Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Learning the P.O.V.

I have been wanting a GoPro for a while now. Ever since I first watched this chick's videos on YouTube. I don't know her, I'm not even sure exactly how I came across them. But I love her cross country uploads. And I wanted one of those cameras. 

An action camera made by GoPro runs between $300-400 for the latest versions. I can't justify spending that much, so this past christmas I used some gift money to pick up a no name camera for just under $100. It has all the same specs as the name brand version without the price tag, a two year warranty, and my camera is interchangeable with all the name brand accessories.

it's so tiny

It arrived on a Monday, and rained all week. The waiting was killing me. I wanted so badly to take this thing for a spin. Friday was looking ok on the weather report. I took the day off from work and planned on spending most of it at the barn. At 9:30 I walk out the door, saddle in hand, and it starts raining while I'm loading the car. Damn. Rained all day. That's what you get for living next to the ocean. 

So I occupied my time by cleaning, doing laundry, catching up on all the rest of you guys' blogs, and I made the camera a neat little home out of an old stationary box.

all cozy and organized in it's new home

Saturday came and the sun was out. Finally. I went on a trail ride with two other ladies from the barn. I wore the camera on a chest mount rather than my helmet. It was comfortable. However my boobs stick out prominently on both sides. I captured our ride on the camera, and loaded it onto the laptop as soon as I got back home. The file was over 3 gigs. I filmed it at 1080p/60fps. That's sixty frames per second in HD. So of course it was huge. So huge that my laptop couldn't display it properly. It looked more like stop motion. My laptop is less than two years old and I didn't feel like I had stone age technology but apparently it is. It was at that point I realized the camera was gonna be more intensive than simply pulling the micro sd out and plugging it into the pc for replay. 

Ok. Maybe once I upload to YouTube it will be converted and I can sit back and enjoy. Hehe, very funny. That was gonna take an estimated 20 HOURS!!! After 15 minutes of that I pulled the micro sd out of the laptop and put it back in the camera to play with the resolution and see what would happen with the upload speeds.

Guess what?

If you switch the resolution on the camera, it re-formats the card and wipes any files on there. OMG I don't think I'm ever going to catch a break with this thing. My trail ride was lost. Yes I can always film again but after a week of looking at this little contraption I really wanted to see what it could do. 

On Sunday I went to the barn with a solid game plan. There are six different resolution settings and I set it to the smallest one, 1080p/30fps. I planned a dressage ride in the huge soybean field. One of the ladies I rode with on Saturday texted me to go riding again. Even though I didn't feel good about it I tried to put her off. Today it was gonna be me and the boy. 

Wouldn't you know she showed up while I was there anyway. 

I have went back and forth in my mind about the situation. Yes, when I was at the hunter barn I would have done anything to have a trail riding buddy. Someone who wanted to be out of the ring and in the woods like I did. Someone to chat with about ponies and life. A kindred spirit. At the new barn I do have that, and more. But here I was wanting to be left alone so that I could dressage a little bit. Some quality time for me and Razz to work. Kinda fucked up huh?

Barnmate made it into the field about ten minutes after I did. From then on we both just made laps and cantered around. She has no idea about dressage or horse mechanics. Towards the end of our ride I worked Razz on some figure eights and lead changes. He swapped every single one when I asked, and I rode back over to barnmate elated about what we just did. Her response? "What exactly is a lead change? That's something to do with the front legs, right?" She rides Peruvian Pasos, and does way more travelling in her pony's extra gait instead of cantering. 

I should be happy I have people that want to be around me and share their ride time with Razz and myself. I am happy to be surrounded by new friends here. Guess I just had the day planned out in my mind and had a curve thrown at me at the last minute. 

But I did catch the ride on camera, installed a driver on the laptop that can handle the large file, and finally reaped the rewards of all my efforts. 

A few screen shots from the clip:

entering a sharp, muddy curve

owning the sharp, muddy curve

And of course, a highlight reel from the ride:

Not anything exciting, but I'm happy to have the footage. It gets a little shaky when I use my seat to ask for the flying changes (sorry). There's still plenty to learn about the camera. I've got time though.

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