Notebooks from a trampfest. Travel tips, tales and images, online since 2006.

Tired? Or bored? Street Stills with a GoPro (Pic du Jour)

Leicester Square, 07-Aug-2012
Leicester Square, 07-Aug-2012

So which is it? Sleepy? Or just bored with handing out leaflets for a London theatre?

This was taken near Leicester Square on a rare afternoon off while I was in London covering the Olympics in August. I thought I’d experiment a bit with how my GoPro Hero2 could be used for some simple street photography stills. It wasn’t so much that I wanted the camera’s compact size to allow me to operate in stealth mode – mostly I just didn’t feel like lugging around my DSLR.

I had few expectations. Since I wasn’t stopping to compose shots, but instead just shooting from the hip, I already knew that the results would be predictably lack luster. That kind of shooting always requires a great deal of luck to be on your side.

I was primarily interested in what the camera’s exceptionally wide angle would produce. The contorted perspective, upwards of 170 degrees, can yield some fun results. When people are the subjects –like the woman’s sidekick, pictured to the right— those exaggerations become a matter of personal taste.

Anyway, here it’s the yawning indifference that makes the shot, one I would not have gotten shooting from the hip with my DSLR. And one I certainly wouldn’t have captured had I actually stopped to compose. Dumb luck, that’s all.

For those of you not familiar with Go Pro cameras, suffice it to say that they pack quite a bit of bang into their tiny 3.3 ounce, 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2” (42mm x 60mm x 30mm) metal frames. Most people buy these to attach to their heads or chests to make entertaining HD videos when jumping from airplanes or doing flips on snowboards. Besides some time lapses taken when strapped inside of an airplane and during a few ski runs, I’ve only used mine with two feet planted firmly on the ground. It’s likely to remain that way.

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