Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Skiing in Gulmarg in the Himalayas - new video online

Well after a long wait I'm pleased to bring you a short video from my ski shoot in Gulmarg, Kashmir from earlier this year. Gulmarg is a small village in the Himalayas, about 2 hours drive from Srinagar, the capital if Indian Kashmir. In 2005 they finally completed a gondola that goes almost to the top of 4,300m Mount Affawat, making it the highest operational ski resort in the world.

And there are no pistes. That's right....none.

This makes it a powder skier's paradise, a whole mountain covered in virgin snow, and you can make your own lines down the mountain. Once you get away from the top station, you will hardly see another skier. The open mountain and local culture make a wonderful change from the over developed resorts we are used to in Europe and North America. I hope to make it back there next season.

The whole video was shot on a pair of Canon 5d mark IIs, and this was the fiest time I had shot video on these cameras. A few things I learned:

  • Exposure is tricky, especially on the snow in bright sunlight (the recent 2.0.4 firmware update helps with it's live histogram)
  • Focusing on fast moving skiers is almost impossible
  • Shooting handheld is very wobbly...
We were primarily there to shoot stills and enjoy the skiing, so the video was a bit of an afterthought. Given that we didn't plan any of the shots I'm really pleased with how it came out.

I shot the video with my friend Richard Hadley at Ballistic, and Rich did a fantastic job on the editing. So when you have a spare 6 minutes, click on the video below. Crank up the volume and watch in full screen mode for the best impact.

Gulmarg 23.01.10 from Julian Love on Vimeo.


  1. It has great immediacy from the start. Much better than something glossy. Really impressive visuals throughout. For my taste the soundtrack is just so-so.

  2. i think it's a great video, agree that the music doesn't quite work for me though! Also, some of the fast moving shots are looking like they're got an interlacing problem which I wouldn't have expected...there's some ghosting going on, or is it just me, after 15 years of directing I may be overly sensitive to these things! Good work either way!

  3. jessica taylor23 June 2010 at 17:07

    Hey Jules - interested to see you straying into the world of film!

    Pretty impressive resolution there. I've just bought a 550 so I'm hoping that I might get some decent video resolution too (if nowhere near as good as your prof camera...!)

    Looks good - and makes me want to go skiing there, even on a warm sunny day.

  4. Glad to hear people are enjoying the vid.

    Simon - the 5D (and other DSLRs) suffer from a 'rolling shutter' where the frame is read from top to bottom, making fast moving subjects appear distorted - I think this might be what you are noticing. Also, as this was our first DLSR video we mangled the footage a bit getting it into 25P. With the new firmware we can now shoot natively at 25P so no longer an issue.

    Jess - great to hear from you! Have fun with the 550 - it's just as capable as my cameras for video work. The resolution is no better than a regular HD camcorder, but because the sensor is so large you get a much more film-like quality to the footage and not that over sharp video look we are used to. Good luck! Beer soon?