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Canyoning with UK-Active

In recent times I have been trying to push my video producing towards subject areas that hold a real interest for me. I love nothing better than to be outdoors and filming high action events. I recently made a website promo video for Nottingham Dirt Buggies, which turned out nicely. Last week I joined the guys from UK-Active, a website similar to my own Cool Activ to make them a video about Canyoning (aka Gorge Walking or Ghyll Scrambling).

Using the EX3 was a bit awkward. An EX1 would have been much better suited to the task (and a fully water sealed cover would have been a lot less expensive too!)

So I risked the EX3 in a DIY cover. Was it watertight? Err no, it wasn't. Did I very nearly wreck my camera? Umm yes, it was a close call! I like to get involved in these activities myself if I am filming them. I see little point in filming from the sidelines, so as much as I could I followed the same course as everyone else.

The water was very cold, but a wetsuit combined with a Kayak style top and a buoyancy aid made sure that everything except for my feet was kept bearable. The Dinas gorge in Wales can get very busy indeed. Restrictions on where Canyoning can take place have meant that everyone has to pretty much use the same gorges. So we got there at 7am to make sure we got to the top of the gorge well before the activity centres got there.

Following the group meant that for the most part there was to be no tripod. I kind of liked that as it allowed me to be much more spontaneous with the camera. Although it also meant that during one chest deep crossing the camera very nearly took a dunking as I lost my footing on the river bed!

As a rule I tend to try and let the action speak for itself. At one time I would have gone all out for snazzy camera angles and flashy editing. However I tend to find that many people are increasingly annoyed by that method. If something is cool to look at then it shouldn't need distracting camerawork and editing to 'enhance' it. Special mention must go to Tristan who used my Sanyo Xacti waterproof camcorder to get the shot of himself jumping into the water. Quite how he managed to keep his arm locked out straight all the through to resurfacing I have no idea!

Anyhoo, total production time was one day shooting, and one day post.

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