jennifer O'Rourke, Managing Editor for Videomaker magazine.
Morgan Paar: I’m Still Morgan Paar, Technical Editor.
Jennifer O'Rourke: And this is your letter segment, and we’re trying to read some of the letters that work, that come from our readers that we think will work for a lot of our readers out there, and our viewers.
Morgan Paar: I’m going to read the first one?
Jennifer O'Rourke: M-hm.
Morgan Paar: Okay, this is from Brian Prendergas, Prendergas, yes. And he writes in and says, I enjoy reading your magazine very much. Would you please consider devoting an article to sports videography? Last Fall I taped several day and night high school football games with my DV camera. I was challenged by the following – getting the right exposure given the glare of the sunlight during day games, and stadium lights during night games. And he says he has trouble with focus, and following action on the field, and he had, following the play once the ball was snapped, smooth zooming.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Yeah, that’s a hard one. You know, one of the things about sports photography is the professionals get paid very, very well, and often sport photographer may specialize only on football, only on baseball, only on golf. Golf is the hardest shot, by the way.
We, I was looking back to some of our back issues, and we’ve done articles on sports photography but we haven’t done anything recently, and something I wanted in our next, planning calendar for that, because it’s something we haven’t done for a while.
But if you want to go to some interesting back issues, look back, on our website, Sports Video Story Telling, the NFL Film’s model in January, 2004. In September 01 we had a Sports Video for Fun and Profit, and there is a couple of others, just go in there and type sports video and meanwhile, I’ve got a couple of things coming up that would be interesting, and one of them is a depth of field story.
Depth of field demystified. When you learn and understand a little bit better what depth of field is, you’ll be able to deal with some of your problems with focusing. Meanwhile just a couple of quick tips for these, this writer. First off, you never want to shoot anything that you’re shooting with lights or action with manual iris or manual focus because every time any kind action moves, or any time you pan your camera by your lights, your auto iris is going to go whacky. So if you’ve got manual controls, please, always shoot manual controls.
Morgan Paar: You want to shoot manual.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Always manual. If you’re shooting in the stands, get up higher than the action, that way you don’t get the lights shooting down on your people.
Morgan Paar: Right. Because you’ll get glare through the lens.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Right. And definitely use a tripod if you’re shooting up in the stands.
If you’re shooting in the field, in presence of football, always try to stay ahead of the ball, so the action is running towards you, not away from you. A lot of people bust, set themselves right up on the center line, and as soon as the ball snaps or the other team takes off, you’re following people’s backsides.
So any time there’s another down, another play, move up the field. So they’re always kind of running towards you. Be careful that they don’t run into you. I’ve had that happen, I’ve been tackled on a football game.
So, those are a couple of tips on how to keep track on the ball without getting the lights in the way.
One thing that we do, as a professional sports photographer, I will zoom in on the very center of the field or play before it starts and then pull out, and don’t ever zoom in really tight on any one subject like that. And you’re going to be able to keep a better focus and depth of field.
And I hope that’s a couple of little tips that will help you out, and we’ll look into doing some more sports photography stories soon.
Morgan Paar: We also, one of the winners of our video contest was sports, and it was really good. I watched it again and again and I was just really impressed with the photography, and the editing. So, that’ll show on the future podcast.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Yeah, we’re going to have that coming up in a couple of more podcasts.
Morgan Paar: Yeah.
Jennifer O'Rourke: And it really is well done. It was our sports category, I think it’s called Fast Pitch?
Morgan Paar: Fever? Fast Pitch Fever?
Jennifer O'Rourke: Fast Pitch Fever, yeah. And I think it was just one photographer who moved his way around the field, and of course, that’s different than your network photographers where they stand in one fixed place, and then switch and back, they’re changing. When you’re the only photographer, you have to really place yourself in the right place that you think will get the best video for you.
Morgan Paar: Plus I think this person shot a lot.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Yeah.
Morgan Paar: And picked his best shots.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Yeah.
Morgan Paar: And it shows. You know, it’s a 5 minute piece of a whole season of a woman softball team.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Right. So, it wasn’t just one game, which made it a little bit easier.
I have a couple of questions that have come in from some of our readers. Just recently, on our vidcast, and on our RSS feeds, and I’m going to put Morgan on the spot and ask him the questions on this. So, to loosen up, what you had for breakfast?
Morgan Paar: Eggs.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Eggs? That’s it?
Morgan Paar: Eggs with sauce.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Morgan’s got a big trip planned tonight.
Morgan Paar: Yeah. Going to Washington D.C. tonight, Red Eye, for a couple of days. Yeah, going to scope out some possible video work, shooting a video over there.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Oh, cool. Oh. I didn’t know that. That’s really cool.
Morgan Paar: Yeah, there’s a couple of us shooting some stuff for current TV, up here in Chico, and I’ve got a friend who had an idea to do something in D.C. this summer, so…
Jennifer O'Rourke: So you’re just going to up and go? He’s, he’s a world traveler, he just up and goes all the time.
Morgan Paar: Now you’ve got me nervous about this part, so…
Jennifer O'Rourke: Oh, right. Let’s get down to the three people who have asked different questions on this.
One says, Hi, I’m downloading your video as we speak. Wow! It’s big. I’m still looking for RSS program to write the code, and I’ve tried Feed For All, but I don’t, it still doesn’t support iTunes, and I’ve also tried RSS Buddy. What do you use to code your XML file or are you coding it by hand?
Morgan Paar: Oh, this should be, we should have kept Andrew on here, because he’s the one that’s been doing all this. But I do know we code by hand. I think much like I make the websites. I go to website I like, and I see their code and I borrow some of their code, and then change the pieces that you need to change, like the name of the episode, etc.
So, we do do XML coding by hand.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Does that make it easier for it, is it less trial and error?
Morgan Paar: I was speaking with Andrew about this, and Andrew said there’s about 50 lines of code, and most of it stays the same from week to week, so I don’t know if our IT guy, Andy, handwrote the code from scratch or he looked at someone else’s, and borrowed elements of it, and then put on elements in.
But that’s the way that a lot of people, and not even real codey people, codey, is that a word?
Jennifer O'Rourke: I think yeah.
Morgan Paar: People that do a lot of code, this is the way a lot of people do it. But I, to tell the truth, I haven’t even heard of these RSS programs.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Oh, I’ll help you look them up.
Morgan Paar: Yeah.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Of course, and we have done some stuff with iTunes, our program is on iTunes, which is what the next question is. A woman writes in, Theresa Etisabo, of Miami, Florida. And she wants to know, she says, downloading iTunes from your vidcast, it took a long time download, 20 minutes, that’s a long one. And she wants to know, once it’s downloaded, where did it go, and how did she get rid of it? Because she thinks that’s a lot of file, lot of video, on her computer. And once she’s done, what did she do with it?
Morgan Paar: That’s true, and in fact, the last person said, wow, it’s big! I think our, it’s usually 35 minutes, our vidcasts. And so, 35 minutes of video compressed is going to come a little under 200 MB, which is actually really good. But I guess people that are used to podcasts, which are just audio, seems kind of big.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Yeah.
Morgan Paar: So, about 200 MB. You are going to want to get rid of it once you’re done. Unless it’s something you want to save for tips on sports, and you want to always have it there.
But if you do want to get rid of it, you need to find a file on your Mac, your PC where it’s held. If you’re using iTunes, which most people are, 98% of people using, I know it’s in your iTunes folder. So you need to find your iTunes folder. On My computer, it’s under My documents, under My music, iTunes, iTunes music, and then in there is podcasts. And the vidcasts go into the podcast folder.
But, the easiest way to do it is right from iTunes, you can right-click on the name of the program, and then it gives you a choice to clear it. And once you hit clear, it asks Are you sure you want to clear?, you say yes, and then it says, Do you want to move this to your Recycle bin?, and you say yes.
Jennifer O'Rourke: Yes, and then you’re ready for the next one next time you do it.
Morgan Paar: Right. So that’s really the easiest way, right from iTunes.
And then you’ll have to see, I’m sure it’s similar for some of the other aggregators, like Yahoo podcast, or FireAnt, it’s very similar.
Jennifer O'Rourke: And you’re saying that it’s FireAnt is getting out there more, too, now?
Morgan Paar: Yeah, yeah. FireAnt is, a lot of the techie people like FireAnt. Most, I don’t know, consumers, including myself, I just use iTunes.
Jennifer O'Rourke: You’re more familiar with that.
Morgan Paar: Yeah. But I checked today, our podcast is in FireAnt, it’s in Yahoo podcasts, so…
Jennifer O'Rourke: Cool. That’s great.
This is something we’ve gotten, some questions, from Jeanette Brickman, from JCB Productions just asking the same thing. She’s asking questions about vidcast and vid making. And wants to know more on how to do it, and are we going to do more stories on it. Yes, we are, we’re going to do one more. Every issue of our magazine when we can, so… Just stay tuned, it’s very new.
Morgan Paar: Yeah, yeah.
Jennifer O'Rourke: And that’s it, I guess, for us. Coming up next, we’re going to show you some more of our reader’s profile, and some more of our contest winners.