Toby Smith


In August I travelled East with the Unknown Fields Division, to Vietnam, China and beyond. We traced the supply chain of the world’s consumer products across the South China Sea down cargo routes and inland to their production. Ahead of the main body of documentary work from our field trip we felt the need for you to see this festive, satirical video. Turn it up….

Yiwu in China is not only home to the world’s largest wholesale commodity market but also many of the “Just in Time” factories that produce seasonal or trending products.   Christmas consumables are finished in summer ready for wholesale, packaging and shipping to principally western markets.

Saturday, March 22, 201, 22:04 UTC.  A searing flash of magnesium lights the night sky as 2 solid rocket motors and a Vulcan engine lift 780 tonnes of rocket ship towards the heavens. 4 seconds later at 4km away the ground shook and the air reverberated. I was stood behind my tripod tracking the launch in HD on a 600mm lens with another camera snapping stills at 12 FPS on a 200mm lens clamped to a brick wall. My fingers and toes were crossed hoping that 3 remote cameras had sprung into life on timers capturing the same scene at wide angle!

This exciting evening was the conclusion of the first stage of Geostationary. A project whereby I traced the narrative of commercial satellites from their design and construction through to international transportation and space-launch. The project is to be published as a collection of still images and an exclusive short film featuring UHD video, Time-Lapse and custom animated graphics and overlays…

Collaborating with Tom Hole has produced a new website. It hosts a collection of my strongest mulitimedia projects with new “editorial” functionality including video embeds, print sales, social media integration and importantly a redesigned and integrated mapping system. Especially valuable for projects such as HS2 whereby I walked the entire railway route from London to Birmingham and an audience can pin-point the exact photo.

I’ve enjoyed and naturally moved towards full multimedia in 2014. 4K cameras and professional sound give clarity, bite and realism to subjects. I’m proud to welcome Brian and Chloe to the team here.  Together we’ve ramped-up production quality and sped-up turn around between new projects.  Testing the workflow was the footage captured on a voyage aboard the Maersk Gunhilde container ship.  The first video is a montage of over 78,000 5D Mk3 RAW files, processed groomed and edited to create a stunning day to night sequence.  The camera was fittted with a 17mm TS Lens and mounted in a custom solar powered marine housing.




We also worked on a much more delicate 4K real-time film. 93 minutes, 4280 px wide, 24 FPS and all uploaded onto youtube as a 125 GB film without a single frame lost. We’re looking forwards to 2015 and leave you with this tranquil outro..