Posts Tagged ‘ Harley-Davidson

European Bike Week 2014

Just back from shooting another Harley-Davidson European Bike Week in Faaker See, Austria. Unlike all the others I’ve filmed there over the past six years the weather was well and truly against us this year with every day being wet and grey.

The one saving grace for this shoot was that when there’s low clouds and mist in the area the passes surrounding the event site take on a whole new feel with rising mist over the tree lined roads.

Croatia Harley Days 2014

Biograd on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast played host to this years European HOG Rally and once again I had the pleasure of being invited to the event to film it and create a video showing the highlights of the location and the activities that took place.

Approximately 50,000 people descended upon the event site over the four days of the festival, with an estimated 25,000 bikers experiencing Croatia’s fantastic riding roads and coastline.

I had my Canon C300 upgraded to include the Dual Pixel Auto Focus (DPAF) feature just before flying out to Croatia and I have to say that it proved to be a lot more useful than I was expecting. I really wanted the DPAF feature for shooting from the back of a bike as it’s impossible to manually focus well in that situation but as it turned out I used the Auto Focus a lot more than I was expecting.

Used in combination with the Focus Lock feature which I programmed to the magnify button on the handgrip I found myself allowing the AF to gain initial focus much of the time and then locking the focus before composing my shots rather than punching in and focusing manually as I would have done previously.

For any shots that required slower focus pulls I’d just lock the AF and then manually focus as normal.

One situation that I found the DPAF feature really helped with was using the Tokina 11-16 f2.8. In the past I’ve run in to quite a few problems with focussing that lens accurately. Having to work quickly in the midday sun it’s very easy to think the lens is focussed correctly only to find the images are actually a little soft. The DPAF helped a lot when having to work fast shooting wide.

The other lenses used were the Canon 17-55 f2.8 and the 24-105 F4, both of which also performed well with the DPAF feature.

croatia-pano-2

 

There’s a few slider and Jib shots thrown in courtesy of my Kessler Stealth Slider and Pocket Jib Traveller. The Drone shots were captured by my buddy Lorenzo De Angeli using a GoPro Hero 3 mounted to a hand built drone.

Harley-Davidson Euro Festival 2014

Anyone that’s been visiting my blog for a while will know that I’ve been shooting these events for Harley-Davidson for a few years now, in fact my first shoot for Harley was at this very same event in 2009 so this was my 6th visit to sunny St-Tropez in the south of France.


My kit hasn’t changed much over the last couple of years, here’s what I used to shoot this one…

Cameras
Canon C300
Canon C100

Lenses
Canon 17-55 EFS
Canon 24-105 IS L
Tokina 11-16

Support
Miller DS20 Carbon Tripod
Kessler Pocket Jib traveller

As you can see I’ve learned to keep my kit fairly simple for this type of project now which I find quite liberating. I often see other camera operators at the events tied down with shoulder mount systems and bags of lenses and that’s not a pleasant experience when the suns beating down on you and you have a lot of walking to do. I often feel more akin to a stills photographer at the events now, I’m generally just walking around with the C300 without any other kit at all. With a battery life of over 4 hours I prefer to head out without any baggage and just return to base when either the camera needs something or I need a break, usually the later!

I did have a couple of very minor kit failures at the event. Firstly my 24-105 lens decided that it no longer wanted to be part of the L series of lenses and shed it’s prestigious red ring. Obviously this didn’t make in impact on it’s effectiveness but it’s the first time I’ve seen that happen so I thought it worthy of sharing. Luckily I saw it fall off so I kept hold of it and superglued it back on once I got home.

The other thing that happened which could have potentially caused me more problems was one of the legs on my Miller tripod pulled straight out of the unit when I was shooting at the main stage on the beach. Luckily I didn’t lose any of the various plastic washers and spacers that are part of the system and I was able to clean and reassemble the parts once I returned to my accommodation. To be fair to the tripod it’s been dragged all over Europe during it’s seven years of service, it’s been in the sea  multiple times, buried in sand,  used in rivers and left in the rain more times than I care to remember and this is the first time it’s required any attention. Once I got home I made a point of disassembling every leg adjuster and giving them a good clean, for now it seems as good as new again.

You might notice in the video is there’s a couple of aerial shots, these were the work of Lorenzo De Angeli who unbelievably rode to the event from Italy with the drone strapped to the back of his Harley! Lorenzo is a professional drone pilot / camera operator and fly’s much larger drones for big budget productions so it was a real pleasure to watch the precision with which he flew that thing.

Lorenzo

Next for me is another Harley event at the start of June in Croatia so I’m already getting prepared for that one. I’m hoping to be able to get the C300 DPAF (Dual Pixel Auto Focus) update done on my camera before I go as that will be a huge help when filming from the back of a Harley, I’ll keep you updated on that one.

 

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.