Unclimbed mountains by night, Jiptik Valley, Batken Province, Kyrgyzstan

Hiking Epic Rap : The Background

So you’ve seen the Epic Hiking Rap, and now you want the background?

Are you serious or is this a joke?

I’ll leave you to apply Poe’s Law.

Where did this start?

For years, the University of Manchester Hiking Club had a tradition where a specific longstanding club member would write and present a poem at their AGM. In 2012, for the first time in a long time, that club member was absent, and so people were each egging each other on to write something. Originally, I parodied Dan Bull’s Epic Skyrim Rap, and included various bits of club folk-lore.

This looks like a skyrim screenshot, only even prettier.

Sometime afterwards, I cleaned up the lyrics, rapidly recorded it, took various videos of me rapping in Sweden & in Kyrgyzstan.

A friend saw one of timelapse stills from Kyrgyzstan, and mentioned Skyrim, and it started to come together. I finally finished the video editing, put it on youtube, and there you go!

How long did it take you?

Days, sporadically, over several years.

How did you record the track?

Poorly. With much difficulty. Ardour and some condenser mics were my friend, but gosh, it’s hard work. New respect was developed for people who can perform stuff well enough to record it easily. I’d say I’m good enough with audio editing to produce something that’s a thing out of what I can perform. That’s not a very high bar.

Where was the video shot?

Sweden, Kyrgyzstan & the UK. All mountainous timelapses are in Kyrgyzstan (with one of the mountains shown currently being unclimbed), there’s two shots of the peak district, and two from the lake district.

What was the video shot with?

I shot all but four of the shots on a Canon 5D mkII with the Magic Lantern Firmware. The remaining four shots were a Sanyo CA100 (I bet you can easily spot 2). I think they’re all with my f24-105 f4 lens except the timelapses, which were a 50mm f1.8, and all the shots in Sweden were taken with a Glidecam XR-2000.

It was edited on a Debian system with Kdenlive.

Who do you have to thank?

Dan Bull, for being a massively awesome and generous dude, for giving me the track to record onto, and always being so supportive – it really makes a difference! Anyone who’ve ever had me point a camera at them, or held a camera for me. (There’s a shot in there that my girlfriend Clara held the camera for on our first date!). Anyone who ever encouraged me to try something, or give it a go.

What are the Lyrics?

Who’s rapping?
Hiker Tim!
Where?
I’m in nature’s gym.

I’m sprinting like a shadow,
who knows I’m running right behind him.

My hike-shout-flow is sweeter than a post-hike swim
You won’t believe you eyes
I’m like an overload of adrenaline!

An ice-axe in one hand
and a scared hiker in the other

I’m the last of the Hiking Kings!
There’s no other my brother
don’t run for cover!

If you’re going up-dale
then I’m on your tale
and I will NOT fail

like a half-crazed freesoloer
I’m off the rails
I walk the trails
through awful gales
and storms of hail
til all your ramblers
are racing for the bottom

I’m not stopping, til you’ve all gone home
and I am alone
in amongst the peaks
there’s silence for weeks
until I’m disturbed
by the sound of your shrieks

And I walk with this bloodthirsty hound!
She follows with a growl and a bound!

I’m draining my force, so chemistry comes into play with retorts and recipes.
Ceildih dancing like a DJ
HYDRATION. RESTORE my energy!

My legacy,
odessy,
elegy,
prophecies
written in heavenly bodies
and buried
with every hiker
that ever did bother
to mess with me
Deading them
Terribly
Horribly

I’m a celebrity!
Honestly!
You’re a wannabe!
I’m a prodigy!

The suggestion you’re better than me at being a hiker?
Ha!
Comedy!

It’s a gift to me, I don’t just bag peaks lyrically, but literally
and the OS maps are scripts in which I’ve written your obituary

I am the Hiking King
I’m risking life and limb!

I’m Hiker Tim,
known globally
you’re nobody at all!

A photostory: Bowfell and Crinkle Crags from Langdale

A walk up The Band to Bowfell via Climbers Traverse, then Crinkle Crags via Bad Step, descending back to Dungeon Ghyll.

The way up - The Band
The way up – The Band
Starting out on the walk
Starting out on the walk
Pike o Stickle from the valley floor
Pike o Stickle from the valley floor
Crinkle Crags
Crinkle Crags
On the way up The Band - Pike o Stickle
On the way up The Band – Pike o Stickle
Bowfell Climber's traverse
Bowfell Climber’s traverse
Bowfell from three tarns...
Bowfell from three tarns…
Descending the bad step on Crinkle Crags
Descending the bad step on Crinkle Crags
Langdale from Crinkle Crags
Langdale from Crinkle Crags
The bad step on Crinkle Crags
The bad step on Crinkle Crags
Langdale from the descentf rom Crinkle Crags
Langdale from the descentf rom Crinkle Crags

We parked at the National Trust car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll.
More about The Lake District on Wikivoyage.

I shot with a Canon 5D mkII with a 50mm f1.8.

All photos are “Copyright Tim Dobson 2013″, and are licenced under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. Please attribute “Tim Dobson / tdobson.net” wherever you use them.

A photostory: hiking in Buttermere

The valley bottom was rather muddy...
The valley bottom was rather muddy...
But much betterwhen we got up onto Red Pike
But much better when we got up onto Red Pike
We stopped past the beautiful Scale Force
We stopped past the beautiful Scale Force
We had fun scrambling the airy "big walls" of Haystacks
We had fun scrambling the airy "big walls" of Haystacks
And got great views down the length of Buttermere from the head of the valley
And got great views down the length of Buttermere from the head of the valley
Climbing Grassmoor via Whiteless Pike gave us great views of the valley below
Climbing Grassmoor via Whiteless Pike gave us great views of the valley below
Whilst the summit of Grassmoor gave us great views of Hopegill Head
Whilst the summit of Grassmoor gave us great views of Hopegill Head
...and Crummock Water in the valley far below us.
...and Crummock Water in the valley far below us.
Finally, a lamb grazes near fields of Bluebells in Rannerdale
Finally, a lamb grazes near fields of Bluebells in Rannerdale

We stayed at the Syke Farm Campsite in Buttermere.
More about The Lake District on Wikivoyage.

I shot with a Canon 5D mkII with a 24-105 f4.

All photos are “Copyright Tim Dobson 2013″, and are licenced under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. Please attribute “Tim Dobson / tdobson.net” wherever you use them.

Postcards from St. Agnes.

Postcards from St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly.

What are you looking at?
What are you looking at?
St. Agnes at sunset
St. Agnes at sunset
Sea stacks make great scrambling material
Sea stacks make great scrambling material
There's no place like 127.0.0.1
There's no place like 127.0.0.1
Allegedly, before tourism took off, Scillies were famous for exporting flowers
Allegedly, before tourism took off, Scillies were famous for exporting flowers
It's almost like I set out to create a stereotypical desktop background
It's almost like I set out to create a stereotypical desktop background
Spend some time of the beach...
Spend some time of the beach...
Nice day for a sail!
Nice day for a sail!
Got to make sure you get back across the sand bar before the tide comes in
Got to make sure you get back across the sand bar before the tide comes in
A refreshing pint in the pub!
A refreshing pint in the pub!
That's all for now!
That's all for now!

We stayed at Troytown Campsite.
More about St. Agnes on Wikivoyage.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been there.

I shot with a Canon 5D mkII with a 24-105 f4 and a 50mm f1.8

Onwards (Teaser)

So basically, I may have slightly screwed up my travel times to Glen Coe, and been forced to sit around Manchester for a bit. I decided to put that time to good use.

This is an experimental teaser for Onwards. It’s the introduction, possibly the only scene – I’m unsure whether it’s worth taking it further.

Anyway, here it is, have a look, let me know what you think:

Onwards (Teaser)

Video by Tim Dobson
Music by Phil Rey – “Ravenswood Castle” (via Magnatune)

Onwards licenced under Creative Commons Noncommercial Sharealike 1.0 licence.

How best to weather seal your Canon 5D mkII (if you’re me)

CING recently asked on twitter how photographers looked weather sealed their cameras:

and so I thought I’d share this photo of me, from Scotland (the summit of Ben MacDui in fact) in December, when I took a “unique” approach to weather sealing my Canon 5D mkII / 24-105L F4:

How to look after your Canon 5D mkII © David Emmett 2012
How to look after your Canon 5D mkII © David Emmett 2012

For the record, I fell over, the camera was fine. Snow just brushes off when it’s cold!

Welcome to My World

As part of my plan to put together a video for every Wednesday in December, I decided to finish of a project I’ve been working on to tie all various bits of video from various trips I’ve been on into one montage.

Here you have “Welcome To My World“. If you can, I strongly recommend watching fullscreen in 1080p HD.

Credits:
Video: Tim Dobson
Music: “My World” by WE ARE FM
Licence: CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0