Dust & Summer

Posted on 22nd May 2011  |   Catagories: Filmmaking, Photography

I’m very pleased to finally present Dust & Summer – a short mountain bike video that I shot while visiting my brother in southern Spain. It’s my first real foray into the world of filmmaking, so it was a huge learning experience for me – I’ll be heading back out in the Autumn to film a longer documentary style film, so if you like what you see, stay tuned for more! Check out the HD version by watching on Vimeo

A little more info:
I’d recently bought myself a Canon 60D, mainly to replace my ageing 350D, but also with the intention of getting to grips with the HD video features. I’d heard a lot about the potential of DSLRs for video, but I really wasn’t prepared for just how amazing they can be! After all, by using an SLR you immediately have access to some of the highest quality and most affordable lenses around, and the ability to swap them out at a moments notice is a real benefit.

So this project was really born out of the process of learning to use the camera, but it naturally ended up developing into a more fully formed narrative as we went along. I hadn’t really thought of doing anything too fancy or cinematic, after all I only had a tripod and a couple of lenses – but I was keen to spend time making the most out of them. The fixed 50mm f/1.8 only costs £90, but delivers so much more than you would expect for that price. By stopping it all the way up and finding the right angles you can really emphasise the depth of field, adding that classic cinematic touch. For wide angle shots, I used the 18-135mm kit lens, which also became a really valuable asset due to the built in image stabilisation – without it, I just couldn’t have included any of the handheld or panning shots.

The final piece of kit that was a lot of fun to use was the time-lapse shutter – I spent more mornings that I care to remember trying to catch the perfect sunrise! But where better to do it than the Spanish countryside?

Anyway, a big thank you to my brother and Pete, who allowed me to endlessly film them on their days off, and for putting up with my rather inexperienced directorial approach (which including turning up for the first days filming with only 20% battery life remaining).

And finally, a huge amount of credit is also due to Ben Howard for the soundtrack, without which the film just wouldn’t have worked – it made editing the film into such a fluid and exciting process. Ben is an up and coming musician from Devon here in the UK – I remember once seeing him performing in the high street in Totnes (my Mum’s hometown – shout out!), so it’s great to see him gaining so much success. My brothers and I are all huge fans of his music and I hope this video helps to spread the word – if you like what you hear, his music is available on iTunes – download it now!

  • Manuel

    I think this is the best video of MTB that I ever saw, lot of great places to ride with beautiful landscapes.

    Shows a professional view of the ride and the sensations over a bike.

    Inspiring maybe is the word for this video. And the music…you just discover to me a great musician, now one of my favorites too.

    Really, thanks for this work of art.

  • http://Dust&summer Suzanne

    Your video is awesome. I have been hooked since my son showed it to me. You are a true artist and should continue your work in filming. This must be your passion!

  • Smilyan

    I love the video and it inspired me to want to give a try of one myself. You know, I would’ve loved a moment int he middle of the video with a Go Pro camera mounted on the head of one of the bikers (or maybe both) that the music just stops and you can hear them breathing heavily and going crazy on a trail at a key moment. Just an idea.

    Thanks so much for sharing!