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Monday, 26 August 2013


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OK, that was a very cool shot.

I still haven't used my DSLR for video (I've done a couple quick clips that I haven't used for anything) but have done a fair bit with my NEX-5 and my compact digicams. The NEX took nice video (I have the aux. mic for it, too) but overheating got to me. I record school concerts and plays and dance recitals and got tired of turning it off & on between scenes and hoping it would make it until intermission ... finally broke down and bought a camcorder. A good one, too, but I miss "something" about the NEX - maybe the shallow depth of field. The 18-200 OSS was a great lens for video (even without power zoom).

My biggest issue with video is time. The more I shoot video, the more enjoyable I find it, but the post processing is even more time consuming than for photos, and the software I've used to date is pretty alien to me.

Mike is it you, after having read that book, or someone else with the cue?

Fascinating ... and I say that as a horrible (i.e. untrained) pool player, so take my comment and question in that context.

Before clicking Play I would have expected the 11 or 4 to be used to tap in the 3, mostly because I didn't imagine a ball touching the side could be moved at such an angle out of the way.

Going frame-by-frame I see the cue ball was aimed "to the left" of the 3 and was deflected "to the right" of it off the 11 (which took care of the 4), thereby hitting the side and so going once more to the left before tapping the 3 in the direction it needed. Awesome zig-zag there!

I'm guessing there are parallels to chess* (seeing several steps in advance) to this.

* a game, and more to the point a mindset I don't seem to have

How the heck is that done? Serious amounts of clockwise spin on the Cue ball?

Neat shot. Can you do that yet?

A brilliant shot. It made me miss the times when I played pool with some friends of mine. (Usually our playing was all about keeping the cue ball out of reach, giving the adversary a hard time, but the booze would make up for any aggravation...)
Good times [sigh]

I actually wish I could watch that in slow motion to comprehend how that is possible. I'm sure I could try that 100 times and not repeat the shooter's success. Must be the pool hall equivalent of Rain Man. Also, don't sweat the occasional off topic post, I expect most of us in your readership actually live lives filled with other things as well as photography. I enjoy occasionally being reminded of that fact.

That is cool. But it makes me wonder, can your Nex 6 also take the video at high speed so we can see it in slow motion?

Okay, that's pretty impressive. Clearly one can (in theory) sink the same ball with a bank shot, but with more balls on the table that might be impossible. And it might be harder, I don't really know, both the shot shown and actually making the bank shot are beyond my pool.

This one is particularly fun because it looks deceptively simple.

"curmudgeons-in-training." Aren't you the inventor of the verb "curmudge"? Liked the shot, though the red felt burnt my eyeballs. 8-)

Yehey! Pool OT's are back!

Nice table and tapete ("rug"; Bron's "red felt"), btw :)

nothing wrong with pool posts - videography ... meh...

my only concern is you hit a biggie to get a littlie in... that's a foul in my game of pool :)

Any chance you can make the title of the book link to it on Amazon so I can throw you an affiliate sale when I buy it, Mike?

Cool shot Mike, but speaking as one who misspent a large section of his youth playing snooker and billiards [English version] most of these trick shots don't require a lot of cue skill once the balls are set up properly it's more difficult to miss than make the shot.

Watching the Efrem Reyes match who I believe is a genius on a pool table I was surprised he would play for such low prize money. I don't believe top snooker players would get out of bed for that [$1,000 ]sort of reward.

[Michael, No, it's true, it's an easy shot to make once the book shows you how.

Re the prize money, pool is in the doldrums here in the States. Consider that a grudge match between "Minnesota" Fats and Willie Mosconi was one of the top-rated sports programs on TV in 1978, never mind that billiards and pool was more popular than baseball in the 1920s. It's fallen hard and far since then.

Right now it seems to be in particularly steep decline. In 2005, 39 million Americans self-identified as pool players; in 2012 that number was 21 million. Pool rooms are closing at the rate of about 10% annually. They're becoming like drive-in theaters, remnants of a bygone era.

It's not unusual for top pros to show up to tournaments with $5,000, $3,000, or even $1,000 top prizes. For comparison, try to imagine top golfers showing up to contend for that kind of prize money.... --Mike

Jim, Mike didn't use side spin--he used top spin ("follow"). Spin affects the direction the cue ball rolls after it hits another ball. Follow pushes the ball forward, "draw" (bottom spin), will make it come back towards the shooter, and "english" (side spin) will make the ball go right or left.

As is said above, this is all about the way the balls are set up. Mike's hitting the 11 into the 4, so it bounces off the 4 and out of the way--the 4 goes into the rail and banks out of the way, and the follow on the cue ball pushes it through to the 3. I think.

ddb--don't think a bank shot would work, unless you wanted the cue ball to travel the full length of the table twice. At which point the angles get tough, and with the 3 being where it is on the rail--harder than the shot you're seeing.

Think of bank shots like bouncing your flash. :) Angle of incidence = angle of reflection.

Pool is so much like photography for me. I never "see" the shot I wish I'd seen. :/

I would love to read The Online Pool Player if you ever diversify your blogging empire. I practiced this shot on our office pool table today and my colleagues were suitably impressed. Thanks for the lesson. I even convinced our boss that The 99 Critical Shots in Pool was an essential book for our team of software developers.

["Office pool table"?!? I am suitably "gobsmacked," as our British friends say. --Mike]

I've loved photography for the last 24 years, my brother shoots videos since 2002. I've occasionally dabbled in making shorts, my brother in shooting little projects - each one of us in the end said "no thanks" with a wide smile and remained entretched in his hobby... Differences, is what makes the world interesting...

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