Dec 20, 2011, 12:29 PM
Post #1 of 12
Hello. I am a relatively new camera jumper as of May and have been doing 4 - 16 way video. I know I need to get closer and more over top of the group but I feel there is this invisible wall which keeps me from attempting it because I do not want to get burbled out or possibly get into the kill zone. Getting there really is not the issue... it's a mental block of being afraid of taking out the group or worse. Any tips or suggestions of ways I can slowly work to improve on this?
directly over the top isn't the best place to be for not only safety reasons, but for the difficulty of shooting video. The more over the top you are the more you need to tuck your chin down to keep them properly framed. During blocks its pretty easy for a flyer or a piece to shoot under you taking them out of frame. When it looks like a camera flyer is directly over the top they usually aren't. At most usually their finger tips are just inside the burble.
As for that invisible wall, my suggestion is to go ahead and fall through it a few times. Only way you will ever know where it is and how to avoid/get out of it. Main thing is to KEEP FLYING when it happens. Just because you fall through the burble doesn't mean you have to land on them. Using your wings (which you should be flying) and you legs its pretty easy to fly through the burble from one side to the other. If you are going to land on them I would highly suggest keep flying as large as possible till the last possible second, and try to push off of them before your body makes contact. Ideally pushing off of their rig is a lot better than landing on a neck (Seen it before in a comp. not pretty).
Uhm... This may not need to be said, but, let the formation know where you’re going and make sure they’re OK with what you’re trying. If they’re uncomfortable with you getting to close, they'll let you know. Respect their concerns!! If you crash the party unannounced, people tend to get pissy.
They are telling me to get closer and I'm told by others I should feel the burble before I get into it, but I'm concerned that by the time I get near it I will of gone too far. The tunnel is a good option as well.. I just need to get the $ for it. All good answers.
Can you post a screen shot of your "frame"? It'd be interesting to see what your talking about.
One thing you could do for now (until you're comfortable getting closer) would be to use your Zoom. Keep in mind, if you zoom in even just a touch, head/camera movement will become magnified. However, that will help you to learn to keep your head still?? Just a thought.
Years ago, Ed Dickenson taught me to fly the burble by getting directly beneath me in the tunnel. He started by using only his arms, then his upper body, and eventually his entire body. The tunnel is tight, so it really helped me learn to fly that edge. If you can explain what you're after to a tunnel coach, it likely won't take long. As others have said...get right to the edge of the burble. You'll probably fall in a time or two; that's part of learning and you'll owe a few beers. Glad to see you're still pursuing camera; Sebastian seems like a million years ago.
They are telling me to get closer and I'm told by others I should feel the burble before I get into it, but I'm concerned that by the time I get near it I will of gone too far
Good. Get in there and get dirty. Go too far and figure out what too far feels like, then don't do that anymore.
I'm not sure if you confirmed this or not, but you should be flying wings for this type of thing. You're going to need to mentally think through popping your wings and going to slow flight as soon as you start to lose lift. You want to slow your descent into the group, give yourself time to fly out of the burble before you make actual contact. Most of the time that means backing out of it, but sometimes moving forward is a shorter trip to clean air. If it's a stable formation and you creep too close, backing up is generally the trick, but it's the formation swongs upder you during a transition to another point, scooting forward might get you back in the wind quicker.
The important thing here is to talk to the jumpers before you jump with them. Tell them what you are doing and make sure they are OK with it. If they want to trade maybe being taken out by a camera guy for getting some free video, then great. If they're not cool with that, jump with someone else. The last thing you need is to be worried about what Steve will do if you take out the formation, or how mad Bill will be. If they know going in, you free yourself up to learn what you need to learn without restriction.
Disclamier - you don't want to run into anyone, anytime. When flying camera, a big part of the wings is having the recovery to fly out of the burble before you hit anyone and you need to do it to know how to do it. You 'might' hit someone in the process, but you should try your hardest not to. Flying out of the burble without taking out the formation is a skill, and this is how you learn.
Finally - whatever happens, never stop trying to fly out of the burble or slow your descent rate. If you give up halfway down and bring your hands in to protect yourself, you're going to hit that much harder. You need to keep trying all the way down to planting your face in someones rig. If you're slowing down and sliding towards clean air the whole time, you'll be that much slower and that much closer to clean air when you get there. I have, in the past, flown in between two jumpers with 1" to spare on either side after getting caught up in a burble. One ounce less of 'try' on my part would have put me on top of them, but I slid right by with no impact at all. Once below them, I was in clean air and all the wing I had out popped me right back up into my slot above the formation (which was good because this was at Nationals with the team that went on to win gold in 10-way speedstar).
This about the best I can muster for pulling a frame off the video right now..
Yes I have wings. I am using a .42 lens right now.. which likely is some of the issue.. I also know if I were more on top of them or closer then they would be more in the center instead of near the top..
LoL seems the consensus here is go to the tunnel, or take out a group and find out where the limit is.. Both options that will eventually unfold I'm sure.
Too shallow angle and not close enough as you probably surmised , but if you're not shooting competition video, at least it's safe this way... Get steeper but not so much lower at first would be my advice. When you get a better angle then you can come down lower. You'll have to bend your neck more for the steeper angle, and/or adjust the video angle on your helmet.
Crappy video though with that particular lens. I personally really really dislike vignetting and you've got a bad case there. I would never jump with a lens like that, myself. And I hate getting footage like that to edit with. Never mind if you wanted to sell video like that. Maybe invest in a Raynox HD5050PRO series lens. Not that expensive, no vignetting and an all around decent quality lens even on a newer HD camera.