Saturday 14 December 2013

Peaks of Life, makes Vimeo Staff picks

Here at Aspect we have been pretty flat out with work the last month or so, hence the slight lack of posts on here, but being that busy means we have lots of videos in the pipes.

 ( Always best to keep up to date with what we are working on via Facebook and Twitter )

Anyways, last week we put out this short documentary on Tom Wheeler, a good friend of us here at Aspect both as a rider, mate and fellow Filmer. He had a really bad crash a few years ago during a national DH race and this is the story of his recovery and journey back to riding bikes again.

It also just got voted as a Staff Pick over on the best video site going, Vimeo. We are pretty proud of it, if you haven't seen it already give it a watch, its inspiring stuff.

Monday 28 October 2013

Canon XA20 initial thoughts...

Last month I got a new camera, I was toying with a few options and all for different reasons.

The issue I had was shooting video on a Canon 5d3 is great, the images are stunning and its small and easy to use, but its erganomically not a video camera, has no servo zoom, and is hard to keep steady and hand hold, it also only shoots 60p at 720 which is an issue when you shoot a lot of bikes and sports.

I was looking at Sony FS700, or something more like an EX1 etc

Aspect already has an FS700 so having two seemed a bit silly, and the EX1 and other cameras like it dont shoot 1080/60 either... hmmm, thought I would sit tight and wait a few months and see what else came out, im glad I did.

Step in the Canon XA20!

Now on paper it seems pretty damn good, MP4 and AVCHD at 35/28 MBPS, small ( DSLR size ) but a real video camera, the right shape, buttons in the right place, it has the most insane image stabilization ever, servo zoom and shoots full 1920x1080 HD at 60P, add in the fact it also has XLR inputs for top quality audio, 20x zoom and you have a pretty capable run and gun, documentary style video camera. Perfect for race stuff, road trips, and pretty much everything else. Put it with the 5D3, and FS700 already in our kit bag and we have most stuff covered.

On the recent Dirt mag run to the hills trip the XA20 got a fair hammering ( to the point its had to go in for a repair after Brendog hit the thing head on at 30mph and made the screen loose ) but it was amazingly easy to use, gives amazing clarity and quality and you can hand hold at something obscene like 300mm and the IS makes it perfectly steady!? 

Like I said the camera is away right now getting some TLC, but once its back I'm going to set up some shots, try out the different data rates and codecs, shoot some slow mo with it, compare it to the 5d3, and show you even though it has a small sensor you can still stop it down to F1.2 and get pretty shallow DOF.

For now see a short test of some footage straight off the camera in both AVCHD and MP4 and also a shot from my 5D3 for comparison. The Dirt run to the hills teaser video was partly shot on the camera and as you can see the footage looks great, equal to that from an EX1 as far as I can see...

Run to the Hills - Team DMR Teaser a Mountain Biking video by dirt


Tuesday 22 October 2013

Jacob Gibbins 2014 Portfolio

Last week I put out my new 2013/14 still image portfolio.

With me shooting less races this season and more editorial and commercial work its a bit different to previous years but I am really happy with the work and have had a ball shooting all year.

Check it out below or via the link and let me know what you think.


Brendan Fairclough - Les Deux Alpes edit

Back in the summer Chris from Aspect went out to the Alps with Brendan Fairclough, one of the worlds best, and arguably most stylish riders for a week.

Here is the video that came out of the week, thanks to JoDesigns for the motion graphics work, and Boris for the still image.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Reverse engineered - Matt Jones, super flip

In this new series of posts ( Reverse Engineered ) I am going to pick a few images I have taken over the last year or so and reverse engineer them for you, explain how I got the shot, why I shot it as I did and where lighting was, the editing process etc

From the back of the camera to the portfolio.

Some images need very little doing to them, some I shoot with the intention of changing stuff in post. I will be posting up an image in a few weeks for example, where I shot with the aim of clone stamping out a lamp post. Sometimes things like that cant be fixed at the time of shooting and are where digital work really comes in to its own.

For this first one though, we have an Image of Saracen bikes rider Matt Jones down at his secret training compound near his house in the UK.

Shot at the same time as shooting for our film Antidote last winter, so we had both Chris and myself on set for the whole day, and between shooting video I got a few still images to run along side the film.

The Idea for the shot was to show:

  • The fact it was winter in the UK ( cold, wet, dark, miserable ) 
  • Matt pushing limits and trying big tricks 
  • The full ramp set up 
With those points in mind, I wanted to shoot fish eye to make the jump look its biggest, wanted to under expose ambient a bit to get it all moody, and then use flash to bring Matt out of the back ground.

This is what the file looked like right off the camera:

Bit flat, bit dark, but everything is there and in the right place. No blown highlights. Clean.

For this shot as said above I wanted to use some off camera flash to help lift Matt out of what was a pretty boring, thick hedge back ground and over cast UK winter sky.

I use Nikon SB800 flash guns and PW2 triggers. The Nikon flashes as they are true work horses, seem to work in what ever you put them in, and with the extra piggy back battery have a recharge rate with good charge that can keep up with 7FPS shooting. As for the pocket wizards, no real need to explain. They just work.

As it says really, 2 flashes, one as Rim light and one as main Fill. Both pretty mid power and different zooms.
Thats the image captured. In the bag. But I knew I would want to do some work to it in post. Nothing to heavy, no clone work or anything like that but just giving the image the pop and punch I wanted. It was for the press release of the film part after all, It needed to grab some attention and stand out.

  • Cropped in slightly, and also rotated the image a bit to get Matt in a better place in the composition. 
  • Lightened up the roll in and ramp a bit to give him some context. 
  • Brightened him up and bit and have him some more contrast. 
  • Burned in the hedge in the back ground and bit and the darker areas of the clouds.
Shot on a Canon 5D mk3, Canon 15mm 2.8 , 2 x Nikon SB800 flash guns and PW2 triggers.

Any more questions leave a comment bellow and I will answer.

Another one next week...

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Camera bags ( Vertex 300AW, Flipside 500AW, Flipside sport 20L ) and why you need a few

I seem to have amassed a fine collection of camera bags over the years. Looking back a few years you think you only need one, something that will go on your back and hold every bit of gear you own. Done.

But that's wrong, camera bags are just a tool and like most tools, you have different variations of them that are good at different jobs, think hammers, spoons, saws, cars, cameras even. You don't use a sledge hammer to put in a tack nor do you use a point and shoot to cover a world cup. Its that same idea that has over the last few years become apparent to me with regards to bags.

Have a few, not loads, but 3-4. Small one for some gear when your scouting, big one when you need all your photo and video gear, sport ones for when you need to ride for a while to get to a spot, you get the idea. Yes you could make do with one ( I did for the first few years of shooting ) but like everything, having the right tool for the job makes it much easier.

Here are 3 bags I use on a regular basis, what I put in them and when I use them. I have a few more but these are what I use 80% of the time:

Lowepro Vertex 300AW

This is my main bag for trips when I need to take a lot of gear. Its a big bag, robust and built for the outdoors. As you can see fits in all the gear I need to do both stills and video ( although to do both with full kits of each I do need 2 bags )

Taken it all over the world, and although the airline bins at check in beg to differ, it does fit in over head lockers as hand luggage filled right up, just dont let any one help you struggle in to the bins with it haha

Like I say, the go to bag for me, use it for 70% of jobs and has never let me down.

Lowepro Flipside 500AW

This is another one of Lowepro's more outdoor bags ( kind of works with what I shoot 90% of the time ) but its a little smaller than the Vertex. It is also a bit deeper which is great for putting gear in a hurry and with pro series bodies, when a grip is on or for video cameras.

It unlike the Vertex opens on the back panel meaning you don't have to get your back all muddy etc when putting the bag down and straps etc stay clean, again its an AW model meaning it has the built in rain cover that can pull out in a second.

The front pocket isnt quite big enough to squeeze a 15" laptop in anoyingly but this isnt to much of an issue as you can just leave the top poking out and strap it in with one of the many straps on the bag.

I tend to use it for jobs where I'm shooting stills or video, not both, jobs inside, or where I need nice fast access to gear. I took it out to Eurobike recently and it was perfect for the job.

Bit of a different layout with super fast access to flashes.

Lowepro Flipside sport 20L AW 

This is the newst bag of the 3, and also the smallest and lightest. It is those 2 reason why it gets used. When I go on shoots that mean riding as well as shooting, and where I know I will only have to shoot either photos or video this is the one to take. Small so doesnt swing back and try to make you do front flips all the time, loads of straps to hold it tight to your body and well padded, but on the flipside ( excuse that awfull pun ) its got enough room in it for loads of gear and doesnt feel like im loosing any features over say the Vertex.

If you dont have much gear, or ride a lot as well as shoot then this is the one to get.

Full of spares, chargers and Misc stuff at the moment. 

With all 3 of these bags, you get the built in AW cover and the fact its Lowepro and so will just work.

Its the bits of gear that just carry on working, in all weathers, despite all the abuse, that you don't notice. They don't shout about themselves they just get on with the task in hand. That is what a good camera bag should do. Carry all your gear and work flawlessly all the time so you don't have to worry about how safe your gear constantly.

Any more info or questions just ask in the comments below or via email.


Friday 30 August 2013

Getting started

I saw this on Chase Jarvis's blog the other day, read it in the airport and it all rang so true. I got asked how I started doing what I do a handful of times this week alone. So rather than tell you that again I thought I would say give this a read if your stuck in a rut, or want to be doing something else with your life but don't seem to be able to make it a reality.

When people ask me how I started doing this, I tell them it was some what of a snow ball effect, and that's true but that's the short version, the very short one. So is this blog post to be honest, if you see me in person and want to know more just ask.

The key part of all this, and actually making your dream job your actual job, or achieving anything you really want to is just getting started.

When I was 16 and still in school and setting up as self employed, lots of people told me I was rushing in to it all and should go get a normal job and go to uni blah blah blah. I took on board what they said, briefly, and then threw 90% right out the window. The careers adviser made me spend 2 weeks writing an in depth business plan, I haven't looked at it in 5 years of business.

I was very lucky that I was still at home and so had very little over heads, insurance and a car and a token gesture of rent was about it, so I had it good when it comes to starting a new business. But even so, I just got started and let the finite details work themselves out as I went along, and for the most part it worked out just fine.Yes there will be hickups, yes there will be signs telling you to stop and go be "normal" but its those signs that stop everyone else from doing this. From having what really is an amazing job. Others see reasons to stop, I see hurdles keeping all those who want it less than me out.

Someone ( I forget who, probably my mum ) told me that “ A mistake is only a mistake if you make it twice, otherwise it was a lesson” and its damn good advice, if you screw up ( which you are going to do a lot ) just work out why it happened and try your best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

So I wont rabbit on, but just want to say that like the post I saw on the blog mentioned at the top ( ) , don't let your dreams become dreams, make them happen. Its so easy to find a hundred reasons to hold off on doing them, but all it takes is one good reason to give it a go and you will realize its not as bad as it seems, if you want something, anything enough, and are willing to put in the hours to make it happen, you will make it happen.

( I am now going to go ride my bike, and not think about working at all haha )

Monday 5 August 2013

The last month or so ...

As ever I wont start yet another post with an apology for not posting very often. Truth is we are posting more than ever but with the rise of facebook shorter updates, photos and videos get put up on there pretty much every day.

So go like our FB page, and keep up to date on everything we are doing. ( which seems to be a fair bit at the moment )

First up is Antidote, the full length film we made this winter. Now out in Full. 40 mins of UK MTB good times. Give it a watch on your lunch break or something.

Antidote - Full film a Mountain Biking video by AspectMediaUK

Next is a really cool advert we did with Mpora/Hiplok for there new light weight locks. Shot in London over a few days a month or so back. Now live and something we are pretty proud of.

Hiplok LITE: Designed for Riding - Built for Security. a BMX video by hiplok_locks

Then we have been traveling around at various events. From Euro Crankworx, about to jump on a flight out to Vancouver for the real deal, Norway ( where this helmet cam is from ) all over the UK to various races, South France etc

So while this blog might go a bit quiet when we are busy, we are still here and still updating the world on what we are doing and how, just its happening via facebook more offten. Will get our teeth in to some more in depth BTS and product stuff on this blog in Septmeber when we have a few weeks to breathe.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Antidote parts 1 - 3 out!

Its all out there! Antidote the longer length film project we have been working on since the end of last season really is now online, all 3 parts can be seen on Mpora now.

Been a lot of work, we have learned a lot about making a bike film, and if everything comes together are already considering the possibility of doing another one.

With the riders list reading like a whos who of UK MTB from DH to Freeride with Brendan Fairclough, Olly Wilkins, Rich Thomas, Taylor Vernon, Matt and Jono Jones, Matt Simmonds, Joe Smith, Danny Hart, Sam Pilgrim and Sam Reynolds it has gone down well.

Find all 3 parts here:

Antidote - Part 1, Fairclough,Wilkins,Thomas,Vernon a Mountain Biking video by AspectMediaUK

Antidote - Part 2, Jones Twins, Matt Simmonds, Joe Smith a Mountain Biking video by AspectMediaUK

Antidote - Part 3, Danny Hart, Sam Pilgrim, Sam Reynolds a Mountain Biking video by AspectMediaUK

And we will be putting out the film as one part to download should you wish this weekend.



Sunday 12 May 2013

Antidote - full length film trailer now out!

For the last few months Aspect have been working hard shooting for our new full length MTB film called Antidote. A much bigger affair than we have done in the past with a lot high production values and a stacked roster of riders.

The trailer hit the internet yesterday and is up over on Dirt now, give it a watch and a share etc and keep an eye out for part one dropping next week.

Big thanks to Monster Energy and Giant Bicycles for making the film happen, with out those lot none of it would be possible.

Also working with Dirt/Mpora and Exempt clothing on this which is great.

More Mountain Biking Videos

 Part one coming next week! Brendan Fairclough, Olly Wilkins, Rich Thomas and Taylor Vernon! 

Friday 10 May 2013

DMR Sect product launch campaign

For the last month here at Aspect we have been working hard on this project. It all started after we finished the brendog Vaults pedal campaign and after that did so well, they wanted to get us involved on their next launch, the DMR Sect product launch campaign.

They got us in to shoot everything from the video, banners, still photos for the website, mini sites on websites like pinkbike, print adverts etc. start to finish everything visual ( apart from the amazing graphic design done by DMR rider Olly ) was done by Aspect. 

While some say the swearing, and the lack of riding was a brave move, the concept was strong and wanted to show how DMR really is a riders brand making stuff that has been thought through by the people that ride it hardest. Part 2 is already in the planning and will be a more normal riding edit, so don't worry you will see more of those wacky Jimmy Pratt whips.

Another big shout out on this project has to go to Josh O'Leary over at JoDesigns. He did all the motion graphics work on this edit which helps bring it to life. Motion graphics really rasie the production on any video they are in, and how ever simple take a fair bit of work to get done just right. We will be working more and more with Josh in the future so expect more cool things from the Aspect/JoDesigns thing ...

Anyway, watch the edit, go check out the products, buy some and keep an eye out for the trail and part one of our new film which will be dropping over the next few weeks.



Sunday 5 May 2013

Gravity Enduro Rd 2 video

Wideopenmag//Juice Lubes - UK Gravity Enduro Series Rd 2 at Innerleithen from Wideopen Mag on Vimeo.

The other weekend Aspect went up to Innerleithen in Scotland to shoot the second round of the UK gravity enduros for Wideopen and Juice Lubes, good weekends racing had by all, see the video we made above.

Expect a post on some more gear and other big projects very soon, seems we are to busy working in May to do many updates on here ha


Monday 8 April 2013

Will Weston - Aspect media supported rider

Last week Aspect went up to the forest of Dean to meet up with our supported rider Will Weston.

Now for as long as I have been making money from doing this, I have wanted to support a racer with nice photos and videos. Marketing and getting quality coverage is a huge part of being sponsored, and being in a position to help a rider by giving them that is something I like doing.

So when Will left the Saracen team ( like myself ) last season and asked me if I wanted to support him with media for the season I jumped at the chance. He is a good kid, learning all the time an starting to dip his toes in the WC lake. So a big year for him.

The main aim of this days shoot was to get a short interview video outlining his plans for the year and some photos to act as a press release about him. I think we did that.

The plan is to do a few of these shoots with him through out the season, and to get him good quality images from all races we are both at. 

Keep an eye out and check out his site to keep up to date on all his goings on.


Monday 1 April 2013

British Enduro Rd 1 video

The other weekend Aspect went down to Afan in Wales to shoot a video of the opening round of the UK Gravity Enduros for Wideopenmag and Juice Lubes.

We will be at every round of them in 2013 so expect some great videos from them all...

Dan Atherton on his way to taking the win by a LOT


Wideopenmag//Juice Lubes: 2013 UK Gravity Enduro Series Round 1 at Afan from Wideopen Mag on Vimeo.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Aspect Media's gear ... post 1 of 2

We get a fair few questions on what kind of gear we use at Aspect media. Over the next few weeks we will be doing a few blog posts on all this to answer all that.

In the first of the series we look at what is in both of our ( myself and Chris ) main bags.

We will be covering support, lighting, computers etc in future posts.

First off Jacobs ( mine )

Now as I'm first and fire most a photographer my bag is more full of still gear, but with a fair bit of stuff to make shooting videos better as well.

In this first Image we have the contents of my main bag in its everyday set up exploded.

In this image we have: 

  • Canon 5d3 body with 24-105 F4 IS L
  • Canon 550D body with grip
  • 70-200 F2.8 L
  • 15mm fish eye F2.8
  • 50mm prime F1.8 
  •  2 x Nikon SB800 flash guns
  • 3 x PWs
  • Rode video mic pro
  • Rode lavalier mic
  • Time lapse remote
  • LCD viewfinder
  • flash diffusers
  • memory card pouch
  • gorilla pods
  • batteries
  • lens clothes/blower
  • cables and bungees

Then in the bag which I didnt bther to unpack are some more bolds, flash filters, lens filters and some 2 way radios. 

All paced in to the Lowepro Vertex 300AW.
A rugged outdoor and location bag big enough to fit all this in with enough pouches and relevant weather protetion to take out in to the mountains. Never skipped a beat.

The gear that you don't notice is the gear working the best.

Here it all is packed up nice and neatly in the Lowepro Vertex 300AW

Next up Chris Seagers main bag...

Now Chris is just a video man. So his bag is much more suited to just shooting video alone. 

 As you can see above it all packs nicely in to the Lowepro Flipside 500AW, another bag with the outdoors in mind, opens from the back so you dont get your back all muddy after putting it down, lots of straps on for tripods and to keep it nice and tight on your body for riding with as well if we need. ( althought we have even better bags for this purpose you will see next time )

Anyway the contents:

  • Sony FS700 high speed camera
  • Canon 7D with 17-50 mm
  • Tokina 11-17mm 
  • Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L
  • Viewfinder for the Sony 
  • Spare batteries for both cameras
  • Remote for the Sony ( useful when cameras on the crane )
  • Shotgun mic ( with wind breaker )
  • Gorilla pod 
Between these 2 bags we have most things covered, but as we will show you in the next gear post in a week ish, theres a more bags for different shoots and gigs, all the supprt gear ( Tripods, cranes, sliders, steadcams etc ) as well as lots of usefull tips for computer gear and chargers etc

Any questions just leave a comment.


Friday 15 March 2013

Why the lack of posts ?

If you are one of the people who comes on here regularly and have been wondering why theres been a noticeable lack of posts theres a very good reason for it.

We are to busy actually working and shooting, and don't have any videos out for a few more weeks yet ... Pretty simple, just not enough hours in the day at the moment.

We are in full tilt production mode at the moment for our new full length film that is in the works, we have been all over the place for that, Spain with the Jones twins etc  and have a handful more shoots for it in the next month.

Here Matt Jones throws a sweet table while shooting down in Malaga.

As well as that I have been shooting plenty for a few magazines and Chris has been mad with uni work, we have a few big shoots coming up in the next few weeks though so keep it locked to our facebook page ( which is updated a lot more than this ) to keep up to date on a very really exciting projects etc



PS: we also got some sweet post cards printed, if you want one in the post message us via the facebook page with why and where.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Brendog - DMR Vaults Ad campaign

A few months ago now Olly Wilkins the brand manager over at DMR bikes got hold of us at Aspect and asked us to help him on the new Ad campaign for the Brendan Fairclough signature Brendog Vault pedals.

They wanted a web video shooting as well as photos to run in print Ads at the same time...and Aspect delivered.

The video went live yesterday across all the websites and magazines etc and has been well received.

Check out the video below as well as the print Advert:

Also keep an eye out for some more of Jacobs shots all over the DMR website

More news and work when we have it ( it wont be long )



Monday 4 February 2013

New edit - Danny Hart - Malaga, Spain

The other week myself and the other half of Aspect Media headed out to Spain to stay with RoostDH for a week and do some shooting.

For the most part with Danny Hart, we where mainly shooting with him for the up coming full length film Antidote, but we thought we would put together a short edit with some of the footage for you early.

Have a look, watch etc, if you like it share it.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

New edit - Bernard Kerr - Pivot M4X

Bernard Kerr is a rider myself and Aspects other half Chris have known well for a while now. Great style on a bike ( although I would never tell him that haha ) and always keen to shoot.

So a month or so ago now we caught up with him for a few days shooting on his new short travel M4X bike and to asking him about his season last year which saw him get a few top 20s.

Enjoy the edit, a few photos and expect another edit up soon but this time with Danny Hart in the Spanish sun.

Thursday 24 January 2013

More published work - Genesis bikes

Carrying on from the post I did last week with lots of recently published work are a few more bits and bobs.

Mainly from Genesis bikes this post. I have be fortunate enough to work with them a handfull of times in 2012 for everything from Adverts, website, brochures etc and they are a great bunch of people with a very noble outlook on making bikes.

Anyway find a few photos from various places all Genesis bikes related, MTB, Road etc :