Shooting Live Events – 5 Tips to Success

Recently I was lucky enough to shoot for FORM Lifting at the 2016 Reebok Crossfit Games in Los Angeles, CA. Being that it was a live event, the gameplan for shooting was to cover as much as possible. After a full day of shooting and three dead batteries later, I learned a lot about covering live events.  Here are my Top 5 Tips for Shooting Live Events.

1. Make Sure You Have Enough Storage and Batteries

Covering live events are tough because they are unpredictable. You don’t want to be that guy that ran out of memory or battery right before the money shot. Come over-prepared.

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2. Pick a Quality Zoom Lens

Things happen quickly during live events. Being stuck to one focal length will seriously impair your ability for max coverage. Pick a zoom lens with a nice wide to medium/telephoto range. My two lenses of choice were the Leica 35-70 f/3.5 and the trusty Canon 24-105 f/4.

canon-24-1053. Variable NDs

We all want that cinematic look, and achieving shallow depth of field during the day is impossible without ND filters. Variable ND filters are your best friend during outdoor live events as they allow you to keep the aperture constant in almost every situation. My tip is to invest in a high quality variable ND filter. You have a beautiful lens on your camera, the last thing you want is crappy glass in front of it.

nd-filter4. Get Up Close and Personal

Telephoto shots only get you so much. Don’t be afraid to jump in the action and get close ups of who/what you are shooting. The energy from being close to your subject will give your viewers a better connection to the event.

screen-shot-2016-07-26-at-5-07-40-pm5. Get Total Coverage

Aside from the subject, make sure you are getting a wide variety of shots. B-roll is most important, but also include pans, tilts, whip-pans, extreme zoom-ins etc. Breaking out the whole arsenal during shooting will give you plenty of creative options in the edit room.  

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– Adan Langbaum, Forge Apollo Shooter

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