February 11, 2017

Video: What You Need to Know About Shooting Slow Motion

Here are 10 tips for those who want to shoot a slow motion project.

We all agree, slow motion looks awesome, but it's not as simple as raising your frame rate and hitting record. There is certainly some effort and know-how that goes into making a slow motion video a work of art, and Simon Cade of DSLRguide has uploaded a video that gives you some tips on how to do that. Check it out below.

Cade highlights several issues you need to address when shooting slow motion, namely lighting. Because high speed cinematography requires you to record more frames, you'll have to shoot at a faster shutter speed. This means there will be less light hitting your sensor, so you'll need to add plenty of other light sources to compensate.

One of my favorite things Cade brings up is how to approach sound design for slow motion sequences, especially because it's something that many young filmmakers, or even the ol' pros, may not quite know how to do. He recommends watching these kinds of sequences in films that do them well, like 300Inception, or Raging Bull.

Do you have some tips for shooting slow motion? Let us know in the comments below.     

Your Comment

4 Comments

Great.
That was a cool tip.
Thank you.

February 12, 2017 at 2:46PM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
807

It was well cut and the graphics were decent. The footage he shot himself was poor though.
He seems to imply that LED lights won't flicker but they're very capable of flicker, especially when running low on battery power.

February 12, 2017 at 3:18PM, Edited February 12, 3:18PM

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Richard L
Camera assistant, DIT, DOP
180

This was good, especially the film breakdown part, but I thought he brushed over a lot of the actual technique tips.

First, lighting is way more important then "make sure they don't flicker". Showing how you can adjust the shutter angle to remove flicker, or the use of continual lighting that doesn't have time to cool down between current cycles, is a good tip that most anyone needs to have.

Second I think he didn't even mention camera movement. Sure fast action in front of the camera looks good in slow motion, but moving the camera fast while shooting adds a dynamic effect, and is sometimes even more important then the subject moving fast. For instance I shot this on a stupid iPhone:

https://vimeo.com/203320875

Next, you should mention that slow motion adds natural stability to handheld shots, meaning, they are great if you are running and want the camera to be still... I did this test all hand held and people ask what kind of stabilizer I used:

https://vimeo.com/201901192

Lastly, I don't think you have to shoot sports or things exploding to use slow motion effectively. I think even small movements can be extremely powerful. I did a whole campaign for Nike where it was nothing but small, intense movements. Powerful:

http://www.robertoserrini.com/#/nike

Those be my two (six) cents... I thought the video was great, and really an excellent introduction, but a little light on the actual tips. It's the worst to shoot something in slow mo and then play it back and see flicker, or some other issue that you were blind to because you just didn't know.

February 13, 2017 at 7:54AM, Edited February 13, 7:54AM

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Roberto Serrini
Director • Editor
609

Thank you for not simply critiquing the post but actually siting examples of more detailed explanations and adding to the conversation. Best kind of comment.

February 16, 2017 at 7:02PM

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Awesome tips! I just learned from this: http://www.videostudiopro.com/en/pages/slow-motion-video/ how to add the slow motion effect on my shots, but I needed some tips on how to create cool footage worth the effect, so thanks for the help :)

April 29, 2017 at 11:25AM

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