Drone Week January 19: Surfing Drones

Welcome back to another edition of Drone Week here on BlogCampaigning! This series of posts It certainly seems like drones are everywhere these days, and one area where they're really making a mark is in surf videos.

A lot of waves are tough to shoot from the shore, and filming from the water often means that videographers aren't able to capture an entire ride. Drones are perfectly positioned to capture surfing, and the overhead angle often gives the action a dreamy look.

Check out a couple of examples of surfing drone videos below.

I like to fly from stugibson on Vimeo.  

If you want to capture some of this footage yourself, the AirDog might be a good bet. I'd say that that biggest problem is that it only has a 10-20 minute flight time. As some commenters have noted, you can't even paddle out in that time in some spots.

I feel like this is only the beginning of drones used for surfing footage, and I expect we'll see even better stuff in the future.

Check out past Drone Week posts on BlogCampaigning. 

Fiordland (A Beautiful Surfing Video)

Maybe it's because I'm on a little bit of a wilderness kick these days after a trip to British Columbia and reading The Golden Spruce, but I loved the Fiordland video put together by Surfer Magazine, filmed in the Fiordland National Park of New Zealand. It's a bit of a departure from the usual sun-and-indie rock of most surf videos, but the wintery scenes and piano music really work.



The Garden Isle and The Valley Isle

A month ago, I wrote a blog post with some photos that I took while I was in Puerto Rico using a GoPro Camera. Over the Christmas break, Heather and I went to Maui and Kauai and used that same camera to make a video. Enjoy!

I edited it using iMovie, and the song playing is Cloud (Plastic Plates Remix) by Sia (I snagged it off of this blog post by Vacay Vitamins).


Fueling Puerto Rican Perfection

This post doesn't really have much to do with technology, video games social media or whatever it is that BlogCampaigning is about these days.

I just wanted to share some sweet photos that I took on my vacation to Puerto Rico last week. It was 8 days of epic waves during the day and reading the Game of Thrones series of books at night.

While I used my BlackBerry Torch and a Sony point and shoot for most of the photos, I used a GoPro Surf Hero camera to get those in-wave shots.

I was able to buy the GoPro Camera thanks to DDB Fuel, a program offered by the company I work for, DDB Canada. DDB Fuel gives employees money to put towards something that will fuel their creativity. I've done a bit of photo and video editing before, but using the GoPro camera has given me a chance learn more about how to actually use a camera (accounting for the glare of the sun, different settings, etc).

Puerto Rico is a really amazing place, and I would definitely go back. The water was warm, the people were friendly and the weather was absolutely beautiful.

I didn't just surf, though. I also visited the Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest radio telescope.

If you want to book a trip like this, I highly recommend going through Surfer Living, a surf-specific travel agency. They made some great recommendations about where I could score good waves, where to stay and had great customer service overall. If you end up going to Puerto Rico, hit up the Desecheo Surf Shop.


27 Random Pictures

A few months ago my external hard drive died, taking with it years of data and photos. Fortunately, I was able to get most of that information restored. As I started sifting through all the photos (the organizing file structure was, unfortunately, unable to be recovered), I decided to upload some of them here on BlogCampaigning.

And so here you go: 27 photos from sometime in the past 5 years of my life.



Surfing More Than Websites

As passionate as I am about social media, I still like reading traditional media. I try and sit down for breakfast to read the weekend edition of The Globe and Mail on Sundays (and the daily edition during the week if I have time) and I love reading magazines. Especially surfing magazines.

Australian Surfing Life is probably the best one out there. Every issue comes with an amazing poster: a photo of the kind of wave that you could just mind-surf all day long. Great poster. As an added bonus, ASL also throws a DVD into the mix every month. Although the movie clips often feature a lot of product placement and advertorial content, I was happy to watch it and thought that it added a ton of value to the magazine. Every few weeks, I still watch the DVD that came with an issue I got over a year ago.

ASL also has a great website. Although much of it is Flash-based, you can still look at the current month's poster as well as a bunch of slide shows from photo shoots and poster books going back at least as far as 2006. They've got daily news and a gallery of reader-submitted photos (check it out - some of them are pretty much professional quality). Most importantly, they've also got a section with surfing forecasts. I can't really tell how accurate they are, but at least they have links to some of other major forecasting sites.

(Unfortunately, it will cost me $130 to subscribe to the magazine for a year. If anyone wants to pay for this, you can get my mailing address by sending me an email and then subscribing for me here.)

SBC Surf is another great magazine, particularly because it is Canadian and they've always got great shots of cold-water waves. Too bad it only comes out twice a year and barely has a website.

Lately I've been reading Trans World Surf. For some reason, thats the only surf magazine that my local store carries. They've got posters, but instead of sweet waves they just show pros doing huge moves. Interesting, but not when its almost the exact same photo month after month. I'm not even very inspired to visit their website.

However, I started paying more attention to some of the advertisements in this magazine and a few companies stand out for doing a particularly amazing job.

For the past few issues, it appears as if Nike has been trying to break into the surf scene with their Nike 6.0 series. While the first ad was a cool point-of-view illustration of what it looks like to take off on a wave, their more recent ad was a combination of illustration and photography. Both were very memorable, and helped set Nike apart from a whole bunch of surfing ads that are overly-busy and essentially the same (Billabong is particularly guilty of this).

Gravis also wins huge points with me for their incredibly clean, simple and otherwise beautiful ads. Unfortunately, I can't find any of them online. They'd make amazing desktop wallpapers, and I'll probably scan some in later this week if I have time.

And finally Quiksilver. While their ad in my most recent issue of Transworld Surf wasn't very impressive, I liked how it directed me to see a video of the photo sequence at an easy-to-remember url: Quicksilver/com/sushiroll. It is unfortunate that the video doesn't embed in this blog properly, but props to the Quikky web team for at least giving it a shot. And you should definitely have a look at the video - it is one of the most amazing tricks I've seen pulled off on a surf board.

On a side note, the standard Quiksilver logo is perfect. The clean, stylized picture of a wave and a mountain sums up what they are all about and the way they were able to turn it into the Roxy-heart logo is a piece of branding genius. I don't know why they had to go and start using that dirty scribble - it scared me away from buying their products on more than one occasion.

According to wikipedia, the Quiksilver logo is based on a Japanese wood-cut from 1832 called The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. You can definitely see how they came up with the wave/mountain design.