What an absolutely sensational day this was! Imran Meeran of IamMediaUK, and myself had high hopes, and even those were far surpassed. What a pleasure it was to shoot this family, bride, groom and all of their wonderful friends. Super smiley people!!
Anyway, we brought along a guy (not just any guy) called Tristan Webber, to play the role of Assistant and BTS shooter, which is exactly what he did. All I can say is, watch this space, as Tristan is growing in knowledge rapidly!
Thanks Tris, for capturing these cool clips of us at work.
This was a behind the scenes look at this production: https://vimeo.com/101188051
It was great to experience IBC first hand. After attending BVE at the London Excel earlier on in the year, it was lovely to be a part (albeit a very small part) of a show of such large scale.
IBC was really cool. The place was packed out with business opportunities and marketing salesmen, investors and companies trying to flog sales big and small. I particularly liked getting hands on with some of the lesser known brands such as Konova and the becoming increasingly popular, DJI Ronin crew along with a bunch of others.
I would suggest anyone new to the field to give it a shot, but don’t expect a place like this to be packed with freelancers. It’s 90% investors, large corporation owners and very suity’ formal people. But that’s fine. I went for fun, experience and a bit of networking, and I certainly got all of those things and more from my trip.
Amsterdam was really lovely to experience, having never been to the Netherlands before, Amsterdam was a great introduction. The people, (most if not all) were extraordinarily helpful in ALL instances. Amazing general public, which is a lovely, and welcome BIG step up from London where the typical response is a grunt or a dirty shrug and roll of the eye balls. Yes, Londoners. I’m talking about you.
Although we had high hopes for a nice release or 5 from Canon, we were left sorely disappointed. But only time will tell whether Canon have any other party tricks up their sleeve. I have a sneaky suspicion 😉
Either way, we had a great time, I definitely intend on going again!
Imran Meeran (Of IAMMediaUK) and I captured a small portion of our travel to the show, and of the show stands which will be compiled into a travel vlog type video in the coming week. This will hopefully give newbies an idea of what to expect when travelling abroad for a expo similar to IBC.
Awesome fun with IamMediaUK. #IBC #IBCShow #IBC2014
Midé and I are back at it again! It’s been just over 6 months since the release of ‘#UNLIKELY’ and even longer since ‘Mainstream’, so we got together and came up with some idea’s for a brand new video, for a brand new track, right from the brand new album! (Which is KILLER by the way).
So here we go. Let’s get started on some of the logistics behind this crazy shoot, how it was done, and a few BTS pictures of Midé and I along the way, captured by Tristan Webber, and well as some beautiful landscapes I took moving from location to location.
First, one of my favourite landscape images I have ever taken, that easily makes its way to the top of my landscape portfolio!
Midé came to me with a few ideas, we threw some locations and concepts back and forth, until we came up with this. A music video, by some cliffs, some water, shot in slow-motion AND using Magic Lantern RAW video. A challenge awaited us.
Upon weeks of non-stop testing with Magic Lantern RAW (Before Midé was even aware that RAW video existed), I finally decided to bite the bullet and show Midé the gorgeous benefits of the firmware hack (Magic Lantern) and how shooting in RAW with the hack, could substantially boost the production value of the whole project. We agreed upon a few terms and guidelines, and discussed the pro’s and con’s, but decided to go for it.
Accompanying us, and assisting me, was Tristan Webber, an up and coming operator and Director (Watch This Space!). Tristan played a very important role in helping transport all of our kit, a sofa, a guitar and more importantly, all of our food and water to all of the different locations we visited. Tristan, did awesome. He continued to plow through the endless days, with the rest of us, despite not one of us having had any sleep for 48 hours. He helped keep the creative juices flowing, despite the blazing, baking heat, undesirably sweaty underarms and blistered feet.
Tristan also captured the majority of the fantastic BTS images shown throughout this blog post 🙂
Midé and I were on the same lines in terms of content for this music video, and wanted to take a different approach to our previously ‘mostly performance’ based content. We incorporated the slow motion, to give the song some space, and some air to breath as we felt it needed it.
We hope you like it, we certainly put blood, sweat and tears into making it happen within just two days!
We appreciate you watching! and welcome any questions or queries about the production side of this project openly via the contact page on the site.
The direction for this blog post, is as good as any. Very vague, covering many factors in hope to be the least biased, but give the most informative angle as possible. Sounds perfect right? Well, we’ll see.
Disclaimer: I’m no expert, but I know a thing or two, that could perhaps make your day easier, or more enjoyable or even more accomplishing! So why not continue reading.
Today, accompanied by my lovely family, I attended the ‘Summer Finals’ Drag Racing event @ Santapod Raceyway in Podington (UK). This must have been roughly my fifth or sixth visit to the venue, and it get’s better every time it seems.
Let’s talk Preparation
Below I have compiled a list of just a few things to be prepared for before you go;
-Rain covers (Sad to say, but at least today these saved our bacon with the impromptu weather conditions) One for the camera, one for your hair, and one for your butt, to save you from having to sit on the cold wet grass!
-Money (Lots of it. The food is dear here)
-Shoes (It’s always advisable to wear shoes, but in this case, make sure they have good grip!)
-Pack light (This is essential IMO, and directly impacts how much fun you have whilst shooting).
-Be prepared to wait. Your subjects vary hugely in size, shape, characteristic, speed and overall dynamic. This can mean waiting for new setups, for the rain to stop, then for the team to manually DRY the track, false starts, breakages, debris, or all of the above. We are talking serious torque, something is bound to snap, or blow out at some point in the day.
-Almost contradictory to the above, but be quick. Once the ball is rolling, it’s continues to do so, and doesn’t wait for you. Don’t get left behind in the dust (rubber & nitrous).
Whether you are lucky enough to be shooting for an organisation and have a press pass, or just the average Joe, out on the weekend with the kids, pay attention to your surroundings, and do your best to stay out of other peoples way.
Anticipation is one of, if not THE most useful skills you can learn for shooting motorsport events, especially the 300MPH kind. At these speeds, you have to have already started focussing, panning, be keeping balance, AND keeping the subject in frame before the lights are “GO!”. You have a split second to do this before the vehicle hits the horizon and it start all over again. Practise is key!
Go with friends, meet new people
A fantastic way to network in this business is actually out in the field. Rarely will you ever get commissioned work through online social media. In most cases, the best way to get “somewhere” is by meeting others whilst you’re out doing what you do. Build a rapport, and go from there. Today, Michael Fincham and I met up with a newly acquired friend and fellow Photographer (John Kennedy) (through Twitter), which although was brief, was a great way to engage in conversation and learn new ways, positions to shoot from, angles, weather updates, and any other things that relate to the sport you are shooting.
Don’t expect a press pass, unless you’re actually with the press
At least in my (limited) experience in trying to gain access to a press pass, most event organisers don’t even want to entertain freelancers onto their pit wall, or their limited access press area of the track. Don’t let this put you off though, there are some out there, and you just have to make sure you give PLENTY of notice when inquiring, and are in the right place at the right time.
Have your wits about you
Motorsport events are usually busy. The higher the number of guests, the higher the number of potential thieves with eyes on your kit bag. Keep your bag(s) with (and on) you at all times (which leads onto my next point…).
Having briefly touched on this already, let me elaborate on what I take to the races. Depending on the event of course, I will usually take a small inconspicuous shoulder bag, this will carry my iPhone charger, my 2-3 rain covers, a wide angle zoom, batteries, cards, wallet, cloths and that’s it. I don’t carry my main camera and lens in a bag for these short-stay (single day) events. That comes with me, simply slung over my shoulder as I walk. Having your camera out, and on a monopod, will raise eyebrows with a massive white lens (if you shoot Canon/Sony), but will also give you a sense of precedence in certain situations. Countless times I can grab a shot, then pull away from the viewfinder to see a heap of people stopped to the side of me out of courtesy, so they didn’t get in my way. Thanks people!
Hopefully this goes without saying, but move the hell around! DO NOT stay in one spot, unless you are limited to do so, and in which case I would suggest experimenting with varying focal lengths. But by all means, walk around the track, don’t look at what you’re meant to be shooting all the time when scouting a spot, be IN the subject area, and look outwards for inspiration. Take a whole new perspective. Be different. You will go far.
That’s it for now! Basic stuff.
Happy shooting, and I hope that helped 🙂
There have been rumours around for months now, concerning possibly the most highly anticipated release from Canon, in some time. Certainly in the last 4 years I have been following gear releases semi-extensively.
While there is (at the time of this blog post being released), no evidence, absolutely. What so ever. Of there even being a 7D Mark II on the shelves soon OR ever. I think Canon will have missed a trick AND a dime if it isn’t on the cards, which is why I think it more than likely is going to happen. When? The future. Who knows.
Here is why I think Canon will be announcing a new and improved 7D any day now…
The current Canon 7D is by far (up until the 1D Mark III), The best sports/action camera for Autofocus speed and FPS that Canon has to offer. However, one of it’s biggest downfalls is the ISO performance (due to it’s age), similar to that of cameras such as the 550D/600D/60D variants. Because of this, I think the 7D Mark II will have a brand new sensor, possibly offering slightly more megapixels.
Currently, the first generation 7D, is that of huge popularity already with the wildlife/sports and any kind of long lens photography. Simply put. People have been, still are and will continue to buy crop frame sensor cameras, to get more reach out of those humongous white tele zooms and primes they shoot with. Especially wildlife photographers, as I know from experience. You can never get quite close enough. This is enough to warrant a HUGE point in the market, in which I personally think Canon will smash and make a shit load of money on.
The 7D, is already built like an absolute tank. It shares many physical attributions with the likes of the 5D Mark III, and I can see this button layout staying fairly similar in versions to come, simply because it works for the type of shooting this camera is marketed for. It’s a sport camera.
I definitely do not think this camera will have 4K capabilities. This would be a stupendous move from Canon if it did so, in my opinion. As I know how they have to protect their higher end offerings on the market.
7D Mark II
- 10-11 FPS
- 20MP CMOS Sensor
- Dual Digic 5+ Processors
- ISO 100-25,600 Native
- 5D Mark III Auto Focussing System
- 5D Mark III Updated Menu System
I predict this camera to only include minor improvements, but at the same time, enough to warrant a definite upgrade, especially for the improved FPS, ISO performance and AF system.
I would hesitate to guess that you would be able to take images clean of noise up until around 2500 ISO, similar to that of the 5D Mark III, whilst merging the superior focussing screen and AF performance of the 1D X and 5D Mark III cameras into the 7D, it almost leaves an open playing field between a crop frame 5D, or a full frame (real) 5D Mark III.
If these specs are even remotely near close, or there even is a 7D Mark II in the works, you can be sure it will cost in the range of 1500-2000 GBP in the first few months of release before the price starts to decline. I’ll sure as hell get one when it does.
Let me know your thoughts, and do you think those specs would be admirable for your needs? Let me know, I’d love to hear a second opinion.
Take a look at the new gallery I just put up! Containing High Speed Dual Flash (Slave Triggered) with some colour mixing samples.
The lovely folks over at ThinkTank have provided me with this bag as a review sample. I cannot speak highly enough of this bag! You just have to try one for yourself.
After suffering the discomfort of many other brand backpacks, which carry allot less weight and shear amount of kit, I can say the ThinkTank Airport Accelerator makes carrying 20-30KG’s of kit allot less demanding than carrying 10KG’s with any other bag I have tried. The weight distribution, padding and air channels designed on this backpack, are simply second to none.
Shot solo: Visuals, audio, design, presented by myself, Charlie Locke.
(Please excuse the huge shadow across my face and torso. Pushed for time and had to improvise!)
If you are interested in purchasing this bag, or any other fantastic ThinkTank products, you can visit thinktankphoto.com (P.s Tell them I sent you! :))
Tomorrow starts a long and exciting adventure consisting of three jobs without going home in between either of them. Due to the nature of one of the trips, I have had to limit myself to taking only one pack, in doing so came some challenges!
Timelapse of packing the LowePro Pack:
London – Lake District – Paris, France – London – London
“See you in another life brother!”
It’s about time I constructed a little write up about my experience in modifying my vintage Chinon 200mm F3.5 Lens.
First some background on the lens…
I won this lens at auction a short while ago for a dead cheap price! The main reason for buying this lens in the first place is actually quite an interesting story. London based Cinematographer, AC and Photographer, Bradley Stearn entered a competition around 2-3 years ago on YouTube with (at the time) a little known YouTube face now known as Alan Besedin of Vintage Lenses For Video (Fantastic reviews and giveaways!). Bradley won a Chinon 200mm 3.5 from Alan, and as if by magic they stayed in touch ever since! Because of Alan, and Bradleys fantastic work with the 600D on YouTube, I found Bradley around the same time and we also stayed in touch. February 2014 the time came when we could finally all meet face to face at BVE (Broadcast Video Expo) in the ExCel, London Venue. Two fantastic guys, it was a pleasure meeting them both, especially together.
Bradley and I took a long day trip to the city and outskirts of London shortly after meeting at BVE, both shooting super lightweight, with merely 3 bags between us! Bradley shooting BMPCC / 600D, and I shot with the 5D Mark III. Bradley was experimenting with the Chinon 200mm on the BMPCC with the extraordinary crop factor on super 16. He captured some exceptional moving images which I highly recommend you take a look at here:
Because of the lovely results Bradley managed to get with the Chinon 200mm, my mind was swayed and I decided to make a purchase!
So to me, this specific lens has a history. It brought fellow film-makers together in the London area, and hopefully many more great things will come of it in the future. Not to mention Bradley and I’s super secret spontaneous trip to the Lake District very soon. But I shouldn’t have told you that so keep it quiet! 🙂
The Chinon 200mm is a wonderful lens, and although the version I purchased didn’t work properly, I had some great fun getting it to work! Due to the lens being stored whilst being stopped down to F22, the aperture blades had been stuck tight together and thus didn’t want to cooperate. Having never performed open heart surgery on a lens before, I cracked open the lens from the lens mount end right away and began to investigate!
Due to the nature of the mechanics of this particular lens, the aperture blades are held in place by springs which when stretched for long periods of time, lose their strength, and in this case that was enough to stop the aperture working properly. After many moans and groans. Hours later, and many rebuilds and bodges down the road, I managed to fix the lens (pretty much).
I ended up removing one of the spring levers which controls the switching mechanism between A (Auto) and M (Manual). This allowed me to use the spring from that, to hold in place the damaged spring from the aperture dial. Do this day I dare touch the A/M switch in fear that I may have to perform surgery again, so I may just tape that up for now! 😉
I successfully de-clicked the aperture ring whilst I had it in pieces numerous times, however I soon had to re-click it due to the new overpowering strength of the spring which meant when setting the lens to a smaller aperture, the blades would slowly creep open, so it was evident that the stronger spring requires hard stops for it to stay in place.
Here is the video I shot accompanied by Bradley, I hope you like it!
(Music by Erin K – No Control)