Tiger Woods and the Importance of Camera Angles

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

This video is not so much about Tiger’s swing (although it is still awesome) as it is about the difference camera positioning makes when viewing the same swing from different angles and comparing swings side by side as though they are the same when actually the camera angles are different.
Here we Tiger hit the same tee shot from different angles. One is the regular camera that the TV crew uses when filming the action, and the other is from the High Speed camera that the network uses to allow the commentators to do a better job on their swing analysis. The full speed swing was filmed live, and I am playing it back here off the DVR. The slow motion swing was filmed at the same time but from a different angle, and the network played it back after the original shot was done with. The comment is made about the slow motion swing, and when I focused in on the stark differences in the two swings it highlighted what I have been saying on the website all along, that filming with a consistent (and stable) camera angle is imperative when comparing two swings, and that the effort to make an analysis that is comparable to other swings they have to be taken from the same angle, both horizontally and vertically. In the background we can see that it’s the same landscape, but it looks remarkably different when viewed from higher up, further away, and more to the right (more on or past the ball-target line and less on the hand line). At the same time, Tiger’s swing looks more inward and across the line from this angle, while appearing more in front of him and laid off from the hand line. My opinion has always been that when working on the pivot and watching how the club relates to the body and how the club planes to the ball that the camera should be on the plane of the original shaft angle at address, and that if the camera is about waist high or just below (the approximate height of the hands at address you can assess these things accurately.

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(3) comments

Brent January 3, 2014

Waist high or chest high? The previous diagram and video said chest high. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last year or more.

Michael January 5, 2014

Thanks Wayne, this the perfect experiment to show the effect of camera position.

Your preference for the camera in line with the hands is close to the centre of the full swing arc for the horizontal position. To centre on the swing arc in the vertical plane the camera would need to be about hand high. I think it also makes a difference how far the camera is from the player and the focal length of the lens. I think it’s easier to line up behind the hands and square to the hitting direction with the camera further away.

We need a universal standard for camera setup – maybe the PGA can set a rule?

Brent January 13, 2014

Alright thanks for the clarification, Wayne.

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