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Submit a Pass

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Requirements for submitting passes, photos or videos to MPSA.

1. Suggest/Submit a pass?

  • Name of the pass?
  • Where is it? (eg. 22km NNE of Blikkiesdorp, N/Cape) and/or....
  • GPS Co-ordinates (in decimal degrees please i.e. S24.123456 E27.123456)
  • Other information? (Any useful information like date of construction, after whom was it named, who built it, nearby attractions, history, etc.)
    Email the information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 

2. Submit Photographs?

  • Label every photograph with an accurate description and supply the name of the photographer as well as to which pass the photo relates.
  • Don’t have your vehicle or people as subjects in the photos. We prefer clean landscape type pics.
  • You can use landscape or portrait settings.
  • Take pics in high resolution please.
  • Photos can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can use our DropBox/Cloud facility.


3. I would like to film a pass. What is the drill?

3.1. Watch a few of our videos with on-vehicle footage to get a feel for things.

  • Much of what we do requires a little common sense and an instinct for seeing artistic scenes.
  • If you have watched five or more of our videos, you will soon see what we are trying to achieve and get a feel for it.

3.2. Film the entire pass. Try and remember to stop-start filming every 5 minutes so we have reasonable sized files to work with.

  • Filming: Most passes take around 10 minutes to drive, with some exceptions on slower drives that can take up to an hour.
  • Our goal is to edit the video down to 3 mins, so that together with the Google earth clips, no video should not exceed five minutes.
  • On some of the really major passes, we sometimes produce two x 5 min videos. (Typically, ascent and descent)

3.3. When is the best time to film?

  • If the weather is sunny, the best time to film is between 10 am and 3 pm. After that shadows become a problem.
  • If you film in overcast conditions and the results look drab, don't worry, we can fix that in our studio.
  • Rain is a no-no. If conditions are marginal (drizzle), stop frequently and wipe the lens dry.
  • We try and avoid “dashcam” type filming completely due to screen glare reflection and other issues with clarity, as well as chip marks, dead bugs and wiper marks which spoil the video quality. The quality of most Dashcam footage is not true HD and we will not be able to use it.
  • Try to not film driving into the sun. It’s not always possible as many passes twist and turn right through every angle of the compass, and we inevitably have to edit out the over-exposed bits.

4. Where should I mount the camera?

  • Mount your camera on the roof, just behind the windscreen on the centreline. 
  • Set the pitch so that the bottom of the frame just clears the bonnet/bullbar etc. We want an unobstructed, clean field of view. If you have a gimbal/stabiliser, this helps a lot to create a stable video. Be aware that every time your suspension dips over a bump, the lip of the bonnet might appear in the frame. Allow enough vertical adjustment so that never happens.

5. Wide angle or Narrow?

  • Set your camera to narrow field of view (and not wide angle please). Make sure you are filming in HD1080 minimum.

6. How do I reduce camera shake/vibration?

  • On gravel roads, deflate your tyres as much as you can to avoid camera shake. 1,2 to 1,4 bar is the norm.
  • Reduce the number of arms on the suction cup to one (if possible). The greater the number of extensions, the more the camera will vibrate and sway. Even better is to stick one of the GoPro slide mounts directly to the roof of your car or on the very top of your windscreen, but check that the wiper does not touch it, when activated.
  • On the topic of suction cups – never use an inferior product (eg. made in China).You WILL lose your camera.
  • We use an original GoPro suction mount and have filmed hundreds of passes and have never lost a camera from it coming loose.

7. Filming scenery

  • Try to capture at least one wide pan of scenery (usually near the top or at a designated view site). Pan slowly please. The slower, the better. You can film scenery from your phone or your GoPro.
  • Hold the camera as still as possible in the horizontal plane. This takes a little practice. Try a practice run first.
  • End your pan on the road if possible. remember the Rule of Thirds. One third sky/2/3 landscape. Never film scenery in portrait mode please (upright).
  • If it’s very windy, these pan shots are difficult in terms of holding the camera steady.
  • Leave your car and people/spectators out of the video.
  • If you have a zoom facility, use it gently. Fast zooms don’t look good on video. Slow and deliberate please. Pretend you're Attenborough!

8. Renaming film clips

  • Download your clips from your camera to your PC/laptop/Device
  • Rename your clips once you have downloaded them onto your PC. Eg. ABC Pass 001, ABC Pass 002, etc.
  • Likewise rename the pan features: ABC Pass Pano 001, etc.
  • Things can get very confusing after 2 weeks if the clips are not properly labelled. (Been there, done that!)
  • Bear in mind that if we haven’t been on the pass, we will have no way of knowing what clips belong where.
  • Accurate labelling is crucial.If you've returned from a day filming 8 passes, it is very easy to forget which clips belong where. have a pen and notebook in the car with you and jot down what you have filmed and in which order. It will help when you get home and start downloading the footage.

9. Where do I start/stop filming?

  • It’s not always easy to know where a pass starts and stops.
  • Use your common sense. Note the GPS start and end points from this website before departure on your trip.
  • We will edit accordingly.
  • Rather record more than less.
  • We can always delete unwanted footage, but can’t do the opposite.

10. Help us with details

  • Make notes of interesting things in the area.
  • Jot down GPS co-ordinates of start, summit and end points and also note the altitudes.
  • Give your GPS 30 seconds to settle before taking altitude readings.
  • Take photos as well. Scenery, animals, buildings (churches), sign boards, people, birds, insects – anything interesting and relevant.Golden rule - keep the light behind you.
  • Note guest farms, B&B’s etc.

11. How do I get such big files to MPSA?

  • We have set up a cloud based Drop Box account to facilitate the submission of such big data files. Open your own Drop Box account at www.DropBox.com. It’s free and simple to set up. You can also use WeTransfer.
  • Upload your raw video files and photos to your DropBox account.
  • Send us your account details with a link to those specific video files and we simply get them from your account. It works like a charm.

12. Credits?

  • Thank you for your interest and willingness to become part of this incredible project. We will credit you on our page dedicated for that purpose.
  • All the material submitted will be copyright protected under the MPSA brand name and will be watermarked as such.

13. How do I know which passes MPSA have not yet filmed?

  • Once you are ready to start filming, pop us an email and we will send you the latest list of unfilmed passes for your area.



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Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.
 

Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.
 

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