David Jaquin combines his passion for riding and racing mountain bikes with his creative talents as a professional videographer by producing content for leading bike industry publication, Dirt Magazine.
David’s love for mountain bikes spans many years and his enthusiasm has led him to undertake more and more projects in the biking industry. The environments he rides and works in are often extreme and the equipment he chooses needs to withstand the tough, intense conditions.
“Torrential rain, mud, unsteady ground, acute inclines – that’s a typical environment when you’re filming pushbikes. We’re very much at the mercy of the elements and these tough conditions demand durable and reliable equipment. Riders obviously need the best performing bikes and it’s no different for the camera and support equipment.”
David began planning for his 2011 filming projects late last year and approached Vinten about potentially using the Vision blue pan and tilt head and tripod system for several of the more challenging shoots.
“I’ve used other branded products before but I wanted to try something completely new. I was looking for a product that could cope with being tested to its limits, and perform faultlessly.”
David’s first project using the Vision blue was in May, for a corporate shoot with K9 industries, a company that designs and manufactures after-market suspension products and bicycling componentry for mountain bikes. K9 wanted to make a promotional video to showcase its new 2011 line of products so despite the challenging conditions, getting the highest quality footage was essential.
“The principle was to get the rider down in a location in North Wales - which is famous for its slate mines - and shoot him in a variety of positions. Part of the shoot was actually in an old slate quarry so I was using the Vision blue on very steep slopes. The legs were extended fully and the ground was pretty precarious at times, but it performed really well.
“Some of the slopes that we had to access were horrendous, they were difficult to walk up never mind ride down on a bike, and we had to transport all of the kit too. Thankfully, the Vision blue was surprisingly lightweight given its capabilities.”
David was impressed with the high performance of the Vision blue which, despite its portability, can still handle the most complex and challenging shots. The system uses Vision LF drag technology to give silky smooth movement and precise framing – a functionality which you would never normally associate with such light cameras. The Vision blue offers true Vinten Vision performance, ensuring for the very first time that operators of the smallest professional cameras can work without creative compromise.
Several different cameras were used on the shoot – a Canon 7D was used for a large portion, as well as a Panasonic video camera and a Go Pro, a small mountable but full HD video camera that was strapped to the rider’s helmet and handle bars.
“The Canon 7D looked a little bit out of place because it’s such a small camera to use on a Vision blue tripod system but it worked exceptionally well with movement, and the fluid motion of the head made it very easy to control. As we were shooting promotional shots for a new product range the quality was vitally important – and that’s where the Vision blue came into its own. It was balanced and agile and even at full extension of all the legs it was very impressive.”
“It’s also an easy to use system. One of the guys who was helping me out on the shoot hadn’t used one before and he adjusted the whole system without thinking about it. It is always a good sign if the product is intuitive from the start.”
Since the shoot in May, David has used the Vision blue for other key projects, including covering the Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, for both Dirt Magazine and Royal Racing. He worked throughout the competition filming everything from interviews with riders, to studio based interviews, and out on the hill filming the riders coming down.
“The head and tripod system worked just as hard as the racers – it had to have all of the same qualities, stamina, speed, flexibility and quality of movement. I’m looking forward to using the Vision blue again in the future, it will certainly be coming with me on my next couple of projects”.
Picture credit: David Jaquin