Ready, Camera, Action

Camera mounted on the barrier of a Formula One race track. Ready, Camera, Action.

This week, we watched two movies that I would not usually consider watching. One was a Danish-Italian film called Toscana and the other was an Australian film called Dirt Music.

In both of these films, the stars were not Hollywood starlets, they were not teenage heartthrobs. They appeared to be everyday people, who have followed their dreams to be actors and actresses.

Their characters weren’t overly made up. Their outfits suited the scene and setting of the story and their characters were more or less ordinary people. Proof that not everyone captured on film needs to look like a supermodel and be a hero.

Blink, and you might miss it

Several years ago, I was in Budapest, Hungary at the time a Die Hard movie was being filmed. We discovered it while walking around a blocked-off area.

Thinking that something was about to happen, we hung around and watched the crew setting up.

After a few hours of watching extras arrive, sets being built, fancy cars moving in, lights being tested and cameras being rigged up…we moved on.

In all that time, not a single thing was filmed. We went on to dinner, thinking we might see something on the way back…they were still setting up.

Movie snapboard laying on a cameramans bag, on the set of Die Hard during filming in Budapest, Hungary.

Snapboard photo taken from the set of Die Hard in Budapest, Hungary. Captured by Joy Taylor

It got me to thinking, that sometimes we can spend so long preparing for something, that when the moment arrives, it is fleeting…over in a heartbeat.

Depending on what it is though, it may be incredibly memorable…other times, it may feel like we blinked and missed it.

The value of capturing moments

Deciding to take the time and effort to capture moments in life, needs to happen in advance. But, is it worth it? If we want to live in the present, what is the point of capturing the memory…whether it be writing it down, taking a photo or recording a video.

How often do I allocate precious time to reading about what I have already done, looking through my photo albums, or the scrapbooks that took me hundreds of hours to create?

The answer is, not much. But, the fact that they are there, I have written, looked at or made them, means that I remember the actual event with more clarity than the millions of special moments that I didn’t bother to record in some way or other.

That makes it worthwhile…and that is why I will continue to capture some moments.

Joy capturing a photo of Oliver and Amanda at Oliver's graduation ceremony.

Joy captures the memory of seeing Oliver and Amanda together on the day of Oliver’s university graduation. Captured by David Masefield.

Deciding to buy a video camera

Recently, I decided to buy a video camera.

This is not my first time having a video camera, but it’s been a while. When my first child was born I bought a Sony Handycam. It was one that you could hold in the palm of your hand, it was still pretty chunky though and weighted a bit.

The film was an actual 8mm film in a cassette. I have some home movies of Oliver as a baby and toddler on the cassettes in the cupboard. One day, I will have to dig them out and get them converted to something that I could watch again.

Though from memory, they were pretty shaky and not easy to watch without feeling a bit ill.

One hand holding a float stick with a GoPro camera attached, underwater.

The good thing about a GoPro

Cameras have come a long way since then.

I remember standing mesmerised in front of a store in a shopping centre years ago, watching footage of surfers and skiers doing their thing, often from their perspective.

It felt as though you were the one on the wave. The video was clear and bright, not shaky, and sure didn’t look like a home movie. It was promoting one of the first GoPro cameras….


I did some research online, and discovered that GoPro cameras have built in stablisation, meaning that even if I shake a bit, the image capture does not. Plus, they are designed for action, so they cope with objects that are moving.

And, the new ones are waterproof! That means no more having to charge my phone on a wireless charger for days after using it underwater!

Getting advice from the professionals

I like to support a local business and buy locally when I can, so went to our local camera store and had a chat with the staff. I did not have a lot of time left before we were due to leave on our trip, ordering online could be a bit risky with potential delivery delays.

I also thought there might be an alternative to the well-marketed GoPro. Something that wasn’t the big brand name but maybe an alternate brand that produces just as high a quality product.

The owner of the camera store advised that GoPro have taken over the action camera market, and it is not worth him stocking any other options. There are a few out there still, that can be ordered, however, when it came to quality and features, the GoPro was generally the preferred option.

He also said that GoPro prefers to sell directly to the consumer and price their online product cheaper than he can sell them for, especially when they package them up with accessories.

Deciding that the GoPro would be sufficient for what I need, considering I don’t yet know what that will be, I figured I would give it a shot. I bought a GoPro Hero 10.

Now as we prepare to go on this new adventure with my new action camera I need to work out how to use it. I’m aware of the need for an enjoyable film to have good light and composition and for the sound to be clear. I don’t know how to do all that yet, but I’m sure it will improve with practice.

To edit or not to edit

When talking to colleagues I am frequently reminded that when it comes to content on the internet people like videos.

I tend to always have the sound turned off and just look at the picture, subtitles are handy…ah yes, the dreaded video editing…maybe my content will be raw, or perhaps I will develop some editing skills and it won’t take so long once I improve.

David and Joy in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco, a filming location of Gladiator and Game of Thrones. Captured by Joy Taylor

I’m yet to work out what it is that I want to achieve. Whether it’s just for my memories, which hopefully will last better than the 8mm film, or whether it’s to produce content for the benefit and enjoyment of others, time will tell.

To see what I have been able to capture, edit and publish so far, check out the video gallery!

Joy Taylor

Joy Taylor

Joy has been working her way around the world with her kids, solo and with her partner for over 20 years. Her motto is ‘travel cheap, travel deep’. She built a green house and tries to live a green life. 35/196


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Disclosure: Some of the links on this post will take you through to a page with the option to book an experience or buy an item, others may be to another story or general information. If you do decide to make a purchase at the other end of a link, I may possibly receive a small payment from the company you buy from which helps keep the site operating.

Please do not feel obliged to buy things…always consider if you might be able to borrow it from a friend, or perhaps repurpose something you already own to achieve a similar result.

To date, I have not been paid to write any reviews about places or products, so anything I have mentioned is because I decided to use it. This might change in the future (I hope one day some places in locations I have yet to explore present me with an opportunity!), however, my comments will always reflect my honest opinion of my experience.

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