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Trail Topics

   Living in the Digital World

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Author: Howard Hindley

Taking photos and action videos footage while on the move has changed so much since the introduction of the “Digital Era.” 

I remember seeing some very old motocross (Scrambling) footage of “on board action filming” that was taken in the early 60’s in the era of Dave Bickers, Jeff Smith, Vic Eastwood and Dave Nicoll etc (no I’m not that old, it was just an old program!!!). I think it was Dave Bickers who had a so called “portable camera” strapped to his chest - it was a big as a small generator. The footage was awesome for its day with commentary from Murray Walker. He’d have difficulty walking never mind riding a bike but the concept was way ahead of its time!!!

When the small camcorders came out (the ones with a cassette tape inside), we mounted one on my helmet with a small wedge shaped block in between to get the camera angle right - or so we thought. Everything seemed to work well while trialling this around the house but it was so heavy and had no adjustment (as it was duct taped to my helmet) that when you rode the bike, you had to learn way forward to stop falling off the back of the bike. The end result was a few hours footage of the floor and a stiff neck!. After several attempts to get the angles right we gave this up as a bad job as it was just too heavy and awkward to fix anywhere else. The thoughts crossed my mind of how did Dave Bickers put up with that “monstrosity” strapped to his chest?

In today’s world, nearly everybody has a digital mobile phone with built-in camera which are of excellent quality for their size. Long gone are the days when you use a phone just for talking to people - we all use these cameras with our everyday activities and most of us will have heaps of photos and short videos of things you’d never taken a picture of before the digital world arrived. These days it’s just so easy!!

My youngest son has recently taken up off road riding and he was given one of the new generation of digital action cameras, by his mates (Great Mates!). In the short time he’s been riding he seems to have amassed heaps of photos and videos clips of him riding. So thinking back to the previous efforts with camcorder stuck on top of my helmet, I thought I’d give the new smaller version a go - just stick a small self adhesive plate on top of your helmet, clip in the camera and away you go. Didn’t even know it was there!! 

Here's a some recent footage that was taken.

Got a fair way to go to get up to “Spielberg’s” standards but will keep practicing!