I’ve been counting down the days until snowboarding season probably since my last trip to Utah in April. By the time September came around, I was becoming very inpatient. When we finally headed up to Vermont in November for the first day of the new season, I felt like I was 10 years old waking up on Christmas day.
The Farmer’s Almanac had predicted this winter to be one of the coldest/longest in recent memory and boy have they been right so far. The summit of Stratton Mountain felt like mid-season which was pretty remarkable since it was only Nov 29. I took full advantage of the great early season conditions and wasted no time in shooting some footage. I was a bit nervous with handling my camcorder in the winter snow but came prepared with a UV Filter and an extra padded backpack.
As I’ve said before, the Canon HF100 shoots amazing picture quality but I ran into a number of challenges shooting on the mountain. The snowboarding footage you see in movies are generally shot from the back of a snowmobile. Trying to shoot while riding a snowboard is a disaster waiting to happen. Trying to minimize camera-shake while dodging people/obstacles, keeping one eye on the LCD, all while breaking/carving is flat out impossible! Even on flats, the camera shake was just too much.
Some of the HF100’s manual settings are also just too clumsy when you want to shoot something quickly. I tried my best switching between settings such as shutter speeds and manual focusing but ultimately left most of the settings on auto. My biggest mistake was probably forgetting to switch up to 1/2000 for fast shots. Regardless, I found that the movement was still very smooth.
Another challenge was just getting into position. My friends would fly down the mountain and it was tough figuring out how I wanted the shot to develop. In the end, I was happy with how everything turned out but there’s definitely faulty areas and much room for improvement. These are lessons I can take back with me for my next trip. I’m excited to bring my camcorder out more in the future. My girlfriend asked me, “How come there aren’t any tricks in the video?” My response was “Because we didn’t do any tricks.” Until next time…
You can view the video here:
On a random side note, YouTube has FINALLY updated to show HD video. Even so, I will stick to Vimeo as I feel it has a better community. Surprisingly, the quality of Facebook is also very good. The days of SD are definitely coming to an end…