Ahead of the release of a stop-motion cliff diving film from the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series stop in Wales, the three Instagramers, @danrubin, @jeera and @chaiwalla, talk us through the process...
Come back to redbullcliffdiving.com on Monday, October 7, to watch the film in full.
What was your experience on the day?
Jiri - Fantastic weather, great dives, great audience, lots of fun and also hard work shooting. Overall a great day.
Allan - It flew by so quickly - it was fun and fast paced and I had a lot of adrenaline that kept me going. I really enjoyed being in amongst the crowd and having the opportunity to capture their reactions to each dive.
Dan - It was progressively more manic as the day went on. Slow to start, but once the dives started, things moved very quickly indeed.
Have you been involved in creating a stop-motion video before?
Jiri - That was my first stop-motion attempt ever but as we knew what we wanted, it went out pretty well.
Allan - No not exactly, although I used to experiment a lot with stop motion using a hand held video camera when I was a teenager.
Dan - Not in this way. I've been interested in traditional stop-motion animation, but hadn't seen this sort of low-FPS approach before this project.
How many pictures did you have to take?
Jiri - I brought back over 5,000 shots on that day.
Allan - 4,000. A high percentage of the shots would have been trial and error as I tried to capture different types of angles and perspectives of my "run". I always find it better to take too many shots rather than too few. By allowing yourself to be spontaneous and playful and going with "the spur of the moment" you can often be pleasantly surprised at what you can capture.
Dan - Over 3,000!
Did anything change on the day?
Jiri - I think we've realised that simplicity is the key and it's better to take a few more trials, than stage anything too much. But overall I'd say we did pretty much what we planned.
Allan - Yes, the sun came out! This created lots of shadows to play with and as my position for the last few shots faced the sun it created a lot of glare and it meant the diver became a silhouette figure... this might not be a bad thing. Also I hadn't planned for such a crowd and it was a lot harder to get into all the positions I had planned for - it just meant I had to be more vocal (and polite!) to get to the front.
Dan - Loads! Everything from the lighting to logistics for moving between locations and permissions required to be in specific areas seemed to be in flux on the day of the shoot. It certainly kept things interesting...
Did you learn anything whilst creating this video?
Allan - It's very hard to walk in crowds and up rocky hills whilst trying to shoot continuously! I also learnt that people in crowds at events are often very much up for being in a photo and willing to strike a fun pose or two. I also learned the importance of having a practice run on location the day before a professional shoot like this.
Dan - There were certain technical constraints which became apparent on the day of the shoot, but were easy enough to work around. The biggest lesson was that much more coordination and planning is needed when so many moving parts are involved with such a large event.
What camera did you use?
Jiri - Nikon D600 with 24-70mm 2.8. lens.
Allan - A Canon 7D. This camera is very quick and can take up to 8fps.
Dan - Canon 5D MkII with a Canon 24-70L II lens.
How long did it take to capture the photos?
Jiri - A few hours but we did some pauses.
Allan - From 8am until 6pm. Some of the us arrived early so we could capture people arriving and create some footage of the RedBull staff setting up. We also shot the blue lagoon as it was calm and whilst the morning light lit up the scenery beautifully.
Dan - All day, really. We started shooting before 9am for setup shots, and kept going straight through 6pm.
What advice do you have for aspiring Instagramers?
Jiri - Keep going and be patient, communicative and creative.
Allan - Shoot subjects and scenes that you have a passion for, don't think too much about what your followers want to see - its easy to focus on shots that you think will get most "likes"... be brave enough to experiment and be unique. Instagram is a great way to learn and grow as a photographer. Have fun with it.
Dan - Shoot what you love, not what you think other people want to see. The more you learn to see the world in a particular way before you shoot, the stronger your own voice will be.
What apps do you use to edit your photos?
Jiri - Camera+, Snapseed, sometimes Analog, ReTouch, Rays and other special apps
Allan - Mostly Snapseed. Sometimes Vscocam. I like the Afterlight app too.
Dan - Tons! At the moment, my favourites include Afterlight, VSCO Cam, and AverageCam Pro.
If you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Jiri - There's plenty places I'd love to shoot - Alps and lakes in Switzerland, fjords and waterfalls in Norway, coast towns in Italy, colourful streets of India...
Allan - Next on my "must visit" list is Iceland, Jordan and Patagonia but I would love to go back to India to shoot – the vibrant colours, lively people and great variety in scenery make this country a favourite of mine.
Dan - Egypt, inside and around the pyramids. I've always been fascinated with their history, and especially as it's now a dangerous place to visit and the likelihood of *getting* to shoot there decreases, I want to visit even more.
What sparked your interest in photography?
Jiri – The ability to show the world in my way, be creative and make people happy, all at the same time.
Allan - I believe my interest in travel and photography started when my father would post the family postcards whilst he travelled to exciting locations for work. I found the pictures on the front fascinating. I was also given a huge atlas one Christmas as a child and I could stare at the pictures for hours.
Dan - I've always loved basic composition. When learning oils and watercolours when I was about 12 years old, I remember enjoying those rules. As a designer, I've always loved using photography in my work whenever possible, though I didn't shoot anything I was happy with until about 2007 - that's when I got my hands on a Polaroid SX-70, and suddenly I was producing images I loved, and I knew I needed to do more of it.
Is there a difference in how you approach your regular photography versus what you publish on Instagram?
Jiri - I don't edit my regular pics and the composition is rectangular. For Instagram, I always think "square" during the shoot and also I can get away with slightly worse shot in terms of exposure as I know I can fix it later on the iPhone with editing.
Allan - Yes I think so. With phone photography you can be a lot more discrete and spontaneous (as I always have it on my possession – I could easily repeat the favourite photographers quote here! "the best camera is the one you have with you"). With my DSLR I also take more portrait photos due to the high quality of the lens and the greater range in aperture. I still don't use my phone at night either due to the lower quality in low light conditions.
Dan - Not especially. I shoot what catches my eye. I share more of what I shoot on my iPhone (I only post images to Instagram if they are shot on an iPhone) versus what I shoot with a DSLR or any of my many film cameras (I have over 40 different cameras at this point), so I'd say that there's more of an awareness that what I shoot *will* be shared versus just ending up in an endless queue to be processed and edited, but even that doesn't seem to change what I shoot. It's more of a constraint related to the camera itself (the iPhone in this case) which tends to lend itself to certain types of images.
How long have you been on Instagram?
Jiri - On October 6, it's gonna be three years exactly.
Allan - For about two and a half years.
Dan - Since about a month before it launched to the public :) I was user #72 as a pre-release beta tester.
What do you love most about Instagram?
Jiri - Everything. It gives opportunity to everyone and the community is incredibly kind. If you find your style, do something that catches other peoples heart, they'll appreciate it.
Allan - The community for sure. I love getting a glimpse of different lives from around the world and their photos have been the best lessons in photography for me, they fuel my desire to get out and take better shots and try new things. I also think they're a very positive and encouraging bunch.
Dan - How dead-simple and fast it is to share the images I capture. Taking pictures without anyone seeing them is like a performer rehearsing in private, but never getting on stage in front of an audience.
Describe your style of photography in three words.
Jiri - Places to be.
Allan - Varied. Playful. Bold.
Dan - Places, people, stories.
Come back to redbullcliffdiving.com on Monday, October 7, to watch the film in full and follow the 2013 World Series with Red Bull Cliff Diving's official Instagram account. #redbullcliffdiving