Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Inspiration of a Sort

[Caution: this video is a gutbuster for those pulling their Internet from a cellular data account.]

This is a mountain skiing video from somewhere in northern Europe that I tripped over while researching Vimeo. It is superbly done, and I think I’m even more drawn to it simply because I’m a 4-seasons guy trapped in a high-80s hot spell near Yuma in February. That’s just not right.

Seeking Nirvana Pt. 1: Home from Seeking Nirvana on Vimeo.

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10 thoughts on “Inspiration of a Sort

  1. how did they get that footage??? If I get reincarnated, I want to grow up to be an outdoor/ wildlife photo/ videographer.

    • Nice, ain’t it? They got that footage with top-tier video equipment suited for the task, and some with big honking lense$! Then there’s that darn knowledge and skill thing. They keep sawing at the learning curve until their results don’t stink. Even with that, it’s really a heap of plain work to get those few minutes of great footage. I know you know all that. When your results are inspiring, it appears easy! I love this clip, partly because it came from such young people. Superb presentation.

      Me, I’ll be using my 2004 consumer DVR tape camera with washed-out colors and fuzzy images that gets positively foggy at maximum zoom levels! And boy, does that footage shake! It must be the equipment, right? Seriously, I’ve done video coverage of events that people liked, but when I watch many of them them now, years later, oh brother. I’ll never have the proper equipment, but it’s just as well. That isn’t the core barrier to overcome. It’s pushing oneself for more rewarding results regardless of the technology.

      By the way, if you look at the “testimonials” on the FWC site, you’ll notice that a lot of the owner profiles are just what you want to be next time around. Good luck with that! Might be better to start following your dream now. You’re much more likely to get a satisfying start than wanting to be a fireman or fighter pilot anyway, at this late date!

      • I was trying to figure out how they did the shots of following the skiers from behind. The camera must have been following along on skis too.

        As for the reincarnation thing, I think it’s too late for me to start a career of wildlife video with Nat Geo, though I’m probably hopefully romanticizing the job!

        Mind you, the whole gopro trend of quality rugged consumer cameras and editing software does make it much easier to muck around for fun and try for my own similar shots.

        • Well, since the old Hollywood days of camera on cable are unworkable for such things now, I can see only two possibilities, Ming. One is a following skier with a GoPro mounted his helmet or on a gyroscope, mounted on a front shoulder harness. But that would be a busy time, keeping framed. Looking at other shots, I think it’s far more likely to use a GoPro on a little remote control quad copter. But I’m guessing, based on other films that are based on those.

          Trying to actually make a living at photography is more based on interpersonal skills and establishing connections, with work that is technically very good. The problem is fighting your way through the pack. Trouble is, the market has changed at its core and it is now very difficult to earn a living wage via photography. Like crowdfunding to entrepreneurs, the business of photography now needs to evolve to live. Might do it, might not.

          To start a “career” now, you might be right. That’s why I’m suggesting that if photography/videography interests you as a pursuit, go ahead and start on the learning curve now, and enjoy that process even if the results officially stink. Enjoy the discovery. Any romanticizing you might have done about it will certainly dissipate. If the perceived lifestyle were of more interest than the creativity and learning the mechanics, as in “success”, then I would have said to keep dreamin’ and enjoy that! It’s a whole lot easier and a lot less expensive. As they say, if you wait for the perfect time to do something, it will never come. Given enough internal memory, you’d be surprised what you can do with an iPhone and similar. Example: this. The editing software is a lot of fun too, regardless of what you use to capture.

          • I can see that I wasn’t very clear, I am already an amateur photographer and was speculating on the lifestyle. Thanks for the encouragement and the nice video, I haven’t had time for much photography in recent years but I’m sure I’ll get back to it once I get the gear, vehicle and time sorted out to get on the road more. That’s why I’m so enjoying your series of gear prep posts, moving from an inadequate setup [with accompanying grumbling] to the one that will allow you to get to places you want to see is something that I’m in the process of doing myself.

            I’ve hit a bump in the road, FWC prices keep going up every time I check them out, first because they raised their prices, now the exchange rate is putting them even more out of reach. They also have outlandish prices on the “Canadian package” of mods that would presumably allow them to survive our climate, as well as all sorts of import fees. I don’t know how many years it will take me to save up for one. Used units worry me because of possible leakage issues. The Canadian vendor bought a new FWC years ago and it totally leaked on him, leading him to come up with the Canadian mods. We’re under constant rain for months at a time up here.

            I’m tempted to go for a much smaller (because of no overcab bed) fiberglass egg type canopy. The Tufport T59 would be affordable by next year’s projected big cross country trip date, and I can build it out to suit my needs. At least I know it won’t leak. I’m quite frustrated with my present canopy whose leaks are leading to mildew on my camping gear. We have had a very wet winter. [grumble]

            • Well gee, Ming, if you’re a fellow dabbler, then dreaming about what it’d be like to be an outdoor and wildlife photographer is a slam-dunk! Not all that much equipment, but what there is, is enough to have tapped out your savings account. With a publishing deadline looming, you bundle up in the cold and dark to get to your intended shoot site well before sunrise and sunset for a couple of days to study the light and find your intended shots, taking throwaways just to help shape what you’ll be aiming for in the final go. Spend the bulk of days getting info on the most likely areas for wildlife and lie in the weeds waiting for them to show up, or search for fields of flowers and also wander about looking for interesting or beautiful insects and other small critters. Then go home and spend every moment weeding through the hundreds of shots to find and photoshop the half dozen that can be sent in, writing the copy that needs to accompany them. And research new opportunities, developing new contacts and maintaining existing ones. And try to get over that persistent cough you picked up in the cold and dark. Easy and fun lifestyle! 😉

              Yep, FWC has moved toward making some options standard equipment, based on looking at what everyone consistently opts in for. It sounds like the “Canadian package” is a dealer revamp rather than a factory option, which makes me curious about what the particulars are. Now that FWCs use a one-piece roof, I can only imagine that it centers on reducing condensation, especially in the bunk area. Condensation is the main issue with such pop-ups, as I understand it. They aren’t the best choice for every climate.

              That Tufport looks pretty interesting, doesn’t it? The insulation potential is fab, and might be a more natural fit for a 2WD truck. Since getting yourself into trouble is at a lower point than using 4WD, the slightly higher CG doesn’t seem like much of an issue at all. I’ll be curious to see what direction you go, and I doubt that I’m the only one!

  2. hey, if it’s my fantasy, I’d like Nat Geo to fund my expedition where I will sit in a blind for weeks waiting for the never filmed before sequence that will wow dozens of documentary fans!

    I had a dig around the Canadian dealer’s site and here is his explanation for the prices:

    One of the advantages I can see to a truck camper with overcab bed is not having to make/ unmake the bed every day. Now, since you have one to play with, can you confirm if there is space for your bedding (egg crate foam topper, sheets, comforter, pillows) once the top is popped down? Of course, this won’t be an issue if you are parked somewhere for a week while enjoying the neighborhood with the Aurora.

    The CG is not that much higher, as the interior height is only 4’11” and the entire unit weighs 500lbs.

    I do like the idea of not having to pop up the camper to sit down to do some work or eat, something that I do a lot in the city when I use the truck as a mobile office. I think that’s doable in your model, but not so much in the Eagle and Fleet. Choosing the smallest, most fuel efficient and parkable truck makes for a lot of compromises in campers.

    • Interesting info on all counts, Ming. The FWC bed will likely be an issue for you as well. Between the top of the existing mattress and the ceiling appears to be a 3″ gap, but this is decreased around the edges by the folding lift panels and the folded tent fabric. The central lift bar used to raise and lower the front end also hangs down and lays on the mattress. That can raise an inch or two, but might make short work of some foam toppers. The folks at Two Happy Campers ultimately wound up with a 2″ memory foam topper and sheets that stay in place. A comforter is folded up and stored elsewhere for travel.

      I hope to evaluate/test my bedding setup in a week or so, as it’s no less critical for me than solar or stowage. Naturally, I’ll post about it, but if it works for me, I don’t think many folks would need a similar setup.

      Apart from setting the dining area up as a stealth roof-down sleeper, I don’t consider the Grandby Front Dinette to be usable for any form of sit-up usage. That Tufport is looking better for you all the time!

      • thank you so much for these details, they are so helpful in my decision making! They answer some little nagging doubts that I had lurking around the back of my mind, regarding how the camper would work for my use scenarios.

        You are right, the Tufport is looking very good right now, and it’s local and costs less, all good things for me being able to graduate from the canopy within the next year or 2 instead of “if I win the lottery/ my parents leave me something after they go”.

        I am planning to make an extra “room” that I set up behind the truck when I camp, so I may not have to make/ unmake the bed every day most of the time on a trip. I just won’t be as self-contained looking as you.

  3. Gave me happy chills.

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