In our previous blog post I mentioned that we had taken our bikes on a ‘test trip’ through Tasmania (the Tassy Test Trip, or TTT) over the Christmas break.
Along with our tiny bikes, tiny tent, tiny pots and pans, we also took the opportunity as the proud new parents of a GoPro, to get to know this little devil of a device.
Now let me begin by explaining that we are a more ‘mature’ couple than most of our Rally counterparts, and so, well, technology isn’t really our strong point. However much I reminded myself that 20 years ago I was the one people came to for IT support and assistance (yes, in my day computers didn’t have a mouse, so let me introduce you the ‘Function’ keys), I am forced to admit, like the Wizard, that I’m just a very, very bad GoPro user.
That said, I have – albeit about six weeks and hundreds of man-hours after our return from the TTT, finally figured out how to capture our 15,000 ‘time lapse’ photos into a 3.5 minute video for your viewing pleasure. Well, sort of. It’s not the best. But it will do as a first go (and I seriously don’t have another 100 hours to spare, or enough wine left, to try and get it right).
Before I can mesmerise (bore/frustrate) you with my tips and tricks for first time GoPro users, I have to give a special shout-out to the Cook-Grant family. I work with the lovely Mary and when she heard we were looking for babysitters (aka free storage) for our bikes in Tassy, she immediately contacted her partner, James’ parents Colin & Amanda who live in Launceston and conscripted them to our cause. Not only did they agree to stable our noble steeds, but they provided a valet service. We honestly could not have done it without you guys – and we’ll be forever grateful for not only the love and care you showed our mighty machinery, but us as well by welcoming total strangers into your home and family.
Finally, my ‘GoPro tips for Dummies’ (for anyone who cares)
- Make sure the camera is on. Yes, I realise this sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how quickly you forget when surrounded with other interesting things. The amount of footage we missed … *sad face*
- The silicone ear plugs work really well to waterproof the cable connection. We experienced torrential rain which soaked our ‘waterproof’ jackets – but the cable connection stayed bone dry.
- The GoPro lens ‘swallowed’ as many bugs as I did along the way – clean the screen often. Can’t help the raindrops but hours of footage with a squashed bug carcass at the centre of the lens is not particularly pleasurable viewing.
- It’s not ‘easier’ to let the camera run when parked (a possible solution I tried to combat 1 above). In fact, it means a potential RSI from deleting hundreds of photos of the same spot of gravel. Same goes for when you ‘throw your jacket over the camera’ when going on a ‘quick’ scenic walk because you’re too lazy to dismount it and lock it up. The speck of gravel is by comparison, far more exciting than hundreds of photos of a black screen.
- Make sure that your 2011 MacBook (a ‘vintage’ according to the guy at Apple who resuscitated it after it crashed) can actually process the wonderful, free GoPro software available for download. I now have a 2TB external hard drive permanently velcro’d to the lid of my laptop, having had to remove every non-essential file before being able to process the footage. (OK, yes, I understand, we had 15,000 photos. That’s a lot).
- With reference to 5 above, ensure you have enough wine on hand to get you through the frustrating parts, rather than putting your computer through a wall.
- Don’t promise your footage to the public, your loyal blog followers or even your beloved by a certain date. You are setting yourself up for failure.
So while I know our little video is not the best quality (read: I expect numerous comments disputing this and revelling in my GoPro skills and techniques), I hope you enjoy it. Tasmania was absolutely spectacular and our crappy footage doesn’t do it an inch of justice.
Now that this challenge is over, time for the next one – visas!