Renowned for it's islands poking out of the Adriatic sea as if they were coming up for air, Croatia is a beautiful spot for touring around on a boat but for this assignment, we were bound for a mainland-only tour to capture it's equally beautiful land based areas!  With a rainy start, would we get what we needed in time?

The Kit Prep

We're a team of four for these shoots and the reality is that we'll be in a vehicle of some sort to travel to each location.  In the past this has varied from a Land Rover Defender to a small minibus or even a people carrier with a trailer so it's important that I don't take too much kit as there's also a DOP and a drone op - the drone is usually one case and the DOP will bring a camera and lenses etc and also a Ronin and with additional personal bags I have to be careful not to go overboard with big rigs.

That being said, I need to take spares as timelapse kit isn't so readily available in most countries and I'd end up with only static and hyperlapse shots should something break with my motion control kit.  I'll try and keep kit weight (including personal bags) to 80Kg and this is broken down to the following:

Peli Case 1: Motion Control Kit

Dynamic Perception Stage 1 - slider up to 8ft in length

Dynamic Perception Stage R - 3x rotary units

Dynamic Perception NMX - 3x Controller + Cables

Peli Case 2: Camera Kit

2x Canon 5D III, Canon 6D, Canon 11-24, Sigma 12-24, Samyang 14mm, Canon 24-105, Canon 50, Canon 70-300, Canon 2x Extender, 4x Intervalometers and 8x Canon Batts

Peli Case 3: Spares and Grip

2x Tripods, Magic Arm, Finger Plate, K-Clamp, Power Cables, 2x IDX Enduro V-Lock, V-Lock Charger, Lee Filters including big and little stopper x2, Filter trays, Canon chargers x3, Laptop, spare bolts for rigging, spare cables, soldering iron, mains extension cable, international power adaptor, suction mount, black tac, gel tape and gaffa tape (2in + fluro 1in).

Personal Bag

Clothes, insect repellent, shades, mosquito net, emergency food supplies (for when I'm left alone), emergency toilet paper, bathroom stuff and most importantly, swimming gear.

The shoot

I've been fortunate to visit Croatia before on a boating trip but ad never really travelled around the mainland so was looking forward to this shoot.  For these assignments we generally travel out of season as it's easier to shoot with less people around and the hotels tend to be emptier.  This does introduce one problem though and that's weather issues!

For the first few days it rained on and off and although I can technically shoot in the rain, it doesn't look great on camera when you're trying to sell a sunny destination!  I found myself re-starting a couple of shots when I got caught out which ultimately means I was missing out on other shots.

We usually get an hour or two in each location and as we're all travelling together, it can be quite hectic at times avoiding each other and not being in each other's shots!  Here's a typical scenario:

Arrive at location, jump out of minibus with enough kit to capture everything.  Set up timelapse and start it only to realise the DOP and director has just walked through your shot followed by a buzzing drone in the background.  Try and recce a new location from where you're standing whilst protecting the kit from the public, goats, weather etc. Finish the shot and if there's time, grab another.  Pile back into the bus and repeat until it's dark at which point I'm normally left somewhere to grab a day to night shot whilst everyone else eats and drinks ;-)

The days are long and hard but I wouldn't have it any other way (I normally average around 4hrs sleep a night!) and there's usually enough time to squeeze in a couple of beers!  I'd definitely recommend a trip to Croatia as it's a beautiful place and I'd like to say a big thanks to the team as they're a great bunch of guys and a delight to work with!

The End Result

With a first-rate coastline, historical cities and world-class dive sites, Croatia is a holiday destination that doesn't hold back.

As always, thanks for reading and if you have gained any knowledge from this or feel that you've just wasted part of your life somehow, follow me at one of the SM sites below and air your views: