GoPro and video tips for motorcycle riders

GoPro and video tips for motorcycle riders

Ducati Scrambler sliding
A frame grab of Ducati Scrambler sliding using GoPro Silver at 1080p 60fps. Click to see better resolution.

My photographer buddy, Benjamin Edwards, and I went out the other day to test some video equipment with the moto. I experimented with various mounting points for my GoPro and Ben shot with his D750 using a portable Aviator travel jib (that another friend of ours invented) and hand-held techniques. We want to test our methods to be able to film our MotoPhotoTours.

When we mounted the GoPro on a small extension arm on the bike, to move it away from the frame a bit, there is considerable shake, even on smooth roads. Fortunately, Adobe Premiere, and even iMovie, have great tools for stabilizing shaky footage. When it’s stabilized, however, you inevitably crop quite a bit of the frame, so Ben suggested we shoot in the highest resolution possible so that when it’s cropped, we still have crispy footage. The other benefit of shooting hi-res is that you can extract pretty nice still frames from your footage. Nice tip.

I also found that nothing compares to the GoPro Studio software “Flux” for silky slow-motion – especially when slowing things down beyond your optimum frame rate. Well, nothing at this price anyway – which is free. There are expensive plug-ins you can buy for similar results, but the GoPro Studio software is free! It’s a decent editor and the availability of Flux makes it an amazing tool to have on hand. Premiere, on its own, doesn’t create smooth super slow motion like Flux does. We can process the super slo-mo footage in GoPro then send it to Premiere for the rest of the edit.

In addition to the GoPro, I also used a pair of Pivothead video glasses, which record in 1080p. They are really nice for getting a true “Riders-eye” perspective. I like them because they come with various lenses so you can use them as regular sun or riding glasses and rarely notice they are different than your basic eye protection. When you want to record, you touch a button on the side of the frame. They work great, even inside a full-face helmet, although if you have a face shield that is tinted, you’ll obviously reduce the light for your video. These are the video glasses I’m currently using. There are a few things I wish were improved, like battery life and the ability to see the status lights a little easier while wearing them. They record on to built-in memory, and I sometimes wish it had a removeable memory card. It looks like their latest “Smart” version addresses this and adds some other really cool features too.

We’ll post the full mini-test video as soon as it’s edited, but here’s a short sample of the slow-motion created using Flux. The video was shot at 1080p 60 fps, then slowed to 25%. I shot this with my GoPro sitting on a Gorilla Pod while I tried my best not to smash in to it. I did take it out once, but fortunately it sustained no noticeable damage. Neither did I.

 

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