Thursday, 14 December 2006

Cameras and Climbing

Our upgrade process is now nearly complete with new cameras arriving as well as new audio and video software, PC and laptop. All this takes up quite a lot of time setting up and training (or "playing", as my partner calls it).

A pair of new Sony V1's. High Def. 24p. Sony's latest model, just launched in Europe.

It is quite amazing how camera technology has advanced in recent years. You can now achieve the same picture quality for a few thousand pounds that 3 years ago would have cost you £30k+. And camera size and weight is now small enough be able to lug around mountains and up and down rock climbs.

We also have some bespoke filming kit under development and another specialised camera to come. More on that soon.

We are heading down to the peak tomorrow for 6 days of filming with Kev Shields and Dave MacLeod. Should be interesting in lots of respects. Firstly Dave MacLeod is driving! - so if you see a Nissan Micra with L plates then steer well clear. Secondly it is Kev's first time on grit, and Dave himself hasn't been down there for several years. In fact, despite hailing from Yorkshire I haven't climbed on grit for 15 years. I'm not sure how I'll cope after 2 years of pocket pulling on limestone. Actually I know exactly how I'll cope, so I'll be staying behind the camera.

Hopefully our timing for the trip is right. The weather has been pretty poor, but now the forecast is looking really good.

Meanwhile back in Scotland winter has well and truly arrived. On saturday a few of us headed out to snatch an early season route. 5.00am start from Edinburgh is always tough, and I always have to do the driving while everyone else sleeps. Anyway, several hours later we arrived in the Northern Corries to be rewarded by excellent climbing conditions.

Mess of Pottage, looking plastered.

Dave B, looking pensive. In fact I'm doing exactly what I hate from climbers that I am photographing or filming. Wearing black clothes is rubbish for pictures, especially in winter.

On the subject of rubbish, my climbing was pretty appalling. I spent 90 minutes making painfully slow progress up the first pitch. 15 metres up I spent ages trying to find to find a way up, just two moves to go to easier ground. I committed to a couple of poor hooks and immediately was flying, back flip through the air and back down near my unimpressed belayer. "You were climbing crap" was her verdict.

Es and Thomas who were with us had a rather better day. They climbed Fall Out Corner, Thomas' first winter route in Scotland.

Back in the office we've been selling a few photos this week, UK and overseas. It's funny how you end up making money from climbing pics. Some of them keep getting used again and again. Sometimes other pictures that you never expected to sell also get used when a specific request comes in.



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