Thursday, 5 June 2014

Photo gets Runner Up in The Guardian's 'Been there' photo competition

One of my lion shots from my trip to Kenya last year just got runner up in the Guardian's 'Been there' photo competition for May.


They used my shot as the cover photo for that month but chose a fantastic Shetland ponies photo as the winner.

Downhill Mountain Biking World Cup 2014 - Round 3 - Fort William - 7/8th June

After a massive two month wait, the third round of the UCI Downhill Mountain Biking World Cup arrives this weekend, 7-8th June at the hugely popular Fort William track in Scotland.

In the crazy wet conditions at the last round in Cairns, Australia, we saw siblings Rachel and Gee Atherton take the women's and men's titles. Watch the highlights here.

In the past five years at Fort Bill, Greg Minaar and Gee have both won twice and Aaron Gwin once. In the women's, Rachel took the title last year and the previous years went to Emmeline Ragot, Tracey Moseley and Sabrina Jonnier.

You can watch the race live on Red Bull Bike here.

Watch the 2013 highlights below:

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Prime & Fire Action Sports Mini-Documentary Competition

Prime and Fire have just launched a competition through Talenthouse for action sports filmmakers to produce a mini-documentary film with an incredible prize...

The brief is:

"Prime & Fire Selects are looking for talented filmmakers to pitch and produce their ideas for a short specialist sports documentary. The most outstanding pitch receiving £10,000 production budget towards the production of their final short film, whilst 9 additional filmmakers with exceptional pitches will receive a £2,000 production budget each.
Fimmakers must submit a 1-2 minute video and include a maximum 300 word description in English that tells the human-interest story behind the documentary. Judges will weight both the written pitch and video trailer equally. The video can be a trailer or snippet to tease their documentary idea, and should demonstrate not only the story behind the documentary but also production skills and creativity."

And the judges are looking for...

"undiscovered human-interest stories and mini-documentaries based around action, endurance or specialist sports. The scope is huge and can be absolutely anything from skateboarding to free diving to stories of human sporting endeavor.
The 10 most innovative and original pitches will receive funding and support to make their ideas a reality."

The competition brief pretty much describes the films I have been making with Jamie Barrow for the past four years and the prize would be a dream come true for our next film project, involving Jamie setting a snowboard speed record being towed by a plane.

For the competition I've submitted this video trailer, summarising our previous films:


And this pitch:

Breaking Barriers and Snowboard Speed Records

My proposal for this competition is to film ex-Team GB snowboarder Jamie Barrow as he attempts to set the snowboard speed record for being towed by an aeroplane. I've worked closely over the past four years with Jamie, filming him as he has set or broken a number of snowboard speed records: the outdoor, indoor, towed by a car and propelled by electric jet engines. 

For each of these records, I have filmed, edited and produced 3-10 minute documentaries, all without funding. The films have all received great publicity, making news stories on both Sky and the BBC, published on a variety of websites and magazines and featured on TV shows such as the Daily Planet (Discovery Channel). The video I have submitted here is a short trailer, showing clips from each of these films. 

Our next project, and proposal for this competition as mentioned above, is to film Jamie as he attempts to set the snowboard speed record for being towed by an aeroplane. As with the speed records for being propelled by electric jet engines and being towed by a car, this record will take place on a frozen lake. Jamie will be towed by a pilot with years of experience flying in these conditions and his speed will be recorded with accurate laser timing equipment. 

If we are successful, the prize money from this competition would go towards our travel, accommodation, equipment and the cost of hiring a plane and pilot. It could also cover an additional person to help film the event. 

As well as the attempt itself, the story will also cover everything from Jamie's background as a Team GB snowboard cross racer, his injury that prevented him from going to the Sochi Olympics and his reasons for doing these speed records. It will touch briefly on Jamie's work as a Sky Sports Living For Sport mentor as he goes around the UK giving talks in schools on how you can overcome your barriers and follow your dreams. 

The film will not only stand alone as an original, creative mini-documentary that ties in with Jamie's previous records, but it also has a very personal story, giving the film a much deeper meaning.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How To Become A Photographer - Starting Out, What Gear, How Much To Charge

I thought I'd put together some tips on how you can develop your career in photography from the experiences I've come across over the past few years and all the mistakes I've learnt from.

You probably have so many questions about exactly the best way to start out, from when you should be charging for your work to exactly how you should be promoting yourself. I by no means consider myself an expert and have only been working in the industry for a small amount of time compared to others, but with the tips below I hope to help answer some of these questions from the experiences I've had:

1) Get that portfolio up! 




My roots in photography came from simply taking photos and videos whilst doing something I loved - sports and being outside. What I also learnt was that I really enjoyed seeing people's reactions to my work and this is one of the biggest reasons that drove me to pursue photography as a career.

To start with, I used platforms such as Flickr and Facebook to show people my work online and send out links to albums and photos. However, as I began to realise that I wanted to do photography full time, I required a more professional, better suited website and after plenty of trial and error, I eventually ended up using Smugmug to create my own homepage, www.jon-w.com (find out my reasons for doing so here).

Creating this online portfolio is crucial - it gives you a location people can instantly go to to view your best work, find out what type of photography you do, read more about you and get in touch. Thus it is also important to make sure your website:

- looks great
- isn't too complicated
- is responsive (works on computers, smartphones and tablets)
- only shows your best work
- tells the reader where you are located
- a little bit about you
- and how to contact you

To make it even more professional you can:

- use your own domain name
- highlight how you go about your work (your style, methods, gear etc)
- explain what content you are providing (hi-res images, photo books, HD video etc)
- show any clients you've worked with before
- and mention what gear you use

Ultimately, in this job, you'll only get work if you've got something to show or have a proven track record, so there's so much to be said for getting your portfolio up straight away when you're starting out. Remember however, it's your portfolio, it's always expanding and it will constantly change. Don't worry if you think you don't have enough content to show yet or you're not happy with your images, just get something up there initially and develop your portfolio as you progress.

Great websites for creating photography portfolios:

- Smugmug
- 500px
- Squarespace
- Viewbook
- Zenfolio
- Wordpress

2) Social media and blog



To be honest, I was initially reluctant to promote myself on social media. I didn't feel like I was professional enough and was almost too shy to show off my work. I started out writing this blog on a very casual basis, just posting short articles on various videos and websites I liked. I also had a YouTube channel on which I was uploading home-made videos of various mountain biking or skiing trips, purely to show friends and family.

As my portfolio expanded and I became more confident in my own work and I joined Instagram, Twitter and Google+ (I've yet to create a Facebook page), using all three to talk about my latest work and share my content. My YouTube channel became the perfect hub to upload and embed my latest films and I also created a Vimeo channel (I prefer the look of the player and embed videos from here onto my website). I also adapted my blog to the type of work I was doing but continued to use it to post about things I just found interesting or inspiring.

Has it been worth it? Without a doubt, yes. Not only do I actually now enjoy sharing my work but I've secured plenty of jobs and projects thanks to these networks. The benefits are clear - you are simply expanding your audience reach through multiple channels, for free.

A few other communities and networks I highly recommend:

- 500px: fantastic images, great community, really interactive, best photography iPad app I've come across
- Pixoto - fun website where you can submit your images to be voted on by other members, regularly competitions and prizes to be won
- Behance - new to Behance myself but am impressed with the nice apps and projects
- LinkedIn - huge professional online community and becoming increasingly better for creatives
- TalentHouse - another site I'm new to but great for finding work and projects

3) Develop and focus your work

I found that because I had a website and social media networks to promote my work, it drove me more than ever to go out and just improve my photography. I jumped at any opportunity to take photos of sports or the outdoors and by doing so I was enhancing my portfolio, getting better at understanding the equipment and developing my technique.

As a result, I could then be much more critical of what images and videos I wanted to show on my website, choosing the media that I felt showed my best work as well as the area that I wanted to be working in.

The advantage of this is that potential clients will instantly see from your portfolio that you specialise in that area and you'll be attracting the clients that you want to be working with.

So it's important to constantly develop your work by practicing, being self-critical and getting opinions from others. In doing so, you can then begin to focus on the specific photography you want to be doing and specialise in that.

4) When should I start charging for my work?

You'll probably have to do a lot of work for free to start with, I most certainly did. Pretty much all of my initial work I did for free or with only my expenses covered, and had to keep another day job to pay for my equipment and living costs. So I had to use up all my own spare time doing my photography work, but this wasn't a problem because I was doing something I loved. This 'free work' gave me the foundations to build my portfolio and eventually meant I could charge for my time.

So when should you actually start charging? For me, it was when I felt that I was really supplying a service that was valuable to the client, something they couldn't do themselves or get a friend to do, and that required the skill set and knowledge that I'd gained from all my previous experience.

5) How much should I charge?

This is an extremely difficult question as there are so many factors - your experience, who the client is, how long the shoot takes etc.

To keep it simple, my advice would be:

- If you're doing photography as a side job, use your gut instinct when determining an hourly or daily charge depending on the amount of work and who the client is. This sounds strange but it's something I learnt quite quickly. If I tried to use a specific amount to quote to all my clients, I found it put them off as they either couldn't afford me or presumed I wasn't good enough because I was undercharging. Once I became flexible with my quotations and started quoting clients according to how much I thought they might accept, I was a lot more successful.

- However, if you've quit your job and are attempting to earn a full time living from photography, you absolutely need to sit down and work out how much you need to earn to survive. There are plenty of online calculators out there to help you do this and using those you can determine exactly what you should be charging per job.

6) What gear should I start with?



Let's face it, we photographers LOVE our gear. And why shouldn't we? These days, the sheer amount of cameras, lenses and accessories available to us is mind-blowing.

When it comes down to choosing what you should be starting out with, my biggest tip would be to think about your current situation and what you will need to be producing. If you're not likely to be doing all-day, large studio shoots for billboard advertising campaigns, then what's the point in spending your life savings on a camera that's made for that?

For me, I knew that I'd be doing small, personal projects with individuals, most likely in tough, variable weather conditions. So I chose a DSLR with decent weather sealing that didn't break my bank balance. I knew I'd also be moving a lot so I chose lenses and accessories that were light but durable.

A DSLR doesn't have to be your camera of choice either. I have many friends and colleagues that have discarded their larger cameras in favour of the smaller micro four third/mirrorless units. Bentley, for instance, shot their latest advert using only the iPhone 5s!

So start out with something you can afford that matches the minimum requirements for what you need to be producing.



I hope the above points help you in some way when starting out your career in photography. There's obviously a lot more to it but if you get these first basic steps right you'll be off to a good start.

Friday, 16 May 2014

DSLR Video Predictions and Wish List for 2015

I've been making films with DSLRs for a few years now and there are definitely a few key improvements that I think will be coming in the next year or two, or at least I hope they are.

Here's my list of predictions and wishes for 2015:

A DSLR made for video - Let's face it, the DSLR camera was never made with video in mind. Its main focus has always been photography with video merely an add-on as technology has improved. When the Canon 5D Mark II launched with broadcast quality video capabilities in 2008, the industry suddenly took notice of the potential of video in DSLRs and since then, HD video has been standard across the market. However, I still feel that there is a large gap in the market for a DSLR made specifically for filmmakers - a camera that gives you the same quality as a something like a RED Epic, without costing you $50,000.

Quality - The best quality video available on current DSLRs is 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps. We know that better technology can be put into smaller devices - the iPhone, for instance, now shoots video at 120fps and can shoot 4K video with certain apps. It's only a matter of time before the DSLR catches up.

Stabilisation - Once you've watched some of the films that were shot using the Cineflex and a great stabilisation system (i.e. The Art of Flight by Brainfarm), you'll see exactly why it is hugely important in filmmaking. On this note, it's crucial that a DSLR designed for video has ground-breaking stabilisation software built into the body or the lenses (or ships with something as good as the MōVI..!).

Weather Proofing - With the ability to shoot high-definition video on an affordable, lightweight DSLR, filmmakers around the world have been able to take their filming equipment to a huge range of extreme environments. Therefore, the camera and lenses need to be completely weather-proofed to perform to the best of their ability. Currently, only the very top-end cameras have this and it would be great to see improvements on the lower-end models.

Battery Life - We are fortunate that battery technology is getting better and better but I'm sure most DSLR filmmakers would agree, it still has a long way to come. The Lithium Ion batteries perform well in the cold but I find shooting video eats up battery life whatever the weather. An improvement in battery lifetime without having to screw on a heavy battery grip would be ideal.

Design - The DSLR has been designed perfectly for the photographer but most definitely not for the filmmaker. A complete redesign should be done, taking into account the best grip for stabilisation of the device and controlling focus. The new design should also improve the viewing of the LCD screen and live video output. Currently, DSLR filmmakers have to use a larger external LCD monitor or attach a loupe to magnify the screen.

Other improvements: With the launch of a DSLR specifically for video as described above I would also expect to see much faster autofocus, better low-light capabilities and an improved microphone that doesn't pick up the camera's internal noises or wind distortion.

There we go camera manufacturers, please prove me right!


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

DSLR Camera Comparison - Nikon D7100 vs D5300 vs D3300

I was recently asked by a client to recommend an upgrade for his old Nikon D80. They had a budget of £300-£700 and wanted to stick with the DX format so they could keep their lenses.

Here are the three models I recommended (the prices are just for the camera bodies, no lens included):

Nikon D3300 (£400): Cheapest of the three so not the best build quality but it's a perfectly good DSLR, a big step up from the D80 and it's also the lightest. (24 megapixels, HD video, 430g, 11 focus points)

Nikon D5300 (£530): Better build quality than D3300 and only slightly heavier. The technology inside is better too, giving it a faster and sharper focus. Has a better microphone and also the LCD screen on the back flips out and can be angled, helpful if you are taking pics of things at an awkward angle. (24 megapixels, HD video, flip-out LCD screen, 480g, stereo microphone, 39 focus points)

Nikon D7100 (£715): The best model of the three with superior build quality giving it protection from water and dust, which also makes it the heaviest. It's faster and has a much better focus than the other two, along with far more options for things like image size and various shooting modes. The batteries have a longer life and are more resistant to cold weather. It also has two slots for SD memory cards rather than just one. (24 megapixels, HD video, 765g, stereo microphone, 51 focus points)

You'll notice all three have the same number of megapixels but are very different in price, that's because megapixels are hardly important these days in determining the price of a camera. The build quality, batteries, memory cards and technology inside the camera are far more influential. Pretty much all digital cameras these days are over 12 megapixels and that's more than enough. The quality of the image comes down to the choice of lens and understanding your camera so that you know how to make the most out of it.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Top Five Photos and Videos Featured on Photography Blog ThisIsSouthwark

My good friend Arturo recently featured me on his photography blog ThisIsSouthwark in his regular Five Fab Photos article, where he highlights a photographer's five favourite, best, most influential photos or videos.

Check out the blog here.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Yeti GPS Snowsports Wristop by Delazify

Here's a product video I put together for the British sports technology company, Delazify.

The brief was to make a video for their prototype snowsports wristop, the Yeti, that they could use for a crowd-sourced funding campaign, such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter.

We shot the section with Arron Duddin (founder of the company) at a ski centre in the UK and the mountain shots in the Austrian Alps.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wearable camera review: Autographer

This year I saw a competition hosted by Talenthouse called the 'Autographer Creative Invite' for a chance to photograph for Autographer and BBH.

I'd heard of the Autographer wearable camera before and being a photographer myself, I was immediately interested. The entry requirements were:

"'Autography not Photography'. Have you ever felt that you've missed the moment because you were behind the lens rather than truly being in the experience? Do you have that perfect photo that you took by accident but is the perfect blend of atmosphere, unposed subject and timing? These are the images that Autographer was made for, and they are looking for imaginative creatives with a gift for candid capture to express this authenticity.'

So I submitted this image of my little brother and I doing a Via Ferrata climbing route in France that fit the brief:


A few weeks later I got an email saying I'd made it into the final! This time they would send me an Autographer trial device and I had to capture a series of images that told a story whilst also continuing the 'Autography not Photography' theme.

Here's the trial device I received and what it looks like clipped on:

 

Here are some pics taken by the device:






After a few weeks of trying it out here are my impressions:

Pros

- easy to use with simple menu system
- camera intelligently reads the scene with sensors and takes photos automatically
- good to be able to choose a high, medium and low volume of images
- useful 9-shot burst mode for capturing action
- can be clipped on to collar, pockets, sleeves, belts
- can also be worn hanging around neck with strap
- can choose to hide or show LED lights and mute audio
- bluetooth to phone app worked really well and allowed for fast image sharing 
- Autographer software allows you to create slideshow videos of the images captured

Cons

- as you can see from the photo, it's not the smallest device in the world
- when clipped onto collar, device tends to hang down and point at the ground
- photo quality isn't brilliant, moving pictures often blurred
- the lens could be a wider angle to capture more
- slow to turn device on and off

Conclusion

I really enjoyed trying the device out, it was something totally different to what I'm used to - doing photography as both a profession and a hobby, it's my instinct to think about what photo I'm taking, ensure that my camera is set up correctly and do my best to get the perfect shot. With the Autographer, you simply clip it on and let it do it's thing. After a few minutes you actually forget you're wearing it and when you review your images afterwards, it's so interesting to see what pics it took. It really does manage to capture a huge amount of candid, unexpected moments and it's surprising how much you miss with your own eyes. 
I think if the device is smaller, quicker to start up and is given an improved camera, then this will be something a lot of people will go for, including professional photographers.

Check out the Autographer product video here:

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Bols Around the World 2014 video 'Pangaean Roots' wins UK final

Pangaean Roots, the video I filmed and edited for Elliot Ball for the Bols Around the World 2014 competition, just won the UK final and sends him to Amsterdam for the World Final.

This was our second attempt at the competition, having attempted last year with our video, The OriGin Fiz.

Check out the video here:



This is the second time one of our videos has got through to a world final - back in 2012 our Siegert's Flip video gained 1st place in the Angostura Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge UK final and Elliot went on to compete in the grand final in Trinidad. Here's the video:

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mountain Biking World Cup 2014 - Round 2 - Cairns - 26/27th April

Round 1 of the DH Mountain Biking World Cup saw Aaron Gwin and Manon Carpenter take the wins at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Watch the highlights here

This weekend we go over to Australia for Round 2 as Cairns plays host to the World Cup for the first time in 18 years!

Expect brother and sister racers, Mick and Tracey Hannah, 2nd and 6th in Pietermaritzburg, to put in good performances at their local track...

As always, watch the race live on RedBull here:

http://www.redbull.com/bike

Here is Claudio Caluori's preview of the rainforest track:




Thursday, 17 April 2014

How To Film Extreme Sports

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Apple Store on Regent Street in London with Jamie Barrow on 'How To Film Extreme Sports'.

Jamie talked about his background as a Team GB athlete, his injuries and his reason behind wanting to these speed records. I then went on to explain how we go about filming them, the equipment I use and the challenges I face doing this in extreme environments.

The event was really fun and we met some brilliant people - thanks to everyone that came!

Here are some pics from the event:




If you're interested in the content of my section of the talk, here are some notes on the things I talked about:

Planning


So Jamie usually comes up with the idea for the video and we'll then brainstorm as many crazy ideas as we can around the concept.
We then focus on what we want the end result to look like.
We make a Plan A for the video - this is the main reason for the film, what's the message we're trying to get across, what style do we want the video to have?
We then make a back up Plan B - if something goes wrong we can fall back on this.
For each of these plans, we will create a storyboard, a chronological run through from start to finish of what we want to happen in the film.
This storyboard allows us to then create a shot list, a list of every single shot I need to get for the video.
The shot list includes things like interviews, establishing shots, action shots, different angles.
All this is beneficial for Jamie as he can see his video coming together and work out what he needs to do.
It's beneficial for me because I can work out what shots to get, how I'm going to get them and what gear to take.

Gear


Talking of gear - as I said earlier, we make these videos without braking our bank balance. We don't buy or rent the most expensive gear. I own affordable gear or we borrow it from friends.
It's important to take only the necessary gear with you up on the mountain as usually the day involves lots of hiking and skiing. 
Try and get light gear but important to choose durable products as we're working in extreme environments - you don't want your important gear to let you down. I always look for weather sealed cameras.
I use a Nikon DSLR to do most of the filming. Ideally I take two, I borrow one from a trusting friend!
Lenses - kit lens (18-105), zoom (80-200), fisheye (8mm), prime (35mm or 50mm).
Tripod - CamLink, lightweight
GoPro - Hero 3+
DJI Phantom 2 - provided by DJI as they sponsor Jamie
Loupe - really useful to magnify the LCD screen and help you make sure you're in focus.
Audio - iPhone + headphones along with the iTalk app or an external mic like a Rode. 
Batteries and memory cards - at least 3 of each.
Walkie Talkies.
Laptop and case.
Dakine Rucksack.
Glidecam.
Cleaning kit.
Hand warmers.

Filming Tips and Techniques


Have your shot list printed out or on iPhone with you whilst filming.
Filming - 1080p in either 30 or 60fps on DSLR - up to 120fps on GoPro.
Always test both video and audio - audio can ruin a great video if not done correctly.
Stability - tripod with fluid head, shoulder rig, glidecam.
FCPX has a great built in video stabiliser if video is still shaky.
To prevent graininess (noise), use good lighting and a fast lens.

Challenges


The athlete needs to concentrate on what they're doing and I need to be focussed on being ready to go when they are. Learnt this from experience, so have camera set up and ready to go. All the athlete wants to hear when they are ready is that I am ready too, they don't want to have to wait for me to change some settings on my camera.
Really get to know your gear. Be prepared for something to just stop working and have your backup camera/battery/memory card easily accessible.
Communicate constantly with walkie talkies and be clear with messages.
Weather conditions - cold, always carry lens cloth and hand warmers.
Keep hydrated, wear suncream.
Gear - packing, keeping things light.
Getting permission to film.
Funding, Marketing, Sponsorship, Promotion, Social Media.
Backing-up footage.

Editing


Once you have backed up and organised your files, I like to go through all the clips (usually when travelling home) and make an index with the file name and content. The index then comes in really useful during editing.
Import into Final Cut Pro.
Ideally have separate drives for original footage and final cut pro files. I use G-RAID and G-Drive, SSD are ideal, super fast.
Leave edit for a day and look again, get second opinions.
Use things like Dropbox to share edits.

At the end of the day Jamie and I have a great working relationship and we have a lot of fun making the films. It's really satisfying when we've finished editing and we post the videos online and see what reactions they get.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Guardian 'Been There' Photography Competition - Architecture

I entered The Guardian's Eyewitness travel photography competition 'Been There' in March with my photo (below) of Marienplatz metro station in Munich.


As architecture isn't my speciality, I was surprised to get an email from them asking if they could publish the photo to advertise the competition. Here it is in their paper:


Although they published it and it received the second highest number of favourites on the website, it unfortunately didn't get through to the final ten!

Mountain Biking World Cup 2014 - Round 1 - Pietermaritzburg - 12/13th April

Great news downhill mountain bike lovers - the World Cup starts again this weekend, 12th -13th April 2014!

There are seven World Cup rounds, with the last being held in Méribel on 23rd - 24th August, followed by the World Champs in Hafjell, Norway, on September 6th - 7th.

Watch all the rounds live at RedBull.com/bike.

The first round will take place at the Cascades mountain bike park in Pietermaritzburg (PMB), South Africa. Last year, at the World Champs here, Greg Minnaar and Rachel Atherton won, but many people criticised the track for being too flat and pedally. It certainly was a test of the riders' fitness and it spoke volumes that Jared Graves came 3rd on his enduro bike!

Check out the highlights here:



And watch this episode of This Is Peaty for some hilarious behind the scenes footage:

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Behind the scenes video: The making of 'Dedicated' by Corey Rich

I just posted a blog on the new Corey Rich Nikon D4S video, Dedicated, and if you're interested in the behind the scenes of this video, check out the making of from Corey's Vimeo channel:

Nikon D4S video 'Dedication' by Corey Rich

Check out the new Nikon D4S movie called Dedication, by Corey Rich.

Corey is one of the best extreme sports photographers in the world so naturally I've been following him for years. When I attended the UK Photography Show last month, I saw the trailer for this video and couldn't wait for the full version to be released.

Here is the full video featuring photographers Robert BeckDave Black and George Karbus.

As you would expect from Corey, it's amazingly well shot and very inspiring, with just the right amount of cheesiness.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Delazify GPS Wristop Photo and Video shoot - Austrian Alps

British GPS Wristop company, Delazify, asked me to take two of their prototype 'Yeti' devices to the Austrian mountains to get some photo and video material for their upcoming projects. Here are a couple of shots from the day, full video to come soon.



Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Ski and Snowboard Photoshoot - St Moritz, Switzerland

A selection from a day of shooting in St Moritz with pro snowboarder Jamie Barrow and ski instructor Maike Widmer, who were modelling for Delazify and photographer Graham Hughes (read Graham's blog on the shoot with more photos here):









Sunday, 9 February 2014

Full video - World Snowboard Speed Record Towed by a Vehicle

Here's the full video that I filmed and edited of Jamie Barrow breaking the world snowboard speed record for being towed by a vehicle - he went 111 km/h, breaking the previous record of 98 kmph.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Full Video - World Snowboard Speed Record with Electric Jet Engines

Here's the full video I filmed and edited of Jamie Barrow setting the world snowboard speed record on St Moritz frozen lake with electric jet engines.

The jet engines were designed and built by Adam Contoret from Dreamscience Propulsion.

Thanks to the Daily Planet for letting me use a couple of their clips.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Top Five iPad eMagazines You Have To Download

Last year I designed and produced an iPad eMagazine for Mike Ross Africa Travel, called The Safari Review.  I was already aware of and actively reading a number of iPad magazines but during the concept stage, I must have downloaded over 100 different magazines looking for inspiration and ideas.

In doing this research I discovered that was there was only really a handful of decent eMagazines out there. By this I mean they were interactive, well designed and had interesting content. All the rest seemed to be either poorly designed, hard to navigate or just static pages with barely eligible text.

Here are my top five:

The RedBulletin - made by the guys at RedBull Media house, this is the first really well made eMag I came across. Fully interactive and packed with videos and photos, each article has its own unique design with content ranging from sports, athletes, music and even city guides.


Wired - The least you would expect from this great tech magazine, Wired really put a lot of effort into their eMag. They lead the way in terms of interactivity, adding something different to each issue that hasn't been done before.


Adidas Outdoor - Surprisingly good iPad magazine by the Outdoor branch of the popular sports company Adidas. Although it seems to lean more towards climbing than other outdoor sports, the magazine is very well put together and has some stunning photography.


Audi - Like their cars, this magazine by Audi is sleek and modern, giving you an insight into the company's latest news and products.


Ski and Snowboard (The Telegraph) - The Telegraph have got the content spot on in their eMag, with entertaining articles, resort guides and gear reviews. They've also added a good amount of interactivity and media.



Saturday, 1 February 2014

How to be a Sports & Lifestyle Photographer - Interview with Graham Hughes

Whilst videoing Jamie Barrow's snowboard speed record attempts out in St Moritz this January, I was lucky enough to meet sports photographer Graham Hughes who was there doing a photo shoot for Delazify. He's not only a really nice and funny guy but he's also more than happy to share his knowledge of all things photography related.

Graham is a well established professional photographer and has been shooting editorially for The Times since 2006. He regularly shoots at large sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup Finals, UEFA Champions League Finals, Formula One, Winter and Summer Olympics. In 2013 he completed campaigns for Coca-Cola, Adidas, Channel 4, Pru Health and Sport Relief.

Here's the interview:



Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Best Photography Gear for a Winter Shoot in the Mountains

If you're planning on doing a photo/video shoot in the mountains at Winter, there are plenty of things to consider when it comes to picking the right gear. I've just got back from a week in St Moritz in temperatures as low as -20 degrees C, shooting on everything from a frozen lake to deep powder. Here are my tips:

- Pack plenty of batteries. They will die very quickly unless you keep them warm. Do everything from sleeping with them in your sleeping bag, keeping them in your jacket pocket when not using them, or if you have a car, keep them inside with the heating on!


- Get a decent back pack. I use the Mission Photo from Dakine which has lasted me four years so far. Do everything you can to keep your pack as light as possible. Plan your day accurately and only pack the necessary gear. 


- Take walkie talkies. A pair of radios are priceless, not only making comms more efficient between team members but also saving your voice from having to shout. I use Motorola radios, they are small, light and have a range of about 4km.


- Pack a pair of sunglasses or goggles. Even when it's overcast, the light reflecting off the snow can prove to be startlingly bright and difficult to work in, especially if you're looking through a viewfinder or at an LCD screen all day.


- On the same note, pack suncream. You're at greater risk of sun burn with snow around you reflecting the light.


- Wear layers, gloves and take hand warmers. Although I wore plenty of layers, my biggest mistake on this trip was not taking fingerless or touch screen gloves and my hands really suffered. Luckily one of the crew had brought hand warmers with him which was a lifesaver! Operating a camera, tripod, jib and all the other accessories that come with a photo shoot, require nimble work and if it's freezing cold, keeping your hands warm is crucial.


- Use an LCD Viewfinder Loupe for video. If you're shooting with a DSLR like me, I highly recommend getting hold of a loupe that you can clip onto the LCD. It magnifies the screen for you and blocks out external light, making it easier for you to see the LCD and keep your image sharp and in focus.



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