M5 Photography

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Inspired by WakeSkate

Fun teaser video of a sport I didn’t know about until recently…Looks fun!

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Photographing motocross: The Race around the Lake

Last weekend I was able to attend and cover a local motocross race. The Race around the Lake hasn’t taken place since 2006 and I can see why. I can’t imagine the logistics of making an event like this happen. It’s one thing to put on a race on an existing track, but to organize one right next to a public lake on public park land is a monster of a task.

Once I got word that former pro rider Shane Trittler had plans for a race this year I knew it was something I wanted to go shoot. While shooting a motocross race is exciting, the scenery can often be repetitive. The Race Around the Lake had some unusual opportunities….riders riding in sand right near the water, a moto style section with berms and jumps, on concrete walking paths, two tunnel sections and a section where riders would go through the trees. Covering all of these sections involved a LOT of walking and remembering not to stay in one place too long. I probably spent the most time on the beach/sand section as I thought it provided the most unusual/interesting backgrounds.

A bit of advice to someone who hasn’t shot a sporting event before would be to know your place. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with the sport you are shooting. In motorsports things move really fast and there is such a thing as being too close to the action. Most events will let you know where you can and can’t go. If they don’t tell you….you should ask. The last thing the event promoter wants is some photog wrapped up in the wheel of a bike….although that might be the shot of the day for the other photographers around you.

Equipment for the day was:

Canon 7D
Lenses: Tokina 12-24 f/4 and Sigma 70-200 f/2.8
I used the Canon 580ex flash for shooting the shady tree sections of the race.

As always click images below for larger view.

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Published on:
November 1, 2011 7:00 pm
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General
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Inspired by: The Armless Carpenter

Inspiration can come from many places…in this case it comes out of Ethiopia.

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Published on:
October 25, 2011 7:47 pm
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Peer Pressure in Photography

I had planned on writing this post a few weeks ago but certain things kept me from starting. The timing is actually perfect as today Canon announced their new Canon 1D X. The 1D X is Canon’s next big camera with all of the features anyone could ask for…Typically just after such an announcement all of the interwebs explode with gear lust. Even the Nikon shooters chime in noting that Nikon will announce a new model within a few weeks and of course it will have a better this or that.

I’ve written before that it isn’t about your gear and we know it’s a matter of what you do with it. But it seems every time a friend or co-worker begins the search for a camera they start to read…then read some more and the pressure starts. They read about the Digital Rebel being a good entry level camera….and then an expert writes that the Nikon is slightly better because you can shoot raccoons in your backyard in pure darkness. They go on to read about their “need” for a prime lens and how shooting jpegs isn’t the way to go. It goes on and on and they feel the pressure. The Rebel isn’t good enough anymore….they need the Canon 5D because someone told them they do.

I saw the picture above while driving one day and knew it would make the perfect example for a post on photography peer pressure. I’m guessing if Mike had called around or looked at selling land on the internet he would have read about how he had to have a custom sign with his realtors photo on it….bold graphics with a catchy phrase….and others would have told him how he should run an ad in Los Angeles Realty magazine.

Maybe Mike knows what works and went with what he had. His name, a sign and his phone number. Maybe Mike sells property all the time with this simple method. Learn from Mike and keep it simple…

How often are you gonna shoot raccoons in the dark? Ignore the pressure.

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Published on:
October 18, 2011 6:50 pm
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General
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Red Bull Rampage one year ago…2012 Rampage is one year away

Just over a year ago the 2010 Red Bull Rampage came to a close with Cam Zink as the overall winner. Glad I’m not a judge in this event as all of the runs had something special in them. It’s one of those events where television and the internet just don’t quite show you what it’s really like. Big..fast..crazy..and an amazing amount of talent.

Since Red Bull runs the event every other year there will not be a Rampage this year….so I offer up a few more photos of last years event below.

Looking forward to 2012.

Keep an eye on Redbull’s site for details on the 2012 event.

Click images for a larger view.

 

 





 


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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
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General
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Losing a twin: Displaying a story of loss through photography

A friend of mine, Charles Mcpadden, has spent numerous hours over the last few months putting together a narrated slide show documenting a friends loss….and the events surrounding it.
I thought it was worth sharing here.

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Published on:
October 3, 2011 8:51 pm
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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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9/11 Ceremony

I was able to attend a local 9/11 anniversary event yesterday…..Interesting to hear the first hand account of World Trade Center survivor Judith Dawn Francis who was interviewed by Pastor Todd Clark of Discovery Church.

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