Lord knows I Heart Canada but the seasons here are seriously screwed up: the glaciers have barely receded when we hit the longest day and now, post Labour Day, we’re traumatised about the coming winter while it’s still 28C out. I shoot primarily on location, often outdoors, and spend most of my recreation time in Canada’s Great Outdoors so our climatic vagaries are always of the utmost interest. Consequently, when my good friends at Chariot Carriers (now Thule Child Transport Systems) called inquiring about the possibilities of a snowshoeing shoot in mid-June I was, to say the least, intrigued!
Once we’d ruled out taking a helicopter onto a glacier, we quickly narrowed the choices down to Moraine Lake or Highwood Pass. Getting a permit for the national park at short notice is never fun and Highwood is very bike-friendly so Highwood Pass it was!
Now the way I normally roll is using a dolly stacked high with a couple of golf travel bags filled with stands & modifiers, a honking great bag of alien bee monoblocks and a 60lb backpack loaded with lenses and bodies. I have great assistants but none of them were going to be keen on lugging that load 17km and 2000ft up to the top of Highwood Pass. So I devised a lighting scheme that required only speedlights and, for the first time in my life, loaded up a Chariot behind my mountain bike. My babies have four legs, lots of fur and can be locked in a crate for hours when required.
Check out the embedded video for the full BTS story. Suffice it to say we tracked down just enough snow and had another great day in the “office”..
All the timelapses were shot with a GoPro Hero HD. The helmet camera I rode with was a Contour HD. The rest of the footage was shot with a Canon 5DII and Rode Video Mic. Note to self – watch out for the front of the helmet hitting the mic and switching it off!