Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

I’ve just returned from a few days in Central Otago - this part of NZ is barren but beautiful, and I was there to shoot with PureTrails, following one of their bike tours along the Otago Rail Trail. Originally a railway between 1879 - 1990, the line was built to help farmers get their stock to market, so as you can imagine it’s full of history throughout the region, and what better way to discover this trail than by bike? 

NZ’s original ‘great ride’, the Otago Rail Trail (150km of disused railway corridor) officially opened in 2000, PureTrails New Zealand ran their first cycle tour along the trail in 2004 and their brilliant adventures uncovering the history and communities along the trail are still extremely popular to this day. It was a pleasure to work alongside the PureTrails team - clearly very passionate about their cycle tours, their beautiful country and the history it holds.

Personally, I had never stepped foot into this part of the South Island before, so it was awesome to learn more about the Otago region whilst shooting along the trail. I loved some of the old signage along the way which set the scene, a constant reminder of the railway that used to run there - and what incredible scenery the trail holds! Some of my favourite spots on the ride were the Poolburn Gorge, with the trail crossing the tall viaduct and passing through tunnels before opening out into the Ida Valley - think barren farm land with amazing snow-capped mountains in the distance. Wedderburn, the highest point of the trail, google this one and you won’t see much other than the old goods shed that sits on the farmland - this little town actually holds a lot of history and used to be a stopover point for gold miners before becoming predominantly a farming area. The trail ended in Middlemarch, a station built in 1891, where those on the cycle tour swapped their 2 wheels for a train and headed towards Dunedin on the Taieri Gorge Railway. Shooting in this area was a real experience and luckily, the weather allowed for some great content. We’d managed to miss the recent rain, which had done us a favour by making the grass super green and giving the mountains a sprinkling of snow, giving Otago a chance to show off for the camera.

Overall, Central Otago was quiet and lonely, yet beautiful and characterful all at once - an amazing experience of NZ off the beaten track. Stay tuned for this content from PureTrails New Zealand - I’m hoping it will give a great taster of the trail and its history.

Introducing Alice

Introducing Alice

Introducing a new member of the team – Alice will head up all operations, including ensuring immediate support for clients when James is out filming. Alice will be your port of call for any enquiries you may have.

A little bit about Alice... as a qualified personal trainer, when she isn’t planning and organising exciting video content, you’ll probably find her in the gym or up a mountain! Highly organised and efficient, Alice is a valuable new asset to the team. 

Happy Christmas & New Year

Happy Christmas & New Year

Christmas wishes from New Zealand! Feels strange (in a good way) to have a hot christmas day, made the most of it and spent it at the beach in Banks Peninsula, just a short drive from home. Of course we headed back to Christchurch later in the day and made a very British christmas dinner too.

Also taking this opportunity to welcome in the new year - Happy 2018! Looking forward to some exciting projects in the new year, working across New Zealand but first, St Kitts - Caribbean. Stay tuned for that! 

Summer Shoots

Summer Shoots

A quick summary of some awesome NZ shoots this summer - I teamed up with a few adventure companies and we created some action filled, exciting videos for their social/website content...

VOLO JETSKI ADVENTURES

Shooting jetski tours in the caribbean has been fun over the years, but to head over to Lyttleton to do it just 30 mins from where I’m based is even better!

Nick at Volo already had a good idea of what shots he wanted - not only did we want this shoot to show the exciting jetskiing but also the beauty of the location. We had a great morning capturing some pretty cool content for Volo’s social media platforms!

Check out volo if you’re near Christchurch looking for some sightseeing on the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEKAPO SPRINGS

It was great to head down to Tekapo to shoot a 60 second video to mark the beginning of summer!

Not only were the friendly team at Tekapo springs awesome to work with, but it was great fun getting some shots of their TRIPPO waterslide and the rest of their resort which has some beaut views of lake Tekapo in the distance.

A great spot to stop at on your way through Tekapo - especially in the heat of the summer, to cool off and wind down. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MACKENZIE ALPINE TREKKING

I’ve found myself shooting lots of horses over the years in various situations, but on heading down to Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking, I realised this would be one of the most picturesque horse treks I have captured yet!

I teamed up with Sarah and some of her guides and headed off into the mountains and amazing landscape surrounding lake Tekapo. The purple lupins at this time of year made for some awesome shots!

Definitely worth checking out MAHT if you’re ever in Tekapo with some time to spare. 

Avalanche Peak

Avalanche Peak

Since arriving in New Zealand this time round, we felt as though we hadn’t yet tackled a ‘big’ hike. You know, the really satisfying ones, the grind all the way up but with the incredible pay off.

We headed for Arthur’s Pass – when visiting here in 2016, we were greeted with rain and low cloud, leaving us unable to see the scale of the place. This time, we could weather plan – and on seeing clear weather predicted, we headed straight there and set our sights on Avalanche Peak (1833m).

I also took this opportunity to take my camera along for the climb and I’m so glad I did – the summit gave insane panoramic views and finally the scale of the place was revealed. This hike was a pretty sweet reminder of why we moved out to NZ – can’t beat having this just a short drive away.

 

Moving to NZ

Moving to NZ

This month has been a big one – having got to know New Zealand well in the past, I decided to relocate and set up home here.

With its insane landscapes, loads of places to hike and explore – New Zealand gives great inspiration for some awesome content. Seemed like a no-brainer to set up base in this country.

I’m currently living in Christchurch – rising back after the earthquakes, the city is a great place to access the rest of the beautiful South Island, but also a brilliant place to run the business from with NZ being a tourism hub!

I can’t wait to capture some amazing NZ content. Watch this space.

Indian Rickshaw Run Shoot

Indian Rickshaw Run Shoot

"The Rickshaw Run is easily the least sensible thing to do with two weeks."

- Were the words I found on the company website upon searching for the information regards the rickshaw run, a 3000km 'race' from the southern Indian city of Kochin to the northern desert town of Jaisalmer.

I'd been offered the opportunity to shoot for 3 weeks on this race - and I was keen to take on the assignment.

The form of transport was the humble rickshaw, a glorified lawnmower, more suited to short city commutes than cross country adventures. What followed was a colourful, mad ride which provided lots of memories and some great footage.

 

St Kitts Visitor Channel Launch

St Kitts Visitor Channel Launch

After many months I'm really pleased to announce the launch of the St Kitts visitor channel! 

This is a project I was commissioned for back in February and has comprised of 2 weeks shoot and over 6 weeks of edit! The final format is 30 minutes of TV scheduling - played out at various outlets on the island and online.

 

There is also a introductory 2 minute edit - below.

 

 

Luxury Living at Turtle Beach

Luxury Living at Turtle Beach

Back shooting Lifestyle videos with Luxury Lifestyle home builder Razo. A sunny week in St Kitts!

The perfect lightweight kit for backpacking videos: Osmo mobile & Mavic Pro

The perfect lightweight kit for backpacking videos: Osmo mobile & Mavic Pro

It's always a toss up - balancing the experience of an awesome trip with the urge to grab your camera out at every second and shoot video. Capturing memories is important - but so is being in the moment, right?

This has kind of led me down a path of trying to find the most practical and effeciant gear to take on personal trips. Both to allow me to effortlessly capture great quality footage, but also to not worry about the setup / preparation and use of it.

A big part of my trips include hiking and camping and this means weighing up what to take - Figuratively and literally- I'm always pinching grams and want stuff that won't burden me down.

This has meant there is big influence on the camera gear I feel I want to take. The DJI Mavic pro really changed the game in allowing high quality aerials to be shot with such a small drone. When DJI announced the Osmo Mobile - It got me thinking if the combo of these two bits of gear could be combined to create the perfect low weight, hard hitting combo for travel videos!

After a bit of playing around, I took them to Italy for a weeks hiking - the results really surprised me!

These 3 items (really 2 as you'll likely have your phone with you already - I used an iPhone 6s) have allowed me to shoot some really cool sequences and together. They give great flexibility with the smallest amount of gear. 

Check it out! -