Posts Tagged ‘ Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson 110th Celebrations

To celebrate 110 years of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and 30 years of the Harley Owners Group®, riders have gathered and partied in cities around the world. In Europe, Rome became the home of Harley-Davidson® for four days in June – an epic event that I had the pleasure of filming. I wasn’t working alone on this one though, I had help from Will Middleton, a camera operator that I met working on a project in London last year.

The Rome event was set on multiple sites, including the Vatican City and nearby beach resort Ostia, hundreds of thousands of passionate Harley-Davidson enthusiasts flocked to this beautiful part of Italy to commemorate 110 years of the legendary motorcycle. I’m not at all a religious person but none the less I was really honoured to be allowed to film inside the Vatican during a special Mass for the Harley Owners Group and also to film the Pope himself  when he was paraded in from of the thousands of Harley riders in the Vatican Square.

The rome event did however throw up a few extra challenges. The police and security people in Rome and especially those surrounding the Vatican are a tough bunch to deal with. One moment I would be told that it was fine to stand in a particular location and the next another security team would tell me to stop filming and move on, it was probably one of the most stressful places I’ve worked as yet, especially as many of the security people didn’t speak english.

One of the photographers that we were working with also had a Nikon D3 stolen on the train, he thought nothing off an old lady asked him a question but didn’t realise until 15 minutes later that at the same time his back pack had been unzipped and the camera body removed. It’s never a good idea to carry camera gear in a back pack, especially on a cramped train! Luckily the photographer was insured and ended up with a shiny new D4 body but the shots that he’d taken were lost forever… well maybe until the scrote who stole it posts them on facebook!

Here’s one of the videos created from the Rome event.

Moving on from Rome I shot again for Harley at the European Bike Week event in Faaker See, Austria. I’ve shot this event many times now and it becomes increasingly difficult to make it look different as in reality the event is pretty much the same each year. The addition of some shots with the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller and the fact that I was supplied a rather excellent Jeep for the duration did however give me some new options.

15th European Bike Week

Once again, the picturesque and mountainous region of Carinthia played host to Europe’s biggest bike event in early September. Approximately 110,000 people descended upon the area surrounding Faaker See, turning the tranquil landscape into a tumultuous party of roaring V-Twin engines.

I flew out to shoot the event for Harley-Davidson again this year and as with previous years it turned out to be a very hectic yet amazing experience. I used the Canon C300 exclusively, mostly with the Canon 17-55 EFs lens although I did break out the 70-200 at one point to grab some close shots of the crowds enjoying bands.

The C300 is such a great all-round camera for this kind of work, during the day I configure it with the full monitor rig and a shotgun mic and then when I prefer to be a little less conspicuous I tend to remove the handle and monitor and just run either without a mic at all or with the Rode VideoMic Pro.

Towards the end of each rally I ride pillion in the parade and again the C300′s modular build proves useful as I hang my smallHD DP4 around my neck on a lanyard and just run the camera with it’s handle attached allowing me to shot using many angles that would be impossible using the cameras onboard monitor.

Because I had to fly out to Brasil to shoot another rally for Harley-Davidson soon after returning from Austria this one was edited by Paul Pearson (@pearsonpost) on twitter.

The wonderful, “Wild Blood” by Lovedrug was supplied by The Music Bed.

 

Harley-Davidson in Cascais, Portugal

Here’s the latest video I shot and edited for Harley-Davidson Europe. The location of this rally was Cascais and surrounding areas in Portugal. The flag parade that happens towards the end of the rally (and the end of the video) started out on the famous Estoril race circuit which was a real blast to ride around.

Everything in the above video was shot on the Canon C300 and I made a lot of use of over cranking again this time. It’s a real shame to have to revert to 720p to do that on the C300 but I think the camera still manages to retain a lot of detail and certainly enough for these projects as the required delivery is 720p anyway.

For the flag parade I attached my SmallHD DP4 to a lanyard and help it in front of my whilst using the other hand to position the camera. This all happens on the back of a motorcycle with other bikes everywhere so it was a little bit daunting but worked great.

I only use two lenses throughout the whole shoot, the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS EFs and the Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L . The 17-55 did more than 80% of the shooting though and I find that lens to be the most practical for this subject as bikes just look great wide!

The only other notable kit was a glide track shooter HD and my Miller Tripod with the later only being used on five of the shots. I make a lot of use of the image stabilisers in the lenses and the warp stabiliser in CS6 so that I rarely have to use a tripod.

The song is by the excellent “Lovedrug” and was licensed with the help of The Music Bed.

If you have any questions about camera settings etc then just shout. These event videos have to be produced immediately after the shoot itself without any time off so I’m going to have a much needed day or two off :)

 

 

 

Using the Canon EOS C300 for a Harley-Davidson event

The post production for the event I shot for Harley-Davidson in St Tropez is now completed so I thought I’d share my thoughts on using the Canon EOS C300 on an event shoot for the first time. Previous to this event I’ve been using a Sony EX1 and Canon 5D mkII combination which have produced some nice results. The EX1 has been my main camera for event work over the last few years and even though I’ve felt the results from the 5D2 have been better at times the functionality and ease of use that the EX1 provided meant that it was just a better all around camera for my needs.

My shooting days at these events involve a lot of walking, I’m generally out shooting from 10am until the early hours of the morning for three or four days in a row so it can be very hard on the feet and becomes tiring after a few days. Because of this I tend to try and avoid carrying too much kit around with me and certainly didn’t like carrying both the EX1 and the 5D at the same time with all the batteries and lenses that go with them. My preferred method was to head out for a few hours with the 5D and my Glidetrack grabbing some more stylised material and then head back and swap over to the EX1. This worked well most of the time but invariably there would be times with the 5D that I missed the EX1′s over cranking feature and shooting aids, likewise when using the EX1 I’d really miss the ability to shoot really wide and have more control over the depth of field of my shots.

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Shooting in St Tropez with the C300

I’m currently shooting another event for Harley-Davidson in the French riviera. I’ve shot this event a few times before but this is the first time Ive used the C300 for a rally so it’s proving to be a new challenge for me and the camera. I’m about to head out for another days shooting but I just wanted to post a quick update as to my progress and how the C300 was coping with the role of event coverage.

In terms of usability the camera’s working really well, I’ve been using the 17-55 IS most of the time just because I find I need the wide end a lot for these events. I have used the Tokina 11-16 a little too but I find it restrictive being stuck that wide when walking around shooting. I don’t like swapping lenses outside if I can help it at all so I’ve tended to pop back to my apartment in order to swap lenses so as to keep the dust inside the camera to a minimum.

When I popped back to swap lenses yesterday however I did notice that there were three spots of white debris behind the IR glass inside the C300′s body. I thought this area was sealed as it contains the ND filters and the sensor itself so I was a little shocked to see that stuff inside. There’s no way for me to clean it either so the camera will have to go back to canon when I get home next week.

Anyway, I have to run as it’s time for another day’s shooting but I’ll leave you with a few screen grabs, these are all unedited VLC grabs from the footage straight from the camera. It’s taken me a while and a lot of experimenting with various custom picture settings but I think I’ve finally made one which is ideal for providing a nice natural look with faithful colours and contrast straight from the camera.