JOBY Instagram Spotlight | featuring @boomeister_ru
This month we’re featuring Hugh Roberts. Hugh originally caught our attention with his mystical slow shutter images, and we became captivated by how he saw his hometown – Cape Town, South Africa. Check out Hugh’s feed and get ready for some jawdropping images that will inspire you to get out and explore!
Hugh Roberts | Age: 36 | @boomeister_ru | instagram.com/boomeister_ru
Cape Town, South Africa
JOBY Instagram Spotlight | featuring @nikitabmxgirl
This month we’re featuring Nikita Ducarroz. We all follow people who just make us laugh, entertain us, or whom we just admire. Nikita is one of those people whom doesn’t take herself seriously even though she’s seriously talented. As one of the only females in the world who can backflip a BMX bike her Instagram feed is full of action, spills, and a behind the scenes look at the making of a pro at the start of her career. Follow @nikitabmxgirl today and add some excitement and silliness to your day.
Nikita Ducarroz | Age: 19 | @nikitabmxgirl | instagram.com/nikitabmxgirl
JOBY Pro Spotlight | 13 Questions for a Pro Photographer |Chris Higgins
This month we’re featuring professional photographer Chris Higgins. You might remember Chris from our video “What Does It Take To Get The Shot – Caving” where Chris took us hundreds of feet below the surface and scared the @##@! out of us. Since we meet up with Chris a year ago he has been summiting peak after peak across the world. Follow Chris’s social sites and you’ll be in store for a view of places 99.9% of us never see.
Chris Higgins | Age: 27 | Tennessee, USA
JOBY Labs | Episode 1 | Steel Wool Photography
We are constantly inspired by our JOBY advocates on Instagram and after seeing some really amazing Steel Wool photos, like the ones below from @thebumonboard and @monodelespacio we decided to give it a go ourselves.
And so was born JOBY Labs. It’s a new video series where we tackle photography and video trends and explore the fun side of Photo & Video. Follow along as we learn, have fun, and get a bit crazy with our cameras.
JOBY Labs | Episode 1 | Steel Wool Photography
In this episode we see what it takes to burn steel wool, check out camera settings, and then kick it up a notch. How often do you see a 2ft. ball of steel wool on fire, much less throw a bunch of sparks at a firefighter?! And that’s not even the half of what we experienced. Be sure to watch the video for this and so much more!
Canon 5D mkIII | 16-35mm | f/2.8 | f220 | 8 second exposure | ISO 100
Canon 5D mkIII | 16-35mm | f/2.8 | f220 | 20 second exposure | ISO 100
Photographer Chris Higgins shows us what it takes.
I think we’ve all seen those amazing caving photo images and looked at them in awe, but just what does it take to get those shots? A few months ago I came across a photo by Chris Higgins that was a top five winner in a JOBY, Lowepro, & Outex joint contest. It started me thinking about all the difficulties capturing just such a shot might entail. So after a few emails back and forth I was off to Tennessee with Joey Hiller (JOBY Web Designer). Assuming you’ve watched the video I’ll be elaborating a bit more below about what you don’t see, all the gear, and Joey will chime in with his perspective.
Never again! -Zach
“Never again” we’re the first words out of my mouth as we emerged from the cave. I’ll straight up say it right now; I had an amazing time but hundreds of feet underground, completely covered in mud, and mostly in complete darkness wasn’t for me. This is odd as I’m drawn to extreme activities but I’m also a clean freak. All I know is this was one of the rare times I thought I’d gotten myself in over my head and I’ve literally crawled out under the wing of a small plane mid flight to get a shot.
BEHIND THE SCENES:
The video is made up of a combination of two days of caving but for the sake of storytelling we combined them into one. The first day we were in the cave 12 hours and it was almost all rappelling. We came out of the cave at about 1:30am and were freezing after climbing up the waterfall. We then had to ride in the back of Chris’s jeep for an hour just to sleep on the ground in a cow pasture. You can probably already guess; I didn’t sleep. The second day we entered a second cave and were in the cave 8 hours. Day two was almost all crawling on our stomach. It was 2000+ feet in and 2000+ feet out. At 4 hours into it on the second day I called it; we had the footage we needed and I wanted to take a shower and crash in a hotel bed.
TRAINING: Joey has experience outdoor climbing and he is comfortable around ropes. I have a lot of structure/ building exterior climbing and rappelling experience but using a different rappel device. Our training with Chris literally was 5-10 minutes each where we both had tried to go up and switch over from the ascenders to the descenders (rappel device). I messed this up both times which resulted in the descender opening. If I had an issue while climbing back up the rope and needed to make a change over to the descender I would have to do it right. On Joey’s ascent before me he had an issue with his crawl (the ascender close to your chest that holds you in place) and almost had to make a change over. The crawl was slipping and not grabbing the rope securely. After he finished his ascent he lowered his harness and gear down for me to use. I had to use it for my ascent; so you can see why I was a bit nervous.
GEAR: As you can see in the closing shot we took a lot of gear into the cave with us. Most of it was ropes but I’ll list out everything we used to film it and what Chris brought.
Chris”s Higgins Gear: Nikon D7000, Sigma 10-20 lens, JOBY GorillaPod Hybrid, JOBY Flash Clip, Lowepro Dryzone 40L When outside of a cave Chris has a variety of other lenses and uses a Lowepro Photo Sport Pro 30L AW and a JOBY GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead- X.
I couldn’t have imagined myself actually doing this. – Joey
“There was really nothing that could’ve prepared me for this trip. The conditions in a cave are truly some of the hardest I’ve dealt with. It all became obvious when we first entered the cave. With camera rubbing against the rocks and a 150 foot rope around my shoulder pinning me in place, I stopped feeling the jet-lag and the reality of what we were doing really set in.
To get quality video in the cave I shot with the Black Magic Cinema Camera which has a native ISO of 800 and generally performs beautifully in low light. I paired it with the Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5, which isn’t the fastest lens of all time, but has a nice field of view and has the added benefit of being only a $300 replacement if destroyed.” – Joey
TORONTO – You guys nailed it and this means I’m having a very tough time choosing a Top 3. You can really tell when an Instameet is full of creative types having fun. All of us at JOBY really enjoyed the images you Instagramers took at the JOBY sponsored Toronto Instameet.
1hr later . . . hmm which three, so many good pics
and 3hrs later . . . OK I picked a TOP 3 + added a few other ones I liked below.
TOP 3 Pics TORONTO #jobytoronto
1. hagow First tell me where this is I’m tempted to fly there to shoot this; seriously! Back to you 🙂 Maybe the best pic of the Intsameets I have seen yet. Would I normally shoot this dead center? No and I would have missed this because it works, it works damn well. Why? The color and the contrasting greys. Seriously nice work 🙂
2. daromantictech I hope you know how difficult it is to capture a shot like this when you are trying to. If it’s a mistake it’s a great one. The steam 🙂 What do they see? The street sign placement, is it a clue? A photograph that makes you think, ponder, is a hard to accomplish great thing.
3. crispaza Creative, structured, and just nice to look at. Maybe the most well thought out compositions of the Instameets. I could see this in Dwell magazine easily.
Seriously I had a really tough time on this one as there we’re so many awesome photos to choose from. The Toronto Instameet group really stepped up on this one. Makes me want to hop on a plane and join you for the next one 🙂 – Zach @ JOBY
and a few more I LIKED TOO!
romanac epic in black and white, on a different day I might have placed this on top.
madvillian I hope this is your social media cover photo. It rocks!!!! If you have higher res version send it to us. firstname.lastname@example.org attn: Zach. Maybe this will be the new Instameet cover image 😉
stanislav359 You nailed the lighting . . . Perfectly!
shellche I debated on this for a top 3 ohh so close. Love it! I really love that you looked up. Hmm maybe it should be a top 3. Dang you guys made it hard!
notwithoutmypassport – DOF sweetness. Did you just snap a pic of someone else’s postcard? LOL – Seriously great eye, good work.
snap2see You know this is awesome, it’s Pottery Barn window display perfect and because it’s so perfectly delicious, I decided you really didn’t need the kudos of Top 3. Our praise is your prize. . .
_beautifiedrealisim_ It beautiful and mysterious. That sky is the real subject, it looks like it might be this all encompassing vast storm I could stare into. (Suggestion – let me see more of what makes this what it is, pull back a bit and make the storm the subject)
Nice . . a little more light, but such good composition 🙂
jeffpsamuel . . . um I’m diggin how I keep looking back at this. Amazing what the right perspective can do to something so ordinary.
nikkopa If I was only more of a dog and not a cat person I would have called this a masterpiece.
YOU GUYS NAILED IT!
Really impressed with this Instameet group. Thank you guys for participating.
Wants us to sponsor your Instameet? Tell us about your Instameet.
comments by: Zach @ JOBY – I really don’t know what I’m talking about, or do I ? nah 🙂
Zach Settewongse – JOBY Community and Content Manager aka Social Butterfly with a Camera and outgoing Personality
HELLO – I thought I would take a quick minute and introduce myself to the JOBY community of awesome peeps.
I call myself a professional Photographer/ Cinematographer/ Adventure and so far people agree 😉 I have been working with a camera in my hands full time for five years and love it. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s to follow your passion, not money. Even when not “working” I find myself creating projects everyday; anything to be creative and use my camera. More on the” Adventurer” below.
How did I come to JOBY?
I’ve been a JOBY user and advocate for a few years. I originally found the JOBY brand online and won the JOBY X-Frame stop motion video contest. This landed me a Canon DSLR as the grand prize and I have forever been grateful. I was using a camera DSLR and Pro Video Camera everyday for work and began using the GorillaPod Focus and Ballhead X. I instantly fell in love with them and it would be no exaggeration for me to say they have since been a staple in my pro kit. A lot of my work requires I travel light and the GorillaPod Focus solved so many of my pro needs.
What is that and where can I get one? I was asked this repeated, almost daily while working with the GorrillaPod. Nobody ever asked me about any of my gear before but I soon found myself recommending and going on and on about JOBY products. I became a brand advocate because I was so grateful to have these awesome tools.
They Have Personality – I’ll admit in downtime I have pretended my GorrilaPods were the alien robots from War of the Worlds and they decimated everything on my desktop. Argg!
I Am An ADVENTURER
Life is the collection experiences and I don’t want to waste a minute. I’ve rode motorcycles since I was 3 and am a speed junkie. 185 is the fastest I’ve ridden; I need a faster bike. I’ve worked as a stunt performer rappelling and jumping of buildings. Skydiving, rock climbing, skiing, skateboarding. Those really just make me a adrenaline nut but when I stepped out onto the wing of a plane to film a motorcycle race something changed and not just the shocked look on the pilots face.
Last summer I stopped everything and set off on my motorcycle for 85 days, 11,980 miles through 27 states and on the way back conquered the Trans American Trail which is an off road trail from TN to OR. I lived out of a tent on my bike and had multiple adventures along the way. I also filmed the whole adventure using Gorillapods for a documentary Pursuit Horizion (in final production).
- I consume 60lbs of chocolate a year. More than the average person in the top ten consumption countries combined. I have a serious chocolate addiction. You know when I’ve had too much when I can’t stop talking.
- I’m 50% Thai (Thailand) and 50% French
- I was a pageant child – Winner Cutest Little Boy in Reno 1980 – I know you’re jealous 🙂
- I’m engaged to the perfect woman for me. She’s beautiful, loves motorcycles & Moto-GP, and is an adventurer.
MY GEAR – What I use the most.
- Canon 5D Mark II
- Canon 7D
- Panasonic HVX200
- Canon 24mm/f1.4L
- Canon 50mm/f1.2L
- Canon 85mm/f1.2L
- GoPro Hero3 Black x2
- Go Pro Accessories – Everything they sell + multiple suction mounts.
- Contour+2 Pro x4
- Contour Accessories – Everything they sell + multiple suction mounts.
- Rode DSLR Mics x2
- Zoom H4N
- Sennheiser Boom Mic
- Steadicam HD 4000
- DSLR Slide – homemade
- DSLR Skater Dolly – homemade
- IKEA – Kitchen Timer
- JOBY GorillPod Focus with Ballhead X x2
- JOBY UltraPlate x2
- JOBY Flare 125 x10 (I always bring as many as I can fit in my pack)
- JOBY Action Clamp x4
- JOBY Micro 250 x2
- JOBY Micro 800 x4
- JOBY Magnetic x4
- JOBY Switchback x2
- JOBY 3-Way Camera Strap
- JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap
- JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap
HOW DO I CARRY IT ALL?
I have more but this is the stuff I find myself using the most. Normally I carry one very large backpack, one small backpack, and two medium size hard cases.
Let’s Create Something Together
I can’t wait to work with the JOBY community and create pure awesomeness!
Zach Settewongse (se te wong)
I’ll let the photos say the rest 🙂
Meet Jerry and Kathy Willis, the photography/videography masterminds behind Xpeditions TV. They’ve spent years traveling throughout South America, documenting their exploration of amazing, infrequently-visited sites. They share their adventures on their site Xpeditions TV in the form of short documentary films. Because their work takes them to the most remote places, lightweight and adaptable gear is essential. On their last expedition they ditched their full-height tripod in favor of our GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X. Here’s more about their travels, their work and their new favorite tripod!
First, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into photography/videography?
We started our tour company in 1992 specializing in trips to Peru. The trips were always between the Amazon jungle to the Andes mountains. At every stop we were surrounded by a vast wild landscape. It was during the first trip I realized how important a camera would be if I was going to share these adventures with others. By the time our second trip was scheduled I had bought a Canon A1 film camera for still photos, and a consumer level Canon 8mm video camera to capture the action. Our early documentaries were a record of the people we escorted through Peru, and events from the journey.
Since then we have expended our interests beyond tours. My wife Kathy and I now trek into remote areas looking for places few have traveled to. There are lost cities forgotten to time, people and their customs whose lives remain much the same as they were a hundred years ago, and fantastically beautiful places few will ever see.
Can you tell us about the project these photos/videos are from?
The photos were taken during our most recent shoot in Peru and Bolivia. We called this “The Tocache Expedition”, though we actually shot in two countries and multiple locations in each country. As usual, we were determined to document several ancient sites relating to research Kathy was conducting. For more about this best to check in at Xpeditions TV.
How has the GorillaPod changed the way you shoot?
The GorillaPod Focus and Ballhead X have changed everything, and I really mean EVERYTHING. I’ll explain; For years we have carried a tripod with us. You have to if you want a steady shot for a stand-up narration, or if you film at night or while recording a time-lapse clip. We have several tripods to choose from, but even the best one we have is bulky. Most are heavy enough that you wish you didn’t have to have one along. Believe me, moving through the dense foliage of the Amazon or climbing past 14,000′ elevation on the steep slopes of an Andes mountain is challenging enough. Add a tripod and it becomes exhausting. We’ve done it, but were always looking for something more portable and more easily managed.
When we saw the GorillaPod and Ballhead X Kathy and I became very excited. We already knew JOBY made an exceptional product line. We had purchased a JOBY flashlight several years ago that attached to a small magnetic tripod. We still have it, and it was used during this last trip. It will be along with us wherever we go because it is so dependable. That thing saved our life one night while stranded on the Amazon river… but that’s another story. Needless to say, we have complete confidence in JOBY products. Because it is a JOBY we already knew the GorillaPod and Ballhead X is a well made, dependable high quality product. We quickly ordered one and it arrived two days ahead of leaving for our expedition. Without even considering, we left our expensive carbon fiber tripod at home. Good choice!
During the trip it was obvious this is the best tripod and camera mount we had ever used. Maybe the best addition to shooting that has EVER be invented! Sure, it doesn’t have extendable legs to get the height, but no problem. We were able to mount the GorillaPod and Ballhead X in trees, on fence posts, rocks.. anything we chose! We ended up with extraordinary shots that we would never have gotten otherwise! Adding the GorillaPod and Ballhead X to our kit improved our filmmaking by increasing the level of creativity always available, but never approached because of the limitations a normal tripod allows. We will use our old tripods in the future for studio work. But once we head out into the wild places we will not be without our GorillaPod and Ballhead X.
What is your best tip for using the GorillaPod?
Avoid trees covered by ants! Haha… During one shot at “The Doomsday Stone” I decided to mount the GorillaPod in a tree for a stand-up shot where Kathy and I were discussing the archeological site. We were on location deep into the Andes mountain up the Rio Tocache. This region of the Amazon is where the jungle meets (and flows upon to) the Andes mountains. Because I was hurrying I hadn’t noticed there was a line of leaf cutter ants working this particular tree. They were busy cutting leaves and transporting them to their nest somewhere else in the nearby jungle. I quickly mounted the GorillaPod and camera in a high place, and set the shot. Once finished, I went to remove the camera. I was alarmed to see the GorillaPod and camera was covered with curious ants wondering what this thing was!
Aside from this, I suggest you take some time to become familiar with the GorillaPod and Ballhead X. Play with it, mount it, dis-mount it… Try it out in as many settings as you can. The GorillaPod and Ballhead X are easy items to understand and use. Experimentation is the key to using it. Don’t wait until you need to capture a shot to get familiar with it.
One last thing; You might want more than one size. We have the larger one, but there are smaller ones more specific to less bulky cameras. If your camera is big like ours, the GorillaPod Focus and Ballhead X is perfect. But if you have a smaller camera you might find consider one of the other GorillaPod models more specific for your camera size. You can be sure of one thing about any of these… Anything JOBY makes is the highest quality and will last for decades.
Can you share a story of a time that your GorillaPod really came in handy from your past trip?
That’s a tough question! It came in handy for almost every shot we took! But there is one shot I could not have gotten without it.
I already mentioned the tree shot in the Amazon with leaf cutter ants. That was one shot that would not have ever happened if not for the GorillaPod. There is another instance I felt we were able to be very creative.
While hiking back through the jungle to camp Kathy decided it would be interesting if we could get an overhead shot as we passed by. As we were leaving the Doomsday Stone area she found an ideal place to shoot from high in a tree along the path. We always had talked about to do this but never had because there was really no way to secure the camera. I climbed a tree (no ants in this one!) and mounted the GorillaPod and camera about twenty feet above the path. The results are incredible… Had it not been for the GorillaPod and Ballhead X I would never have felt comfortable mounting our expensive camera like this. The GorillaPod gripped the branch like a vice and held it securely in place. It would probably still be there had it been left in place. It was really locked onto that limb! We shot it, and it looks fantastic. That shot was only possible because of the JOBY GorillaPod and Ballhead X.
What is your best advice for aspiring photographers/videographers?
Anyone can shoot footage. The greatest issue many have is when you think you are not “qualified”, or good enough to produce something others will enjoy. Our advice is, don’t compare yourself to others. You are not them, and never will be, haha… You might think your idea or footage isn’t as good as. Don’t think this way. Instead, be yourself. Shoot what is interesting to, and inspires you. Compose a story, imagine how you can make it look like what you see in your minds-eye. Don’t worry about it – try it out. Sure, you’ll have disappointments. We all do! Use your mistakes to make the next shot better. If you’re unsure or stuck not knowing how to do something, ask for help. I know for sure someone has encountered your issue already and most are happy to pass on helpful information.
Finally, if you ask for an opinion and receive constructive (or otherwise) criticism, learn from it. Don’t be bummed out just because one person has something to say that disheartens you. We have had a lot of that! You might also face this. If you do, think about what was said and go forward. If you really believe you are right their opinion doesn’t matter. If you see their rational, improve from the experience. Don’t be afraid to ask, and expect judgement. Place judgement where it belongs…. in your intellect, not your heart.
Where can we find more of your stuff!
All our short documentaries are available at no cost at http://Xpeditions.TV. We have been shooting for eight years. We have tried various cameras, editing techniques, and shooting styles. If you watch each episode you can easily see how our abilities have improved over the years. We invite you to drop by, spend a few hours, and learn from what we have done. Have questions: how did we shoot that, etc…? Feel free to ask. We are always happy to share our knowledge and techniques. Maybe we can help you solve a shooting or editing issue : )
Thanks Jerry and Kathy for sharing your great tips and experience with us!