Today the Founders of Go Pro (GPRO) , husband and wife team Nicholas and Jill Woodman, have used a loophole to sell 5.8 million shares and donated the money to charity.
They are using the shares to create Jill + Nicholas Woodman Foundation.This is a commendable idea, although investors are wary as the charity can now jump the end of the lockup period and sell shares on Oct 3rd.
Now that I have given them a well earned and sincere high five, lets look at their product and the almost cult like existence surrounding their Go everywhere, record everything device that makes me feel so insecure as I walk around.
Investors were angered at this and the stock fell 7%. Rebellion was in the air today on all flanks.
GoPros: Don’t Take it Too Seriously
Surfers and Skaters have the GoPro devices attached to their boards, motorcyclists have cameras mounted on their helmet, and tourists walk around with three-foot wands recording each footstep and are the most annoying demographic that join the Apple (AAPL) i-Phone holders in believing they are excused from social etiquette when taking a picture.
What fascinates me is the attitude that comes having recording device in hand.
I have 2 cameras, my Nikons (NINOY) are my pride and joy, and I also have a HD cameras for recording when I am on my trips to Colorado, visiting the Teton Mountains, and taking my desert treks. I do this as a passion. I also ride a motorcycle, yet, have never recorded my trips to watch later. I would rather experience the ride, enjoy the fresh air, and experience the now. This may seem like a paradox, but I will continue.
On Santa Monica Pier, the tourists flock to see the beautiful view, beach, and great atmosphere. On weekends the crowds are overwhelming walking down the inclined pavement to the wooden pier. As I walk, I watch person after person stop in the middle of a bustling crowd to try and take the perfect picture to place on Facebook ($FB) or Instagram or Twitter ($TWTR).
Stop Encroaching on my Privacy.
Suddenly they become irate directors in search of the ultimate shot. They expect the crowds to stop, walk around them, and wait as they hold up their GoPros or cell phones as if they are excused from common courtesy. They push forward people out of the way trying to film the Glitch Dancers or the singers that line the promenade. I am a snob, but it is just that: a snap shot. Snap it and go, you are not Ansel Adams.
When I go to take photos I spend a lot of time, looking for the best view, setting up the camera based on lighting and trying to imagine the picture in my head before I even take the camera out. I would never do this on a busy location or even around people generally as it’s my time in nature and enjoying the beauty, I don’t want anyone walking into a shot unless I think it’s needed.
So why should someone who has a GoPro or got the new i-phone with a few photo apps suddenly think of themselves as Fellini or Scorsese. Suddenly they are filming the street performers, walking in front of everyone, camera in hand like they have been asked by Michael Bay to send footage asap. They're filming as if they expect us to be in amazement as they “crouch walk” with their camera, keeping a careful eye on the screen as they monitor the footage. Give me a break.
I won’t set up a IMBD profile for myself with credits to your video.
I become an unwitting extra in their 3 minute footage that will get 3 views on YouTube (GOOG) and be deleted off their i-phone as soon as they need room for more video of the pandas at the zoo. The truth is that if I was to take the above logic, I would consider myself an actor, a pretty prolific one at that, and would join SAG and set up an IMBD page.
I am not against capturing memories, I just believe there are too many people not enjoying what is in front of them. Stop with the egos, the self-importance, and the need for attention. Producers, directors, and photographers have spent years honing a craft. Now, a click of the finger gives the cell phone holder the idea that they are generating the masterpiece that will go viral on YouTube and earn them Academy Awards.
We all want to enjoy and capture memories, we all want to have that photo or film that our friends love, but we all have to accept that just because we have a recoding device in hand, it does not give us the rights to infringe on others. We shouldn’t expect people to not walk in front of us on busy streets or hold up crowds to have a photo taken with your out of town “bros”.
If I am taking a photo, I generally hit the area at 5 or 6 am and make sure I am out of place and out of everyone's way, not making a spectacle of myself.
To the free app filmmakers and photographers, if you really want to get a good picture, first of all, get some knowledge about “f” stops, exposure settings, ISO Settings, bracketing, and lighting, then invest in a decent camera. But if you have your GoPro cane in my face or your i-Phone in hand, don’t expect me to respect your photo as you obviously don’t respect the art of photography.
If you want me to stop photobombing your pictures, get a permit or a license to film in a public place and be a professional, but dont expect me to give you respect for taking liberties in a public area.
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