GoPro Goes News — Using GoPro In The Field — Part Two

Published On April 27, 2015 | By Mike Carroll | GoPro, KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories, Shooting News

Continuing in the series I am writing on using the GoPro action camera in “non-action” news coverage. Readers please note: I am not writing this series in any particular order or plan in mind. Perhaps the “plan” will come to me later. I’m discovering and exploring many uses for the GoPro — and I haven’t even gotten anywhere near to scratching the surface. 

Okay, ‘nough said. Let’s get going!!!!—–

KCRA Common Ground-Farm Workers Heat Health 1

This story aired last night (as of this writing) at 6:30 on Sunday, April 16, 2015, on KCRA-3‘s Common Ground — a once-a-month magazine program that I contribute to and help to put together with KCRA special projects producer Millicent Ozdaglar (who doesn’t allow her picture to be taken!!!).

Because California is such a huge breadbasket — and now wine supplier — to the world there are new State-mandated work regulations for workers who labor in the sun in farm fields, vineyards, ranches and anywhere else. These regulations kick in when the temperature reaches and then exceeds 80 degrees. And in California it can easily exceed 100 degrees in summer. I’ve worked outside on stories when the thermometer reached 112 degrees.

This story looks into that and we were very happy to be able to talk with Brad Goehring, a fourth generation California farmer, and to visit and film in his Goehring Vineyards.

Vineyard owner Brad Goehring in his vineyard in Clements, California. (NOTE: ALL PHOTOS here are frame extracts from GoPro footage in the story.

Vineyard owner Brad Goehring in his vineyard in Clements, California.
(NOTE: ALL PHOTOS here are frame extracts from GoPro footage in the story.

I was assigned to drive to his vineyard south of Sacramento around Lodi and shoot some additional interview sound with him out in his vineyard, have him show me around and get some footage of his workers in the vineyard.

As I’ve written before when writing about my friend Nello Olivo and his vineyards — I love filming in vineyards!

NOTE: I still do most of my news shooting with my KCRA-issued Sony HD XDCAM, which is the best news camera I have ever used!  Hands down–I love it. And the camera I’m shooting with — camera body, zoom lens, etc., etc. — must check in at $50K-$60K. Whereas, the GoPro Hero 3+ now sells for $299 & delivers the same HD image and is just cool and fun to use. The only compliments that I have received for my photography lately have been for shots where I’ve used the GoPro.

For this day I really wanted to use the GoPro 3+ as much as I could to document and illustrate the workers in the vineyards, as well as the trees on the property which are vital for providing natural shade for workers, with the GoPro and it’s really wide-angle setting.

KCRA Common Ground-Farm Workers Heat Health 2

I also have a small external mic attached to the GoPro to capture decent natural sound. Having good, clean sound is crucial for television news. Indeed, for all filmmaking.

For the workers in the vineyard I shot most of it using an extendable selfie stick in order to get the GoPro down low to the ground and filming up so as to include the sun in the background of the shots as much as possible — because this is what the story is about.

KCRA Common Ground-Farm Workers Heat Health 4

The GoPro 3+ transmits a WiFi signal so that I can monitor the shot I am getting on my iPhone (company issued) using the GoPro App.

I shall go into my gear and working methods in a later post.

I simply wanted to post this story now since it just aired last night and to further drive my point home that the GoPro, as well as all the HD and UHD (Ultra-High Definition) action cameras can be used as real cameras — the “A” camera — the primary camera — and not just strapped onto the end of a tool or mounted on a dashboard.

Soon I shall do a story where the GoPro camera will be my only camera!!!!

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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