In early 2018 I was in California shooting a video and photo project with my friend Kirt Voreis for Niner Bikes. I posted the video and photos from that trip here. I had originally intended to create a full behind the scenes post with a video and some photos, but that somehow turned into a Vlog post instead. Here it is. Also on the project filming with me was Doug Jambor and without his help this project wouldn’t have turned out nearly as well as it did. Thanks Doug! You can find more of his work here.

When were working on the concept for the video Niner decided that they wanted it to have an educational component. Kirt is a great bike skills teacher and he’s done a whole bunch of instructional posts, graphics, and videos already, so it was a  natural fit for him, but coming up with an actual script is always a bit of work. We had a couple of different ideas over the month or two leading up to the actual shoot, and while Kirt was working on building a pumptrack at his friend D’s house he came up with the idea of a miner lost in the hills. I’m not sure exactly how it came about, but something about swinging a pickaxe and a shovel lead him to create this storyboard for the beginning of the video.

Kirt's Storyboard for the Video

I think we managed to do a pretty good job of turning Kirt’s sketches into video, and the rest of it turned out better than we could have imagined. Kirt and I have always worked together really well, and adding Doug Jambor into the mix only made everything a lot easier. We needed a second rider to play the part of the guy looking for skills, and Doug besides being a great film maker himself had actually been in a couple of Kirt’s videos as well. The combination of those skills made him an easy choice. The real benefit of having a second camera operator on a shoot is that it allows me to focus on still photos when I need to, and know that we’re still getting video footage. I can always put my camera on a tripod and let it run locked off while I shoot stills, and I definitely did that, but I do my best work when I can truly focus on just one thing. And photos were an important part of this project. All the photos from this shoot were shot with the Nikon D4 and 2 Nikon SB900 speedlights. I used a Pocket Wizard MultiMAX and 3 Pocket Wizard TT5’s to achieve really good high speed sync, and shooting in the early morning and late evening really helped those two little lights to shine

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