Red Bull Cliff Search Bulgaria

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This was my first trip to the Black Sea. We drove to Sofia, Bulgaria with a car and than took an airplane to Varna because the roads between this two cities are very bad. Full of holes as I have later seen with my own eyes. I have never seen so many cars parked at the side of the road with a punctured tire.

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Obviously the best transportation vehicle is a cart pulled by a horse.

The event that we went to shoot was Red Bull Cliff Search at the coast of Black Sea with Orlando Duque and Todor Spasov. First location wasn’t at the sea shore but a bit into the land. Wonderful Rocks or as the locals say Chudnite Skali. It’s a rock phenomenon, a massif consisting of some rock needles up to 50 meters high. The limestone was formed by the effect of water and wind. There is a road going beneath so there are also there tunnels dug through. The rocks are very crumbly so climbing was difficult and dangerous.

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The position was such that the perfect lightning for the shoot was late in the afternoon but we couldn’t wait as there was a bad weather prognosis so we did what we could. Sadly I didn’t get the NEX-FS700 on loan from Sony so I was sometimes trying to shoot some additional footage with the NEX-5N equipped with Nikon lenses and a sun hood. This was also an option to try my new Samyang 500mm f/6.3 mirror lens.

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Both were proved to be great tools for capturing the footage. Bokeh on the mirror lens is very specific (donut shaped) and can be very ugly but sometimes it can provide additional visual detail in the image. Shooting 50fps at full HD resolution is an option many other cameras and DSLRs don’t have and using the same mount as on FS100 and FS700 is very convenient to say the least.
The weather prognosis was correct and we were abruptly stopped in the afternoon with heavy rain. So we packed as quickly as we could and drove to the hotel. I was capturing the lightnings out of the car during the drive and I managed to capture one on camera.

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The next morning was the time of the Venus transit and I captured it on NEX-FS100 and NEX-5N but will write about it more in its own post. The second location were the cliffs on the Black Sea coast and the drive there was very picturesque. Decaying suburbs, agriculture land with lots of wind turbines.

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Finally we arrived and the scenery there was astonishing. Cormorants sitting on the rocks, cliff itself… the beauty is hard to describe.

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I was again providing additional footage with NEX-5N on my old Glidetrack slider which is very good if you don’t put a heavy camera on it. Sun hood was invaluable and additional external monitor would be even better if I wouldn’t broke the HDMI connector on the camera a while back.

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In the afternoon we went to the nearby Cape Kaliakra which is a natural reserve where dolphins, cormorants and seals can be observed. We didn’t see any seals but have seen plenty of dolphins. There are also the remnants of the fortified walls here and it is a place of many legends. There was also a military zone on the cape.

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Last day we were also on the cliffs. I had to climb a bit to get some shots but otherwise the location was easy. In the afternoon we had to shoot some interviews and b-roll shots.

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Clip turned out great. I wanted to link the long version of the clip as there are some sequence shots that I did in post production, but it was for internal use only and they only put the short version on Red Bull official You Tube channel so I can only show you some frame grabs.

The two shots below weren’t done on locked off shots. I was using Shake for stabilising and tracking the shots.