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Preparing to camera fly

 

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vanessalh  (D 33301)

Oct 5, 2012, 8:14 PM
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Preparing to camera fly Can't Post

Hey folks,

I'm considering getting a camera to video my jumps, and eventually I'd like to fly camera on formations as well.

How would you recommend I begin preparing for using a camera on jumps?

My DZ requires a B license (which I have), and I know that USPA recommends a C license to fly camera. I'm really eager to hear any advice you may have that goes beyond 'get your C license'.

What sorts of skills should I practice to prepare for eventualities with a camera?
I know there are considerations on opening, what can I practice without a camera to better prepare me?

I plan to talk to a few folks who fly camera at my DZ as well, but thought I'd plumb the wisdom of dropzone.com too.

Thanks
Vanessa


AggieDave  (D License)

Oct 5, 2012, 8:31 PM
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Re: [vanessalh] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.dropzone.com/...;;page=unread#unread


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Oct 5, 2012, 8:31 PM
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You can practice putting your body where you want it and staying there. It is important that your skydiving is second nature to you before you start adding other things to worry about.

When you start flying camera, don't use a wide angle lens. It's a crutch and you will be a better camera flyer learning without it.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 5, 2012, 8:34 PM
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Re: [vanessalh] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
My DZ requires a B license (which I have), and I know that USPA recommends a C license to fly camera. I'm really eager to hear any advice you may have that goes beyond 'get your C license'.

My first piece of advice would be that anytime you get conflicting opinions from two reputable sources regarding safety and skydiving, go with the more conservative option. I can't recall that last time a jumper was injured because they chose to take to slow and easy.

Next up, you already mentioned, talk to the local camera flyers. Truth be told, if your flying and awareness are up to flying a camera, you don't need more than a handful of jumps to prepare for shooting video. So if you have 70-some jumps now, knock out another 100, and then talk to the camera staff to get you squared away.

In the meantime, just jump and have fun. The only jump you need to be worried about right now is the next one. Focus on that, and worry about flying a camera when you get closer to actually flying a camera.


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Oct 6, 2012, 1:52 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
anytime you get conflicting opinions from two reputable sources regarding safety and skydiving, go with the more conservative option.

This should be printed on the A license card.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Oct 6, 2012, 2:26 AM
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Re: [vanessalh] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

 Get good at using a camera on the ground.....


suuz83  (B 716290)

Oct 6, 2012, 9:13 PM
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Re: [vanessalh] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

Why do so many people with low jump numbers want to jump with camera's? I'm happy that my country has a 200-formation-jumps rule and I have no desires to jump with one earlier. I think it's way more important to work on your flying skills first and when you finally have one maybe you would be able to see something on your footage Wink


zerospinskier  (C 41841)

Oct 6, 2012, 9:28 PM
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Re: [suuz83] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
work on your flying skills first and when you finally have one maybe you would be able to see something on your footage Wink

An important point. Everyone goes an watches Jonathan Pears' amazing edits, and wants to accomplish the same type of thing. The problem is that it is not easy to make skydiving look good. First you need to be very good at flying, then you need to be very good at positioning yourself to capture that awesome flying you and your friends are doing. Other than the really really good guys, most video you see at the DZ, especially the low experience people, are most often shakey shots of 3 other specs sitflying because everyone is backsliding away from each other and the GoPro has a super wide lens. First learn to do some skydiving that is worth filming, then work on capturing it.

(I say this as a someone who is really looking forward to filming and making edits. The way I am working towards it? By spending a lot of time learning to fly in the tunnel and in the sky.)


Shredex

Oct 6, 2012, 9:53 PM
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Re: [zerospinskier] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

Camera flyers are always better then the people they're filming lol


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Oct 7, 2012, 4:41 AM
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Re: [Shredex] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks all. It definitely makes sense to get really comfortable in the sky first. I'm also planning tunnel time during the winter here to keep my skills up.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 7, 2012, 11:05 AM
Post #11 of 102 (4268 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

>I'm considering getting a camera to video my jumps, and eventually I'd like to fly
>camera on formations as well.

Then learning to do formations is the most important thing you can do to prepare. 4-way is a great way to start, first learning to do 4-way then learning to film it. Try to jump with medium experience people if you are short of cash. If you can afford it a player-coach team is a great way to learn about 4-way. 8-way is also a decent way to learn about formations. Avoid the boogie 10 and 20 ways; you don't learn much and they're more dangerous anyway.

Likewise, once you have reasonable 4-way skills, start with a medium-experience 4 way team when you start trying to do video. (Low experience teams slide around a lot and present breakoff hazards; you'll feel too much pressure from a very experienced 4-way team and you won't learn as much.)

Once you're comfortable doing 4 way video you might want to try your hand at 8-way and work up from there.


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Oct 8, 2012, 9:31 AM
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Re: [billvon] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks! I've been in a few 4-ways, but need to get on more of them. My DZ is starting to get quiet for the winter, so I'll probably have to find time to get down to California to practice.


waveoff5500  (D 32087)

Oct 9, 2012, 1:10 PM
Post #13 of 102 (3994 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
My DZ requires a B license (which I have), and I know that USPA recommends a C license to fly camera. I'm really eager to hear any advice you may have that goes beyond 'get your C license'.

My first piece of advice would be that anytime you get conflicting opinions from two reputable sources regarding safety and skydiving, go with the more conservative option. I can't recall that last time a jumper was injured because they chose to take to slow and easy.

Next up, you already mentioned, talk to the local camera flyers. Truth be told, if your flying and awareness are up to flying a camera, you don't need more than a handful of jumps to prepare for shooting video. So if you have 70-some jumps now, knock out another 100, and then talk to the camera staff to get you squared away.

In the meantime, just jump and have fun. The only jump you need to be worried about right now is the next one. Focus on that, and worry about flying a camera when you get closer to actually flying a camera.

daves right, i learned a lot about camera flying from dave, but none of it would be helpful if i didnt have some sort of foundation with flying skills. also having enough jumps to encounter different situations to expand your knowledge on how to deal with different problems a camera might introduce.

when youre wearing a camera and forget to turn it on, that might be a checkmark in the list of things you need for camera flying. its pretty funny/scary to see people who are so distracted by turning their gopro on that they dont realize their gear is set up wrong. then you have the people who do their gear checks, know the plan for the skydive and have to turn their camera on in freefall because they totally forgot they were jumping a camera. when you get to that point its a fair bet youre not distracted by the camera. Wink


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 9, 2012, 4:24 PM
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Re: [waveoff5500] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

> then you have the people who do their gear checks, know the plan for the skydive
>and have to turn their camera on in freefall because they totally forgot they were
>jumping a camera. when you get to that point its a fair bet youre not distracted by the
>camera.

Well, if you're messing with the camera in freefall it's a fair bet that it's distracting you . . .

One of the things that any camera flyer has to learn is to multitask. At many DZ's the cameraman is the first out, and thus also (generally) opens the door, spots or checks the spot and climbs out first. This of course is on top of all the additional camera stuff. Which is one reason why the 200 jump recommendation is important; that's a lot of stuff to do on one dive, and with all those demands for your attention it's easy to overlook just one tiny thing (like say your chest strap.)


waveoff5500  (D 32087)

Oct 9, 2012, 9:35 PM
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Re: [billvon] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

sorry man, more tongue in cheek than serious, just trying to convey the point that youre focused on other things than the camera and end up forgetting it because its not a first priority.


gearless_chris  (D 29012)

Oct 10, 2012, 8:37 PM
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Re: [billvon] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
> then you have the people who do their gear checks, know the plan for the skydive
>and have to turn their camera on in freefall because they totally forgot they were
>jumping a camera. when you get to that point its a fair bet youre not distracted by the
>camera.

Well, if you're messing with the camera in freefall it's a fair bet that it's distracting you . . .

One of the things that any camera flyer has to learn is to multitask. At many DZ's the cameraman is the first out, and thus also (generally) opens the door, spots or checks the spot and climbs out first. This of course is on top of all the additional camera stuff. Which is one reason why the 200 jump recommendation is important; that's a lot of stuff to do on one dive, and with all those demands for your attention it's easy to overlook just one tiny thing (like say your chest strap.)

Depending on jump run direction, sometimes I use the pop up flash for exits, then put it back down at the bottom of the hill. Is that messing with your camera in freefall? Sly


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Oct 11, 2012, 9:06 AM
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Re: [gearless_chris] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Depending on jump run direction, sometimes I use the pop up flash for exits, then put it back down at the bottom of the hill. Is that messing with your camera in freefall? Sly

YES! It would be considered so. But my guess is that your 900+ jumps have given you the experience and ability to do so safely. A 100 jump wonder..... not so much? Cool


5.samadhi

Oct 11, 2012, 9:12 AM
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Re: [skyjumpenfool] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

last weekend somebody on the 4 way dive i was filming decided to pull in place instead of turning and tracking. This had them whizzing by me while I was in freefall (a second before I was reaching for my BOC to pull). A fucking bonehead move.

I had to turn and track away to the clear airspace they did not take and pull at a lower than normal altitude for me (I was fully open at 2.2k').

This is food for thought for you poster with some 100 jumps and a camera. It was a lot for me to handle with 300 jumps I'm not sure how I would have reacted to being forced to change the dive plan mid-dive because of a safety issue like that had I not had the experience of the last two hundred jumps.

stay safe-ishSmile


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 11, 2012, 9:24 AM
Post #19 of 102 (3750 views)
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Re: [gearless_chris] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

>Depending on jump run direction, sometimes I use the pop up flash for exits, then put
>it back down at the bottom of the hill. Is that messing with your camera in freefall?

Definitely! But if you keep forgetting to do it, then having that flash is probably more of a distraction than a useful thing to have.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Oct 11, 2012, 1:24 PM
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Re: [5.samadhi] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
last weekend somebody on the 4 way dive i was filming decided to pull in place instead of turning and tracking. This had them whizzing by me while I was in freefall (a second before I was reaching for my BOC to pull). A fucking bonehead move.

I had to turn and track away to the clear airspace they did not take and pull at a lower than normal altitude for me (I was fully open at 2.2k').

This is food for thought for you poster with some 100 jumps and a camera. It was a lot for me to handle with 300 jumps I'm not sure how I would have reacted to being forced to change the dive plan mid-dive because of a safety issue like that had I not had the experience of the last two hundred jumps.

stay safe-ishSmile

Those guys I like to dump right next to, fly my canopy into the middle of thier backs and teach them a little CReW?? Tongue

TongueTongue If it's a canopy collision you want, here I come!!!


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Oct 12, 2012, 11:14 AM
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Re: [waveoff5500] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
its pretty funny/scary to see people who are so distracted by turning their gopro on that they dont realize their gear is set up wrong. then you have the people who do their gear checks, know the plan for the skydive and have to turn their camera on in freefall because they totally forgot they were jumping a camera. when you get to that point its a fair bet youre not distracted by the camera. Wink

To the OP, consider getting a more user friendly camera like a Contour. They are easy to turn on and switch to 'Record' mode without any second-guessing. Where as with the GoPro you have to ask someone to verify that it's actually on and recording.

The Contour has a laser pointer that shows you that the camera is turned on and your sight angle. The record switch is big and easy to use, pushing it forward you know it is in the record position.


Lindenwood  (Student)

Oct 13, 2012, 6:28 AM
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Jumping with a camera isn't always about producing epic videos to gain fame on youtube. Most everyone I have talked to who wears a camera does it just so they can relive that moment. I have also heard several of them mention the educational value of being recorded, which I have experienced and with which I wholeheartedly agree.

It is no different than taking pictures on a vacation, for most people. Yes, with little experience it is obviously bad to get distracted by the camera to the point where they only see what the camera sees. However, most of the guys Ive met who jump a camera only think about it to turn it on in the plane and turn it off on the way back to the hanger.

In short, it isn't always about trying to become some youtube star or show off your m4d skyllz to other jumpers on the internet. Rather, a camera these days, for most, is just cheap and simple insurance that they'll have a few million words worth of stories to look at and show their family and friends down the road.

Flame Suit, On! ;)


5.samadhi

Oct 13, 2012, 7:56 AM
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having not had jumped one (presumably?) you take a stance that disagrees with nearly every single experienced jumper that has jumped a camera. Don't you think SOMETHING is up with that??? Every body is not trying to 'hold down' newer jumpers from doing something cool like recording their memories...for no reason.

It IS a distraction. It IS an inane debate between inexperienced and experienced jumpers about whether or not it is a distraction. Some trust needs to come in for you. Find an experienced jumper you trust and give them your theory about how a camera isn't a distraction. Then listen to them and think. They know.

peace Smile


Lindenwood  (Student)

Oct 13, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Re: [5.samadhi] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

My point wasnt that is was safe or that anyone is wrong about the increased distraction. My point was to counter some of the older jumpers who think every younger jumper with a GoPro who has less than 1000 jumps is some wannabe hotshot punk. That is absolutely not the case and I only hope to show that the bitter attitude toward the younger crowd and their go-pros isn't necessary. The better option is to accept how the newer crowd wants to enjoy the sport, and use your experience and wisdom to educate the new jumpers of the risks and help develop solutions that can satisfy everyone (like camera mounts that eliminate snag points, coaching on developing gear-up routines to incorporate the added distractions of the camera, etc).

There was another thread started by a guy with 100 jumps asking about how to safely jump his GoPro. Somewhat surprisingly, he actually got a lot of usable, friendly advice, even from old-timers. As another relatively new jumper like yourself pointed out in that thread, it seems times are a-changing. I appreciate those who are expanding their perspectives to keep everyone as safe as possible while letting them get what they want out of the sport. The guy who barks at every young whipper-snapper doing something differently is just going to get a lot of closed ears--my educational background and experience as a teacher and leader fully support this. Alternatively, the guy who shows them how to mitigate some of those risks through education and safer equipment is the one who will, in the long run, have a more positive impact on younger skydivers (in their safety, their enjoyment of the sport, and in their willingness to listen to all the other advice the old guy would be willing to give).

Here is another example. In schools, cell phones had become a major annoyance in classrooms. After a few years, however, most of the successful teachers stopped barking at students for every phone sighting, and adapted their rules to be more accepting of them. Of course, just like with cameras, balanced rules and standards are still in place. However, for most teachers, as long as they arent lecturing, they are okay with a student sending a text here and there as long as the work is getting done. Now, if it is perceived the it is causing more problems or affecting other students, measures will be taken--just like in skydiving with a camera. However, most successful teachers have decided that it simply isn't the hill worth dying on. And here is the final kicker: When students are in situations where they need advice (whether they know it or not), whose advice do you think they'll more readily heed? The one they perceive as a totalitarian jerk who doesn't even care to understand them or their desires, or the one who has been reasonably flexible to keep them doing what they need to do (homework / flying safely) while letting them do a little of what they want to do (text / jump with a camera).

Different situations, of course, but the psychology is exactly the same.


Is jumping a camera safer? Of course not. But times change whether anyone likes it or not (and that goes for every aspect of society). In this case, cheap HD cameras are becoming the norm in most extreme sports anymore. So we can either adapt our attitudes to mitigate the new risks as much as possible without creating social rifts, or we can rant about the stupidity of anyone who does it differently and end up doing nothing to make it better. I have seen more and more older skydivers on here (and ESPECIALLY off the web) choosing the first path.


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Oct 13, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: [Lindenwood] Preparing to camera fly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
every younger jumper with a GoPro who has less than 1000 jumps is some wannabe hotshot punk

It's not the wearing of the camera that causes the punk impression. The thing about being new is, they literally don't know any better, and it's not their fault. So we should explain it carefully, and gently.

It's the subsequent rejection of good advice that causes the irritation and the verbal smacking. And that is so common that maybe some people jump the gun a little, out of general frustration.

We should all cut each other some slack.


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