I was in Boston earlier this month and went to Fenway Park to watch a Yankees vs Red Sox game. I used to be a much bigger baseball fan than I am now, but I still felt like it was a must-do activity while I was in the city, so I went for it and snagged some tickets. I bought tickets along the first base line to get a good view of the Green Monster. I wrapped my flexible Joby tripod to a railing behind my seat and and set my GoPro up for a time lapse.
The battery lasted pretty long, I was expecting it crap out much earlier in the game. It took a picture every 10 seconds for a couple of hours. Overall the image came out alright, there’s some things I like about it. Having lots of people bustling about in the scene makes the time lapse more effective. I also enjoy the daylight disappearing into night over the length of the video. I think the framing is nice. I set the camera to use Spot Metering, so the brightly lit stadium was what the camera is blackened towards. The dark crowd and overhang create a sort of natural letterbox and negative space for the image.
I have some more ideas for time lapses, this was a good first attempt with my new camera.
I took my GoPro out on the water and went paddleboarding. It’s fairly easy to do once you stand up on the board and get going, but the GoPro make it a little more complicated. I was trying to keep my balance, record footage, and make sure my camera bag didn’t fall into the water. It was a fun activity nonetheless and I’ll probably attempt it again.
I got a decent shot of some manatees underwater. I was framing it blindly and didn’t get quite the composition I wanted but it’s still a cool clip to capture. I wanted to use my “selfie stick” device and stick it down into the water but I didn’t have the right attachment head for it.
I learned a couple things this time out on the water with my GoPro:
- Pack lighter – My bag was overflowing with a bunch of stuff I didn’t come close to using.
- Get ready first- I saw those manatees in the video within like 10 minutes of being on the water.
- The housing limits audio – A lot. Everything is very muffled through the waterproof housing.
So I had a GoPro camera at the top of my wish list for awhile now and I finally pulled the trigger and bought one. I bought the GoPro Hero4 Black, it came bundled with a good set of accessories for free so I finally just clicked the buy button and stopped thinking about it.
It’s an effort to get back to my photo and video roots. Long before I ever animated anything, I was shooting on whatever camera I could get my hands on. I liked the classic one-use disposable camera as a child and I had a old Nikon SLR that I used when learning the forgotten art of using a dark room to develop film, which I was legitametly horrible at. My first prints were simultaneously over AND underexposed, blurry messes and if you saw them back then you’d probably suggest I find a different career path.
The first video camera I ever used was my parents old Sony 8 MM camcorder. I later got a Canon that shot on Mini DV that I hooked up to my snow white bubble iMac via Firewire and started editing in iMovie. It was really exciting to be able to shoot video one minute and then edit it on a computer the next. I made a variety of home movies of varying quality with that setup, but eventually I sought out the graphics world as a way to add titles and effects to my films, and create images that I simply couldn’t film. Now my work consists of like 95% all computer generated imagery and my camera technology quickly became outdated.
But not anymore! My GoPro is new, fresh and growing with an interesting user community shooting footage that is exciting and inventive. I love watching their demo reels, and I remember being mesmerized and wide-eyed by their looping footage playing at their demo booth when I went to NAB.
Embedded here is my first GoPro edit, me and my friend Mark playing golf. He used to be in my home movies back in the day, so our maturity level automatically dropped as soon as we started recording. We tried to overcompensate for filming a underwhemingly exciting subject, us being below average at golf, into something epic and GoPro worthy. It was really fun for me to make something so dumb and pointless again.
My lifestyle doesn’t really align much with what the “action” part of the action cam name suggests, but I can find ways to have fun and be creative with it in my own way. I am going to start doing some simple time lapses and fun photography before I work my way up to base jumping off the glacier I climbed into shark infested waters. Just give me time.