It already seems quite a while ago since my friends and I packed up my ‘Big Red’ camper with all of our toys and headed out on our annual summer European mountain biking trip.
Every year we throw a load of suggestions for places into the mix in the lead up to departure but a final decision isn’t made until we are travelling down the M40 on the way to Dover! This year was no exception and as we approached the port we decided upon Lac Blanc in France, somewhere we hadn’t been before and were keen to check out.
The excitement was high amongst the crew and we were buzzing at the thought of the adventures to come. I was also especially excited to start experimenting with my new Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera and the Mavic Platinum Pro drone pinched from the Studio as I was keen to see how they both perform out in the field.
In this blog I’m going to share with you what I captured and how…
GH5: iso 100 f/4.0 1/400sec
The photo above was taken on our first day in Verbier. It’s one of the first pictures I shot with the GH5 and is also one of my favourites. This was the first day where I experienced carrying all of my gear, including my bike necessities and camera equipment. It was tough going. So when my friend Simon needed a brake pad change I was happy to stop, pull out my camera and take the time to dial in my settings whilst taking shots of the guys as they sectioned a corner of the route. Up until this point I had mostly used the GH5 for filming, so it felt great to start trying it out on some powerful stills. I got down low for this particular shot, framing it so that I could try and get the motion of Jack’s ride down the mountain whilst also including some of the detail in the foreground.
Mavic Pro: iso 200 f/2.2 1/400sec
Setting the scene with a drone shot. I really like getting those candid shots when I’m traveling of people just getting on with the their life in that moment. Here I took the opportunity to fly the Mavic drone.
Mavic Pro: iso 200 f/2.2 1/400sec
I had noticed on the way up the mountain that the lift flew over a large concrete structure and thought it looked like a potentially good shot. I used an ND filter on the drone and I played around in Adobe Lightroom to do a duo tone which I think has come out well here. What do you think?
GH5: iso 1600 f4.0 1/500sec
This photo was a combination of luck and the right lighting at the right time. It was the first time I was shooting in amongst the trees and it was coming out very dark. But this is where the extra detail the GH5 can pick up really stood out to me. When taking photos with my old Panasonic Lumix G7 I wouldn’t have been able to crank the ISO up without getting a fairly grainy shot.
The normal way taking photos works on a trip like this is I say “Hang here for five boys and I’ll boost down and get some shots” which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t for a number of reasons. Firstly I have to ride down looking back at the trail and think about composition including what I think someone will look like coming through an area. Secondly and quite importantly I have to consider if they will even see me or just crash into me! And thirdly I then have to quickly take off my full face helmet and gloves, open up my bag and get the camera out whilst assessing the natural lighting, and firing off a few test shots. It’s high pressure stuff within a time frame of two to three minutes. But the end results are worth it…most of the time.
GH5: iso 800 f/3.9 1/500sec
This was one of those under pressure shots that almost came out perfect but after looking back seeing this light and the dust hanging in the corner, I knew I only had seconds to try and get it. So I pulled out the camera and went for it. I would have liked it to have caught it half a second earlier and more in focus but am ninety percent happy with it.
I do enjoy dabbling in the dark arts and I think a black and white shot always has a great story to tell.
GH5: iso 200 f/3.9 1/320sec
This shows Jack well in to some bike spanner-ing thought.
GH5: iso 200 f/3.2 1/640sec
This is the aforementioned Simon after hitting a step-down a few times for the camera.
GH5: iso 200 f/4.0 1/640
This shot Simon took with my camera after a quick lesson and he managed to capture some great images. In the picture above the sky looks so epic. I got a bit carried away with Lightroom when cooling the image down and played with the colours and the highlights to really make it pop. I love how it’s come out.
I really like the two following shots, both of which were taken when we stopped for a few minutes, but in which I took the time to get the best shot I could. Both are action shots achieved by shooting quite fast an in-burst mode.
The camera performed this really well, getting lots of detail in and freezing the action.
I have really enjoyed getting these shots together over the last few days and can honestly say the GH5 has been a truly fantastic tool for shooting video and stills during the entire trip. Love it!
If you want to keep up to date with life at Studio B61 follow us on Instagram. Hannah, Alec and Charly also have their own profile where you can see what they are working on. Follow @StudioB61_Hannah @StudioB61_Charly and @StudioB61_Alec for updates.