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Inspired by Dan Bull’s Skyrim Rap
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.
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.
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?
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!
written in heavenly bodies
with every hiker
that ever did bother
to mess with me
I’m a celebrity!
You’re a wannabe!
I’m a prodigy!
The suggestion you’re better than me at being a hiker?
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,
you’re nobody at all!
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:
Video by Tim Dobson
Music by Phil Rey – “Ravenswood Castle” (via Magnatune)
Onwards licenced under Creative Commons Noncommercial Sharealike 1.0 licence.
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.
I recently went to Barcamp Blackpool – I’ve blogged a bit about that here, but right now I want to talk a little about the video I made.
The video was the first real footage I shot on my new camera and the first full thing edited using my new workflow.
First, have a look at the video:
So it was shot on a Canon mkII at 24mm/f4 with a Glidecam XR 2000. It’s worth understanding that I’ve not had any of those devices more than a week and so my threshold for success is set at “understand more than when I started” and “try not to upset anyone”, and with those criteria I think I’ve succeeded.
The Glidecam is a lot of fun, but also presents challenges – actually carrying the camera on a Glidecam is significantly heavy if you are a sysadmin like me and have no upper body strength. Balances the Glidecam correctly is an art that I’m learning, and using it – well I’m getting to grips with that! I do feel that, objectively, the video probably felt like “fly all the things” – however one of my objectives was to learn about the device more, an so learning when not to run around is valuable information.
Marek Isalski gave me some feedback on the camera setup and I think I largely agree – colour correction/white balance would have made a difference, and things like the auto-exposuring messed up a few shots. Once I get the feel of things a bit more, I suspect I can probably learn to judge some good manual settings for to put the camera in, or I can learn how to update those settings mid-shot, if that’s possible. The focal distance on the f4 is quite forgiving, but clearly, there are some clips where even a rough eye for that could make a big difference.
This was the first ‘good’ clip to take advantage of a small change in my workflow which has had a big impact on how I work.
I have a small laptop for web and stuff on the move, and a [rapidly ageing] “power desktop” for editing. My laptop doesn’t really play my DSLR footage very well and is really underpowered by most standards, it’s not ideal for video editing. However, a recent version of Kdenlive – my favourite video editor – recently added a “proxy clips” feature.
Essentially, when you turn this on for your project, it generates low resolution, low quality clips of your videos for you to edit with, and then, when you come to render your project, it uses the original footage. What this means in practice, is that, so long as you’re happy waiting for your project to render on your device, editing high quality footage on an under powered device is less of an issue.
What this meant for me was that I could sit in a hotel room with my ultra light X60S Thinkpad and throw together a little video before bed, without having to wait til I got home, sorted all the footage out, and got round to editing it all together. For me, this is a big difference.
Clearly, I’ve more to learn about many things, but I’m happy that this video has succeeded in showing me a few places to improve whilst also, hopefully, not upsetting too many people!
Some time ago, I was looking for new places to explore on Wikitravel and so I flew to Tallin, in Estonia, hired a bike from CityBike and spent two days visiting old soviet military bases, the Baltic sea, waterfalls and taking in the Estonian countryside.
As I travelled, I made video. This is that video. Have a watch.
Shot on a Sanyo CA100, edited in Kdenlive on Ubuntu
Licenced under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence.
Lullaby by Ghost (feat skoria and brad sucks) – CC-BY-NS 2.5
Sea of Something by i am this – CC-Sampling Plus 1.0
Computer by State Shirt (stateshirt.com) – CC-BY-NC-SA 2.5,
Kopeika by et_ – CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0
Over the past few years, I’ve done a lot of hiking, been to many places and see a great deal. To document it, I started editing together some of my clips several months ago. This is the result – thanks for stopping by for a look!
Switch it to HD, make it fullscreen, let it buffer, sit back and let it go!
Special Thanks to:
The University of Manchester Hiking Club
For the tolerant, friendly and down to earth approach to hiking which has enabled me to see so much and share so many great moments. Thank you all for some great times!
I also really appreciate the enthusiasm of Jonathan Heathcote, Josh R, Jonnie Balls, Polly Plowman, John Colvin and Marek Isalski for agreeing to be test audiences and helpfully offering constructive feedback during the final phases of editing.
Locations (in order of appearance):
I’ve just got back from spending a week hiking in the Cuillins on Skye. We were based in Glen Brittle and I made this video with the footage I took:
Last March I went hiking with UMHC to Langdale for the first time. This was the first time I did, Jack’s Rake, Harrison Stickle, Pike o’Stickle, Pavey Ark etc.
I made a bit of a video that day and it came out rather well. It did help that it was a beautiful day of course: