When I decided to go looking for stories and recording them with my GoPro, I decided to mount the camera to my chest and use my phone to monitor the image composition. I was also carrying a Roland digital stereo audio recorder outfitted with a windscreen to capture a better audio track. I don't have a windscreen for the GoPro and I would be spending some time outdoors on a breezy day.
The 2016 Texas Route 66 Festival was held on June 11, 2016, in the Route 66 Historic District of Amarillo, Texas. The area is about 3/4s of a mile long on SW 6th Ave. (locals pronounce it street. ha!) so I knew there would be a lot of walking, wind noise and background noise. I thought using the chest harness mount for the camera would be a pretty stable platform to reduce camera jitter. At least it would be more stable than mounted on the bill of my cap, wouldn't it? Haha!!
I am sharing the results of my experiment below along with comments below.
My first interview was with Stephanie Daggett and the first thing I noticed when looking at the footage later, was that the camera is too low when doing interviews. She is looking at me quite a bit during the interview but that angle is not viewer friendly. The second thing I noticed was how unstable the camera is. Way too much movement to be comfortable to the eye. When doing "man on the street" interviews like this, that camera will need to be higher and a lot more stable. I hate to have to resort to carrying a tripod with me but I would like to find a lighter and less bulky alternative if possible.
My second interview also took place indoors and really brought out the fact that I need to add a lavalier mike for my Roland digital audio recorder. There were several people talking close by which created a lot of background noise. A mike on the subject will make a lot of difference and will free my hands up from having to hold the recorder. Plus, I think it will have a positive psychological effect on the subject because the encounter becomes a bit less formal when they get wired up for an interview.
The third interview was also done inside at the same location and at a closer range to the subject. Note how the camera towers over the subject. The GoPro has a fish eye effect when shooting 16:9 at 1080p and the fish eye perspective made things much worse in this case. When flattened out using the GoPro Studio video editing software, part of the original video is lost on all four sides of the frame. Even though I was trying to leave enough margin in the original composition by monitoring in real time on my phone, this exercise was an almost complete fail.
All of the above situations only used natural lighting and did not turn out too bad using full auto mode on the GoPro Hero4 Silver. A local news station ran a story on Bob "Crocodile" Lile and his cadilight creations a while back. You can see their version of the story here - Cadillac Ranch paint chips transformed into accessories
I do have one other major problem to consider when wearing the GoPro on a chest harness. A walking gait is clearly evident in the recorded footage and it is not pleasing to look at! The Route 66 Historic district covers about 3/4 of a mile and I walked the whole length and back recording sights along the way. Take a look at the video below and you will see I am not likely to resort to using a chest harness again while walking.
If you have made it this far on this post, I thank you for your interest! If you have not subscribed to the Story Channel on YouTube I hope you do so you can see some of the improvements I make in future video clips.