Video capturing techniques in the Motorcycle Grand Prix is a palpable example of how perspective of space is mediated through the growing list of technologies. This mediation of perception is reminiscent of what the first view through a telescope or microscope must have done to one’s assumed perspective.
Consider first the “assumed” perspective, that of a spectator. This perspective depends largely on one’s position and may change by relocation around the stands of the Moto GP race. This “natural” way of seeing is multifaceted depending on where the viewer focuses attention. The human can easily shift between foreground and background with almost no effort.
Next consider the ground level man operated camera. Humans are used to seeing this perspective, yet foreground and background are not necessarily in the observer’s control – the frame is missing it’s surrounding. Yet, at the same time this allows others to see an event from half a world away. The trailer for Fastest, the film, includes many such perspectives of the camera.
Perspective starts to be noticed more starkly with the motorcycle mounted Gyrocam. As the bikes are flying through corners with knees touching the ground, the gyrocam remains horizontal to the Earth’s surface, capturing a perspective that is quite different from the riders or a typical onlooker’s POV. This perspective is more reflective of the Earth’s surface traveling at great speeds.
A year after Moto GP introduced the Gyrocam, they also integrated the 2,000 frames per second (f/s) slow motion cam. This slows regular video speeds of 30 f/s, mathematically allowing for 98.5% more frames per second. Shadows, glowing red heat on the disc brakes, reflections from the visor, and many other phenomena become rich data altering one’s perspective.
Many other lenses within this Moto GP video experience alter our perspective, such as the wide angle lens and “Gods eye view” from the helicopter cam.