Lights, Camera, Action!
Now I’ll be the first to admit it; none of my YouTube clips are going to win me any gongs. Nope, won’t win an Oscar, or a BAFTA, not even a Logie.
What’s that… a Logie?
A Logie? A Logie is something you do in the toil… errr… it’s an Australian TV award, sorta like the Emmy’s in the States.
Like I said, I’m never going to win any awards for my efforts. This is, and will remain the case for eternity as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have the knowledge, or equipment, to put together clips with great fades and slick graphics.
I don’t need no stinkin’ CGI.
An El Cheapo Nikon L120, the camera in my phone which is currently of the Android persuasion, a Contour Roam II and MS Movie Maker to stitch it all together.
Even though I don’t have the knowledge or top shelf equipment, I do try to put together a decent YouTube clip. I enjoy sharing my experiences and travels with you and I’m always looking for better ways to do things.
One of the things that has been bugging me lately, is that all my clips are done from the Contour mounted to my lid. This is great for point of view (POV), but a helmet camera can only entertain for just so long before it gets boring.
So in the pursuit of better filmography, I’ve been messing with alternative mounting positions.
On Sunday, while cleaning Bluey, I noticed a 8mm threaded hole in the swing arm just forward and below the rear axle. I’d seen the hole before, but never paid it any mind. There’s a matching hole on the opposite side of the bike too. I’ve got no idea what the holes are for, but in the 2-1/2 years I’ve had Bluey, I’ve never used them for anything.
Suddenly, in a flash of brilliance, it dawned on me. The Contour has a 1/4″ Whitworth screw fitting in its base. Most decent cameras come standard with this fitting, which allows you to mount it to things like quick releases for tripods and the like.
What if I attached a bracket and a bolt to the swing arm and mounted the camera to it?
Picture me, like in the old cartoons, legs are running but the body is in the air, stationary. I couldn’t get down to the hardware store fast enough.
I bought a galvanised 50mm x 50mm x 4mm (2″ x 2″ x 1/8″) thick ‘L’ bracket, a packet of 1-1/2″ x 1/4″ Whitworth bolts (& nuts) and a packet of 1/4″ Whitworth wing nuts.
Grand total $10.
OK so I didn’t need packets of the stuff, but you never know when you might need them again.
I mounted the bracket to the left side of the swing arm using an 8mm bolt I had on hand, and adjusted the bracket so it was level before nipping it up. Initially I mounted the bracket to this side of the bike thinking it would get too hot on the other side due to the proximity of the exhaust cannon. In hind sight, I don’t think the camera would get a lot of heat on the right side of the bike,there’s a fair bit of clearance available.
Initially I mounted the camera above the bracket as shown in the preceding photo. In this position you get a good appreciation of how the swing arm moves in relation to the rest of the bike, which is good.
The down side is you get a lot of boot action, which is not good.
So I flipped the camera over and found that having the camera under slung in relation to the bracket gives a better view of the world, while maintaining the visual of the swing arm and it’s movement.
You could conceivably rotate the camera to face backwards as well. I’ve not done this as yet, as I ran out of daylight, but I think it would give a nice effect, especially if one of my friends were following me.
The bracket can stay on the bike too, I don’t think there’s any chance of catching my ankle on the thing when I move around the bike.
I’m still looking for a spot to mount the camera on the front of the bike. This is n’t as easy as it sounds, I’m mindful of how the front fork and wheel moves in relationship to the fairing and frame of the bike, which is rigid.
The other thing is that if I put a bracket of some kind on the front of the bike, I will need to make sure it doesn’t hook anyone, or me, as I move around the bike.
I’ll have a think about this one and see if I can rig something up. In the mean time check the video below to see how the swing arm mounting looks.
See some of my other clips here