Monday, 29 July 2013

Filming Outtakes - Jamie Barrow World Indoor Snowboard Speed Record

Somehow I always end up with quite a lot of outtakes when filming with Jamie Barrow...! Here's some from our latest trip...

FYI - There's a little bit of swearing.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Jamie Barrow Sets the World Indoor Snowboard Speed Record - Full Video

On the 7th July, Jamie Barrow set the world indoor snowboard speed record after reaching 69.4km/h at SnowWorld in Landgraaf.

We used two Nikon D7000s and a Nikon D5100 to film and photograph everything over three days, along with a Contour helmet camera, a 12ft Kessler camera crane and a Rode Stereo Mic Pro.

Here's the full video I've put together using Final Cut Pro X:

Friday, 26 July 2013

14 Free iOS Apps for Photographers 2013

In no particular order, here are my 14 most commonly used free iOS apps for anything related to photography:

Todoist - used for organisation, shot lists, projects and ideas

This is a new one I've only recently come across when looking for an app that would help me create shot lists for video or photo shoots. It's a really sleek 'to do list' app that synchronises across all your devices. You can sign up with your Google account (or just set up a brand new account) and it lets you sort your to do list into Projects with their own task lists and deadlines.

Notes - used for note keeping, lists, ideas, random scribblings

The standard iOS Notes app is my go to app for quickly jotting down anything I need, from ideas to a list of what to pack for my next trip. With Notes turned on in the iCloud settings, I know that all my notes will be automatically saved and synchronised across all my devices.

WhatsApp - used alongside messaging and emails, great for sending pics

This messaging app has gone from strength to strength that so many people use it internationally now it's just as important as SMS and emails to stay in touch with clients and colleagues. I've found it's also much quicker for sending photos than SMS or email. The only downside is it doesn't work if I can't use mobile data abroad.

Instagram - used for fun and inspiration

Quick and fun way of uploading a mobile pic and having it pushed straight to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I also follow some photographers, athletes and companies on there that upload awesome images.

500px - used for my website and inspiration

I use 500px for my website portfolio so the app allows me to show off my best images. However, it's also an absolutely brilliant place to see other people's images, sorted by category, popularity or editors' choice. The iPad version of the app is spectacular and I find myself on there for hours at a time.

Photoshop Express - used for mobile editing

Probably the most powerful free photo editing app out there, and it should be, coming from Adobe.

iTalk - used for recording interviews and voice memos

Outstanding app for recording audio. I'm always amazed by the quality of the iPhone's microphone and this is the best app I've found for recording and organising audio.

Met Office - used for weather forecasts

Easily the best weather app for the UK but unfortunately they haven't got an international version! Sort it out Met Office!

Google Maps - used for directions and traffic info

The best and longest serving maps app with the extremely useful and surprisingly accurate feature of live traffic info.

Zite - used for tech and photography news

Wonderful little app for all your latest news in technology, photography, gadgets, design... the list goes on. Really easy to navigate and also gives you the option to choose a 'Favourites' list so you only see the topics you want to see.

Twitter - used for news, photo competitions and entertainment

Quite an obvious choice but really crucial for staying up to date with industry news and also a very handy way of finding the latest photography competitions.

Camera - I'm sure you can guess

This is actually the only app I use for taking photos with my phone. However, I never use the camera on my iPad for fear of looking like a bit of a muppet.

PicJointer - used for photo stitching

Very useful app for stitching multiple images together.

Blogger - save the best till last

I rarely use this app to actually write blogs but whenever I have an idea for a future article, I'll get a draft saved on the app to type up on my laptop later. Also really handy for quickly adding mobile pics to my blogs.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra - 28th July 2013

The third round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is being held in Vallnord, Andorra on 28th July 2013.

You'll be able to watch the event live on Red Bull Bike here.

And you can follow the event on Twitter: @UCI_MTBWorldCup

The new track looks fast, long and pretty tough - Greg Minnaar taking just under 5 minutes to complete it on his practice run here:

And here's Cédric Gracia riding it:

And some more brilliant helmet cam commentary from Gstaadt Scott's Claudio Caluori:

Beautifully shot bike speed record video - Experiments in Speed

Came across this really nice video called Experiments in Speed by Spindle Productions, very inspiring for me as I've been making snowboard speed record videos with Jamie Barrow:

Checked out the rest of their Vimeo Channel and saw some other great videos:

Tips on How to Take Snowboard Photos - Video

Here's a quick video shot with my helmet mounted GoPro showing how I set up and took this photograph:

My tips would be:

- shoot into the sun if you want your snowboarder and snow to have a glow or a silhouette (use filters and an external flash to reduce sun glare and light up the foreground if need be)

- be clear with your subject exactly where you want them to be going and when you want them to go

- your camera settings depend on the conditions but try and use a fast shutter speed and low ISO to have a sharp image

- shoot in RAW rather than JPEG (RAW keeps all the original data captured on the camera's sensor whereas JPEG compresses the image and loses detail)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Photo receives Highly Commended Award in SISLP Sporting Moments Competition

My pic of Jamie Barrow doing what he does best just received 'Highly Commended' in the SISLP Sporting Moments Competition.

The Daily Mail article showing it and the other winners here.

A little about the photo:

Camera - Nikon D7000
Lens - 18-105mm f/3.5
Shutter Speed - 1/500
Aperture - f/14
ISO - 100
Location - Val Thorens, France

Jamie and I were doing some off piste skiing/snowboarding with friends and came down the through the powder you can see in the background. I noticed up ahead and slightly below us a fresh patch of powder on a slight ridge. Before I even got to the location to take the photo, I had the exact image above in my head. I had a quick chat to Jamie to tell him where I wanted him to turn and then I skied down to the ridge, set up my camera and called for him to go. Jamie nailed the turn first time, getting this perfect spray of powder. In Photoshop afterwards I increased the contrast, sharpness and vibrance as well as removing a cable car wire from the background.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Action Sports Photography - Behind the Scenes with Mattias Fredriksson

I've been a fan of Mattias Fredriksson's photography for years after seeing so many of his images published in action sports magazines and on the web. So it was great to see this video by Darcy Turenne called The Moments Between - a behind the scenes look at Mattias as he goes about riding and taking photos with his friend Janne Tjärnström.

It was all filmed in Åre, Sweden as part of the Scandinavian Video Challenge. It's so good it won Best Cinematography, as well as runner up for best film.

Top 10 Recommended Gear for an Outdoor Sports Photo and Video Shoot

If you're doing any kind of outdoor sport photography or video you need the right balance of necessary, tough, weather-proof equipment. You're also limited to what you can hike, climb, ski or snowboard with.

Here's a top ten list of my recommended equipment from my latest filming project in the Swiss resort of Verbier with Team GB snowboarder Jamie Barrow:

  1. Camera and backup cameras - 2 x Nikon D7000s, 4 x Contours
  2. Radios - 2 x Motorola walkie talkies
  3. Spare batteries and memory cards - Nikon battery grip and Sandisk Extreme SD Cards
  4. Tripod - Camlink lightweight tripod
  5. External and Lapel Microphones - Rode StereoMic Pro
  6. Lenses - Telephoto, prime, fish-eye and kit
  7. Stabilizer - Glidecam XR 2000
  8. External Flash - Nissin Di866
  9. Laptop - Macbook Pro 13"
  10. Lock
And to carry it all in? The Dakine Mission Photo Backpack has never let me down! 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Red Bull Soapbox London 2013

London played host to the Red Bull Soapbox Race this past weekend, what exactly is it?

From "Red Bull Soapbox Race is an international event in which amateur drivers race homemade soapbox vehicles. Each hand-made machine is fuelled by nothing but sheer courage, the force of gravity and perhaps a little Red Bull."

As you can imagine the video highlights are hilarious:

And here are some brilliant photos by Matt Badenoch:

Check out Matt's full Facebook album here.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Snowboard Speed Record Filming - Behind the scenes photos

Here are some behind the scenes photos from my recent trip to SnowWorld in the Netherlands, filming Jamie Barrow setting the world indoor snowboard speed record.

We used two Nikon D7000s and a Nikon D5100 to film and photograph everything, along with a Contour helmet camera. As you can see in the photos we also have a 12ft camera crane and a Rode Stereo Mic Pro.

All images taken by Matt Badenoch:

Thursday, 11 July 2013

8 Tips on How to Take Great Photographs on Safari

Just posted a blog on Mike Ross Africa Travel with my top 8 tips on how to take great photos on safari. Most of these tips can be applied to any kind of travel and wildlife photography. Click the link to read the blog post:

Monday, 8 July 2013

BBC Article on Jamie's indoor snowboard speed record

Here's the BBC article on the record and great to see them using a photo by our other photographer Matt Badenoch who came along with us:

Jamie at the top of the 520m long slope at SnowWorld:

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Jamie Barrow Sets World Indoor Speed Record - Teaser Video

Filming Jamie Barrow this weekend at SnowWorld, the largest snowdome in the world in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, as he attempts to set the world snowboard indoor speed record.

Here's a little teaser video I put together:

Shooting a Daily Vlog During the World's Toughest Adventure Race - Part 1

Earlier this year I got a phone call from Red Bull athlete, Paul Guschlbauer , asking if I was up for shooting and editing a daily vlog wit...