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Everything posted by VideoFly

  1. The canopies that MEL relined for me came back better than they originally were. His work is meticulous .
  2. It might be better to mount the risers to the front in case you need to release Capewells .
  3. I recently planned to sell my container and had my rigger inspect it. He found some surface rust on the rings inside of the webbing and he grounded it. At my expense, I had the harness webbing replaced and had new stainless steel hardware installed. The rig was then in great shape with a new harness and rings. I also threw in a new d-bag, risers, and an altimeter. I then sold it for what I was going to originally ask. My rigger, the customer's rigger, and the customer were all pleased. Most of all, I was happy that a good rig went for a great price to a jumper who could appreciate it. It is skydiving gear. Either sell it in great shape or throw it away.
  4. I broke my neck on a hard opening with cameras on. My helmet broke into pieces and my neck was smashed. My three vertebrae were replaced with bone from my hip and it was held together with screws and a titanium plate. The fusion healed well and I was able to jump again in six months. However, my hands and parts of my arms are paralyzed forever. While the bones healed, the damaged nerve stems and spine will not.
  5. You may want to look at scuba knives. Many have large hook-like cutouts for cutting rope, serrations, and smooth blades all in the same blade. Rope and line cutting are immediate concerns for divers who may become entangled. Diving knives also come in very small to very large sizes with sheaths that can be strapped to almost anything.
  6. Black licorice ice cream is the best.
  7. Don't expect horizontal relative wind. It probably won't be there. Try not to fall on top of another jumper. Try to remain stable on exit. Stay calm and have fun.
  8. My tinnitus was severe before ever skydiving and it is still severe. Most of my jumps are with an open face helmet and I don't think that skydiving has negatively affected my hearing problems. In time, like I have done, you may learn to enjoy the sounds of sitting in a springtime medow, no matter where you are.
  9. Looks good for your experience and equipment. Eventually, learn to fly a winged camera suit, get less of a wide angle lens, fly the burble without crashing through the formation, and stay clear of potential premature deployments.
  10. Yes, my old Sabre, overbuilt helmet, Hi 8 video, and 35mm were heavy, but they weren’t crap. They were state-of-the-art back then. Just as new lighter equipment is state-of-the-art now. In ten years, video flyers may look at you and your gear as crap as they film in different and safer ways. Crap is a relevant term. Be safe and keep it all in perspective. My point exactly. Be careful. The gear you jump today may be considered prohibitively heavy in a few years. Any weight on your head can be a problem in skydiving.
  11. What is more important? Using both hands to try to clear problems or using one hand to deal with a problem while the other hand with the camera documents potential disaster? When safety may be compromised, the video should be over.
  12. Please remember that your neck, no matter how big, strong, ambitious, and cool you are is a weak link connecting your harnessed and suspended body to your mounted cameras. No matter how good a flyer you are, repetitive flying, landing, and canopy deployments can easily cause your skeleton to shield itself by growing spurs in an attempt to fuse the weak link on its own. The result may either be future arthritis or worse yet, on a whacker opening, a break in the linkage. Furthermore, please remember that the neck, linking the body and cameras, is a major thoroughfare for nerves, which enable lower body movement and control. In other words, two DSLR’s are heavy and FOR WHAT? Skydiving places inherent limitations on photography, which may be partially overcome by equipment modifications, but it is unwise to compromise your skeletal constraints.
  13. I remember when RW was the thing and tandems were not all that common. I wore a heavy Bell and then a Headhunter with no cutaway and a permanent ring sight. With a Hi-8 and 35mm on top, big wings and Sabre I canopies, I looked at video from an artistic viewpoint. Yes, the gear tore my neck up with spurs that grew to make it look like the back of a Stegosaurus. At that time, not many people wanted to shoot video, but they sure respected what we did. Now, my neck is made up of hip bone and titanium and my hands don’t work well. Through all of the “good old days of video”, my son, a young dropzone brat, learned the meaning of video professionalism. Today, he still lives and works to those standards, only with a safer lightweight helmet and camera gear. I am glad he’s probably not banging his neck up with heavy gear and I am proud that he still reveres the standards of professionalism, which were once more commonplace. Lightweight camera gear is smart and safer. Additionally, wearing it does not preclude the responsibility for camera flyers to maintain professional standards while skydiving. It’s not the new lightweight gear that plagues the industry. Instead, it is bad attitudes.
  14. +1 In the days where you only got 24 exposures, we worked a lot harder to compose and shoot the best shots. I'm not sure if it's better or worse now, but I do know that it is a very different mind set.
  15. There are a lot of issues that may occur between healthy and herniated discs. There are bulges, annular tears, nerve damage, sac ruptures, and much more. I’ve had L3, 4 & 5 removed (2 surgeries on 4 & 5; 20 years apart) and lamenectomies on those vertebrae, and I had C5, 6, & 7 fused with my hip bone and titanium. I dealt with severe pain for years until I found out how really severe pain can get. You don’t want to cut prematurely, nor do you want to wait too long. My recommendation is to see a great neurosurgeon and get another opinion.
  16. I had a whacker several years ago. The force caused my camera helmet to break through the fiberglass on both sides in the jaw area. My right foot hit my right shoulder and my neck broke into pieces. I now have a neck made of part of my hip bone, a titanium plate, and a bunch of screws. I am partially paralyzed in my right hand and mostly paralyzed in my left hand and arm. I’ve had whackers before, but this was an instant slammer!
  17. When I try to purchase equipment from someone who refuses to do an escrow sale through my DZO, who has been in business for over 30 years, I let the sale go, no matter how good a deal it is. Unfortunately, I got burned on a deal once too.
  18. He was a good man and role model.
  19. Actually, having done the majority of my videography using 35mm roll film, I learned to capture the best 28 shots I could on each jump. As I filmed, I not only waited for the best shots and took pictures, but I also counted my shots. Now, with digital photography, I still line up the best shots and count them. Typically I finish each jump with between 25 and 35 shots. However, when I see that great shot and take it, I need the camera to take that shot when I need it. Not a second or fraction of a second later. And sometimes, a great pose presents itself where two or three quick burst shots are worthwhile. It still amazes me when other photographers come down from jumps with 90 or more shots. After all, the students generally only want between one and five shots to print and show off. Either way, the G12 didn’t seem capable of the shot on the spot or the occasional burst.
  20. I bought a G12 on Friday and returned it on Saturday. The picture taking and cycle times were what seemed to me to be too slow for catching the “money shots”.
  21. 65.5 X 40 = 2,620 2,620 + 20 (the difference between the score of 70, corrected to be 90) = 2,640 2,640/40 = 66
  22. As a videographer, I have had occasions to document problems in skydives. At times I halted a jump after spotting a concern; typically a bad spot. Other times, I have blocked the door and notified the instructor of a problem, usually a student’s goggles off or upside down. However, once in freefall, although I have come in close to a student to film and let an instructor know what is happening, I never touched a student. While filling the spot of an instructor who lost his hold of an AFF student or trying to unwrap a drogue bridle has been tempting, I have always kept my hands off. While I had a coach rating, I was not an AFF or tandem instructor. Therefore, I have been told by instructors that I was not allowed to touch a student in the air (unless I was coaching). I’ve also been told that if I touched a student and a serious incident occurred, even after trying to help, I could become part of the problem; part of the chain of blame; and/or part of a law suit if one followed. On one occasion, though tempted to try to remove a wrapped drogue bridle from a student and instructor, I stayed back, pointed to the problem, and filmed. The bridle was untangled by the instructor and after landing he thanked me for not coming in because he was about to deploy his reserve and did not need me in the mess. I will stick with the plan that my job is to document and not intervene or interfere.