“Where do you want the camera?” asks my wife as we approach the glider.
“I’d like to try it on the wing this time,” I say.
“Do you think there is any danger of it coming off?” she asks, attempting to be the voice of reason once again.
“I don’t think so, it really worked well when it was stuck to the side of the van, and other people have used them on the wing.” I am hoping Murphy and his law don’t come along to make me eat my words.
“I’ve seen quite a few people use them, they must be strong,” another club member offers.
“There, how about this. Do you want it pointed at the cockpit like that?” my wife asks me.
“Perfect,” I say. “Let’s turn it on and let it run!”
The crew helps throw my butt into the glider, an instructor jumps in the back, and we’re off to capture another great adventure!
One of the hobbies that I really enjoy, and that can be incorporated with almost any other hobby, is video filming. With the new digital video cameras, the quality is very high and the camera sizes very small, perfect for attaching these units to almost anything. It is a lot of fun to capture some of your favorite moments so that you can look at them again in the future, or share them on YouTube. Today’s computers can easily edit video, something beyond their capacity a few years ago. I have a Windows-based machine so I use Adobe Premiere, and I hear that the Apple machines are great for editing.
I have one camera that is about an inch tall, weighs next to nothing and can be attached to anything from radio-controlled aircraft to animals or wheelchairs. Another is hidden in a pair of sunglasses. You simply turn them on and they are recording to a Micro-SD card — amazing technology. These were found on eBay for about $20. Talk about cheap entertainment!
Especially fun to attach are the new small-sized, high-quality sports cameras. One of my favorites is the Contour GPS model. It is small, lightweight, weatherproof and records in high definition. It also keeps track of your GPS position and will lay an icon over a satellite map in a separate screen when you play it back. This will allow you to see exactly where you were as the video is playing. It comes with a variety of mounts including hat, suction cup, tripod, and waterproof case for underwater filming.
The hat mount gets used a lot. I sometimes put this on and then wheel down trail systems when we are camping (it kind of takes “looking goofy” to a new level … or so the family says). This allows me to go back and view the film and make a small movie in the winter, when it is really nice to reminisce about the fun summertime activities! This is also a great mount to use when you are doing things like fishing or hunting.
Another great mount is the suction cup. I was a little worried at first because some of these cameras can cost a bit of money, but after some testing with a less-expensive camera stuck to my van, I was confident about the strength of this mount. Now we use it to attach a camera to the outside of a glider, and get some great footage of flying from this vantage point.
The new HD cameras take good enough video that you can download them into your computer and advance the frame one at a time, then capture a still by hitting the Print Screen button on your computer. Next you open Photoshop or another photo editing program and paste it into a new image. Now you can edit, and the picture turns out like you were a great photographer who waited for just the right moment!
Using video editing software, you can cut and paste your film like a pro. Often times we have two cameras running, and using editing software you can synchronize and switch between cameras, as well as add still pictures and music, and speed up or slow down sequences. Sometimes it is hard to decide how to cut a one and a half hour video down to five or 10 minutes, but to hold a viewer’s interest, you must. If you notice the current television shows, they seem to switch cameras every four seconds or so! They must be catering to short attention spans … like mine! It certainly takes some editing if you want to keep up to that, but most times I don’t bother to try. We captured some great slow-motion video of arrows being fired at a target from a crossbow, and some speeded-up video of yours truly getting lifted into a glider. I can get completely lost in editing video from summer adventures, especially if it is currently cold and blizzardy outside!
Of course having a camera running sometimes results in Murphy having his way and something embarrassing being captured. I once wanted to try kayaking (I repeat … once), and temporarily switched off my normally-reliable self-preservation skills to give it a try. I ignored the now-obvious warning signs … that’s another story … but upon downloading from the camera months later I was rewarded by an embarrassingly hilarious video. My first thought was to delete it, but what the heck, I goofed up AGAIN, so what? I put it on YouTube. It can be used as a training video on how to perform the difficult half Eskimo-Roll in a kayak. I have no idea how to do the second half to get upright again.
Here are a few videos of adventures:
• Failed kayak attempt: Murphy 1, KW 0: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWntM7nwT3E
• Fishing for Northern Pike: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i6ln24Ujf8
• Wheeling down a mountain trail: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNFhPXABcVI&list=UUO8B5KVptDLln4h9tLE44Dg
• Crossbow With Slow-Motion Arrows: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKK36tIsYLM