This short video is a small sample of the stock footage I am shooting for Digital Juice.

I hiked my Vinten Vision 3 tripod, Vinten baby legs, 10 feet of PVC dolly track, my 2ftx2ft skateboard dolly, the Canon 5dmk2 DSLR with matte box and three filters, Zoom h4 audio recorder and a bag of Nikon lenses two miles up a mountain. I actually hiked 16 miles total that day.

Here is the quick version of the story…

I hiked two 10 foot pieces of 1 1/4inch PVC pipe, the dolly and the Vinten baby legs two miles to waterfalls on the side of Mount Chocorua in Albany, New Hampshire. I hid all the stuff under a rock at the edge of a 30 foot cliff face. I then hiked two miles back to the car at the trail head.

Next, I grabbed the Canon 5dmk2 camera (with batteries, Red Rock Micro matte box, .6 ND, circular polariser, .6 grad ND filters), bag of lenses and the Vinten Vision 3 Tripod. I hiked those pieces of gear the two miles to the falls. All this took just over 1.5 hrs of walking/climbing over rugged terrain.

So total mileage hiked thus far: 6 miles. I’m just glad the iPod battery was fully charged.

I setup the very first dolly shot (the shot of the small waterfall through the fir tree in the video) and used my only Canon lens for this, the 24mm f2.8. After getting the wide cover dolly shot, I grabbed for the Nikon glass and the Nikon to Canon lens adapter. I dropped the adapter by mistake and it fell into a small pool. This small pool was actually very deep and the adapter was lost forever.

At this point, all my Nikon glass was useless as I had no way to mount the lenses to the 5dmk2 body. I only had a Canon 24mm f2.8 for this shoot now! That simply was not enough.

So, I grabbed all my kit, looked up at the mostly blue sky, and stashed all the equipment in the bushes under a few inches of leaves and sticks. It was about noontime.

I ran down the two mile trail and got to the car in just about twenty minutes, with sweat pouring off me.

I grabbed my spare (and last) Canon to Nikon lens ring adapter and ran back up the trail the two miles to the waterfalls. So far, 10 miles traveled, about three hours elapsed since arrival at trail head and only one dolly shot recorded!

I shot for the next six hours in generally the same area. I worked the cliff face and thirty foot waterfall with mostly wide lenses and ten feet of track. It is VERY important to have a matte box to cut down stray light that causes washed out lens flare in shots. The Canon 5Dmk2 does not have built in ND like a real video camera, so you must use ND filters to cut down the light when running the DSLR lens wide open. I used the Zoom H4 to record all the wild sound you hear in the video.

Later, I climbed to the top of these cliffs to get the “eternal pool” shots. This small puddle was fed by falling water emerging right out of the mountainside. I drank almost a gallon of this water, right out of the pool between takes.

After shooting about 15 gigs or 1080p 30p stock footage (one minutes long takes with audio), I decided to head out. I only had about an hour of daylight left, so I knew that the last of my hiking would be done by head torch.

I tossed the dolly and track in a small cave and buried the Vinten baby legs under a mess of branches.

I grabbed the Canon 5dmk2 (which was covered in dirt and mud), the Vinten Vision 3 tripod, the bag of lenses, and batteries and headed the two miles back to the car. Once I got to the car, I locked everything inside and hiked again, up the trail two miles. I was getting very tired and I had raced mt bikes downhill the day before!

I was now thinking out loud that asking someone to help me might be worth the hassle! When I say “hassle”, I mean someone putting up with the bugs and countless hours in the middle of nowhere without complaining! Most people will get sick of this type of work after the first five hours.

When I arrived at the waterfalls for the last time, it was almost dark. My iPod battery was dead, so all I could hear was my own labored breathing. I grabbed the ten foot track, the twenty pound dolly and the Vinten baby legs and make the final trek off the mountain with only a weak LED headlamp beam.

I got back to the car and went through the gear. I sat behind the wheel, did not start the car. I slept in the drivers seat till 11pm. I woke up forgetting where I was and then drove out after eating a powerbar.

That was one hell of a day. Enjoy the 2 minute 15 second video.

TRT: 2 minutes 15 seconds
Size: 47.99 MB
Type: Quicktime mpeg4 720p HDTV