Saturday 16 January 2016

Backcountry 2.0 with Fairclough, Reynolds and Wilkins

Yesterday a new video that Aspect helped shoot went live over on Pinkbike. Check it out via the link below: 

"So the idea for 'Backcountry' came about, back in 2014 when the S4P crew started digging at this secret spot just outside of Swindon. Covered in loam and hero dirt and all on this small yet steep hill - it was just so much fun to ride. So I went down one day and got the camera out and filmed a rough-and-ready video, which went down a storm... It's hard to make anything bad with all those boys, especially when they're all on good form and bouncing off each other, and the floor.

F**k knows why, but it took us a whole year to get together again and do another one of these edits. So, with a message from the S4P boys saying "are you free next week to come film", I dropped everything, grabbed (Chris) Seager and (Tom) Grundy, filled the car with camera gear and got down there. There were no steady cams, no jibs and very little slow-mo on the agenda, just good old fashioned simple fun with mountain bikes. The cameras were rolling pretty much non-stop because as soon as you stopped recording, someone would have a huge crash or something else wild would happen.

This edit was shot by myself and Grundy with Seager shooting bits in between trying to ride and keep up with the pros. As you will see in the video, he didn't do too badly, but not that great either ha-ha! Shout out to Grundy who killed it on the editing on this. You know it's kind of fun, doing a project like this with no client and no one to please. For this reason, I think these projects will always be lo-fi and all about the fun!

If this becomes an annual tradition, you can count me in, 100% - for the last two have been been filled with some of the memorable days. All hail the official S4P Swindon 'Loaman-Qualiceum'.

I hope you enjoyed the video and we look forward to bringing you Backcountry 3.0 next year!"


Monday 4 January 2016

Reverse engineer - 3 random riding shots

After the last reverse engineer post went down so well I thought it would be rude not to do another one. This time though rather than brides its bikes, good old bikes.

I spend 80% of my working life shooting bikes in some form. Road, mountain, downhill, moto etc So over the years I have got a nack of turning up to a location and just whipping out the lights, and without any test shots knowing pretty much where to place them, what power and zoom they need to be on, where to stand, camera settings, lens etc and the shot turning out pretty much there within 5 adjustments.

Gear used in all 3 shots:
  • Canon 5D3
  • Canon 24-105 F4
  • Canon 70-200 F2.8
  • Canon 15mm fish F2.8
  • 2 x Flash lights
  • Fired with Pocket wizards
So here are 3 shots with varying settings and lighting set ups, and a bit of info behind the why and how of the images... ( click any image to see it larger )

A firm favorite shot of mine, good solid action, nice light well exposed etc
Andrew Neething shot on location in Portugal. Client - Giant Bicycles
Canon 5D3, Canon 24-105 ISO 100, F5 , 1/125th

This shot was taken on a team training and press camp with Giant Factory off road in Portugal a year or two ago. I had no real 1 on 1 time with the riders to shoot and just had to snap shots as they smashed laps in testing bikes. So maybe 10 chances each rider per day. No pressure.

As you can see in the left hand, off the camera shot you can see one flash was on the ground to cameras left, see the hot spot on the floor ? The other flash on a tripod at about riders head height, off the cameras right facing into the riders body. Both at pretty wide and about 1/8th power to balance the ambient with the flash.

In photo shop I cloned out the hot spot on the ground on the left where the flash was, bought back down the sky and fore ground to keep the eye in the middle of frame with the rider and tweaked saturation and white balance as well as dodging and burning.

Jack Chapman riding the south downs. Client: Upper downs clothing.
Canon 5D3, Canon 70-200 F2.8,  ISO 800, F4, 1/200th

Taken on a shoot for a start up clothing company wanting shots of their gear out doing what it is intended for, riding. Shot long lens to make use of the trees and get some fore ground in, again with 2 flashes. One to camera right just out of frame by the riders left side on about 1/8th power and wide zoom, the other hidden behind the tree in the middle of frame on 1/8th power and 50mm zoom. IN photo shop nothing wild just contrast, saturation and dodging and burning.

Eliot Jackson in Whistler. Personal work.
Canon 5D3, Canon 15mm fisheye F2.8, ISO 400, F5.6 , 1/200th

While this shot might not have had a client when shot, it did end up in print in Dirt magazine as a DPS contents page as well as smaller in a few other magazines.
One flash wide and full power behind the lip to light up the dust off the lip. The second flash behind the camera and a bit closer to the landing of the jump, cameras right. Again pretty wide and about 1/8th power.

In photo shop nothing to wild yet again. I try to keep it as minimal as possible but sometimes a shot needs more than the simple whole image tweaks. This time though just dodging and burning as well as some contrast and saturation tweaks.

I will try do another post like this soon but with some set up shots showing exactly where gear is placed etc.