This past weekend was our first snowboarding trip of the year. It’s been a very late start to the season due to the erratic weather. It’s nice to get out on the mountain and it feels really good to finally get behind the camera after months of waiting. I had a bunch of shots in mind that I wanted to try and get. Of course, my ideas on paper looked drastically different through a lens. Regardless, I think I came pretty close in what I wanted to achieve with a few surprises and luck thrown in between. It’s essential to tell the story through each frame and I really wanted to capture the excitement of snowboarding as it is to myself and my friends. Everything from waiting in the chairlift line to strapping into your bindings represents what the sport means to us. Nothing else makes you feel as free and detaches you from the “real world”.
I really wasn’t sure what kind of results I would get so I used this weekend to experiment. There’s been numerous complaints about the weak codec but everything seemed to hold up fine for me, probably due to the fact that I shot entirely in 720 to avoid the dreaded ‘MUD’ that I’ve read on countless forums. I should really aim to shoot with a lower shutter but with the snow and bright sun, it was a bit unavoidable, even with an ND9. I don’t get as much grading flexibility in post either and it’s tough to get the fine detail in the shadows and highlights. Either that’s a technical limitation or I need to work harder in properly exposing my scenes. Also, my $50 “steadicam” isn’t very steady so a lot of footage looks like I’m shooting during an earthquake. Slowing it down in post helps but a lot of my footage I found unusable. Oh well.
After finishing my final edit and watching it countless times, I can say I’m pleased. Does the quality compare to that of a full sensor? Definitely not. Does it look like film? Perhaps. Does the camera perform exactly how I expected in those conditions? Absolutely and it actually exceeded my expectations. I purchased this camera for its size and versatility, knowing I’d have to carry it around while snowboarding. I’d much rather have that flexibility than compromise size and a few other luxuries like a more robust codec.
Screengrabs below. View the final edit here on vimeo.