Saturday 4 June 2011

Discovering Philip Tschersich

First let's see three videos by Philip Tschersich at very differents scenerys, but all of them carefully edited using a wide range of shots and camera mounts:

Beside the impressive landscapes, good footage selection, and the great work mixing them with music, the most important success is due the diverse and innovative points-of-views that Philip uses to take the shots.

"Propeller head"

Is not the first time that this device runs in the web, but the results are specially good using it moderately and mixing it with other shots.

The system is simple. Philip describe how he do it:
"I used a plastic chunk cut to allow me to velcro it to my helmet using the vents, and on top of that I used a spare Heim chain guide roller. Bolted to that I have an aluminum plate that I can hose-clamp some rod or dowel to. I used a 1/2" wooden dowel first, but I promptly broke that. Now I have some cheap WalMart tent pole sections. They flex and bounce, so some stiffer tubing would probably help, but I can take the two sections apart and the pole ends up half as long so I can pack it around. The camera is mounted on one end via the GoPro seatpost clamp mount, and I have a 12 oz fishing weight taped to the other end for "balance." I actually have the rig set up slightly camera-heavy so I can position it somewhat by leaning my head. The whole thing is a bit of a millstone and your helmet had better fit pretty tight!"

This 'simple' cable-cam contrasts with the sophisticated system MirloCam by Emilio Avila. But results are vey interesting too. First the how-to-do video:

The shuttle is a length of plastic that I simply bolted a RAM ball mount to, and on either end is a small pulley. I dremeled a slot in one side of each pulley so I could slip the shuttle on and off the fishing line. The line itself is a spool of 300 yards of 100 pound test dacron halibut line. I put a dowel through the spool secured on either side so it would spin on the dowel, and I put a small bolt through one flange so I could crank the spool and take the line up again quickly when I am done.

The line has an eye in its end that I have put a basic metal snap on. A couple of feet up the line is another eye. This is so I can loop the end of the line around a tree or branch and put the snap through the second eye and secure the end of the line without having to tie a knot. A couple of feet further down the line I have a short length of bungie attached that has a plastic washer on its end. The washer does not fit through the pulleys, so as the shuttle runs along the line and then along the line and bungie, the bungie stretches and acts as a soft stop. I spool the line out to another tree and give the line about 10 wraps around a branch. That seems to offer enough friction to hold the whole mess

Other bike clamps
Other shots was taked from diverse positions from bicycle, helmet, chest and a pole with camera at the end, (my favourites).
On-bike scenes were generally done using RAM mounts. has an excellent selection of RAM stuff. I use the 1" ball head metal system ('B' size). The plastic RAM stuff flexes too much. I use them with a GoPro, but a Contour HD is pictured here:

For the ground-skimming shots I just used a pole similar to the propeller head contraption, but I just hold it in my hand and either ran or rode behind Barny and held the camera a few inches off the dirt as we moved along.

Stuff enough for inspiration... is not?
Thanks to Philip Tschersich.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Fix the horizon

Perhaps the main problem to resolve when you want shot a helmetcam video is how obtain the correct frame, for a long time!
It is not difficult when you places the camera in the helmet: Once the position is verified, all you had to do is to maintain your head an point to straight.
The problem is bigger on chest-cam assembly, because the angle of trunk is variable depending ride situations. Unavoidably.

This is my first invention that really runs. It is a simple seesaw or swing, with a hydraulic damper of a modelling shock absorber. Aspect is pretty bulky, but it's only a first prototype.

The camera is the Lumix TS1 with the wide angle adapter.

Next some pictures:

Thursday 10 February 2011

MirloCam Evo3 -CableCam- (Blackbird Cam, from Spain)

Absolutely impressive is the work done by Emilio Avila, from Cordoba (Spain)
Just a home-made cable-cam fully operative and functional. Is not a "helmetcam", but it's 100% "experience"

Watch this:

Is not easy reach that quality level. That is the third evolution for this 'blackbird'. At next photos you can see the previous 'Mirlo I' and 'Mirlo II'

and finally, the "MIRLO EVO3 CARBON", ¡great!

* Carbon fiber chasis and aluminium
* Tamiya engine with electronic speed control
* Futaba servos tuned to 360º (transverse and longitudinal axis)
* Radio controller and receiver, 4 channels, 2.4 mhz
* Wireless video transmitter 1.2 Ghz
* FPV case with 7" monitor 12v.
* 100 meters rope. (waiting for a 200 meters steel wire)
* Cámera: GoPro HD. (waiting for a Canon 550d

As you can see the results are very proffesionals. Movement is sweet, and speedy enough, and the vibration and oscillation are not notable.

I hope watch soon the next full mtb video by Emilio ('Agacha el Lomo' team) using the MirloCam
Next time in HD quality (I expect), like this: (select 720p to view)

Monday 31 January 2011

Ian Baquerin

I want submit you the splendid work that Ian Baquerin (Ian Freerider en Vimeo) shares with us from his own blog about mountain outdoor activities, snow, hiking and mountainbiking... Ian's work joins riding skill and video quality.

One of the more surprising landscapes in Spain: Las Bardenas.

Bardenas from ian freerider on Vimeo.

I recommend you to see the next videos in Vimeo:
"Nomadas vol.1"
"Nomadas vol.3"
"Btt por Santa Elena"

Ian himself tell us some words about his videos, (I'll try translate them to my poor english):

Generaly, If I go out without determination to record, I usually carry with me only the GoPro HD with several mounts, and a little tripod with a mending to fit GoPro to tripod screw. If I go out determinated to record some video, I also carry with the big camera, a CANON HFS200 and a wide lens angle 0.45x and some filters, and a more stabile tripod.

In my opinion, for a good results, You must have diverse shots, fixed shots, point-of-view shots from helmet, zooms, far shots, close ones, etc... and a previous idea about you want edit before going out to record the necessary shots.

About subjective (POV) shots, I try to vary and to look for new shots, I try to watch videos enough on the web to take ideas: helmet, frame, chest, pole from helmet, etc. I try not to buy too many mountings but I try to make up them, cheap materials and sticky tape...

Unquestionably the final results, joining together every assorted shots, looks very well. Another matter is the (I suspect) great difference between a 'normal' ride with a simple helmetcam and a 'filming' ride ... but I'll do it someday... I'll tell you.