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Camera House : Better Pictures 11
Photographer/director Dave Wallace is no stranger to adventure sports; he’s grown up with a passion for them. “I grew up skateboarding and snowboarding and motorbike riding and BMX riding so it kind of made sense that I would combine the two passions. I started making content from an early age. I was making skate clips and BMX clips while I was doing commission-based works like music videos and TVCs. Then the adventure sport industry began to evolve, and more brands began to want to hook into that and jump onto a lifestyle that seemed ultra cool.” Suddenly, Wallace’s journey as the go-to guy for adventure sports shoots began. He teamed up with the folk at iconic surf brand Billabong where he has made a name for himself shooting many of the brand’s campaigns. When Sony partnered with Billabong to introduce their new Action Cam product to the market, it seemed only natural that Wallace would be the one to shoot the adventures. Over the space of three weeks, Wallace put the Action Cam through its paces, shooting HD-quality vision from a number of locations. Where broadcast cameras can be cumbersome, the Action Cam was the exact opposite. “The practicalities of it size-wise and function-wise mean you can position the camera in a unique way to get an amazing unique shot,” says Wallace. “You couldn’t do these unique angles before. You couldn’t put a camera on a motocross rider’s handlebars or helmet, or on the end of a skateboard, but these cameras are perfect for that.” Soon Wallace was on the road putting these theories into practice. “We ended up in New Zealand for two weeks and Tahiti for a week and set about ‘thrashing’ the Action Cam, so to speak. “The good thing about Sony is they want to position themselves as more lifestyle – and that really suited my ideas,” explains Wallace. “[Ideas] like strapping an athlete onto the front of a jet boat, no hands, while he’s holding two fares and barreling through the canyons of Queenstown… To be able to shoot it in a way that really shows what the camera can do.” Having such a portable unit that was not only able to withstand extreme temperatures, as well as being waterproof, dustproof and freezeproof, had enormous benefts to Wallace on the shoot. “The benefts of tiny cameras like the Action Cam are manageability and creativity. To get a specifc look like on the jet boat, I mounted seven cameras around the boat – I couldn’t do that with standard broadcast cameras, there’s no way – so I could create a look and a treatment that is unique.” Wallace thinks adventure and action sport enthusiasts are going to love this tiny camcorder. “First and foremost it’s about the action sports market, but it will also be of beneft to everyday consumer who loves their small cameras. They could end up strapping it to a dog or mounting it onto their 4WD.” To make the most of the Action Cam, Wallace says you should consider your framing. “Framing is everything. If you don’t capture your action it’s pointless, so preparation is essential. “Where do you position it? Do you put it at the front of the board, the back of the board? Can your subject hold it? Don’t always think of the frst shot. Think: ‘What can I do that is unique?’. What is the athlete doing trick-wise if he’s doing a fip or a 720, you’d place the camera differently.” Wallace also suggests that knowledge of the sport you are going to shoot is another necessity. “I couldn’t do what I do without knowledge. I’ve spent my life in it, so I know it back to front. If you know the environment, you have a great advantage and are more likely to deliver a killer shot.” Shooting in the surf or snow can be taxing, but Wallace believes that despite the environmental challenges, the Action Cam is up to the task. “We went to New Zealand heli- boarding so you have to not only shoot in the snow but make the cameras work. And that is what is impressive about these cameras: they always stood up to it. I thrashed them – heli-boarding, jet boating, snowboarding, we put them through mud, we buried them, we attached them to motorbikes and dragged them. I went out with 10 cameras and at the end of two weeks, I came back with 10 cameras.” ■ DAVE'S TOP TIPS • GOING ON LOCATION: THINK ABOUT IT FIRST. WHERE AND WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING? • RESEARCH: GO ONLINE -- SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING. • KNOW YOUR EQUIPMENT: AND USE IT FOR ITS BEST USE. 39 FEAT URE TOUGH STUFF
Better Pictures 10
Better Pictures 12