Keith Eccles specialises in professional digital videography, photography, and editing. Keith’s kit combo of choice is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro paired up with the Atomos NINJA V field monitor/recorder.
The Scottish Six Days Trial is a motorcycle trial with a difference! It combines skill with endurance as riders complete up to 100 miles a day over six consecutive days. Each day they take on a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks, and public roads in the best – and worst – weather that the Scottish Highlands can throw at them.
This year, Gael Chatagno from France and Matthew Alpe from the UK became the first to ride electric bikes at the event, competing for the Electric Motion team.
Keith, along with crew members Sam East, Tom Pope, Ted Howells and Rachel Mulford, were trackside to record the event for a documentary scheduled for release on Amazon Prime later this year.
Keith was able to perfectly capture the concentration, passion, and intensity of the riders by getting close to the action, thanks to the accessibility of his rig. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro packs an incredible number of high-end digital film features into its handheld, lightweight design.
An integral component of Keith’s gear, the Atomos NINJA V extends the capabilities of the camera even further. The Blackmagic Pocket Camera 6K Pro has a fixed tiltable screen, which can be problematic in capturing fast-moving vehicles. Mounting the NINJA V on the camera via a simple ball mount into the cold shoe on the top of the camera allows Keith to swivel the monitor in any direction - allowing for much more creative shooting.
What I really like about the Atomos NINJA V is its bright, 1000 nit HDR display. It’s also easy to colour match with the Atomos SHINOBI on my second camera.
Being able to review his shots more easily was a big plus for Keith. Something that was also extremely useful is the NINJA’s focus peaking system, which helped Keith determine what part of the image would be in focus before he started shooting. This came in very handy, as Keith shoots in manual mode 100% of the time.
As mentioned, Scotland is well known for its unpredictable weather, so the wind and rain were potentially an issue. Luckily, it only rained on two of the days and the equipment stood up well in the conditions.
Unfortunately, such close proximity to the riders had its disadvantages too. A tiny stone hit and cracked the screen of the Atomos NINJA V on the penultimate day when Keith got too close to a bike’s wheel to get a shot. However, the screen is built so well that it was still fit for use for the remainder of the trip and the touchscreen still worked fine.
The highlight of filming this event was the EPIC views. Being in the mountains was an amazing experience, as well as going to the Glenfinnan Viaduct to see the famous Harry Potter steam train (as I am a big fan!),added KeithOn top of that, both riders we were filming on the world’s first electric trials bikes came in the top 80 rides out of 280, when people didn’t even think they would last one day, let alone six!
Gael and Matt finished 19th and 72nd respectively, surviving riding up waterfalls’ mountains and across moorlands in all types of conditions and terrains. Electric Motion definitely proved that its technology is competitive with traditional motorcycles, even in treacherous conditions, and is looking to improve even further in future events.
My main tip would be to just enjoy yourself and the process! Stay calm and just capture the moments how you see fit. Do not overthink things, trust yourself and take in your surroundings. I feel this will relax you to think clearly to get creative and get the best shots you can.
We look forward to seeing the documentary on Amazon Prime - keep your eyes peeled later this year.