You may remember that I recently posted a blog about a sweet short movie by Irish Photographer Larry McMahon in an empty mill.  It had a haunting ’28 days later’ feel to it (check it out here) and he’d shot it on a ‘Glidetrack‘, which is basically a portable ‘Dolly’ rail you can attach your camera to for a ‘movie-esque’ pan.

I’ve been toying with video more and more, and – even though I’m the first to admit it’s not what I do – have been booked for some wedding videography this year, mainly off the back of this video.  The difference I’ve found between stills and the camera footage is that can’t really get away with handholding video.  You need to steady a video shot – be it on a tripod, ideally with a fluid video head (for a smooth action), on a steadycam or panning along a secure rail.

My flat’s starting to fill up with video toys now; including a solid Giottos tripod, a fluid video head (Manfrotto 700RC2), a Steadytracker and Larry’s video tipped the Glidetrack scales.  2 days after ordering the Shooter I was excitedly screwing it together.  The 1/2m model I’d ordered looked awful short, but Alasdair at Glidetrack assured me it is the most portable, the one he uses and the one best suited to shooting weddings.

So I rounded up fellow UrbExplorer James Lester and we hit Bradford to give the Glidetrack a roadtest.

Check out the fruits of our findings… [in HD if you click the full-size icon in the bottom right]

[if you can’t see the video, click here to see it at Vimeo]

It was pretty mad finding the empty homeless camp & some of the graffiti inside was really impressive.

Snips were done in Final Cut Pro, with a bit of toning applied with the Magic Bullet Looks plug-in.

It was an interesting learning curve figuring out how to get more than just a load of smooth pans.  Gliding close to the ground (as opposed to on a tripod) emphasized the movement, and gliding down a rail towards the subject looked pretty cool.

I felt I was just shooting anything of interest, while figuring out the Glidetrack, rather than telling a narrative.  I look forward to playing more!

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