M5 Photography

The guys at Brain Farm are liars…and The Art of Flight is a fake


After months of waiting and watching the trailer probably 50 times, I received my copy of the Art of Flight. Upon opening the slick black case with its subtle graphics I discovered two discs. One Blu ray and one standard DVD. Thanks guys an extra point for providing both versions. I put that Blu ray in…turned on the surround sound and then it happened….the movie began and the lies started flowing out like a dam break. Confused? Yeah I was too…there is no way this movie wasn’t shot on a green screen. The images were mind blowing…too good! I began to craft a strongly worded letter in my mind of what I was going to say when I wrote the guys at Brain Farm. I was quickly interrupted when the action started. Duped again…impossible snow board moves that could only be crafted by a master of CGI. By this time I knew writing the letter would be easy because I had even more fuel for my fire. I would somehow manage to finish this movie trying to contain my ooohs and aaahs keeping in mind it was all smoke and mirrors.

Instead of writing a letter I thought I’d use the power of the internet and write a blog post about my experience. I did in fact buy this movie and I did sit back and watch it. And couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole night. I’m hoping by now you know I’m kidding about the green screen and  CGI stuff….The Art of Flight is amazing! I’d type up a bunch of reasons that you should own it, but I’ll just suggest you watch the trailer again…and then buy it.

I’m really looking forward to see what’s next from Brain Farm.

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Published on:
October 5, 2011 7:21 pm
Categories:
General

Published Dirt Rag Magazine

Happy to have a full page shot in this months Dirt Rag Magazine. This is a shot I’ve been holding on to hoping to get published somewhere and it’s nice to see it in print.

Tech details:
Camera: Canon 7D
Settings: 1/250th @ f/11
Lens: Tokina 12-24 f/4
Light Kit: Boling 2 x 300 watt
Fired via: Pocket Wizards

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2nd curtain sync with the Canon 580ex

If you follow my photography at all you already know I’m a big fan of off camera flash. When I’m thinking of future shots I usually have my light kit in mind. Bringing the light kit to the BMX track isn’t really an option for me. I think it’s too dangerous to have all that gear right next to the track. So my option becomes using on camera flash via the Canon 580ex. When I think on camera flash it’s usually 2nd curtain sync. 2nd curtain in a nutshell allows the flash to go off at the very end of your exposure. This allows me to shoot at extremely slow shutter speeds and still freeze the action.

The results with 2nd curtain can be very interesting and allows you a ton of freedom to experiment. I wont go into the tech details of the process, but will provide a link if you want to read more on the process.

Took me a while to get back into the groove of having the flash on the camera and remembering what settings were needed. I did at least remember where to turn on 2nd curtain on the 580.

Click images for larger views.

Shot with the: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4 and Canon 580ex flash

Settings: 1/60th @ f/9

Settings: 1/60th @ f/9

Settings: 1/60th @ f/10

Settings: 1/8th @ f/4

Settings: 1/8th @ f/4


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Early morning at Point Dume beach

I kept hearing all the hype of big waves in Southern California all of last week..decided to go a take a look for myself. Took a quick early morning trip to Point Dume and was greeted by morning fog. Didn’t make for great action shots, but did get some landscape shots that I am happy with. Put together a little video too. Click images for a larger view….




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Categories:
General

Forgotten images

If you are like me you probably return from a trip and review your photos…making note of your favs and skipping the rest. I often go back through all my shots to see if maybe there are photos that I might like better a week, month or a few years later. The photo below is one of those shots. I took a mountain bike trip to Sedona Arizona a couple years ago and came home with many photos that I liked but I guess I missed this one on my first pass. Forgotten or ignored no more….

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Way out of my comfort zone…Photography in Ethiopia

In 2005 I had a unique opportunity to go to Africa for a few weeks. The trip to Ethiopia was not a photography trip, but I knew that taking photos would be an important part of it. At the time I was far from having any notion that I might one day be a “photographer”

I was with a group of people who are a part of something called the Mossy Foot Project. A visit to the Mossy Foot website will give you some great information way beyond what I can type out here. Mossy Foot in a nutshell is a debilitating disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people in Ethiopia and beyond. The people, who are already some of the poorest in the world, take an even lower spot in society when they have the Mossy Foot disease.

With my first digital SLR in hand and a single lens I began documenting our journey. Dirt roads, animals roaming, landscapes and the people within my group…then we stopped at our first Mossy Foot clinic site…and I stopped shooting. I didn’t stop for long, but long enough to try to figure out what I was doing and why I was there. I was in Ethiopia, had just traveled for about 24 hours and about to take photos of people I didn’t know…I didn’t speak their language…those were only a few of the things I was trying to wrap my brain around.

After a few minutes of observing and being observed…I reached for my camera and began taking photos of faces. I was at a distance and still felt a bit uneasy as it was explained to me that many of the people I was photographing had not seen a camera before. Shooting photos of the people became a bit easier with time….but I knew there was more to shoot than just their faces.

Documenting our trip would mean shooting images of the disease. I was shown a few photos before our trip of people with Mossy Foot and they were disturbing. Of course viewing a few photos does not prepare you for the real thing. Once I began shooting I noticed many of the people “wanted” me to shoot their feet. I was told that they didn’t know if I was a doctor or exactly what pointing my “device” would do for them. All of it became easier as the days went on, but nothing can really prepare you for such an interaction.

The trip gave me a unique opportunity to grow as a photographer and a lifelong desire to continue to help the people with Mossy Foot.

More info can be found on the Mossy Foot website.

**Some of the images of Mossy Foot below are pretty graphic








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Published on:
August 9, 2011 9:10 pm
Categories:
General

Published Bike Magazine Germany

This image was captured on a mountain bike trip to Moab Utah…Currently being used in an ad for Bike Magazine Germany.

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Published on:
August 2, 2011 6:24 pm
Categories:
General

Shooting on Vacation..Or taking a break..or both!

There are times when I take a break from being in “photo” mode…Sure I still shoot and have a camera with me, but it’s also nice to not feel any pressure to capture everything I see. Our family just returned from Colorado and it seemed like the trip had a good balance of shooting and taking time off to just enjoy the trip like the non-photogs do. Love the Colorado clouds that rolled in every afternoon…I could get used to shooting those.

I’ve put a few photos below from our trip. Click images for larger views.

Thanks

Captured with the GoPro cam..chest mounted. Keystone Colorado

 

Side of old mining cart. Country Boy Gold Mine. Breckenridge Co.

 




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Published on:
July 21, 2011 8:09 pm
Categories:
General

Someone killed 1/250th

It seems a bit odd to me that when I read other photographers blogs and they continue to mention max sync speed and how it changes or limits their shot(s). Since I’ve been involved in photography all of us photogs have been in the 1/250th choke hold when using strobes. Sure there were a few people syncing a tad bit faster in a few different ways, but generally speaking the rest of us were at 1/250th.

Then it happened. Pocket Wizard killed 1/250th with their latest remotes…no need for CPR here since no one was/is complaining. No need to spend more tax dollars on a drawn out court case as the DA for photographers certainly knows this was justifiable homicide.

Yet how come there weren’t more people celebrating? Was I? YES! As an action photographer I was thrilled to read about it. With a bit of hesitation of course since there have been all sorts of magic bullets in the past with photography gear. So I waited, read reviews and after a few months and a few more action photo shoots stuck at 1/250th, I knew I needed (wanted) a new set of Pocket Wizards. Yes I already owned the Pocket Wizard Plus IIs, and yes they were and still are bullet proof….but again stuck at 1/250th.

So there I was wanting…reading…and not pulling the trigger on a set of new PWs. Why? If you’ve read any of my gear posts in the past you’ll already know that I’m not a gear head. I’m not one to run out and buy the latest and greatest new thing. And most of the reviews I read were written by guys using top of the line lighting equipment. The main question was would the new PWs work with my Chinese light kit (read very cheap kit…..but have worked great for 2 years now).

I did make the purchase and I was able to use the new PWs with my light kit…beyond thrilled….as a whole new world of sync speeds opened up for me. Now I can go out and shoot at whatever speeds I wish…I’ve tested pretty much every  speed with success. It’s now to the point of not thinking about it.

A big thanks to Pocket Wizard for killing 1/250th. I know there are other reasons that people out there can’t make the change ( price, compatibility etc) but I shouldn’t be reading any blogs by Canon or Nikon guys complaining about being in the sync choke hold any more.

My set up was a single Boling Strobe fired by Pocketwizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5.

I’ve put a few examples and the sync speeds used below.



Sync Speed: 1/640th





Sync Speed: 1/2500th





Sync Speed: 1/3200th





Sync Speed: 1/1250th


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Published on:
July 5, 2011 4:56 pm
Categories:
General

Inspired by Ryan Gibb


I had the good fortune of visiting Red Bulls SoCal HQ last night. While the building and items in it were
impressive, I was not invited there to stare at cool things. Red Bull was putting on a special screening of the mountain bike movie Life Cycles. I’d seen the movie on the big screen before and even own a copy of it at home. So why go see again? It’s not often that action sports movies make it to movie theaters…maybe for a one day showing. Typically it’s straight to DVD. So I jumped at the chance to see this one again on a big screen.

I’ll admit I had my initial doubts on how big a screen the folks at Red Bull would have in their office building, but I was reminded that this is Red Bull ..they don’t do anything small. After waiting around a bit someone pushed a magic button and what I thought was a wall turned out to be a giant roll up door…behind it was Red Bulls own theater and yeah it had stadium seating. In we went and as promised we watched Life Cycles.

I won’t spend too much time talking about the movie since it has been reviewed and talked about for months now. I will say that it motivates me as both a rider and photographer. The best part of the night was listing to director Ryan Gibb talk about creating the film…and taking the time to answer questions. Ryan noted how many of the sponsors they approached for this project didn’t understand their vision for the film and said no to helping out with funding. Ryan and crew pressed on with their own funds, stuck to their original vision and created an amazing film.

I’m sure most creative people have run into a similar situation where your ideas don’t make sense to anyone else. This is another example of moving forward with your ideas and making them work.

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Published on:
June 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Categories:
General
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