I was fortunate to have been able to participate in an American Milsim event, Copperhead 3, over the weekend of 1 to 3 September. I went to this airsoft military-simulation exercise as an observer and photographer, having never participated in one before. Our marketing director, James, convinced me that it would be an interesting photographic experience, and it certainly was.
Physically, it was quite a workout. Our smart watch recorded 26 miles hiked, carrying equipment, over the weekend. I carried a lot less than those you will see in the video.
The video was photographed using a GoPro Hero 5, my first experience with this camera. I considered the weekend a good exposure to the new features of this camera, having only used Hero 3 and 3+ cameras in the past. The touchscreen on the back of the Hero 5 is a tremendous step up in usability, and making the camera itself weather proof, without having to seal it in a housing, is almost as significant.
This video, “The Final Push”, documents the last activity on Sunday, 3 September, when the tan uniformed forces of UFS withdrew from their defended territory and made a full assault against the market area, held by the green uniformed, PSA faction.
After the event, several sponsors provided airsoft products, including valuable simulated weapons, that were handed out or raffled off to participants. Some attendees were awarded prizes valued at more than their expenses to attend Copperhead.
I will also produce at least one more video from footage shot earlier in the weekend. This later video was shot using hand held techniques, which is obvious in places, with the GoPro mounted on a Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ballhead X. This flexible tripod allowed me to hold it against my chest, to steady it, or rapidly put it down on the ground, a table, or other surfaces. I could also attach it to other objects to get a different, steady filming perspective. Being able to move quickly, and without notice, was very important during this event. The screen on the back of the Hero came in really handy to check the view of the camera and select camera settings rapidly.
During some of the earlier video on Sunday, I experimented with a Karma Grip. It seemed to work well, better as I learned to use it. One serious drawback was the built-in battery. Once it was dead, so was the Grip. With no way to re-charge it, and it takes a very long time to charge, or replace the battery with a spare, it is a very limited asset during a long shooting event.
Copperhead 3 was attended by up to two hundred, or more, players, armed with realistic simulated weapons of every kind. The primary ammunition used was white, plastic BB’s which, for the most part, did not hurt when they hit – and I can speak from numerous experiences, although I am sure no one shot at me intentionally since I was a neutral observer. Safety was a key focus of the weekend, and the staff, controllers and players seemed to take it seriously. It was well organized and set up.
Please, let me know what you think of the video.