Sterling Rope Photo Shoot with Big Up Productions

Monday, June 7, 2010

A couple of months ago I was part of a great project with Sterling Rope in Biddeford, Maine. Sterling has recently released it's new F4 Escape Kit, a critical safety tool for firefighters in the event they need to make a quick exit from a multi-story building. The F4 is a hands-free rope decent device coupled with a high heat resistant rope, grappling hook and deployment bag. All in, there is a lot of very elegant technology in a very compact package.

On this day, I was brought in to capture still images of the F4 in use while members of the Portland Fire Department put the kit through its paces. Big Up Productions was also on site filming the action. Their teaser clip is posted at the end of this post.

Below, a fighfighter bails out of a second story window at a burn house in Portland. The intimidating Crosby Hook anchors to the window jam allowing for a fast and secure exit. On the right is a detail of the F4 rigged and ready for deployment prior to bailing...

Here is an internal view of the Crosby Hook being set, while on the right the Captain watches closely in the burned house...

Shown below is another detail of the F4 device, in this instance weighted during a lower. Depress the handle and the FireTech rope eases through the device. Let go and you stop.

Here is a portrait from the day that I love. This image was captured in between location setup...

I thought it would be fun to include some behind the scenes images from the day in this post. First up is me on the roof top of the building next door. Perspective is so important in high-angle shooting, and this roof offered me a good one. It was from this position I captured the first image in this post. Thanks goes to my assistant David for the images of me...

It was great working with Josh and Brett Lowell from Big Up, and seeing how they rig their shots. Over the years I have enjoyed their climbing films, and often wondered how they setup for some of their amazing angles and sequences, as well as the equipment they use. Today, the lines between still photography and video are blurring. The 5D MkII is a digital SLR that also shoots stunning high definition (HD) video. All of the visual effects that you can get out of the still camera are available in motion, such as a very shallow depth of field. It truly is amazing, and cool to see this equipment being used by Big Up. Below, Brett adjusts the Canon 5D MkII.

Here, Josh is operating the boom used for their silky smooth vertical pan shots (see video below). The boom allows for fantastic perspective otherwise unattainable. Oh, and that is me hanging out of the attic window too!

Back inside, we blocked off windows and added some warm light to the scene. In this shot, a firefighter was to cross the top of the stairs, making his way to the bathroom window. Josh, Brett and the Captain confer with JB from Sterling.

Below is one final image of me shooting detail of a nule post anchor with firefighter exiting through the bathroom (outside of the frame).

Kudos to Big Up for the excellent teaser video below:

And thank you to JB and Sam at Sterling Rope for setting up this day, and to the Portland, Maine Fire Department for being so great to work with. They repeatedly trudged back upstairs only to jump out the window again in full turn out gear, with oxygen equipment. Awesome! Sterling is always a great client to work with, and this day was no exception.


Doug said...

This shoot kick ass - seriously dude, and the video is cool too, would love to see even more images. Great work.