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Summer of 21

It’s been a pretty hot and sticky summer, and this one I have spent out in the city with the AMPISOUND team for the most part. While working away on a few projects for the future, the last few months have been a nice moment to get back into the swing of being outside all summer again.

I have recently been really enjoying an app called ‘NOMO’ which does this wonderful Kodak emulation, and looks pretty authentic, so this summer I spent a lot of time playing with that to capture some unique moments with my friends.

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Circle Theory

I had so much fun making Full Circle last year, our video that was shot entirely on a 360 camera and allowed me to completely reinvent my style of filming, so I had to make another project in this style.

I collaborated with a ton of athletes, capturing longer and longer parkour lines using new and inventive methods such as my wire camera setup, a longer camera pole and filming an extensive parkour line while passing the camera from person to person. I’m also writing this post the day after my birthday so, you have even more reasons to check out the project haha!

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On Ascent 2

So the world is still pretty wild and we’ve been in and out of lockdowns, unable to travel and even meeting to shoot or train has at times been difficult. That being said, this autumn things have started to ease up so we finally got to shooting On Ascent 2, which was a project we had talked about for years. Shane Griffin is a phenomenal urban climber and we had wanted to shoot another, dedicated climbing project, in a more cinematic way than the first On Ascent project.

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One Day with George Mayfield

George Mayfield is one of my favourite people to shoot parkour photos with, and I have shot a LOT of parkour photos. We planned to do a single day shooting around the Brunswick Centre and if we had time, Barbican.

Firstly, just getting into the Brunswick centre was a little bit of a mission, but with some careful tailgating we managed to get access. I’m sure it’s a fairly well known building to londoners but I had never even heard of it before George (AKA Pat) mentioned it would be a cool shoot location.

Arriving into this amazing concrete atrium, I knew we would cook up something cool together.

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Parkour Analysis

Well, nobody expected this plot twist but the world has suddenly gone crazy and we’re all in a unique and weird isolation situation. As its therefore proving rather difficult to shoot any new parkour content, I brought an old video concept I had made a few years ago back out of the freezer and refilmed it for 2020 for the main AMPISOUND channel. In the following video, I break down one of the most poorly made Parkour commercials of all time!

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Full Circle

After I was gifted with a GoPro Fusion by my friends at GoPro Japan, I soon discovered how unique and fun it is to shoot using a 360 camera for Parkour. I’d seen athletes with them before to make instagram content such as selfie stick parkour or extremely distorted wide angle videos. I felt like the camera could be better applied as a combination of the POV videos that I initially pioneered, and the classic viewpoint of parkour videos. Through a 360 camera, I can do extreme camera movements and reframe the video later. With this I wanted to make a video that would go back to one of Ampisound’s very first styles of parkour video, getting as close as possible.

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World Chase Tag

I’ve been loosely following World Chase Tag for the last few years, watching it grow from its initial format into a more and more professional project. When I visit my friends in Tokyo, they have a Chase Tag arena set up at their gym. It seems the Japanese TV shows are really interested, so after learning more about it I have since been paying closer attention.

It was then I found out that my friends at Breach, a Parkour clothing brand and athlete team, were entering for the upcoming qualifiers in London. I was invited to join them on the day and chose to shoot the event for my own portfolio and to test out some new autofocus settings I’ve been playing with, considering I felt the low light may be a challenge.

What follow are a generally ‘ordered by team’ set of my images from the event. I shot about half of the matches, and spent time with the athletes watching during the others. The WTC team gave me an athlete pass which meant I could enjoy the event to its fullest and capture some nice images along the way.

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Movement in March

After a cold and soggy few winter months, finally things started picking up through March & April. I’ve been meaning to try to feature more of the northern parkour scene, and Liverpool and Chester have lots of excellent spots and a fairly active community. We were visited by the guys from Marrero Gang, and I also of course am still frequently shooting around Cambridge.  I’ve been working on a lot of GoPro content recently, plus have a new Ampisound video thats now done but has been totally under the radar. I also shot a few images for the new MRG joggers that Marrero have coming out soon, so they are included here too.  We had such a hot easter weekend and I have a load of new content on the way, so enjoy the stuff below and keep an eye out for more soon!

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Parkour Photos
with a GoPro

Throughout my time shooting parkour I have used various different cameras to capture movement. Ranging from point-and-shoot to professional grade but always an ‘actual camera’ and not an ‘action cam’ such as a GoPro. In the last couple of months however I have found myself with a GoPro in my pocket more and more!

In my initial years shooting parkour I relied heavily on the fisheye lens to give my images a sense of dynamism, however in recent years I found the look a bit cliche and moved away from it. Of course the GoPro only comes with a fisheye lens, and while there are some in camera options for linear generally the best results from a GoPro in photography come from embracing the fisheye.

I transfer the images using the GoPro app and then edit them on my phone. Previously if someone asked me what camera to get to start shooting parkour I would’ve said a Canon DSLR but now my recommendation is it GoPro for sure. Here is a collection of images I shot, mostly using the burst mode on the camera, which shoots up to 30 images in one second. Seriously its such a blessing to use because I can pick the exact perfect moment I want instead of having to try to onebang capture it like how I previously do.

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Rowley Way

The Alexandra Road Estate, more commonly referred to as ‘Rowley Way’ is one of the most visually interesting estates in London. Built in the late 1970s and designed by Neave Brown, the estate is renowned for its grand curving nature and unique architectural elements. I visited the estate with parkour athlete and friend, George Mayfield to capture this series of images, where we were given a tour by Rowley way resident and architect, Hamish Hertford. It was was enlightening to have Hamish providing us with explanation of the features of the construction and design on the estate, and I hope to do more architecture focused stuff in the future!

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Jumps in June

There are so many parkour images in my hometown that I’ve shot, sometimes I forget what I have and haven’t captured. My ideas have had to get more and more creative, and in a way, being put in the box of a place I know so well just forces me to adapt and commit to bigger and bigger photographic ideas. This June, I decided I wanted to tick off two big photos I’d always wanted to get, so here they are.

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Jessie Graff in London

Jessie Graff is probably the most accomplished female Ninja Warrior competitor in the world. I was recently offered an opportunity to shoot with her while she is in London working on a movie. We met at the Southbank along with my friend and Ninja Warrior course tester, Shane Griffin, with the goal of capturing some images featuring iconic London scenes as a backdrop. Shooting a new athlete can be challenging sometimes, especially considering that opportunities for movement are not as common when specifically looking for iconic scenes, but we had a spot of luck with a London bus and I think the final results are great!

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