Luka’s film (!) is one of those films that makes you want to fly. Amazing landscapes, wonderful images that can be experienced only from a glider. Finding this guy was a bit difficult, but at last, here is his interview, very informative.
Luka, where is the Lesce airfield located exactly ?
Luka Hojnik : it is located near the idylic town of Bled in the North-West of Slovenia, with the Karawanks mountain range on its northern side, and Julian alps on its South-West side. It is very close to the Triglav national park, our largest national park. It is actually quite close to the Italian (25 km to the West) and Austrian (10 km to the North) borders.
Is it a big club ? How many glider are there ?
Luka : It is one of our largest clubs with around 200 members that use 13 club gliders of all types and their own, private ones. They also host numerous foreign glider pilots (mostly German), national teams, etc… that use their airfield as a great starting point for the cross-country flights further to the west- to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany … best pilots fly up to 1000km. Here is a nice report, written by the US colleagues that enjoyed their stay in Lesce:
When did you make this movie ? What are the thermals conditions at this period ?
Luka : The movie was filmed in August 2016, during our gliding camp. Thermal conditions were not perfect that week and we struggled to get some short cross country flight. But we were able to get to the height allowing us to soar around our highest mountain Triglav (2864 m). The purpose of the camp was to familiarize ourselves with the flying in mountains, proximity of slopes, …all with the ultimate objective to increase safety while our members will be flying in this region in the future. Our club (Aeroclub Ptuj) is located in the North-East part of Slovenia, in the flatland. So our members are not that familiar with soaring in the alps. Thats why it is so important to introduce this type of flying to us, so that we can fly with more knowledge and confidence when we manage to get from our beloved flatlands to the alps… and we sometimes manage to do it :). Usually there are much better thermal conditions- best months are April-June, but also July and August… classic alpine weather, especially with the strong South_West or North wind situation, when one can expect some flying on waves as well.
Most of your images are rather stable, you seem to use a suction cup, but did you use a kind of a grip, or a smal steadycam ? what kind of device do you use to capture ?
Luka : My setup is as follows: GoPro 3+ Black ed., stabilized with a suction mount in the cockpit and by a Feiyu Tech G4 3-axis gimbal on the ground, Sony Rx100 mk.II, Nikon D750 DSLR camera with Nikkors fixed focal length lenses (24mm/f1.4, 50mm/f1.4, 85mm/f1.4, 105mm/f2.8, 200mm/f2), mostly stabilized by the Manfrotto MVM500a Fluid Video monopod. Some of the footage was also filmed by my club colleagues Damjan and Dejan with their smartphone cams and Garmin Virb HD action cam.
I have not seen any images made with a camera fixed on the wing or on the tail. Is it a safety rule ?
Luka : Yes, you are correct… this video does not contain any such footage, however I will include it in my videos as soon as we find a good solution for the mount… our DG-100 has GoPro mounts installed, we just need to use them more frequently 🙂 There is no special safety rule, that would not allow us to use those mounts.
Could you explain what is, for you, a nice image of a glider ? How a glider should be filmed ?
Gliders are beautiful wherever they are filmed. In the air, on the ground, taking off, landing. But if I would need to choose the best perspective, I would say that it looks stunning when it is framed from the side and slightly above, to get the landscape in the picture as well. I also like wing to wing shots while flying in formation. However, safety is a priority, so I cannot stress enough the importance of safety while filming, especially in the mountains, when you are usually very close to the slopes…
Some pro photographers or film makers tell me that the most important is to prepare before filming, with a scenario… Do you prepare your videos too ? If yes, what are the different steps of your preparation ?
Indeed, scenario is the basis for any real filming project or a photo shoot, however while at the airfield, especially if I am also flying myself, I focus on flying first and film if and when I get the chance… During those couple of days of our camp there were more possibilities to film, since we brought two planes to Lesce and I was sharing them with my colleagues. So I got more time for filming while waiting on the ground.
With aerial footage I try to choose situations that I find most interesting, while circling with another glider, flying close to the slopes, nice cloud formations, etc… So the typical workflow then continues on my laptop, taking all the footage from various sources to the Adobe Premiere Pro and thats usually a moment when I start thinking of story that I want to tell through the edit itself… and I am glad if I manage to do that and if I get some positive viewers feedback.
These short clips also come in handy when we are promoting our sport to wider audience, media, to future glider pilots that join our clubs flight school… We post them to our facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/AeroklubPtuj/
Luka Hojnik Photography : www.lukahojnik.com