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Photography

How To Use a Gimbal: Advanced Shots

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This post is part of a series called How to Shoot Video With a Gimbal.
How To Use a Gimbal: Basic Shots
How To Use a Gimbal: Minimize Up and Down Motion
 

Once you've mastered the art of walking while shooting with a gimbal, you can create some more interesting shots by simply getting off your feet and onto some wheels.

If you're using a lightweight one-handed gimbal, try shooting while riding a bike (but be safe). If you've got a bigger setup, you can use an electronic skateboard, rollerblades, or anything that propels you forward. There are even some brave gimbal operators who take to the slopes and shoot while skiing or snowboarding.

Using a gimbal inside a car

One of the most common scenarios is shooting from a car. You can achieve some amazing cinematic shots both pointing the camera outside the window, or shooting your subject driving. With a car that has an open hatch back, you can shoot wide and tight shots of subjects running, biking, or other cars driving behind you. If you’re in the passenger seat, you can get shots of the landscape out the window, or your subject driving. Depending on what lens, can get wide, medium, and even tight shots using the same gimbal setup.

Shooting through the front windshield is a little tougher because you want to avoid seeing the dash or the dirt on the window, especially when the sun hits the windshield. It's best to zoom in, and use a shallow depth of field to blur out the window dirt. 

Using a gimbal inside a helicopter

With small gimbals, you can shoot from any number of moving vehicles, not just cars but vans, busses, backs of trucks, on cranes, or  inside helicopters or planes. Gimbals are especially helpful on boats and trains, which have a lot of natural rumble and shake.

Shooting with gimbal also enables you to shoot a continuous take from a variety of angles, but that also makes for a slightly difficult job of editing. Normally, you would let your subject enter and exit the frame, to make for natural transitions in the edit. When you're shooting with a gimbal, you have to eventually stop walking or moving your gimbal, and allow your subject to exit the frame. Or you can purposefully pan or tilt your gimbal off frame to create a beginning and end transition for your edit.

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