View Full Version : Filming the best video for critique

Lincoln Brigham
02-23-2008, 04:00 PM
For those of you who post videos to be critiqued, thank you! You are helping more than yourself. For every one person who posts, fifty take a look and learn something. There are a bunches of folks who don't have direct access to a coach, so video critique is a great alternative.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your video-based coaching for the Olympic lifts:

Lighting, lighting, lighting! If there isn't enough ambient light, try to film outdoors or get one of those halogen floodlights from a hardware store for about $10.
Show your feet! It's more important to see the footwork than to watch the hands go overhead.
Video angle: 1/4 angle is the best angle. The side angle is second best. If you are including multiple lifts, take shots from the front, 1/4, and side if possible.
Use challenging weights if you are above the beginner stage. Often a power snatch or power clean with a light weight doesn't really expose many problems. Consider filiming a squat snatch with a heavy-ish weight. Failed attempts are often more instructive than successes, so include those too.
Try to use the highest frame rate (FPS, or frames per second) available. 15fps is marginal, 30fps is better. There are some newer cameras coming out that offer +60fps! Higher resolution is good too, but not if it's at the expense of high frame rate.
Use a tripod or set the camera on a flat surface if at all possible. This makes frame-by-frame comparisons much easier.
'Tis better to post poorly filmed video than no video at all. Except sideways video.
If you are posting a video to see if you are bending your arms too early, don't worry. You are.


Good lifting to all of you!

David Aguasca
02-24-2008, 10:36 AM
great post, lincoln. too bad this board doesn't have stickies, because this post warrants one.

Brandon Oto
02-24-2008, 10:46 AM
Personally I prefer a sideways angle IF you can actually see the back, shins, etc. If the plates cover everything interesting, then angle it off. But I have trouble viewing a lot of things (bar path especially) at diagonal angles.

Lincoln Brigham
02-24-2008, 11:46 AM
The side angle is great at showing the bar path but the plates end up obscuring the view of the hip extension and double knee bend. The quarter angle and full front are also better at showing that infamous early arm bend.

Lincoln Brigham
03-02-2008, 04:11 PM
This month's Crossfit Journal goes into much more more technical detail on this topic.

Note that most of the trade-offs that Tony talks about - ISO, aperture, shutter speed - can be obviated with tons of light. In the early days of Technicolor movies they had to use so many lights to get good color saturation that objects on the set would start to melt! So for the occasional photographer whose head starts swimming with Tony's technical talk, just remember MORE LIGHT! Shoot outdoors or grab every single lamp, floodlight, candle, Bic lighter and glow stick you can find.

In the photo I posted above, the camera was a super cheap point & shoot but because there was strong outdoor light off to the side, the picture captured the high speed movement well.