M5 Photography

Why the sheriff showed up to my photoshoot

I spent this past Sunday afternoon shooting mountain bike photos. We were in a couple of locations in our local hills…three riders, family friend/day Sherpa/voice activated light stand Kyle and I. After about four hours of shooting we wrapped things up and headed down the last trail back to our vehicles. The three riders had left Kyle and I way behind as they had the privilege of enjoying the trip down at speed while we walked. As we rounded the last corner of the trail I caught a glimpse of two sheriff cars parked sideways at the end of the trail head. Not too unusual at first glance as I remembered that people have had their cars broken into at this spot in the past….I told Kyle that was my guess as to why they were there and we walked on.

Once we arrived at the end of the trail and hit the sidewalk my path was interrupted by one of the deputies offering up the following question “were you the ones taking photographs up there?” In a time where photographers and police seem to be meeting more often (think post 9/11)…I was prepared to explain what we were up to. I had every intention of throwing Kyle under the bus and saying that he was the mastermind behind the days photo session.

Lucky for both of us the deputy was quick to let me know that two people had called 911 saying that they observed someone sending out a distress signal up in the hills. Since I’m a child of the 70s I could think of numerous T.V shows where people would use a mirror to signal for help….So I was having no problem understanding the situation.  Kyle being a mere teen…probably was trying to remember if anyone had used their iPhone distress app during the days photo shoot (I assume there is such a thing).

Since we were using my Boling light kit, I let the officer know that it could have been us as there is a reflector around the flash head. The odd thing was that the calls came from 5+ miles away…so we were all scratching our collective heads trying to figure out if it was indeed us who was sending out the “distress” signal. We agreed to not know the answer and went on our way.

Sorry we didn’t spend time in the big house to make this story a bit more exciting. Hoping the images end up being the exciting part….I’ll be posting some of those once the client has a chance to review/approve etc.

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Inspired by…The Moto: Inside the Outdoors


As a motocross fan the end of the outdoor race season means a “long” off season without racing coverage on T.V…the bright side to the end of the season is that we can count on the latest installment of The Moto: Inside the Outdoors. The Moto is a documentary style show that offers an amazing insight into the sport. The film work, audio, narration and sound track are all top notch…I love the great behind the scenes footage they provide every week.
Every time I watch a new episode I’m inspired by the quality of work that goes into this production.

The Moto airs on Fuel T.V…but if you are like me and you don’t subscribe to Fuel, you can subscribe via iTunes or purchase on Amazon.

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Published EOS Magazine…BMX 2nd curtain sync shot

EOS magazine recently used one of my BMX shots for a story featuring 2nd curtain sync.

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On Google Plus…Does it matter?

Google Plus is Google’s answer to Facebook. I’ll let you do your own research to view the pros and cons of each. The reason I created a Google + page for M5? It was quick and easy. And I thought using the name before someone else was a good idea. You can check out M5 photography on Facebook and see that it’s not me and we certainly don’t have the same taste in photography.

How often will I Google +? I’ll keep it active when I blog and post images to Flickr…and see how things go.

Will Google + turn out to be as large/successful as Facebook? I may have the answer. When I asked my daughter if any of her friends are using Google +…the answer was “what is Google Plus ?”

So M5photography lives on Google + via the link below.

https://plus.google.com/107269116663246236978

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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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General

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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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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