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Make me ill - point of view heliski footage


Running helmet cams while heliskiiing is all the rage.  Be your own hero.  But the results too often will make your friends want to puke.  When a few seconds of helmet cam view is cut into traditional footage, it gives an awesome perspective, but watching endless raw helmet cam footage makes me feel like I’m sitting below deck on a tossing sailboat, reading a newspaper while the other passengers eat roast beef sandwiches and smoke cigarettes.   

Check this steep skiing footage for a stomach churning example of what I’m talking about:

Jeff Bellis, a ski guide for CMH Revelstoke, uses a chest cam in this clip for smoother motion, and cuts it into other footage for a much more palatable effect:

November in Revelstoke from Jeff Bellis on Vimeo.

So, as a still photorapher I became inspired to put a different twist on point of view imagery, and hoping to avoid the nauseating helment cam effect,  I decided to give it a try.   I put a trigger release down my sleeve and mounted my industrial strength Nikon D3s on my chest with a 15mm fisheye lens.  Here’s one from a bluebird day last week at CMH Cariboos:

And one from a deep powder day last year at CMH Adamants:

What do you think about helmet cam footage and point of view imagery?  Have a favorite point of view clip?  Comment here!



I have actually hand held a Sony HDR-V1U HDV camcorder through the trees and gotten must more stable shots than what is shown here. It takes some practice but with image stabilization built into the camera the footage looks great.
Posted @ Friday, March 26, 2010 1:22 PM by David Ilsley
Agree about the "nausea effect" but it appears the Helmet Cam technology keeps improving (including HD). It seems that following a skier, keeping them in frame, does minimize the effect. For the convenience, sure is hard to find a better way to preserve these precious memories and experiences. Check out this link - that's Chris Geber at the end of French Glacier last April. 
Bringing a camera boom with me to the Adamants in a couple weeks. Look forward to seeing how that works. Will have two Vholdrs as well to get for/aft shots at same time. Hope to be able to synch and mix to see what kind of effect that offers! Will share if successful. 
Posted @ Friday, March 26, 2010 2:38 PM by Cary Piotrowski
True about the nausea inducing effect. The chest cam was the best results we had in Revelstoke with the 4 films we did. The trick is to keep the horizon stable which is hard with skiing motion. If you watch the skier in front it's no problem but focus on the 'twisting' horizon and it's tough on the stomach.  
David's comments on hand holding the camera have merit as the smoothest images we used on our films was shot that way.
Posted @ Friday, March 26, 2010 4:42 PM by Steve Chambers
I have experimented with helmet cams, posting video on FBt o PROVE we had good backcountry skiing in Idaho this season. I think the key is in editing. The longer your movie, the better it has to be. I haven't seen much that is worth watching for over 2 minutes so far from us professional guides {skiers)/ amateur filmakers.
Posted @ Friday, March 26, 2010 6:56 PM by Mark Baumgardner
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