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Groupama Yacht Race New Caledonia Leg1

The first leg of the 600 nautical mile round New Caledonia Groupama Yacht Race was a small loop from the starting line, past Sail Rock and the Baie Des Citrons, around a buoy and then off down the coast. As far as I can tell this was done to provide a spinnaker flying spectacle to the thousand or so spectators (and news cameras) gathered along the shoreline. It gave me the opportunity for one more sphere image in the relatively protected bay behind Sail Rock and Ile aux Canards.

After the hour-long delay of the start and racing around in my dinghy with the 1 kg nest of GoPro Hero2 cameras on the far end of a 4 meter long pole, I was happy to put away the rig and head back to our own yacht to check out the images. I took about 150 different shots, some of them only a few meters away from a yacht. The close-images would have the yacht showing on the camera pointed towards it as well as on the two adjacent cameras and the camera looking straight up.

Obviously this would only work if all the cameras fired at exactly the same moment. The cameras were also moving back and forth with the waves  and the yachts and my dinghy were also moving - often in opposite directions.

 That was the whole idea of trying to make a camera rig that could take action sphere images - one click to capture everything. The GoPros were light, had watertight housings (in case they got dunked in the ocean), had fish-eye lenses, and WiFi backpacs plus the remote WiFi trigger activated all 7 cameras at the same time. Or so I thought.

The first problem was that there were 152 images from two cameras, 148 from two others, and 150, 149 and 151 from the other cameras. Not good, because it meant that not all the cameras fired with every WiFi trigger so matching the images for any single sphere became a bit of a problem. But even worse - much worse - was the problem that the GoPro cameras did not fire in perfect synch. So even when I could figure out which images were taken as one set, they didn't match up because they did not fire at exactly the same time. In any one sphere set the horizon might be level in one camera but tilted at 25 to 30 degrees in the next camera. A yacht would be in the middle of one camera but the bow and stern would not be in the right place in the adjacent cameras - sometimes not even there at all. The reason, I believe, is that each camera has to calculate and set the aperture for any one shot and if one camera is pointed towards the sun it will not fire at the same time as a camera pointed away from the sun. Whatever the reason, I could only get three sphere images out the 150 sets that I took. 

All is not lost (yet) however. Because the GoPro Hero2 can take a burst of 10 images in one second. So next time I will use the burst mode and hope that all the cameras will fire within one second of each other. Then (in theory) there should be one set from each burst that will be within 0.1 seconds of the other cameras. Hopefully that will be close enough. I just have to figure out how to detect which of the 10 images from any one camera matches the images from the other cameras. Meanwhile the 7 GoPro rig does work for pole photography where the cameras are not moving and the object isn't moving - or not very close to the cameras if the object is moving.

But so far I'm sorry to report that the GoPro Hero 7 camera rig isn't a winning solution for action sphere photography.

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Copyright: Richard Chesher
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 10978x5489
Taken: 09/09/2012
送信日: 11/09/2012


Tags: yacht race; new caledonia; sailing; yachts; sail boats; groupama yacht race; water sports; gopro
More About ヌメア

ニューカレドニアの首都ヌメアは、南太平洋のバケ―ション中心街です。ヌメアは「フランス」の都市でありますが、91,000人の住民はフランス、メラネシア、ポリネシア、インドネシア、ベトナム等より多い人種でミックスされています。ニューカレドニアの人口の60%以上がヌメアに住んでいます。 ヌメアはグランドテール島の南西側に位置する半島です。そして中央商業地区(センターヴィル)の近くには、南太平洋で最も美しい天然の良港があります。この半島のラーグン側には、真っ白なサンドビーチを蓄えた絵のように美しい2つの湾、アンス バータおよびベイ デ シトロンあります。これらのツインベイ(湾)は、陸地に近い「ラ プロムナード」に位置するホテル、レストラン、バーを含むニューカレドニアの国際観光首都です。1854年にフランス人が定住し始め、ヌメアはフランスとの親密な政治的絆を維持します。ヌメアには優れた学校および公共施設 – 公園、レクリエーションエリア、運動場、医療施設等があります。現在ヌメアは、南太平洋で最も急速に発展している都市です。ヌメアには1つ星のホテルから5つ星まで23軒のホテルおよび100軒以上のレストランがあります。

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