Swimming in Video

The swim was documented in video by John Hartley. He shot about 2 hours of footage on  mini DV and HD using a GoPro. Tim also shot some clips on his iPhone.

I’m now in the process of revisiting the swim via this footage, editing the material to try to balance my experience in the water with John and Tim’s view of the swim from the boat. We each have our own set of interests, our own reasons for being there and looking.

John has expressed an interest in the “Outlandish” nature of the swim, the situation of being offshore, following a line, moving in a direction. He is also interested in the different scales of activity taking place, the small repetitive action of swimming, the catch and pull, the movement of waves and changing light, the shipping traffic, fishing, time, space. Its a very open view. His camera work follows me moving into and out of frame. I appear to be criss crossing the screen as I swim toward and away from the boat.

Tim’s video clips were posted to his twitter account during the swim to provide status updates.

John: ” When you’re swimming you see the bubbles. You see your hands. your arms and you’re thinking about this repetition, these very small scales around you. But then they add up. Something that is very tiny is very big and geographical, a cartographic scale; end to end. There is also a scale of activity. You know, the activity is tiny; catch, pull, recover. But its also enormous. “


Editing now .

Swimming in video


Camera-less film

I did some training with Red Top at London Fields Lido this morning. I was in two minds about going as I’m injured. In the end I decided to swim. Not that it was a difficult decision to make. I can’t *not swim!

See water and swim! That’s me.

Anyway, Tim wants to film me swimming, to show me areas of my stroke that need correcting.

Apparently on crawl I pull with a straight arm, which puts a lot of strain on my shoulder and neck! 😕 If I don’t bend my elbow on the catch I’m likely to seriously injure myself.

The idea of filming is to let me see myself. I’m probably going to be  shocked at the state I’m in!

The last time I was filmed it was on my backstroke and my left arm was bent in the weirdest way, as if I was trying to scratch my back! I used to have a strong backstroke but now, for various reasons, probably through lack of stretching or not getting feedback from an observer, it’s all gone nuts.

What I could do with however, is help getting at sense of my body position and movement *in the water, while I’m swimming.

So I can check that my hand entry is not too wide and that I’m not over extending or splashing, for example. Ways of seeing myself without a camera, so that I can continuously monitor and adjust my stroke while swimming. 

A camera-less selfie that is continuously refreshed

I wrote about this earlier: Systems Check and Pings