Turf Blog 27-05-23

Down in Aberlady Bay last night, with plenty of thinking time between the handful of zones there, I’ve decided to set myself a wee challenge and that challenge is to create some turfing videos at night. Obviously, this isn’t an easy task. And yes, you’ve guessed the main problem. It’s dark! There’s also the question of how to setup the camera, and most importantly, the lighting. Then there’s also audio to consider as well.

I’ve done some testing with the GoPro Hero 10 at night under street lighting and it records usable footage. So that’s us off to a good start. Of course, not all turf zones have the convenience of street lighting, with the woodland zones around Newbattle, Dalhousie and Dalkeith Country Park coming to mind. Fortunately, I have some means of proving light, my bicycle lights. With the setup shown above, which comprises my two new Hope Vision R2 lights and a 10-year-old Magicshine MJ-872, I’ve got around 3000 lumens to play with giving me a possible duration of up to three hours on full blast. That’s close to car headlight territory! Should be enough for a decent turfing film session.

Now the question of how to actually setup the camera. I’ve given this a lot of thought and have two methods I want to try. Both involve mounting the camera on the GoPro chest mount, at least for starters. The first is a simple time-lapse, same as the other videos I’ve recently posted. With the lights on the handlebars the footage when filmed at night will look fast and furious, though in reality, I’m just plodding along as usual. Could be quite effective riding twisty woodland trails.

The other method is to record in real-time and include a voice-over using the Rode II wireless microphone setup. I’ve tested with the microphone on the chest rig and it records audio just fine. I hope to get out tonight for further testing and perhaps some proper filming. With the location on my doorstep, I can always return again for supplementary footage, for example, mounting the camera o off the trail to one side and riding past, lights ablaze.

Sunset time tonight 21:38 pm, so pitch dark by around 22:30 pm. I think Newbattle woods will be ideal as it’s all off-road, mostly on woodland trails, it’s close to home, has 14 zones and should be quiet at that time of night. I’ll need to be cautious when blasting out 3000 lumens of LED light, it really does not do to look at them directly. Just need to decide on a suitable route taking in the zones and interesting sections of trail. I’m going to start with some real-time recording with voice-over. Can alway return another night for the a time-lapse session. I think the tight and twisty vegetation dense sections will be cool in either case. More soon.

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