Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bike Park Wales - Opening 24th August 2013

Bike Park Wales opens this Saturday 24th August and looks amazing! They've been releasing some really great videos made by Liam Murphy and the Cognation Mountain Biking team in the build up to the opening day:







You can find BikePark Wales here:


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Crankworx 2013 Red Bull Joyride - Whistler, August 9 - 18th 2013

Crankworx 2013 is about to kick off in Whistler and you can stream the whole event live from the Crankworx website here.

The event takes place over 10 days and includes the Whips-Off World Championships, Garbanzo DH, Canadian DH and Red Bull Joyride.

Here are some videos to whet your appetite...

Bearclaw takes us on a course preview of this year's Red Bull Joyride course:


Dirt TV's coverage of the 2012 Whip-Off Worlds:


And Brian Lopes' GoPro footage of an insanely fast run down on the Air DH course:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Best Photography Portfolio Site: 500px vs Smugmug


I've been using 500px for about 3 years now and when it first came out it was the answer to everything I had been looking for in a photography portfolio website. I still love it, it's a daily source of inspiration and the iPad and iPhone apps are probably the best designed apps I've ever come across.

However, since my photography and video work have both expanded I've been getting increasingly frustrated with the limitations of 500px and was disappointed with their latest update.

That got me looking at the competition and with the new update SmugMug just brought out, I decided to see if it was worth switching over. Here's a breakdown of the good and bad of these two rivals:


Your pricing options:

Free - limited uploads, less organisation options, free!
Plus $25 p/y - unlimited uploads but no personal domain or analytics
Awesome $75 p/y - the whole package


Pros:

  • free option
  • great portfolios
  • responsive design
  • own domain
  • amazing community with amazing photos
  • really great apps



Cons:

  • no flexibility with commerce, all controlled by 500px
  • portfolios not very customisable
  • responsive design not often a great experience
  • can't link individual images from portfolio
  • not a great deal of portfolio template choices
  • no option to include video
  • no blog integration but can link to your blog on About Me page



Pricing:

Basic $40 p/y - unlimited uploads but no personal domain and less template options
Power $60 p/y - huge variety of templates but no extra commerce options and no UK printing
Portfolio $150 p/y - more commerce options and watermarking but no custom price lists
Business $300 p/y - the whole package


Pros:

  • many more templates to choose from
  • much more customisable
  • huge variety of commerce options
  • own domain
  • responsive designs
  • huge number of linking and embedding options for images and galleries
  • can upload videos as well as photos
  • UK printing
  • multiple galleries with privacy options




Cons:


  • free trial for 14 days but no free option
  • no apps (apart from Camera Awesome but that's just for snapping photos with your phone, not accessing your SmugMug account)
  • not the same community and inspiration that 500px brings
  • no blog integration but can link to your own blog on homepage

Conclusion

As much as I love 500px, it looks like SmugMug is winning here. The $60 per year Power account is cheaper than 500px's $75 Awesome account and has more of the features I'm after. For photographers like myself that are keen to have a fully customisable website with a variety of commerce options, SmugMug is my recommendation.
If you want to sign up to Smugmug, please help me out and use my referral link here.



How To Make A Good Mountain Bike Video: Sometimes it's more about the story...

Recently watched these two great videos and it was such a refreshing change not to have another one of these massively over produced, over edited mountain bike movies (as much as I love them).

Don't get me wrong, these two videos are very well filmed and put together, but they focus far more on the story and less on making the video a cinematic masterpiece.

Cam Zink in the short film Relentless.


Matt Hunter and a crew of fellow adventurers in Afghanistan, all shot on the Sony Action Cam.



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The UCI Downhill Mountain Biking World Cup - Mont Sainte Anne, Canada - 11th August 2013

So we head to the Canada for the 4th round of the UCI Downhill Mountain Biking World Cup at Mont Sainte Anne.

Again, you can watch all the coverage live on the Red Bull Bike website here.

In the meantime, watch Dirt TV's footage from last year when Gwinny won it:


And here's Brooky Mac's GoPro helmet cam footage from last year:


And if you can stand it, the awfully narrated Mountain Bike Chronicles (maybe just mute it):



How To Sell Your Photo Prints Online - Fotomoto Review

I was looking for an easy and quick way to sell prints of my photos through my website and blog. I didn't want to have to set up a whole new portfolio of my images on another website that I'd have to redirect people to, I just wanted the ability to put a Buy Print button next to the images on my existing websites. After some research online I came across Fotomoto:


As they say on their homepage, "Fotomoto is a print-on-demand e-commerce widget that integrates seamlessly into your existing website. Just add our code to your site, sit back, and start making money."

And it really is that easy, once you've signed up and chosen what account type you want, you just paste the HTML code into your blog or website, fine tune the settings on your account and you're done.

The Fotomoto code cleverly does all the work for you, finding all the photos on your website that are larger than a certain size, that you can specify, and places a Buy Print link next to the photo, like this -


Click on the link and a sleek interface pops up, allowing the buyer to specify a whole range of print options - 


As well as the free option, you can choose from two other plans meaning you pay a monthly fee but less in transaction fees -



Pros:

- free option
- integrates with blogger and many other platforms
- integrates with your own website
- very easy and quick to set up
- many different print options
- slick pop up interface to complete sale
- no redirecting to another website
- a European printing HQ for those of us over here!

Cons

- the only downside so far is that there aren't enough customisation options for how the buy print buttons look 
  

Downhill Mountain Biking World Cup | Leogang, Austria

I went over to Leogang, Austria to check out the first day of timed practice for the mountain biking downhill world cup. The weather was p...