Dave’s blog: When your GoPro says “no”

Some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine zipped by our snowmobile in Stowe last week, but I could only watch the GoPro.

I sat in the back. Caleb, my guide for the shoot, steered the snow machine through the back roads and trails of Moscow Woods. We were attempting to capture dynamic footage of people enjoying snowmobile tours.

It was a tough gig.

The hoped-for sunshine never materialized. My drone didn’t work. And the people we were attempting to film never stood still long enough for me to get my focus or exposure right. I’d hop off the back of the vehicle, shoot 10 seconds of the riders speeding by, and then we were off trying to get ahead of them again.

In an attempt to get some more exciting footage, I strapped a sports camera to the side of the snowmobile. GoPros are made to grab onto just about anything, but a noisy, vibrating sled crashing over thin snow cover was a lot to ask — particularly as one of the links in my securing mechanism was a cheap, aftermarket part.

For about eight minutes, I held my breath as we shot along the trail trying to catch up with another sled. I couldn’t take my eyes off the camera, amazed at how well it pointed ahead steadily without twisting or toppling over. We caught up, captured a minute or two of the snowmobile ahead, and then the GoPro let go.

I saw it happen, whacked Caleb on the back, and hopped off to find the camera after a quick stop. A nut on the cheap mount had ripped free. The camera, its footage and everything else were fine.

There’s something so satisfying about watching this. I’ve viewed it over and over.


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