Florida: Super Moon, Aerobatics, & Inland Springs

I recently took a trip to Florida to do some filming for a promotional I’m working on. I took my little brother, Jackson, along with me in hopes of getting him out of the bed at a decent hour and off of Minecraft for a few days. We stayed with my uncle just outside of Orlando–which was an entirely new experience–Florida…in the summer. Somehow, out of all the times I have been to Florida, none of them have been during the summer–let alone Central Florida. Living along the coast earlier this year, I found that the terrain is so flat and the vegetation is so short, that as long as you have a step-stool, you can never get lost. But, Central Florida is a different story. It’s like living in a dense rain forest. Jack and I were driving along one evening and saw a strange light coming from behind some bushes only to realize that it was a Home Depot.

The shoot I scheduled was in Vero Beach with one of the T-34 pilots I know from the Beechcraft Museum. I actually met him at the museum while I was showing a time-lapse I had made in Vero. He came up and watched for a moment and said I had shot it on the boardwalk in front of his condo. Small world. Anyway, I interviewed him about his passion for flying, and we did some aerobatics in his T-34 to promote the Beechcraft Museum. I’ll have more on the rest of the film later this summer. I shot the aerobatics with the new GoPro HERO 3 Black Edition. I also mounted a 3D rig inside the cockpit just for fun. If you do any sort of flying with the GoPro cameras, the 3 is the way to go. I was able to keep remotes clipped to my parachute harness and control each of the cameras in flight. Before, I was wasting up to half an hour of storage and battery with the cameras running on the ground. (Note: the iPhone app only supports 1 camera at a time right now. The remotes support up to 50 cameras.) I was also able to boom a shotgun mic for this interview, so this will be my best audio so far.

Before heading back, my uncle Dale, Jack, and I visited Kelly Springs in Apopka–just west of Orlando. The spring flows quickly out of a small cave and runs for 1/4 mile or so through the forest into a large pool. I’ve heard about this place all through my childhood; my mom’s parents used to take her there when she was little. The park service has since constructed concrete walls around the pool at the end and lifted the trail onto a boardwalk that spans the length of the spring making it more accessible. After getting over the initial shock of the water temperature, we floated, snorkeled, and swam the length of the spring all afternoon. Dale and I each took GoPros and tried them out underwater. The image from the 3’s flat lens was much sharper underwater than the 2’s curved, but both faired well in the crystal-clear water. My only complaint was the over abundance of rather large chicks that kept jumping into my shots. I ended up flooding my camera housing with water right before I realized we were swimming with two baby alligators…. The seal on the “floaty backdoor” hand’t completely sealed, but after spending the rest of the day in pieces on the dash of the car, the camera was and is completely fine. The alligators didn’t bother us either.

If only all “business trips” were this great…