Happy Mondays: Week 8 – Getting back to my roots
Happy Mondays: Week 8 – Getting back to your roots
Thanks to Jamie (Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters) for this photo!
I started my 16-year filming career by filming downhill mountainbiking, so it was a great pleasure to get back to my roots and do some mountainbike filming at the Birks of Aberfeldy on Monday. You’ll be glad to know that I was working for Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters and filming the very talented Lewis Summers, and not filming myself (although there will be plenty of that in future weeks). Lewis is seriously talented and a native of Aberfeldy. In fact, he put in most of the mtb tracks around Aberfeldy.
Alarmingly it had been over two years since I last filmed some mountainbiking, so it was great to get back to where my passion for filming developed. Equally alarming was how rusty I had become at filming mountainbiking. When I started my filming career I had one camera, and that was it, so the creativity came from finding unique angles and interestingly framed shots. Now I have several cameras, loads of lenses, gimbals, different microphones, filters and tripods, which, most of the time, gives you lots of options, but when you are under time pressure can leave you undecided about what combination is going to give you the best shot and constantly anxious that you could have had a better shot with another combination of cameras, lenses, etc. Sometimes progression isn’t always helpful and keeping things simple and focusing on the framing of the shot is the best approach.
It was great to get back to my roots because it reinvigorated my passion for MTB filming, made me pull out some of my old filming ideas and look at taking them forward, and made me think and review my filming approach, especially for fast-paced sports that are done over a large area. Lots of kit is not suitable for this type of filming, so my experience, on Monday, helped me trim all my kit down to the essentials. Not quite one camera, but not far off!
The mountainbike tracks at the Birks are to the west of the main footpath on the west side of the Birks. It is a little ribbon of amazing singletrack with a few jumps and more technical challenges towards the lower half of the track. The track meanders through some stunning deciduous woodland with great views overlooking Aberfeldy and the valley beyond. At this time of year, with the right light, it was an amazing place to film with the light accentuating the beautiful autumn colours on the leaves and ferns. If you’ve done some mountainbiking, then there is nothing on this track that is overly technical, could be rolled or ridden around, so get up to Aberfeldy and get exploring.
Once I get my bouncy bike back from the shop, I’ll be back to Aberfeldy to spend a day exploring all the tracks around the valley. I totally forgot it has one of the best downhill tracks in Scotland not too far away. Lewis and his mates have done an amazing job of building some great tracks. It’s crazy to think that someone from this humble little village is now racing world cup downhills. Perthshire really does have the terrain to develop champions.
Keep an eye out for some cool short edits for Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters featuring some local adventures and adventurers taking on some of their own microadventures, which are made even better with great tasting coffee.