Tuesday 30 December 2014

New video: RoostDH Winter 2014 - Joe Connell

I got the kind of call everyone wants to get a few weeks back. RoostDH need a video making, do you have any free days this side of new years to come and shoot a new video for us, In Malaga, Spain.

Needless to say I was pretty over the cold, wet, grey UK weather and so moved some things around and found 3 days to nip down, shoot and get home. No messing.

( Video at the bottom of the post )

Roost guide and pro rider Joe Connell rode for 3 days flat out, no crashing and no whining. Great rider to work with.
The plan was to not really have a rock solid  plan. We had a bit of a meeting the first morning over breakfast and listed what we wanted from the shoot and video, and the best spots to get it done. We then realized with only 2 and a half days shooting we where going to have to be picky.

Long days from 7am - Dark, hard work from Joe, Mal and myself but we got it done.

Kit getting sorted out after a days shoot. Lowepro bags, Manfrotto tripod, Ifootage travel carbon jib, Glidecam 2000, and some lunch.
Flying to shoots is always good fun when you have this much gear, so I had to keep it light while not compromising on getting the shots we needed.

Manfrotto tripod light enough to put in my suitcase, but sturdy enough to use with the Jib. The jib is a carbon Ifootage travel jib and is amazing. Glidecam HD2000 as its the ideal one for the GH4 and 5D3. And my carry on/camera bag the Lowepro Roverpro 35L with some special custom camera compartment so it can fit everything in. The best bag for the kind of work I do I have found.

Me looking like a right nob shooting with the jib. Notice the sweet Aspect/Spin Tee and shorts in December.

The main thing we wanted to show was how there are still new tracks out here. Its a place that everyone has known about for years, and most people have been too, but its not tired yet.

A new spot that roost has use of. Big ridge lines and rocks.The GH4 with 70-200 2.8 on shooting in 4K so we can crop in even more.

Stylish as ever and even when he has to do the same bit of track 5 times.

We hit up some jumps at the top of Mijas bike park for some air time.

All in all a busy and hectic, but very enjoyable few days shoot. it all went without a hitch, and I think the resulting video is a good watch and shows how good the riding out there is.

Thanks to Mal and Ben from RoostDH for killing it, Joe for riding faultlessly and the Spanish sun for letting me remember what summer feels like in the depths of December and only a few hours from my house in Bristol.

RoostDH Winter 2014 - Joe Connell from Aspect Media on Vimeo.


Friday 26 December 2014

Aspect/Spin apparel is born!

Here at Aspect we have been meaning to get some clothing made for ages, as long as I can remember there being the 3 cubes, we wanted them on tee shirts, and the time is finally here! 

Now a little known fact is that DMR rider/staff Olly Wilkins is also a killer graphic designer and designed our logo back when Aspect was formed. At the same time we also got him to make us a design to go on some tee shirts.

The design from Olly. Squiddin Ain't Easy. Marble print on Red.

So we had a design, the other part of the puzzle was printing the stuff. Getting good quality, small run and cheap printing done isn't easy. This is where Spinthreads.co.uk steps in to the picture.

Spin is a small clothing company run by DH rider Monet Adams and I approached her with the idea of doing some Aspect/Spin collaboration designs, and luckily she loved the designs we had and had some great ideas herself.

Prepping the screens
Getting everything ready to print the first batch.
This is all super small run stuff. For the love of it. Made by riders for riders...and camera nerds.

We get some cool tee shirts made up to wear while we shoot, to give to some of our friends and working with Spin and their web shop means we can open them up to the public and you can buy them too if you want.

In true Aspect style it was do it right, from the start so every tee shirt is hand printed, on the best quality soft tee shirts we can get. They are amazing to wear. MUCH better than the normal fruit of the loom stuff you can get everywhere.

The first ever tee. This was just the test one hence the shit tee and paint stains.
The devil is in the details and that's why every tee shirt comes with the following nice little touches.

Each tee gets the Aspect/Spin colab print on the bottom seam.
Spin arm tags sewn in.
Full individual vintage fabric neck tags

A big plus of knowning the person printing the stuff so well like we do working with Monet at Spin is being able to do really small runs of some wacky designs. Some times one offs.

So we have some nice plain, simple and clean designs and colour ways right through to some pretty wild die dye options. The blue tie dye is a personal favorite. 

Few of the different colour ways we have at the moment.
Blue ti dye, Red with Marble print, and White with black print.
Blue die dye with black print. London, Bristol, World Wide. Squiddin ain't easy!

We have had the first load out in the wild for about a month now, slowly getting them out to riders and media folk alike, as well as a few people we dont know through the Spin web shop.

Here Joe Connell runs one while out shooting in Spain the other week... ( edit out very soon by the way )

As well as that design like I say Monet has done some sweet more graphical designs based around the 3 cubes. Not too many colour ways in this one yet, but we are big fans of the marble print and big bold shapes. Check her web shop via the link at the bottom to see whats in stock at the moment.

So there we have it. Aspect might not be a clothing company just yet, but we are working closely with a really good one. At the moment its Tee shirts, but jumpers and beanies are round the corner. Its all the stuff we want to wear ourselves as we aren't really making it with huge numbers of sales in mind, but if you do want one get on the Spin web shop via the link below and get your mits on one.


Got ideas for colour ways, or designs comment below and we will see what might work...

Cheers Aspect

Monday 3 November 2014

Shutter Muse guest post - Multimedia shoot

Last week I wrote a guest post for Dan Carr's web site and blog ShutterMuse. Been a fan of his work and blog for years so when I met him in Whistler this last summer and he said it would be great to get me to do a blog or two for the site I jumped at it. The first one was based around my trip back out to Whistler this year, and on shooting photos and video on the same job at the same time and a few tips on how to make it easier.

Find the blog post here:


Few bits an bobs from the post to give you a peek.

Bit of the gear I use and what it is ( its interactive on the post on ShutterMuse )

One of the many still images from the weeks shoot.

Trippin Whistler - Short highlights from Aspect Media on Vimeo.

Short best of from the video side of what we shot over the week.

For more info on it all, gear, how to organize time and resources etc have a look. 

Cheers Jacob

Friday 24 October 2014

GH4 with Speed booster - our thoughts

The Panasonic GH4 is one of a few new cameras that has got a lot of people very excited. Along with the Sony A7s they promise amazing features, that only a few years back where reserved for serious video cameras, small size, light weigh and cheap price. Whats not to like right ?

My GH4 fully rigged up with SmallHD screen and Rode Mic

So looking to upgrade the 5D3 for video ( as looking back at its footage, it really isn't that great is it ?! ) I got a GH4 pretty soon. I had always though the crop factor and fact it was never marketed as a low light camera to be some pretty big downsides, but was confident that the Metabones speed booster was just round the corner.

I waited a good 4 months till anything concrete came up online but it did, and again I ordered one of the very first batch of speed boosters that would let me get all my Canon glass on the GH4, with all the smart adapter goodness, wider, brighter blah blah.
Shooting some time lapse with the built in under crank setting.
Being small and light makes it ideal for use on the travel jib.

Without the speed booster, and using Panasonics glass this camera gave a very video style look to the footage, I didn't really like the camera. What it promised and what I thought, and hoped would make it shine though... really does. In my opinion of course. Enter the Speed booster.

Off the camera. CineD and everything off. Sharp and Sat down fully.
With a bit of a grade. Lot of play here which is great.
The Metabones EF-M43 Speed booster is well made, not to bad price wise, makes all your glass a good stop or two brighter, ( makes my 24-105 F4 more like a 35-150ish F2.8 ) wider and softens the footage just a hair, which it needed. Before it was a touch clinical, now its sweet.

Don't push the ISO past 800 if you can help it, never ever past 1600. Accept that 96p while amazing, and at full HD, is a touch softer than 60p or 4K, so learn when to use it.

Look at how sharp and crisp it is in 4K
Picture profiles are something that can make or break this camera. I did the normal thing of trying to get the absolute flattest image I could out the box, and it doesn't work like that. I read up a bit and have now got it pretty dialed. I use CineD ( the flat one ) but then I back off sharpening and saturation fully, leave NR at 0 and leave everything else off and at 0. This gives me nice DR, and no noise to speak of till ISO 800. Its when the camera is trying to adjust the image lots digitally in camera all the noise you may have seen comes in, so leave most stuff as it is and all's well.

Another off the camera shot

And a bit of a grade.
Embrace the post flexibility 4K gives you, and the fact one battery can last a full days shooting, have 96p at full HD, and 4K internally, and if you use fast glass and a speed booster you can still get nice shallow DOF, I now have a camera I am really happy with.

Few little Instagram videos shot with the GH4/Speed booster from the last few weeks.

All this is just my personal opinion, and try not to compare it to closely with an FS700, FS7 or even a C100 or C300 as what you need to remember is this camera body only is £1200! That's insane value.  Yes they will be better than the GH4 in some ways, but they cost lots more, and are all bigger, havier and some arnt as good ... food for thought.

Cheers Jacob

Thursday 23 October 2014

Recent work - Aug/Sept

As ever, no posts for ages. We all know why, working! Its a good problem to have I know.

Anyway the last few months have been manic as ever for Aspect. Work of all kinds, all over the place and seemingly all the time. Here are just a few of the recent videos we have put out in the last month or so...

Sam's World

Web series following the two Sam's to some nice places riding and doing there thing. Working along side Monster energy through the whole creative process and we have just put out part two from Cali.


A documentary that one half of Aspect, Chris Seager helped shoot, as part of a killer team and as part of his final uni project. Staff pick on Vimeo, picked up by Dazed and amazing feedback.


This year Aspect covered Whistler Crankworx for EpicTV. Great week shooting, here is the video from Whip Off.

Science In Sport

Last year we worked with sports nutrition company Science in Sport quite a bit on various projects. Here is a short mash up of some clips from the various jobs to give you an idea of the stuff we shot. 


Trippin World Wide. 3 mates travel all over the world, riding bikes and having a good time. Showing the viewer some of the more off the beaten path places to check out etc Episode 3 came out a few weeks back from Whistler. 

Back on Track

Now we didn't produce this amazing series for Redbull but we where extra camera men at all the EWS rounds this year for it. So a lot of the footage in the episodes is ours ( about half ) . Great to be involved in such a good series and nice to see our footage used to its potential and not butchered. 

So there you have it. This isn't even everything we have put out in the last month or so, there's more ( keep up on everything we do via our facebook ) there's photo shoots, meetings, planning etc etc

But hopefully if you watch some of these videos, you can let us off not putting up too many blog posts. Saying that its "off season" now so here's to a few more of these things over winter.


Monday 7 July 2014

Pre-Production on a shoot ( the basics )

Before we start I am going to say this is a mammoth topic, and so I wont cover anything like everything here, but I will cover the main points. A good base, good practice. 

So you have got someone interested in sorting a shoot with you. Amazing, now you have the work secured its time to put the age old saying of "fail to plan and your planning to fail" into action.

Getting work is the easier part of the puzzle, its getting repeat business that's the key thing, and that rests on doing a good job. You are only as good as your last job. With that in mind some pre planning on shoots is essential, but making sure you do it right saves a load of head aches on the big day.

Do your research on the client

If you didn't pitch for the job ( in which case this will have come while putting the pitch together ) and they approached you, do some home work. See who their clients are, what their markets are and there existing branding.Then work out how you can match what they are going to be expecting, and go one better.

The Pitch document for Antidote. A well put together, professional pitch with relevant information on why it will help their company is a big help landing work.

Plan locations 

The internet really is amazing for this step. Get on Google images, see what the place they have in mind looks like, get a rough idea in your head of the kind of stuff you will be shooting. Check it out on Google earth, see if there is anything else worth bringing into the shoot near by etc. If they let you have input on the location this refers back to step one, talk to people you know who have done stuff you admire, and aim high. Maybe not a two week trip to Nepal, but a few days in say Snowdonia instead of the local park might be worth pitching, if you can sell the benefits of doing so to the client.

You have everything from roads, directions, contours, paths etc You can see where is wooded, where is open and it gives you loads of photos from the ground from lots of places, even out in the middle of the mountains... god bless the internet.
Prepare the gear 

Its just plain common sense but we have all made the mistakes. Make sure all batteries are fully charged, all the cards are in their case, lens's and sensors are cleaned, tripods etc are sorted, if you need a car/bike etc to get about make sure that's good to go etc. All small things but if you rock up to a shoot and realize that SD card is still in your laptop, or the sensor needs cleaning and your now on top of a mountain, its less than ideal.

Call sheets 

Now these are not needed for all shoots, mostly just the ones that include a fair few people and locations etc. If the shoot has any more than 4 people involved it is always useful though.
Include simple stuff and then email it round to everyone on the shoot and print off a few copies and bring them along.

Names, Emails, Phone numbers, Where they are coming from, How they are getting to the shoot, Postcodes and addresses for meeting places and locations, maps, info on local petrol stations, food stops, maybe a breif description of the shoot etc

A little look at a few bits of the call sheets we get for shooting the EWS for DirtTV. There are other pages with everyone's contact info, details of accommodation, maps etc etc but it is a big help to have all the useful info in one place.

If you do all that and do it well, you will be setting yourself up for the least stress full time while actually shooting as you can. Things will still go wrong, and not to plan and that's where experience comes into play, and the only way of getting that is to jump in at the deep end.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Recent work and happenings

As ever, its been busy as of late.

Its no surprise and very welcome don't get me wrong, with summer being our busy time and all that. While being busy is good for most parts of life and business one part that it isn't great for is keeping on top of this blog.

But I found a few minutes ( 15 to be exact ) while some renders finish and uploads plod along to update the people ( if any ) that bother to read this on what we have been doing the last few months.

In no particular order here are a few videos we have released since the last update on here.

Not everything we have done but a few of the bits and bobs. As ever for all the updates on what we are up to see our FB page here:


Fox Fort William World Cup -

We went up to Ft Bill for the WC this year and covered it for FOX head Europe. Great people, amazing iconic brand, the best riders out there and a video we are happy with.

from Fox Head Europe on Vimeo.

Banshee Bikes - Enduro 

We are working with bike brand Banshee on a few different videos over the course of this year and we recently put out the first of those. A slightly more extreme take on riding "enduro" bikes. Went down a storm with getting on for 80,000 views. Great to work with such a good brand, and have some input on what we make. Also helps their staff member and sponsored rider PCJ is insane on two wheels.

from Aspect Media on Vimeo.

Enduro World Series  - Dirt TV

This season we are shooting the offical videos for the Enduro World Series for the infamous DirtTV. Lots of traveling, a new sport, lots of riding bikes and some amazing racing and people.

With daily edits to do from the races its hard work, early starts and late finishing ( or early as the case most often is ) but what amazing events to be part of.

DirtTV Enduro World Series Round Three Valloire | Race Day Two a Mountain Biking video by dirt

We have also been busy shooting photos for various articles for titles from MBUK, Dirt, Wideopen, MBR and more as well as commercial shoots for lots of people that will all come to light soon.

The next big thing coming from us though are edits for DMR bikes, Trippin Worldwide web series for EpicTV and some more EWS coverage.

Better get back to work now, writing blogs isnt getting anything done!


Sunday 25 May 2014

Panasonic GH4 first day test

Every few years a camera comes along that makes a lot of noise. 5D and FS700 for example and recently the GH4. All offering the seemingly impossible ahead of the curve.

Promising 4K, decent slow motion frame rates, small form factor among a load of other features that will make most video nerds happy the GH4 certainly made some noise and so far I cant really argue with it either.

I got the camera last week which I was in Slovenia so was keen to give it a testing as soon as I got back, get used to it and see how it performed. With this in mind I gave my mate, Bristol local and Trek world racing rider Laurie Greenland a call and asked if he wanted to go shoot a mini edit. Worked out well in that he had just got his new 27.5 race bike that morning and wanted to test that out as well.

  • All filmed with the GH4, and 14-140 kit lens.
  • All filmed in about 2-3 hours in the rain ( to test the weather proof claims )
  • In either 1080/96 or 4K/24  
  • Using the CinelikeD picture profile, with everything turned down, and Master Pdsl at +10

Here its set up with the video mic pro. The screen is sharp, bright and easy to use.

Settings differ between shots a lot, but for slow motion stuff either 100th or 200th shutter speed, for full speed either 50th or 100th. ISO tried to keep it on either 200/400/800 when outside and the shots indoors at the start are at 1600.

The brilliant WIFI option to use with Iphones and Ipads.
One thing thats worth mentioning as well is the amazing way you can link the camera via its built in WIFI to your phone/Ipad etc

You have full control of the camera, and I mean full. Anything you can do with the camera itself you can now do with no delay, wireless from your phone. When I say no delay I really mean it as well, even violently whipping the camera about the image on the phone shows no noticeable lag, great feature.

Great for when the camera is in a rig, on a jib or even as a small second monitor.

Was raining pretty hard all afternoon and other than rain getting on the lens it didn't flinch once. 
The Weather sealing seemed pretty good as well. Wouldnt want to test it any more to be honest but it dealt with some pretty real persistant drizzle well and without grumble.

Please find the video below. Only short and I tried to include shots that highlight what I want to talk about.

I have taken a few screen grabs of clips to show you some of the things I noticed: 

C4K/24 , The first few shots where inside a dull bike shop. I wanted to see how it acted in low light, and these where shot at ISO 1600 and show some pretty clear noise.
This camera never claimed to be amazing in low light, so it was no surprise that it doesnt quite match the 5D3. That said the image is also a LOT sharper, which really makes any noise there is stand out quite a lot more than the 5D.

200/400/800 are all fine and clean enough to not notice any real noise. Its just as you step up to 1600 you notice some. I managed to underexpose slightly which didn't help, so if your shooting low light on the GH4 make sure you nail exposure and maybe over expose slightly. Not an issue as the image retains lots of detail in the highlights.

C4K/24 off the camera


1080/96 off the camera
1080/96 Graded
1080/96 off the camera
1080/96 Graded

As you can see with my picture profile settings the image right off the camera is really nice and flat and grades well. I will play about and tweak the settings slightly to see if backing off the Master Pdstl helps reduce noise etc but for now I am really happy with the image.

Everyone was saying the 1080/96 image was pretty unuseable for wide shots with lots of detail, but as the final shot in the video shows, I cant see that. Looks great to me.

As for the 96P being soft, when the image is this razor sharp to start with again I didn't notice it at all in real world use. Coming from a 5D3 that in comparison has grease all over the lens all the time it all looks pretty sharp to me.

You get a better image for grading in every way than the 5D3 from what I have seen, and nearly as nice as the FS700 but still not quite. But this camera costs £1500 ish not £6000 ish so...

The C4K looks great, being able to crop in on shots is great, having the room to stabilize in post is again great, its sharp, doesn't band in sky's, is at a sensible data rate so doesn't rape space on cards and drives and the crop factor of the lens isn't much of an issue, its just part of the camera and something you forget pretty fast and just deal with.

Its pretty much the same story for the 1080/96 as well, for 1080 web delivery I cant see any real noticeable difference. Nothing to write home about anyway. Perhaps just steer clear of slow motion check shirts etc and you will be fine.

I think as soon as Metabones pull their fingers out and give us a good EF to M43 speed booster this camera will sing. Till then its still pretty damn impressive.

Any more questions etc comment below.



Wednesday 21 May 2014

Aspect media - The big gear post!

Here at Aspect we seem to have amassed quite the collection of gear over the last few years.

Gear is your best friend and your worst enemy. Just as soon as you buy something, the next model comes out. Gopro, BMCC etc all bringing out new versions of cameras just as the last products start to ship pretty much. This makes investing in gear you own tricky, but well worth it.

Here is a bit of info on what we chose.

So being on the cutting edge is damn near impossible to do, not really worth it now that there are cameras around that can do everything you could ever need, and not to mention damn pricey.

With all that in mind here is a glimpse inside the gear bags of both Chris and Jacob at Aspect.

Jacob the photo nerd who also shoots video, Chris the video specific wizard.

Despite the differing gear we both share the same main bags. The Lowepro Vertex 300AW.

Hell of a main bag, designed with the outdoors in mind, rugged, water resistant zips, AW rain cover built in, fits loads in, is comfy for wearing all day, fits tight enough to be fine riding with it on, and fits in all carry on luggage bins. Which when we have both been on about 20 flights each this year already is a pretty important one. You want to keep 90% of your gear with you at all times, and handing it over to baggage monkeys is your last LAST option. What more do you need !?

Chris -The video man

Chris's day to day bag for Video

Exploded view on the left, all packed up on the right. Just to prove how much you can fit in the Vertex. A real tardis of a bag.

From the top to the bottom of the left image we have:

  • Canon 70-200ii 2.8 IS
  • Canon 7D
  • Samyang 35 1.4 
  • Zoom H4N
  • Sony FS700 ( with Slog upgrade ) 
  • Canon 17-55 2.8 IS
  • Tokina 11-16 2.8 
  • Canon 50mm 1.4
  • Shot gun Mic with dead cat 
  • Sennheiser wireless lav mics
  • Macbook pro 2014 

Lots of battery's, chargers, caps, remotes etc for it all.

Chris running the FS700 shooting for Monster Energy this Feb on Table mountain, RSA

We also have a load more gear for video that you obviously cant fit in that tiny little bag. From various tripods from big heavy duty ones for Jibs etc, to carbon legs for flying with and general work.

We also use steady cams ( Glidecam HD4000 and 2000 )
Sliders, Glidetrack
And various lights etc

These all have their own cases and bags that get ferried about most places we end up.

Getting the shots with the Steady Cam/Fs700 set up.
Jacob - Photo/Video

Jacobs normal day to day kit bag for Still/Video

So shooting both stills and video on most jobs the kit in this bag changes depending on the job. Its much more mix and match than Chris's which stays the same pretty much. 

If I just shoot photos, the Mics, LCDVF, intervalometer etc all come out and extra flashes, reflectors, soft boxes etc go in their place. 

But for a job we have tomorrow where both are needed, its packed as the images above shows: 

Canon 5Dmk3 
Panasonic GH4 with 14-140 IS lens
Gopro 3+black 
Canon 70-200 2.8 IS
Canon 24-105 F4 IS
Canon 100 2.8 macro
Canon 50 1.8
Canon 15 2.8
Zoom H4N
Rode Video mic pro
Rode Lav mic
3 x Nikon SB800 with extra battery packs
4 x PW2 flash triggers
Vari ND filter
Spare cards and battery's etc

Again more gear is used such as sliders, steady cams ( but the HD2000 as my video camera is a lot lighter than the FS700 ) lights etc 

Jacob shooting at the EWS opening round in Chile last month with the FS700

And shooting out in the Israel desert with the 5D3 a few weeks back
So that's it really. There might be the odd clamp, arm, tripod or bag left out but mostly its all here.

Capable of everything from top level still images, 240+ FPS high speed shooting, 4K and everything inbetween and all capable of going as far into the mountains as we can carry it. All in one bag mostly.

Saying that we do have a pretty wide range of Lowpro bags we use, some smaller, lighter for when you dont need much gear, are on a huge ride or location scouting. To Neater bags for commercial jobs in a city where turning up with half a pine tree lodged in your bag isn't quite on. We swap gear between then as it fits us. Its good to have options and they all do their own things.

Few of the other Lowepro bags we use day to day.

We use one for back up gear and spares full time, another for the Gopro gear and accessories, another for studio lights etc etc

Like I say, riding with these on is all part of the job and the gear we use there is just as key. From bikes ( Banshee Spitfires ) to Fox clothing and riding kit. Its all adds up price wise but your only as strong as your weakest link so it makes sense to spend that little bit more and get it right first time and that's what all this gear does.

Any more questions just ask...


PS: GH4 test footage and real world footage coming in the next week for all those who are waiting/on the fence.