Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Photography and Video:
Camera rating

 


Spills  (B 36648)

Dec 22, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Camera rating Can't Post

With all the new small format -cameras coming to the market I was wondering if this changes the dynamics of the current USPA recommendations of having 200 jumps. I am not implying that anyone with an A license should be able to strap on a camera and start jumping but wondering if a camera rating might be helpful. As a cycling coach I know the importance of short-term goals and think a camera rating might not only improve safety but give new jumpers attainable goals to reach for and keep them jumping.

Several factors concerning safety come to mind with the use of cameras. DZs have different policies about the number of jumps you need and Im not sure if I feel safe in a landing pattern at a DZ that has 50 jump jumpers trying to film videos right before landing.

Although I want to use a camera Im not sure if just having 200 jumps would make me an expert on dealing with camera related malfunctions. I would personally feel more comfortable having 100 to 150 jumps and either attended a class or some type of training. With that said having the rating would show the S&TA or who ever that although I only have 100 jumps I have undergone camera specific training and do not pose a significant risk to myself or others.

As a new jumper 50 jumps seems like a lot and it looking at the current progression it seems like after my B 100 is an eternity before my next milestone. Creating another step that seems attainable in the same year would be nice. By creating a rating that either falls between the B license and C license or coach and C might be useful too keep jumpers motivated. Not saying that jumping alone isnt fun enough and some people might wish to ignore the rating and keep jumping without a camera. Personally I like to keep learning and I think this would help foster the idea that a skydiver is never done learning. Also from what I can tell camera flying is its own unique discipline that some might wish to lean towards. I know I could work on coaching but teaching isnt for everyone.

It is odd that the USPA feels that at a 100 jumps you are skillful enough to coach skydiving but not use a contour camera. It is also limiting the value of the coaching buy not giving them one of the most useful tools in a coaching toolbox. Maybe including camera training into the coaching program would not only allow access that tool earlier but encourage people to get into coaching that might not have otherwise.

I do not feel that a 100-jump rating would make someone good enough to film tandems or use larger video or still camera. If it really is its own discipline it could have its own progression. Say for example; small format, large format, stills, and tandem.

These are just the thoughts and ramblings of a new skydiver but I was wondering what some of the more experienced people might think.


P.S. It might also be a good idea to require or recomend an AAD with the camera rating.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Dec 22, 2011, 12:06 PM
Post #2 of 19 (1696 views)
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you're not the first to think this, and when you're on the low side of the recommended numbers, of course you want to think you can manage it better with more information.
However...

"teaching may not be for everyone" but it's how you learn to fly.
Can you fly a no-contact slot 6"(inches) away from the subject for the entire skydive? Can you fly that slot while moving backward/forward, up/down, side/side all while recognizing what's in front of your face, knowing how to deal with malfunctions without endangering others that are 6" away from you?

Teaching, gaining a coach rating is one place these skills start. It's not just about teaching, it's about learning the dynamics of flight from an educated perspective. You can get all the training there is, I did a camp with Norman Kent when I had around 70 jumps. He told me I was just fine...but he also demonstrated that I had only gotten far enough to know what I didn't know and that I had a lot more to learn.

Last night, I was flying the lighting rig seen in this attachment, in pitch dark, with 7 others also wearing lights and cameras. As the key, I had to fly exactly 3' from the subject, no more and no less, and no side variances or I'd screw the shot. I also needed to be aware of everyone else, deal with very specific deployment altitudes, tracking. These are all skills I've learned as an AFFI, Coach Examiner, and a lot of air time.

Your next comment is probably "I'm not looking to do anything like that." Well...Maybe not, but it STARTS by learning the basics of bodyflight first, second, and third before you start putting cameras on your head. Size isn't related to the problem, except that newbies seem to think "small camera=small problems."
These forums are filled with small camera problems and newbie skydivers, one occuring just a couple days ago.

You have a lot to learn, and when you have a few hundred vs a few dozen jumps under your belt, you'll understand much better.
As one example, look at the posting history of a guy named "Tuna-Salad" here on DZ.com. Look at his earliest posts, not unlike yours. Look at his posts of recent. He's more experienced than you by a long shot both in time and jumps.

As one other aside...if you want video on a coach jump, then use an outside videographer. This is what outside video is for. From a coaching perspective, video is good, but it's more effective for the student to be able to see the base and their reactions/actions to the base. The primary purpose of a coach is to teach, provide a stable base, and debrief. Video is not a primary task.

Would a camera rating be good? sure. Would it ever be a BSR? Highly unlikely.
There are GREAT camera training opportunities out there, just that damn few take advantage of them.
Attachments: HTC_Keylight.jpg (140 KB)


Spills  (B 36648)

Dec 22, 2011, 12:32 PM
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Thanks!! I know I am far off from putting a camera on my head or that huge light. I'm still having problems docking on a 2-way. And one of the main things that I love about the sport is that the sky is a big place and there is a lot of different things you can do and learn. I see how people can do it for 20+ years and not get burned out.

I'm planning a winter trip to do some tunnel time and canopy course so hopefully I can start to build the foundation.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Dec 22, 2011, 12:50 PM
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In reply to:
the sky is a big place and there is a lot of different things you can do and learn..

Unfortunately, when you have two people in the sky...it's not that big anymore.

So...to work on things that will make you a great camera flyer;

Learn to fly so close (without touching) that you could kiss the other person and not bump em' around the sky.
Learn to dive, stop, step, and get into a slot where it looks like one fluid motion.
Learn to fly where your body just does what it needs to do without you thinking about it. This is one of the reasons that a great deal of experience is needed for camera. Cameras are distractions. It's not the size, it's the mindset. The "Small Camera Incidents" thread demonstrates that not only newbies get distracted by cameras, but reasonably seasoned/experienced people do too.

I know, it seems so darn simple to put that camera on your head, chest strap, mudflap, or wrist and is seemingly no big deal, but the truth is...when there is a camera in the region, even great people do dumb things.


theonlyski  (D License)

Dec 22, 2011, 2:49 PM
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In reply to:
It is odd that the USPA feels that at a 100 jumps you are skillful enough to coach skydiving but not use a contour camera. It is also limiting the value of the coaching buy not giving them one of the most useful tools in a coaching toolbox. Maybe including camera training into the coaching program would not only allow access that tool earlier but encourage people to get into coaching that might not have otherwise.

IMO, if they don't want to coach, we shouldn't 'force' them into the rating. There's a huge difference between a coach that actually WANTS to be a coach, vs someone who is a coach just so they can fly video.

There are probably some damn good coaches out there that would suck as videographers, and there are probably some damn good vidiots that would suck at coaching. If they don't want to do both, we shouldn't put it as a requirement for you to be a coach to get a camera 'ticket'.

I love getting to do both, because they're both fun for me, but I can understand how one would want to video more than you would want to coach and vice versa..


Spills  (B 36648)

Dec 22, 2011, 3:51 PM
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Re: [theonlyski] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you think that a coach simply using a camera on a jump would be useful? I know when I was working on getting my license I kept rotating onto my back/ side when I was pitching and the instructor was having some trouble figuring out why. He said he wished he had it on video to try and figure it out. It might have saved me 2 or 3 student jumps.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is videographer trying to get the best shot while the coach is simply documenting the jump. I don't know if there is a differnece or not but I feel with my limited experience that it would have helped my training. And the DZ I was getting my license at did not have a video guy or tandems.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Dec 23, 2011, 7:44 AM
Post #7 of 19 (1569 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
It is odd that the USPA feels that at a 100 jumps you are skillful enough to coach skydiving but not use a contour camera. It is also limiting the value of the coaching buy not giving them one of the most useful tools in a coaching toolbox. Maybe including camera training into the coaching program would not only allow access that tool earlier but encourage people to get into coaching that might not have otherwise.

IMO, if they don't want to coach, we shouldn't 'force' them into the rating. There's a huge difference between a coach that actually WANTS to be a coach, vs someone who is a coach just so they can fly video.

There are probably some damn good coaches out there that would suck as videographers, and there are probably some damn good vidiots that would suck at coaching. If they don't want to do both, we shouldn't put it as a requirement for you to be a coach to get a camera 'ticket'.

I love getting to do both, because they're both fun for me, but I can understand how one would want to video more than you would want to coach and vice versa..


If this were a debate before the USPA, it would be argued that any camera rating (any rating) has to start with the coach rating. The coach rating program provides information and challenges relating to how what when to observe, safety procedures, etc. For a vidiot to understand what the student is thinking is very valuable (paramount, in my view), and allows the vidiot to be part of the coaching process, even if he/she is merely providing a coach debrief after the jump (debriefing the coach themselves).

Holding the rating does not require one to teach, but it does require one to understand the skills required of the coach, the goals required of the student, a cohesive understanding of safety tasks, communication, etc.

In other words, there is no downside, but there are many, many upsides.

Most certainly, inside video is helpful for a coach and student -if the coach has a lot of experience. Providing a stable base and debrief for the student is not as complex as providing a stable base, debrief, turning on the camera in the airplane (if it's a GoPro, asking the student to verify it's onCrazy) worrying about "am I getting this shot?" and being caught up in the student's deployment (and often wanting to be close enough to get the deployment, which is anathemic to what a newbie coach should be doing anyway).

In short, you can bet your tush that any USPA Camera rating discussion would absolutely include the USPA Coach rating.Tongue


theonlyski  (D License)

Dec 23, 2011, 3:27 PM
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Re: [DSE] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If this were a debate before the USPA, it would be argued that any camera rating (any rating) has to start with the coach rating. The coach rating program provides information and challenges relating to how what when to observe, safety procedures, etc. For a vidiot to understand what the student is thinking is very valuable (paramount, in my view), and allows the vidiot to be part of the coaching process, even if he/she is merely providing a coach debrief after the jump (debriefing the coach themselves).

I would think they should make a new rating that's independent of the instructional ratings. Not all vidiots jump with students (other than tandems). I agree the safety part should be in there, but I don't think it should be along the same lines as an 'instructor'.

But, I'm a new guy, just my 2.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Dec 23, 2011, 7:30 PM
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Re: [theonlyski] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand your argument.
From the perspective of the USPA, it would be foolish to create a rating that isn't involved with the instructional rating organization.

Write it up and propose it. Maybe the BOD will go for it.
Failing in front of the BOD is a really fast way to understand how that process works. And...you might be successful. Worse things could happen.Tongue


VideoFly  (D 25621)

Dec 23, 2011, 9:33 PM
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Quote:
Last night, I was flying the lighting rig seen in this attachment...

The thought of wearing that light makes my neck hurt. I know you are a competent flyer, but please consider the cumulative effects of wearing that kind of weight on your head, let alone the thought of a whacker like the one that broke my neck and left me partially paralyzed.

Im not being critical. Im just being an old fart who worries about other jumpers. Have you considered some kind of chest, shoulder, or belly harness or neck support for a rig like that? Or perhaps, have you thought about some kind of removal system that moves the weight from your head prior to deployment? Even the thought of a premature deployment, freefall collision, or other unplanned shock worries me.

Again, please take my comments with all due respect and concern for others. I believe we have to watch out for each other and I would hate for anyone else to have to experience the problems I will always have following my accident. Please dont blow my words away like Ive seen others do who look at me saying Im okay, what do you know, old man.

If we think hard enough, Im sure we can come up with safer ways to carry and aim heavy weight.


Deisel  (D 31661)

Dec 24, 2011, 5:44 AM
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Shouldn't there be a rating of some kind for just about every discipline? Swooping, wingsuit, freeflying, etc all have the same basic concerns as learning to fly a camera. No?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Dec 24, 2011, 9:18 AM
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Re: [Deisel] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course there shouldn't be a rating for every kind of discipline. If someone is going to TEACH in a discipline, they should have their Coach rating at a minimum, so that they understand the fundamentals of USPA education process.

However...camera flying puts another person(s) at risk. Additionally, camera flying is often part of the instructional process, whether it's flying for coached jumps, AFF jumps, or tandem jumps.

More often than not, a camera jump is a "hire" jump, and a certain level of professionalism is expected. Part of that professionalism (IMO) is knowing how/what the coach/instructor is thinking and expecting. Certainly these things can be learned without a Coach rating, but having undertaken the coach program helps a lot.


lewmonst  (D 24575)

Dec 26, 2011, 7:15 AM
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Re: [Spills] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Do you think that a coach simply using a camera on a jump would be useful? I know when I was working on getting my license I kept rotating onto my back/ side when I was pitching and the instructor was having some trouble figuring out why. He said he wished he had it on video to try and figure it out. It might have saved me 2 or 3 student jumps.

Your coach should have been able to figure that out without a camera. Most likely you de-arched and dropped a knee.

Perris uses gopro video for debrief purposes on all AFF and Coach jumps, no extra charge.


Aeroquest  (D 8935)

Jan 3, 2012, 1:23 PM
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USPA's recommendations are just that. It'sonly a recommendation and I've seen it ignored many times. It's a good rule of thumb to follow. Although with smaller cameras on the market today it's easy to attach a video camera and start out filming fun jumps with your friends. If you choose to do that, and the DZ is ok with it. Start with simple video first. Mounting is important if it's on your head. Keep it streamlined with minimal snag points. Personally I frown on extenders for eye sights found on open face helmets. I nearly lost a friend due to a line snag during a crew jump. Thankfully he cut the helmet away to get rid of the main in tow which snagged the eye sight during his main cutaway. Yep the helmet and camera were destroyed. Remember your adding to your gear checks with more to do. Turning the camera on and toggling between standby and record adds to your thought list. Turn it on record before exit and forget about it until your under canopy or land. Not so much to add as carrying multiple cameras though. That's where the line should be drawn on experience. I carry 3, one being a still camera with remote. and two video. My focus is getting great stills along with footage for Tandems or Aff. A different world indeed. I've been guilty of forgetting my altimeter, Goggles, and once my rig. I discovered the missing rig at 5K ft. which is my first gear check point after take off and had to land the plane. How embarrasing that was! Not only for me but the Pilot, TM, passenger and local area safety officer who watched me board the plane. Frown. To much focus on your camera work can be deadly and injure you or someone else. Read the reports of camera men and women who died or have injurys doing what they love to do and how it happened. So get your experience slowly and not take it serious yet, just be safe and plan on having long soft openings or else you'll get your neck hurt.
I have a little over 1000 Tandem, Aff videos and I still get nervous during opening. I thank God he watches over my safety more than fellow jumpers. We're only human although we can fly. [;)


Tuna-Salad  (C 38765)

Jan 3, 2012, 4:52 PM
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Re: [Spills] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

Just my $0.02

I did not really believe or listen when I first put a camera on my head, but it will adversely change how you fly because no matter how much you tell yourself the camera is not an issue you will still end up trying to get "that shot". The issue with trying to video a coach jump as the coach is you are dividing attention between getting good video and the teaching aspect. So unless you are great at both one will suffer... Either the video will come out crappy or the student will not learn much (Again just my thoughts on how it would work out for a new coach / camera ). Camera work goes way beyond the equipment and snag hazards which is what most new video guys think is most and only important aspect.
Again I don't know shit but I CAN truthfully attest that wearing a camera changes your mentality slightly. Should there be a rating for it?

So many people have cameras the rating would almost be useless... The value goes away if the product is handed out freely..

DSE has great points here and was kind enough to give me some good tips early on and I can credit any success I've had with him taking the time to show me what was a good and bad idea.


Mickochet  (D 26656)

Jan 4, 2012, 7:06 PM
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Holding a coach rating does require you to teach to maitain currency and your rating.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Jan 4, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Holding a coach rating does require you to teach to maitain currency and your rating.

I'm missing your point.


Mickochet  (D 26656)

Jan 6, 2012, 6:18 PM
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You stated - Holding the rating does not require one to teach, but it does require one to understand the skills required of the coach, the goals required of the student, a cohesive understanding of safety tasks, communication, etc.



If you don't teach you don't keep your rating!


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Jan 8, 2012, 8:41 AM
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Re: [Mickochet] Camera rating [In reply to] Can't Post

once achieved, the rating can be allowed to expire, yet the knowledge basics remain.



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