Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Bicycle Never Stops

I've got a new toy. I'm not sure how toyful it's going to be yet... but I figured that the bike ride I'm taking on this autumn is a bit of a once in a lifetime thing to do and it would be a shame not to take some kind of record away from it.

So I've bought a GoPro Hero Camera - the idea being that you can mount it on the bike, or a helmet and just let it get on with taking video or photos.

My first thought was that still photos might be more useful than video - as much as anything because I'm not sure how long the camera can record for in one go - it's tiny and loves eating batteries - and I don't fancy having to stop too often to attend to it. Having tried it today - automatically taking a still every few seconds - I'm not convinced by it... but I will continue to play.



I've put them together though. Be warned. The result is very jerky - not especially easy on the eye - but it's an experiment so what the hey.

I'll give it another go with a different set up as soon as I can. Maybe on Sunday when I'm doing the London to Brighton ride for the British Heart Foundation. If you'd like to sponsor me - and I and the BHF would really appreciate it - my JustGiving page is here.

Incidentally, the music in the video - Never Stops Never Rests Never Sleeps is used with permission from the lovely Misty's Big Adventure. They're ace.

34 comments:

Juliefrazz said...

Just brilliant!

stephen said...

Dave, if you want smoother video you need to increase the frame rate, e.g. from one frame every 10 secs to one every second.

zootvole said...

blimey. it's like Pete Doherty doing the Knowledge.

susan d said...

misty's big adventure rock - very divine comedy

Delboy the crazy one! said...

I actually really like that style of video, and the music fits well :D

stephen said...

Actually the vid was great. Music was perfect. And where you cycle looks nice too - not much traffeeq.

aegidian said...

Loved it! Not least because I cycle those paths myself.

Donald Noble said...

The real problem is - you cycle too fast :p

1 or 2 photos per second would make an awesome video of your trip, but not sure if the camera/batteries could cope with that

Liam said...

Awesome music hahaa xD

Funky warping on the photos, but still looks alright

--Liam Goodacre

Jamie said...

Darn it that is compulsive watching, even if it is just a collection of automatic photos of cyclepaths.

I take it you've seen the current trend for tilt-shift "video" - this genre of still-by-still video is really exciting.

Perhaps a transistion between each photo might be something to look at, not a horrible gaping wipe, but a slight fade, to smooth it over.

But cool, i think there is plenty of scope for some interesting video sequences there.

Andrew Cooper said...

I can see the problem here - too much leaning. If you can stay vertical at all times while cycling the end result will be much smoother. Next time you try it, balance a book on your head: problem solved!

Andrew Cooper said...

Alternatively get one of your 'people' (being a celeb, I assume you have a few) to go through all the pics using Picasa's straighten function to straighten them up.

CarolynBarton said...

Love it.

corndolly said...

Fantastic. Images and music a great combination. The jerkiness helps the atmosphere.
If I had one of those I'd probably get out on my own bike more (Sheffield is a bit too hilly when you've got hear trouble!).
Wonder if they have that track on itunes. Off to have a look now.
Thanks Dave. Looking forward to your next film
Nikki

Anonymous said...

Although I do like the warped effect of the images I'm pretty sure that the English Countryside is not as thrilling as you might have thought. Having cycled the entire length of the country, do you not think that this may end up making a rather long and repetitive sequence of images!! How about angling the camera towards your face! Or just getting someone to take an image of you and your guide at the beginning and the end of each day!

Jonny German said...

Just a thought but maybe a bicycle alternator could offer a neat alternative to batteries...

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=219603

John Kerrison said...

I think I just got a touch of motion sickness. look cool though. My favourite part is around 23 seconds in, when it looks like someone is overtaking you whilst walking and pushing their bike.

John Kerrison said...

and my favourite part of my comment was when I missed the 's' from the end of 'looks' and made myself sound slightly remedial.

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Unlike most of your sychophants, I did not like it one bit.
Especially the warping.

I might have liked it if:
1) It had no unnecessary disturbing spastic 'warping' to the pictures.
What the hell are pictures for, anyway?
2) It had been silent.

Yours curmudgeonly but honestly,
Michael.

Andrew Cooper said...

I get the feeling that you're holding back Michael - just say what you think.

Phoenix said...

I love it! Love the surreal/warped nature of the images and the jerkiness just adds to the effect. Wonderful!

Dave Gorman said...

@curmudgeonly but honest Michael: it was a test of a new toy. I agree that the pictures are too warped. That's not how I've chosen to make them... that's how they turned out on test 1, day 1. You are however 100% wrong about the music. It would not be better if it was silent.

Matthew T said...

I didn't realise you were employed by Google to take all the Street View pictures. A word of warning, don't go near Broughton; I've heard they don't like cameras.

Deelky said...

Yes it's a bit jerky and warped but the music that goes with it really makes up for it and I liked it!
I wonder if you could test some cameras for channel 5's Gadget Show?

Anonymous said...

A route that I cycle frequently (nearly every day)! I was wondering if I would see myself passing by from the other direction... (Anonymous said: "I'm pretty sure that the English Countryside is not as thrilling as you might have thought." That "countryside" was in the London postcodes of E9, E3, E5 and E17!) Cheers. Murray

Tim said...

what time are you starting the london to brighton? myself and 3 other friends will be doing it too - starting at 6.30 (ouch).

maybe see you there! : )

Brian said...

Being the enterprising young man you are, I would surely have thought you would take hours of footage and create some kind of awesome tour documentary/DVD extra from all the fun you'll have on your tour?
There will be a DVD, right?

Mike said...

Everybody these days has a camera of some kind that could do video and you are travelling with a different person every day so get them to film 'their day with Dave'. Not for broadcast, but a great record of this trip for you and the people travelling with you.

Persuade them to write a few thousand words and you've got a crowd-sourced book ;-)

ps A Gorillapod is a great way to attach a light camera to bike.

Anonymous said...

In this video you go past my house, in your new one (Bethnal Green to Hyde Park) you go past my office. Are you stalking me?! ;-)
Murray

Anonymous said...

A topical news story. Perhaps you should consider doing what these proffesional cyclists do before embarking on the tour.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8124458.stm

loopy.lala said...

I'm loving te jerky camera work...looks like an entry into a short vid comp...loving iy

Suzie's Soliloquy said...

Amazing Video, and Misty's Big Adventure are an amazing band :')
However I think "Keep Moving" would have worked equally well to this video... but either way anything from Misty's on a video is amazing in my book (Y)
x

Martin said...

Hi Dave. I appreciate that this is nearly five years after the event, but I was just wondering what software you used to stitch the photos together into a video? Cheers, Martin

Dave Gorman said...

@Martin: I can't honestly remember. I think the camera automatically put them together like that. Either that or I had to press one button on iMovies to do something. Sorry I dont have more information, but like you say, it was five years ago.