Friday, January 29, 2010

Overhead Remote Camera (with photos)

I just got back from Bramlage Coliseum and took a few photos of my overhead remote camera setup. I have tried to outline a few of the major portions of such an endeavor and I hope someone benefits from this. Here's just a few photos with explanatory text to help out.

**It is wise to ask permission at least a few weeks in advance for such an endeavor. The SID shooter may be a good initial contact but expect to receive permission from a facilities person or someone with the athletic department who has access to the catwalk and is in a position to vouch for you if someone starts yelling at you.

A few key points:

Arrive EARLY (a day or two if possible). Setting up an overhead remote camera always takes longer than you think and you don't want to hastily put up 10 pounds of camera gear that could potentially KILL someone a few minutes before a game. Give yourself at LEAST 3 hours before tip when no one is around/under you.

Make sure everything is secure. If you notice in my photos everything is safety cabled/secured 2 (two) 2!!!  times. The camera has TWO safety cables. The PW is gaffer taped down AND strung through the safety cables. The cords are taped down in multiple places. The Magic Arm is safety cabled TWO times. SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY.

On the lines of safety: Never wear a hat, loose clothing, bring your car keys, cell phone, pencils, pens, etc. on the catwalk. Bring only what you need and have it safely secured in your thinktank belt or hung off of a carabiner looped on your jeans/shorts. Keep cables separated so a cable doesn't get tangled in another cable and accidentally dislodge as you pick up the other cable (which could then fall through the catwalk).

Safety cables should be tested for SHOCK load. Not just pure strength. If your camera becomes dislodged it is going to use gravity to fall ... and fast! You don't want your cable to snap because you didn't test it for shock load, rather than just regular towing, pulling load bearing capacity.

FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS - Why spend 30 minutes on a hot, dangerous catwalk if you are going to be front focused or back focused? Have someone stand underneath the goal with a sign or use a ladder or something else contrasty to help you focus. Remember that basketball players will be jumping to shoot, rebound, etc. so somewhere off the floor about 6-9 feet is appropriate.

Make sure you are using a PW channel that is not going to be in use by another photographer. It is wise to check with the SID photog to see what channels are taken every game for strobes/remote cameras.

Some "Oh S***!!" reminders:

If you aren't using an AC adapter make sure you have fresh batteries.

A CF card in the camera (sufficient for at least 450-500 frames (remember, you aren't going to be able to switch cards ... it will need to last for both halves).

Exposure. So you get everything focused, secured, a card in the camera and you're underexposed by 2 stops? Yeahhh ... don't do that.

Make sure you're on the right Pocketwizard channel.

Now for the photos (Click on photo to enlarge):

1 comment:

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