Port Eliot

A very busy middle and latter part of 2017 has meant I have totally neglected my blog but fortunately I have found some time to re-address the balance. In this entry I’m going to talk about a really enjoyable but challenging job in Cornwall and my transition from Canon to Sony.

The job in question was to cover Port Eliot Festival 2017 with a particular focus on Plymouth University’s student led involvement. As well as learning from experienced makers, the design students ran workshops in woodwork and sculpture and the literature students were tasked with composing the festival newspaper that was distributed daily.

Without wanting to sound like I’m freelancing as a member Port Eliot’s sales team, the festival really is like no other I’ve attended. It is a videographer’s dream; filled to the brim with amazing characters, performers and skilled crafts people doing everything from blacksmithing to poetry (both at the same time in some cases). Therefore, you’d think getting shots to illustrate the character of the festival and documenting the various workshops would be straightforward and you’d be right. However, when it pours with rain consistently for 3 out of the 5 days, things get more challenging. Below is a short highlights video of the festival with particular focus on Plymouth University’s involvement.

A short highlights video featuring Plymouth University students and their experiences at the 2017 Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall. If you like this video you can find more on the Touchpaper instagram account, @Touchpaperproductions

Before the festival I had planned for this to be the last major job I shot on my ever reliable 5D MKIIIs. I was and continue to be really impressed with the strides Sony are making in terms of their video focused DSLR range and planned to transition to the Sony A7RII post shoot. The main reasons for the transition centred on the superior frame rates while shooting in 1080p and 4k, the low light capabilities and higher image resolution. I am going to do a separate post reviewing the Sony A7rII so that’s all the detail I’ll go into at this stage.

The decision to transition was almost taken out of my hands however; as by the end of the festival the canons had taken a real hammering. Although I tried to keep them protected and although they boast very good weather sealing, the consistent bad weather, mud and general knocks and bumps took their toll.

On the Brightside, after a very rainy Friday and Saturday the Sunday and Monday of the festival were much dryer and the cameras were able to limp over the line as they captured what I required to make the final video. As I mentioned earlier, the festival was packed with numerous photogenic elements and the Plymouth University students and staff were great fun to work with. I particularly enjoyed shooting in the Hole and Corner tent that held workshops in screen-printing, pottery and woodwork. Here is the final video highlighting Plymouth Universities involvement in the festival.