Turf Blog 18-04-23

Since I started posting these turfing videos, I’ve had a fair number of emails requesting further information on how I create them and a further flurry of emails appeared in the inbox last night following my last video post, also requesting the same. And in addition, if I could bring everything on this topic together on one post. So, here we go, all you budding turf video film-makers out there.

First the camera. The GoPro Hero 10 Black was used for all footage in these videos. My original intention was to use the GoPro Max 360-degree camera as the main camera but excessive wind noise along with no means of preventing it or any way to attach an external microphone, meant that idea was shelved. Camera settings vary depending on the actual method of filming. Hand-held is usually linear mode with horizon levelling.

Bike mounted shots are usually wider angles such as superview mode to get both myself and at least the handlebars in view. The highest level is image stabilization is always used where possible. I also use the GoPro Max Lens Mod for cycling. This increases the field of view even further and is ideal for the front carrier rear-facing mount. Did have some issues earlier when used with the Rode Wireless II microphone but all working fine now.

Next, audio. The standard GoPro Hero 10 Black is fine indoors but wind noise outdoors is often an issue. I started using the GoPro Media Mod which has a foam microphone cover and it’s better but not perfect. The final solution was to use a Rode Wireless II microphone. The receiver attaches to the GoPro Media Mode and the transmitter attaches to the speaker, i.e., myself. Tip: always attach the transmitter with a length of cord to prevent loss. A so called dead cat (I prefer dead tribble, as I’m a Star Trek fan) microphone windshield deals with wind noise. This setup also allows me to be away from the GoPro and still record audio.

In Turf Video 09-04-23, and the other time lapse videos, I use a GoPro chest harness to mount the camera on the front of my chest, pointing forwards. You may need to experiment with the angle of the camera to get all you want into frame and also the video resolution. You can mount the camera the correct way up or upside down, whatever is best. I also have a GoPro head/helmet mount but it has yet to be used for turfing videos.

For all my hand-help footage I use the GoPro 3-Way 2.0, a multi-function hand-held mount. It can be used as a standard articulated selfie stick, a short hand-grip or as a mini tripod. Very useful. Remote footage, for example, where I’m riding past the camera on the bike, I occasionally use a GoPro mini tripod.

The rear camera mount on the bicycle, comprises a GoPro quick release tripod mount secured to the rear carrier of the bike. A hole was first drilled in the carrier. Note that you will need old imperial 1/4 inch – 20 UNC standard tripod bolts. Metric bolts will not fit. It also needs to be good and tight as vibration while cycling can rattle it loose. Carrying a suitable spanner is useful.

One point to note. The standard GoPro thumbscrew bolts are often awkward and difficult to get tight enough. I’ve replaced all these with 20mm long M5 x 0.8 bolts, and carry a spare Allen key to tighten them. Also note that the old-style non-captive nuts on GoPro mounts are very easy to drop and lose, especially when outdoors, and carrying a few spares is highly recommended.

The front carrier mount, used when I want to record myself riding the bike, comprises a telescopic selfie stick attached to the front carrier via a mini ball-and-socket head, to allow for forward tilt and rotation. It’s stabilised to the carrier with two adjustable aluminium stays. It can also be tilted back out of sight or laid level on the carrier and strapped down when not in use. I’ve yet to look at mounting the GoPro on the Swifty kick scooter but will post details when available. Observant viewers will have noticed the GoPro Max on the mount above. Unfortunately, it only offers one option for 1080p 16 x 9 format when used in Hero mode that matches the other cameras. Not sure it will get much use.

In addition to the above there’s a number of smaller items carrier including, camera batteries (4) and spare media cards (2), GoPro smart remote control, spare mount bolts, cleaning cloth, spanners and Allen key, assorted spare mounts and a mini tripod.

And finally, advance notice of the latest feature coming to Planet Gary. The well-known animation actor Rocky the Rhode Island Red, known to his friends simply as “Rocky”, will be our first guest blogger and turfer. He will be offered his unique views, ideas and comments on turfing in the coming weeks and months. So, watch out for our new turf blog called Turf with Rocky. Back soon.

Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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