Light Reflection & Reaction
Cycle 1.1 reflection took place on 2/9/13 at roughly 10:30 in the morning. Today's objective was to record four of my six swimmers in order to initiate my action research cycles. In recording the swimmers the objective was to record them from various underwater angles while they swam past the camera. In order to record them I used an iPhone 4 with a life proof case that allowed me to position myself underwater and capture the swimmers as they swam by me. The four swimmers I recorded were two boys and two girls…they will hence be referred to as M1, M2, F1 and F2.
Each swimmer swam 2x50 or 2 times 50yds. The swimmers were timed while they were swimming each 50yd distance and were given 1 minute rest in-between each 50. The were recorded swimming from the left and right side of their bodies as well as during their flip-turn, the turn that acts as the transition from one twenty-five yard lap into the other, during the fifty.
M1: swam the first 50 in :34.2 secs and the second in :35.4secs
M2: swam the first 50 in :29.7 secs and the second in :29.4 secs
F1: swam the first 50 in :34.1 secs and the second in :33.8secs
F2: swam the first 50 in :37.6 secs and the second in :38.2secs
In 50% of this small sample the swimmers swam their second 50 slower than their first, in the other have they improved. Could they have swam slower because they were more exhausted on the second? Did those who improved swim faster because they were more comfortable being filmed? I may never know the answers to these questions, but these are factors that I plan to keep in mind as I move forward.
What was learned from this first cycle?
The ability to control the underwater camera is complicated given my body's nature to want to float…which I say my body because in my experience at the olympic training center I have learned not every body wants to float…at least not upright. Due to this issue, I positioned myself in a solitary position underneath a lane rope allowing myself to film with one hand while the other was applying pressure to the underside of the rope keeping me underwater.
The second thing I learned was that when filming under the water with the life proof case, the play of the reflection of light on the surface of the water makes it difficult to see the swimmer on the screen of the iPhone when filming. Therefore, the filming was based on more of the direction the camera was aimed rather than on screen framing. Additionally it was based on the movement of the swimmer. So, as the swimmer swam, the camera moved along with him or her.
Lastly, I noticed that those swimmers who were not being filmed were entirely curious about those that were. I believe this is a result that 1) they wanted to know what was going on and 2) as some expressed, they wished this was part of their swim training.
I have the objective to film two more swimmers. Once that is done, the videos will be edited and shown to them ,while I facilitate a discussion about the onscreen dynamics of swimming stroke technique.