Thursday March 30, 2006

operation: helmet cam!

Okay, so sorry for the shameless Bacardi Girl photo, but what I'm about to show you is either going to make me the Coolest Person Ever or the Biggest Dork of all Time. (and in case Its Biggest Dork of all Time, at least I can say, "Yeah, well the Bacardi Girl was all up on my jock!")

Er, anyway. So, I bought this helmet cam off of eBay. $175 bucks. It's really just a lens - a little bigger than a roll of quarters - that I mounted onto my snowboard helmet. The camera connects to my camcorder (and old Canon Z20) which I have to lug around with me (I'm finding that a backpack works best).

A few weeks ago, I saw some guy in the lift line at Mount Snow with a similar setup and was like "I need that." And especially before I headed out to Whistler (Canada). Not sure if anyone saw the makeshift videos of us skiing through the trees at Beaver Creek (made by me holding my digicam as I rode through the glades), but they were rad. And if I can find a less-dangerous way of shooting those (er, I hit two trees out in BC), then it's totally worth it.

Early Saturday morning. Hardest part about getting the position right when mounting this thing - I opted for the side-mount at first. Mounted too far back and you end up getting too much helmet in the frame, mounted too close and you end up looking too far to the left. And then there's the angles - you'd think you'd want it anged down (at the ground) until you realize that when you're riding you're actually looking kind of down and to the right. Anyway, took a lot of trial and error to get it just right... (just right = mounted on to top of the helmet, btw)

ps:: this is my "Fuck yeah, this is going to be awesome!" face, btw.

So here's how it looks... kind of boring for now, but I'm just working the kinks out. This is all I've got for now, mostly because the video I shot last weekend was all crappy + off/on due to my helmet cam experimentation (more on this below) and my lack of iMovie skills... but, I'll have you know that I'm writing this from an airport shuttle en route from Vancouver to Whistler, Candada (!!), where I'm going to try to rock the helmet cam at least one of my three days out here. [video]

By the way, It's been about a month (!!) since the last time I was up in VT (when we got that surprise 8 inch dumping), so it was kind of a bummer to see the mountain in such sorry shape. At the same time, the weather was perfect (40 - 45 degrees) and to be honeset, I'll take riding in awesome weather on slushy snow over freezing cold and packed powder anyday.

So, here's the rig as of Day 1. Mounted on the side = bad idea as the angles all all messed up with riding switch (read: backwards), the helmet is always in the frame and watching the video feels like you're always looking sideways to the right.

And the revised rig for Day 2. Mounted on the top = much dorkier looking, but the video is much cleaner.

Back to Day 1 - I had all the gear (camcorder + camera battey + wires just slung over my shoulder and/or stuck down my pants. Didn't work so well as (a) it was uncomfortable and (b) every bump / drop would cause either the cables to come out (ugh) or the tape to skip (it's a Mini DV camcorder, not a video hard drive).

For Day 2, I just stuck all the stuff in a backpack (much much better) and duct taped all the wires together.

Oh, and don't forget Sink of Skim 2006 (next weekend!) where in addition to rocking the helmet cam, I'll be rocking my Mom's old neon green ski suit (yeah!)

(By the way, get your research on and read up on last year's Sink or Skim. Spoiler: I didn't make it across the pond.)

We're almost at the end of the seaosn (Whistler + Sink or Skim + maaaayybbbee a Killington weekend?). I'm up to 32 days so far season (which makes me happy - my goal was 30).

And add +2 points for me + Grellan + the Bacardi Girls. (can someone please add a witty joke in the comments about Grellan's new nickname being Bacardi and Cola ever since he gave up beer in exchage for liquor - I'm too tired right now.)

Thu 3/30 @ 12:10 PM | # link| Comments (2)
hosted by dreamhost