Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Jerrythegeek's Shooting Gallery

I consider this a major accomplishment, so don't put me down for bragging a little.

I've finally loaded ALL of the available photos from the September 3-4, 2005, Croc Match to the internet.

After three months of seeking web-hosting, getting gallery software installed (both accomplished by my friend Brian B. whose last name I always misspell), acquiring and learning how to use editing software, getting a high-speed internet access so I could upload 3GB of files, and then figuring out how to post the same content in smaller files . . . there are now more than 1,000 still photos and 40+ movies of this high-round-count match available to you.

The photos are running about 50-100 KB each, but they're all displayed in thumbnails so you can look at them before seening them in full-size.

The videos originally ran from 3MB to 23MB in size. Understand that these are eight stages averaging 50 rounds each so it takes a while to shoot them. Usually, 25 seconds or so is a winning stage time in the FAST stages. Some of the newer shooters in Production and L10 took over a minute to complete many stages. By editing and compressing the video files, I usually managed to reduce the file sizes to between 2mb and 5mb, althought a few of them are as large as 7mb. (The file size is usually marked on the caption, so you'll have some idea of how long it takes to download it.)

Thanks to a suggestion from a member of the Unofficial IPSC List, I used Windows Movie Maker software to edit them and, in the process, add titles and musical background. (You've seen some examples of the results here, as I've been learning the techniques.)

I undertook this project for three reasons:

  1. There was some interest in the Columbia Cascade Section in establishing an on-line 'scrapbook' of our local IPSC matches.
  2. Paul Meier, the Match Director of the Croc Dundee Banzai Ballistic match, wanted some way to let people accross the country know what it was LIKE to shoot a hi-round match
  3. It sounded like a fun, Geekish thing to do
I have a few 'other' albums up, based on photos and films of local matches. But the 2005 Croc Match album is huge! It is organized into one main album and nine sub-albums.

SWMBO was the photographer for most of the pictures and the videos. I also received stills from Norm the Ungratful, and also from a local shooter named Ron Downs. Norm was in the Super Squad, and SWMBO followed them around a lot during the 2-day match so there are a lot of picturs of them.

Ron was squaded with Mike McCarter and his Junior Squad (we have a very strong Junior program in CCS, with the section providing firearms, equipment, ammunition, training, coaching and other support) so we have a lot of photos AND videos of the Juniors.

I confess that I, like everybody else in the section, have special interest in seeing that the Juniors get all the support and encouragement we can give. Ron provided some terrific videos of Juniors in action. They're all shooting Production, with Glocks (my friend Bob, from Texas, will appreciate that) so they went through 7 or 8 magazines to get through each 50+ round match . . . most arrays were 8 or 9 rounds, and there were between 8 and 10 arrays in each stage.

As I was editing the videos, I began to notice that you can learn a LOT from watching them. I've seen a lot of mistakes, errors and boondogles here. Magazines incompletely seated during a reload, people making un-needed reloads, finger-freezes, standing reloads, bad stage tactics, and even an 8-second video of a Match DQ.

There was the folks who got frustrated by repeated feeding failurs and just quit the stage halfway through. I didn't include those videos, they're just too heartbreaking. And there were people who continued to have problems with jams and feeding, and just kept on going because there was no quit in them.

I saw Master Class shooters looking like newbies, and experiences shooters making errors during movement that, from the camera point of view, looked like DQs. That's why they don't use video as evidence in IPSC Arbitrations; the RO is the only one who really understands how the stage is layed out, and where the180-degree line is.

I saw a first-year junior, while reloading during the jungle run, turn around and LOOK BEHIND HIM to make sure the RO was in a safe position.

One of the sub-albums includes pictures of ALL the winners awarded during the Awards Ceremony. I figured that the people who shot the match, and won something, deserved the opportunity to download their winning picture for their own use. Since I don't know everybody, I didn't caption any of these pictures . . . but you know who you are.

I didn't throw away ANY pictures because they didn't have any big action to display. People who shot the match, and were photographed, can find their pictures here.

People who didn't shoot the match, but are contemplating attending the 2006 match, can get a good idea of what it's like by viewing the photos and movies here.

And people who just like to look at IPSC videos . . . you're in for a treat. Hope you have high-speed Internet access, or are a dial-up user with a lot of time on your hands. You CAN save the videos after viewing them. The movies are not only interesting, they're educational. Watch them several time (you only have to download them once), and you begin to understand where the competitors made bad choices, good choices, and to compare the various approaches to shooting a single stage. Wait until you see Yong Lee win Stage 5, "THE DOORS", or Joe DeSimone win Stage 5, "Combat Rock".

Don't get lost in the Jungle on Stage 4: "Soda Shop Boogie". And be sure to watch your muzzle on Stage 2: "Rock Around the Croc". (All stage titles are taken from popular music titles of the sixties and seventies.)

I've included the URL in full; it's also a link, so you can go there by just clicking on it.

Have fun. I did.

I just heard from Dundee Croc Match Director. He says the 2006 match will also be scheduled for the Labor Day weekend.

September 2-3, 2006

You can watch for registration information in the Front Sight magazine, and also at the Team Croc website.

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