Moving pictures

Making bike movies in Chamonix

Three and a half months since I last mountain biked and, I’ll admit, it’s getting tricky to write anything even tenuously linked to Chamonix biking. But, adversity is the mother of invention, (or maybe it’s necessity, I’m not sure, will check the family tree later) so in the time honoured tradition of injured bikers looking for something to do, I’ve been out with the camera again.

When I say I’ve been out with the camera, what I’ve actually been is out with someone who knows what do do with several cameras at once and I pointed them in hopefully the right direction at the right time. Toby of seventwenty fame (aye, the dunkin donut advert, that yin) had an idea for a wee edit he wanted to shoot and I was keen to wander along, try and learn a bit and help steal the souls* of Lorne and Angus who had the honour of being the talent for the shoot. See, picking up the lingo already, darlings. Could well be in the movie busyness.

Set up shot: Angus and Lorne plodding up through the December frost.

This was back at the start of December (I find skiing more fun than writing just now, don’t judge), but as the weather’s been on pause for a month now, what you see then is what you get now. Dry trails, some frost and ice low down, warmer up high, and a lovely layer of pollution trapped in the valley. Prime riding conditions.

Lorne squared. Does this mean I've captured his soul twice?

I should probably take this as the public information bit to squeeze in, that as well as the usual winter uplift suspects (what, you’ve still not registered that there’s mtb accepting uplift all year round in the alps?) you can get your bike out to play in Les Gets, Pila and Verbier. And the big surprise, Flegere! Cheers to CDMB for letting that happen after the last few years of knocking bikes back.

Synchronised shredding. And some lovely frost detail...

Anyways, enough procrastination, Toby’s done the editing of the edit, have a gander:

The last post for the off season break is generally just before xmas, so on past performance this is probably it for the next few months. The weather looks likely to break in the near future bringing a return of winter, and it’s going to be a wee bit longer yet before I’m riding properly. But then again, it’s been an odd year so lets not rule out anything yet**.

Wrap up shot: Riding off into the smog-rise.

Whatever happens, merry christmas, happy new year, so long and thanks for all the fish.

Angus hoping to not land on Toby, me hoping Lorne didn't land on the static camera.

*I’ve been trying to find out if this is actually true, and I’m really not getting much evidence from google, and google’s apparently the home of fake news as well as real news so you’d think there would be some evidence at least.

There’s some vague references to native American Indians refusing to have their photo taken lest it “steals their soul”, but then there’s plenty of photos of same indigenous peeps taken seemingly with consent and there’s no indication of links between physical image and the soul that I can find in their culture, so I’m not sure about that.

The Mayans apparently believed that mirrors were portals into the otherworld letting Gods and dead folk wander between the 2 worlds. They also believe that when praying the soul leaves the body, so if you pray in front of a mirror your soul could bugger off to the otherworld. Hence, as cameras used to (well, some still do I guess) use mirrors, taking a photo whilst folks are praying in church would result in grand larceny, and so is banned. But that’s the mirror, not the camera.

Not often you get an foot note long enough to stick a picture in. Toby looks like he's impersonating a 'weege junkie here, but really he's filming.

Following on from that, turns out quite a few spiritualists and niche religious branches have a suspicion of mirrors, and that looking back at yourself somehow liberates the soul. The earliest form of photography, the daguerreotype, involved creating the image on a silver plated copper sheet polished to a mirror finish. Yeah, mirror finish, you ahead of me already aye? So mibbies some of the idea comes from that, but I’m not convinced your average undiscovered tribe had awareness of the history or printing techniques of photography.

Again, I’ve spent more time on a distraction than writing the article, at least I’ve not wandered off into the concepts of photography and personal identity in the 21st century…I’ll leave the last word with the well known and much referenced Australian cultural masterpiece, Crocodile Dundee:

Aboriginal: “You can’t take my picture…”
Journalist: “Why? Are you afraid I’m going to steal your soul?”
Aboriginal: “No, because you still have the lens cap on.”

Pretty mountains, could do with a bit more snow but.

** Big hello and welcome to all my new Russian readers who’ve joined me since my last post. Amazingly your views of that blog were numerous enough to have displaced the UK and France from the top of the “top ten countries what read this blog” list over the last 30 days. Perhaps if I wrote the names “Drumpf” and “Putain” correctly on all my blogs I’d end up with even better reading stats….

Best finish up on a good shot. And I think this is a good shot.

  • Chamonix Bike Blog

    Mountain bike blog for Chamonix and the Western Alps

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