Camera Briefings

(Note, second part of a Camera Safety series, first part, 'Camera Crazy', is here)

Only an experienced camera flyer or instructor who is up to date with the current equipment and knowledge should conduct camera briefs.

by Fernando Yuki
by Fernando Yuki

It is the responsibility of the flyer to sort out someone appropriate to give him/her a brief. Also, the responsibility of the experienced cameraflyers to have him or her selves known. Experienced skydivers in this discipline should be actively promoting camera safety, updating regularly at their drop zones.

Content

A camera brief should cover at the bare minimum the following, but should be tailored to the individual jumper's experience, attitude and knowledge.

Awareness:

  • Having the appropriate skills before adding another risk factor to the jump.
  • Knowing your basic safety gear checks.
  • Demonstrating situation awareness throughout the whole skydiving process.
  • Mentally prepared for added emergency procedures.

Helmet

  • Cutaway system and location of the cutaway.
  • Correct fitting.
  • The necessity of an Audible device.
  • The overall shape.
  • The design.

Camera

  • Intentionality.
  • The simplicity.
  • Size and weight factors.
  • Educated plan of how you will mount it and use it for.

Mounting

  • Location.
  • Difficulty and discomfort.
  • Clear vision.
  • Importance of correct mounting (falling debris.)
  • SNAG HAZARDS!!!

Attachments

  • Extended camera poles.
  • Smoke canisters.
  • Boogie toys (inflatables etc.)
  • Ring sights.

Equipment

  • Canopy choice.
  • Pilot chute size and bridle length.
  • Camera wings.
  • Stowing brake excess.
  • Rig condition (free fly friendly.)
  • Lines and loops.

Emergency Procedures

  • Entanglements.
  • Off landings.
  • Practical rehearsal on the ground.
  • Visual training via videos.

Now we start to see that a camera brief becomes more than a quick chat over a beer from one of your buddies at the bar…

Sacrificing safety to save a few bucks is idiotic

Camera Education

As well as receiving an appropriate camera briefing, the next steps are self-education. Read and read more! Here is an excellent article for starters: C is for Camera – and Common Sense

Camera Courses

Take a camera-dedicated course! Gustavo Cabana runs a couple of courses a year (here) at Empuriabrava and he can also travel to other DZs. Also try asking your local camera guys if they can run a dedicated course.

Camera Videos

Watch tons of videos. This will give you a real insight into the problems and solutions with cameras. Check the video above on the GoPro experiment. Cameras can be fun and a great training aid if used correctly and safely.

No matter how many jumps you have, cameras (large or small) are not for everyone

Free Camera Safety Downloads

Camera Manual

Safety Posters

5 free safety posters, downloadable here (example below, Pro Camera Helmet)

  1. Even Small cameras can create BIG problems
  2. Go Low
  3. Pro Camera Helmet
  4. Tandem Camera
  5. Physiological Aspects of Video
by Timothy Parrant
by Timothy Parrant

Tim's previous article, Camera Crazy, can be found here.

This article was originally published on skydivemag

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