A real, totally unexpected photo opportunity recently
occurred when the circus came to our town.
Hudsons Circus is one of Australia’s older circuses
re-invented as a family fun circus. Their acts have been
tailored to entertain families, minus some of the animal
acts that have become divisive in recent years.
Whilst in town, the owner approached our local camera club to see if any of our members would be happy to shoot
photos of the acts, which could be used in circus
promotions and on their website. Members would be
credited every time one of their photos was used.
A small group of members jumped at the opportunity to
improve their camera skills and attended performances
over three nights. The owner was delighted with the
quality of images recorded and has already started
using some of them on the circus website.
We were also asked if we could provide video clips for
future compiling and editing into different trailers
featuring various acts. I volunteered to do this as it was
an exciting new challenge for me. With my wife assisting,
we attended two performances and shot as big a range
of video clips as we could manage.
The equipment we used was my new Lumix FZ2500, the club president’s Canon video cam, a borrowed JVC video cam, and a Zoom H1 digital audio recorder. Yes we are only amateurs but we did achieve several hours of useable video footage and
audio clips – all of which the owner now has for his
professional editors to create final presentations from.
I have also been able to compile and edit three Trailers and a full length movie which the owner now has.
What were the most useful things we learned doing this
First, set each of the cameras as close as possible to record with identical white balance. In the example above, the Canon was set to Daylight WB and the Lumix was set to 5300K WB
Second, set each of the cameras to achieve exposures that are as similar as possible and as bright as possible (even in the low light situation) without recording excessive noise.
In the example above, the Canon was set to auto exposure on ISO 6400 whilst the Lumix was set to ISO 3200, 1/60sec, f5.6.
Third, position audio recorder(s) where the clearest sound recording can be achieved. Unfortunately we did not allow
sufficient time to test this before the performance started.
The need to get these basic settings right became very
apparent during the time I spent editing the Trailers and movie. The old adage – Get it right in camera first and save hours later in editing – is certainly correct.
If I ever get this sort of opportunity again I’ll make a big
effort to have these settings right before we start