Me and my arty shots.
Updated: Feb 7
I’m often ribbed for my “arty shots", both in video and photography.
After all, you can find yourself photographing some pretty dull stuff at times, so it can pay to adopt a different angle of view.
A couple of years ago, I was making a video of bulk water delivery to Market Rasen racecourse. They have a small reservoir there to keep the courses in tiptop condition.
Interestingly, this is done by a robot of sorts, which travels the length of the track with a complex hose mechanism connected to a supply of water that unreels as the robot waters the track.
We were filling the reservoir thirty thousand litres at a time and I wanted a slow motion shot of the delivery end of the hose from one of the tankers. I stood on the rim of the reservoir which I noticed was lined with a sort of neoprene material.
Bending down to capture the business end of the delivery hose with a phone camera on slo-mo, I was just getting the shot when very slowly, both feet started sliding towards the sharp incline into the reservoir. I ditched the phone onto the grass and set about trying to steady myself which proved to be more difficult than I imagined.
I tried to catch the attention of one of the drivers but they were all engaged talking about football. I wouldn’t have drowned had I ended up n the drink, but it was a long way home to travel in wet clothes.
Fortunately, I managed to dig my heels into the pool liner and climb back out. Discussing my near-death incident with the groundsman of the course, he gleefully announced that he was the only one of the grounds crew who’d not ended up in the drink there.
To add insult to injury, I’d totally failed to catch the bright sunshine on the emerging torrent in slow or any other motion and decided not to tempt fate by repeating the exercise.
Another time, I was finishing off a promotional video for a new lorry that had just been delivered. I’d done all my bits of interest shots, Ekeri custom body, 3.5 tonne tail lift etc.
I decided to finish off with an arty shot. I set the camera on a very short tripod less than 5” and told the driver to drive very carefully over the camera, but not physically over it.
He did and that went well. Then, I had him do it again with the camera pointing in the direction of travel to capture the rear end as it passed over the camera,
Bit of editing jiggery-pokery and you’ve got a dynamic arty shot of the truck approaching and moving away showing all the running gear as it passes over.
When the driver saw the finished video, he growled, cor that’s lorry driver porn, can I have a copy.
When spring arrives, I am planning a video with an industrial lawnmower. I don’t think the shot described above will be on the menu that day.