While this post isn’t necessarily photography related, it does include a large part of my life that usually involves my photography..mountain biking… I’ve been mountain biking much longer than I’ve been taking photos and as soon as I could manage to bring a camera with me on rides…I did. The whole idea for this post came to me on a recent ride where I bumped into a friend of mine who happened to be on a trail that intersected with the one I was on. When I rode up to Alan he was in a bit of a jam and said something to the effect of “man you wont believe what happened…I’m screwed…my front brake pads fell out”. I gave him the look of how does that happen and then listened to his story. He’d done a pad replacement and forgot to install the pin that hold the pads in place. He was lucky enough to hear the pads fall out when riding and was able to pick them up, but was missing a very important spring that holds the pads in place. I told him that I thought I had one and the group of guys around us said a collective “no way…who carries an extra spring?”…Guess I did/do. I gave the spring to Alan and he was quickly back in business and continued on his ride. This encounter with Alan was a reminder that I often labeled myself a pack mule as I typically carry a LOT of gear, but usually end up giving it to someone else. Which got me to thinking…I wonder what all the items I carry in my Camelbak looks like laid out on the table?
So a small photo project was born. Once I began laying out all the items I carried, I realized that my current Camelbak carries a LOT of stuff…and its not even close to being at capacity. And the stuff I laid out to photograph was from a spring time ride. I usually carry even more in the winter months. Which got me to thinking this might be the closest thing to a perfect product that I own. I sat for a few minutes and thought If I were to find a fault in this pack what would it be. I came up empty. Now if you are reading this thinking I’m on Camelbak’s payroll (I wish)…I’m not. Or that they kicked me down some free product (Again..I wish)..they didn’t. I’m just a long time user who took a while to realize I had been using a product that was pretty awesome….dare I say perfect?
I’m not going to take the time to list out all the ways that makes the Camelbak Mule perfect…I’ll just say its comfortable, holds everything I need and I still have a couple pockets/compartments that I haven’t had to use….yet.
Click the image below for a list of the items I carry in my pack. Don’t judge me for over packing..You might need to borrow my soapy water or Advil one day.
A couple of notes on items in my pack
The Pump (T) I bought at Kmart over 20 years ago. Still works and that there is a solid product. Think it outlived Kmart itself. (NO idea what brand it is..no markings left to ID it)
The Soapy Water (P) helps in tire changes.
Spare Cable (O)..I’ve been carrying one for years, never used myself but have given out at least three over the years.
The contents of my Camelbak Mule NV
I’ve had the pleasure of shooting Kristian on his bike a few times in the past year or so…and each time he mentioned “the step up jump” that I needed to check out. If someone with Kristians skill set tells you to check something out, you probably should. Well unless he is suggesting you check it out on your bike. I knew for me he was suggesting I go take photographs at the jump. Once I arrived at the location I understood his eagerness to shoot here. Amazing spot and a MASSIVE step up jump. It’s difficult to explain the speed he was hitting this jump at….other than to say it was FAST..like no brakes coming in from a massive hill fast.
Huge thanks to Kristian for the location suggestion and for being the rider for the day.Details
All of the extra rain this year in Southern California has been a double edged sword…On one side the hills look amazing and you want to go out and shoot…on the other the rain didn’t let up long enough for everything to dry. Eventually everything lined up and I was able to get the riders, the gear and the right location to be able to highlight the great spring conditions.
Canon 580 and 430 flash units fired via PocketWizards
Click any image for a larger view.Details
In each of my past five trips to Moab I’ve brought along my big SLR camera and one lens. The added weight on my back seemed a fair trade off for the opportunity to grab great photos. It is a large effort to interrupt your riding flow, hop off your bike, get to the bottom of your Camelbak and shoot some photos, then repeat many times throughout the day. I’ve done this every time and have always come away with a number of photos that I love. This year I brought along the SLR, but decided to leave it behind on our rides. No photos this year? Never…just decided to ride more and shoot with my phone. Did it limit my shooting options? Maybe. Did I ride more this trip? For sure…Did I get some great shots anyway? Yeah I’m pretty happy with what I got.
Equipment used: One Plus x phone
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I recently had a project working with the creative team at my church to come up with ideas that fit along with the book of Daniel. I had a request to capture an image to show that God can meet you anywhere…that you don’t have to go to a certain place or it doesn’t have to be a certain time of day etc.
The image I wanted to capture represents really the opposite of original request and I wanted to show a man who took a ladder to the top of the hillside to get closer to God. Hoping people would see the absurdity of his actions and provoke thought and conversation.
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Sometimes when you plan a shoot things do go as planned. In my last post I wrote about and posted photos of when things go wrong. When shooting the photos below everything went as planned and I think I had the easy task of the day. The riders were the ones who had to listen to my ideas, give it a try and usually try it a few more times. Was amazing watching Kristian and Travis ride as they made it all look so easy…
Thank you to the riders and of course my voice activated light stand for the day Chris. Couldn’t do any of it with out you guys!
Lenses-Tokina 12-24 and Sigma 70-200
Lights-2 Boling Strobes fired via PocketWizards
Click images for larger view…Details
In my years of shooting I’ve had things go wrong. Forgetting batteries, forgetting camera settings, or just missing the shot. But I hadn’t had anything go wrong with my subject until a couple weeks ago. I’ve shot photos of Ben in the past and he is an amazing rider. On this day we started off great and got some good shots…until things didn’t line up for Ben and the sequence below happened. I didn’t have the best view of the whole thing as I was looking through my viewfinder on the camera…but I did get the full audio of it all. It’s a sound that will stick with you for a while. I’m thankful we had a few people with us and were able to help Ben walk out of the area where we were shooting. The end result being a broken wrist, four ribs, four vertebrae and a punctured lung. Ben is healing up and i’m sure ready to get back out there.
The hills aren’t green in Southern California for very long…Had a chance to get out an shoot a few while it’s still green.
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Not often you have a chance to watch the Olympic trails and since they were a short way away in downtown L.A I thought I’d head out for a look. Brutally warm for February and it was amazing to watch these athletes power through over 26 miles.Details
It’s always fun to shoot something that someone else is passionate about. I’ve loved everything on two wheels since I was a kid and when I found out my friend Bruce was putting together a sort of “frankenbike” I knew we had to get together for some photos. I also asked Bruce to write a little bit to give me some background on what got him started on this project and what he enjoys about it.
Lenses used-Canon 24-70 f/4, Tokina 12-24 f/4
Lights-Boling light kit, Canon 580 flash Triggered via PocketWizards
At my house growing up there was a steady stream of old cars being restored. Usually MG’s or some other British car. From time to time I would work with my Dad in the garage overhauling the motor or bleeding the brakes etc. Most of the projects would never be totally completed but in a continual state of restoration. I remember thinking it was cool to see something go through the process on its way to a return to its former glory. My Dad never wanted to customize any of his projects because in his eyes stock was the way to go. The way the vehicle was intended to be.
Fast forward 25 years and I have a family of my own. Along the way I picked up a love for Mountain biking and Motocross bikes. All the while a love for classic cars and any old thing made new again was brewing. One day I stumbled upon a website called bikeexif.com . Something clicked. These machines were incredible. There are no RULES when it comes to building Scrambler, Brat, Bobber, Chopper or Cafe designs. I could do anything I wanted. Stock seemed boring. I decided I was going to get an old clunker and make myself a scrambler. Keep in mind I did not really know what I was doing but I was willing to dive in. So I did. I found a licensed 1984 Yamaha XT600 for $800 on Craiglist and made the purchase. My first street bike. It needed a lot of work and still does. It has been a blast making it my own.