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Capturing extreme sports - Nokia N8 camera school

Published by Haje Mon, Nov 1

Capturing extreme sports - Nokia N8 camera school

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Published by Haje Mon, Nov 1

GLOBAL – Whether you fancy filming BMX bikes, skateboards or space hoppers, the small size, solid build and awesome lens a Nokia N8 is the perfect tool for creating extreme sport videos. Strap on a helmet and some knee pads, it’s going to be a wild ride…

To capture the excitement of extreme sports, simply standing there filming people making circles around you in circles isn’t going to cut it. The only way to convey the excitement and the danger of what people are able to do in extreme sports is to get involved in the action. Here are three tips to get the flavour of the action.

Drive-bys

It doesn’t matter if your athletes are on snowboards, motorbikes, or unicycles: If they can move, get them to do a drive-by. You can get this effect by getting the camera as low to the ground as possible. Set up the shot so the camera is pointing upwards enough that you can see them coming. Ask your athletes to go past at high speed – the closer to the camera the better, but preferably without crushing your camera phone in the process. The video footage you get from a drive-by is dramatic and looks sweet.

Pro tip: Normally, you wouldn’t point your camera towards the sun, but with drive-bys you can get beautiful shots by silhouetting your subjects against the stark sunlight – especially during the ‘golden hour’ just before sunset, when the reddish-yellow sunshine gives fantastic, vivid light.

Ride-alongs

You’ll be putting your camera phone at risk, but if you can find a way to mount the Nokia N8 on your athletes, you can get some really cool footage. Some solid rubber bands or some serious duct tape could come in handy here. The effect is incredible: it puts you right in the middle of the action, and the camera shake from a fast-moving athlete adds to the feeling of involvement. Mounting the camera on their helmet gives a ‘see what they are seeing’ feel, or you can try to do the opposite. Mounting the camera low down, like on the suspension arm of a motorcycle or on the front of a skateboard, gives a tremendous impression of speed.

Pro tip: Experiment with which way you point the camera. On a skateboard, pointing it forward will look great because the road is moving at high speed. Aiming the camera the other way, at the skateboarder, will get some great footage of the athlete, with the world whizzing past on all side. Edit the two angles together, and you get maximum impact.

Crazy angles

Extreme sports is a lot of things, but conformist it is not. Don’t be afraid to hold your camera at a 45-degree angle, to run along the athletes as they are pulling stunts, or to change the angle of the camera as you are filming.

Pro tip: you can create cool effects in slow-mo and then speed them up later, if you want. Sit on a skateboard and get a friend to push you along whilst someone does some simple ground-tricks on another skateboard. Move the camera phone closer and further away or lift it high up and back down again.

With extreme sports videos, there are no rules, so you don’t have to worry about breaking any. Make it look awesome, and you’re on to a winner!

It can be difficult to get the timing right, but a bit of practice will help!

As always, keep an eye on your background: It's no good to take a cool photo of a skateboarder if your shot is wasted by an overflowing litter-bin in the background.

Skateboarders in action; this is where the real challenge comes in. You have to capture the speed and excitement, which is best done by picking an awesome angle of the shot.

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