I know there are still a few weeks left in 2010 but I decided to use my recent time off to put together some highlights of this years two wheeled shots. I used ProShow Gold to assemble the photos and added some music. I hope you enjoy the 3.5 minutes of motorcycles, BMX and mountain bike photos.
Full screen is available if you have the bandwidth and enjoy bigger photos.
“Without LOVE” by Loveshadow (feat. The Texans.)
For this shoot to come together I had to track down one of the busiest people I know. I had asked Bill a few months ago if I could shoot his VW bug…but it always seemed when his schedule was open mine was busy. Since I had this whole week off I decided to try again to make things happen…..We planned on 3pm which would give us time to drive to a spot and hopefully 45 minutes or so to set up and shoot. In my time planning I didn’t account for getting stuck on a hill climb and spending 30-45 minutes digging and maneuvering a very stuck VW. I should say that I was taking photos while Bill did the digging and maneuvering. Someone had to document the events. Bill eventually worked some off road magic and got out of the jam he was in….we were on our way.
The goal was to get up above the city while the sun was setting and shoot some shots of the bug alone and some with Bill next to it. We ended up having just enough time to get a handful of shots of both.
Lighting set up: Since the sun was setting fast I didn’t have a lot of time to set up. As mentioned above I used Boling strobes with the battery pack, having one strobe camera left and one camera right. Each strobe was set up about the height of the fender on the VW. As with all my off camera flash work, I used the PocketWizard Plus IIs which allowed me to fire the strobes remotely and move around in between the lights without having another cable to worry about.
Last week I went motorcycle riding with some friends and ended up having bike issues for most of the day. I could ride but my bike just wasn’t running normal so I knew that I’d need to pull apart the carburetor and do some investigating when I got home. Not one of my favorite things to do, but if you own a motorcycle you get used to the idea of doing maintenance. The frustration of having to work on the bike soon turned into a bit of photography inspiration. Once I had removed the carb and spent time getting it all cleaned up I realized I had a very interesting item that would make for a cool product type shot. I’m not sure if my family is or isn’t used to my ideas and watching me play them out, but I’m glad I took the time to do a few shots of the carburetor.
Very simple execution on these shots of setting the carb on some poster board and trying a few different angles and focus points. Lighting was a Canon 580ex flash on camera bounced off the ceiling.
Ad always click the images for larger views. In this case to really see the details. ThanksDetails
Ever since I starting using a light kit I’ve gotten numerous requests for information on what I use. I thought I’d take some shots of the kit and provide a few details that will hopefully answer some questions.
I knew from the beginning that if I were to get a light kit it would have to be pretty portable allowing me to take it to remote locations where plugging in isn’t an option. I started to look at prices online and quickly realized that kits with battery backs were out of my financial league….however I had noticed someone on flickr posting shots along with their lighting set up and it was the battery pack that caught my eye. After a couple of email exchanges my questions were answered on the kit. The feedback from this shooter was positive and the price seemed great. I was now after this light kit.
The first item to share is how difficult it was to track down the Boling lights. After reaching the end of Google I could only find one store offering the lights with the battery pack and they were located in Australia (Click here for a link to the store). Even with the bumped up price for shipping the kit was still much more affordable than anything else I’d come across so far. I placed my order and waiting impatiently for my kit to arrive.
The kit contains two lights (300 watts when both are used 600 watts if used as a single light), a carrying case, two grip attachments, two reflectors, two protective bulb covers and a battery pack.
The battery pack in detail. Two input ports for the lights, an on/off switch, test button, buzz on/off, DC port for charging, sync port to connect Pocket Wizards or sync cable and a dial to adjust the power to both lights.
View of battery pack with Pocket Wizard attached. I use velcro to keep the Pocket Wizard secured to the battery pack. Has worked out great so far….
A back view of the lights. Notice it has two switches…one to power on and one for modeling lights…don’t get too excited…lets just say you wont be using any modeling lights based on my testing. They are way too under powered to be of any real use.
Front view of lights.
View of light with reflector and grip attached.
I don’t pretend to be a lighting expert so I won’t write a detailed review of the kit. I will offer my highs and lows.
- It’s price (around $650 US two years ago)
- Its portable and surprisingly lightweight
- Powerful enough to overpower daytime sunlight
- Can be used with Pocket Wizards.
- One light cord is longer than the other. It would have been nice to have two long instead of one long and one short.
- Modeling light. While I haven’t had a need to use them…It wouldn’t matter as they are very under powered.
- Hard to find.
As always click images for a larger view. Thanks
I have a number of full size images from the 2010 Red Bull Rampage displayed in the Oct/Nov issue of International Mountain Bike Magazine. I know Rou over at IMB had a fun time sorting through the hundreds of images I sent his way. I think he made smart choices that go great with his write up on the event. You can check out the issue online here http://www.imbikemag.com/issue8/Details
As I was driving home from Utah a couple weeks ago I found myself in the middle of the Nevada desert watching a pretty massive storm build. The normal photographer thoughts quickly went through my head. First thought was that I need to capture part of this. But what part I thought….you know I wanted all of it. But there I was driving 75mph (legal limit in this area of Nevada) and the first priority after 4 days away from my wife and kids was to keep driving and get home. I think it was the rainbow that finally flipped the switch in my head and I realized that I’d never seen a storm like this before nor one with a vertical rainbow…..and now I needed to grab a shot of this amazing display.
So I did what all good photographers would do. I pulled over, got out my tripod, cleaned the lens (Canon L glass of course), attached the remote trigger to prevent any shake and used a light meter to get the proper settings. Of course I used a camera with a full frame sensor because we all know that in order to really capture all of the data we need one. Oh and yes you were going to ask if I shot it RAW? Is there any other option? People really shoot JPEGs?…………..
Now if any of this set up and gear talk is starting to sound like bull…well that’s because it is.
It is true I took the photo. The bogus steps of capture detailed were listed out just to make a point. First off I don’t own a camera with a full frame sensor, I didn’t use a tripod, I didn’t use a Canon lens and yeah I shot a JPEG. My main point really is that I shot it. I continued on my way at 75mph, reached over to my camera bag, removed the camera and shot through the glass of the passenger window. Did I get lucky? Perhaps. So many people I know go on and on about the gear they need or the certain camera they must have……and how they need to make time to set up and shoot…how they have to shoot RAW and that non Canon glass is crap.
This shot received a lot of attention on Flickr when I posted it. I say thank you to those who commented, but in reality what did I really do? I certainly had no part in creating the wonderful display which I went on to label “Power”. I merely used the chance I had and I’m thrilled that I did. So lets take a time out on gear talk and “rules”….and shoot some photos.
As always click the image for a larger view.
Tokina 12-24 f/4
Chevy S-10 as the moving tripod
I Have a full page image in the new issue of Dirt Rag. We shot this photo in the hills of Simi Valley. I used my strobes to light up this really cool cave like feature we found and Charles was able the make the squeeze through that small opening and ride through it for the shot.Details
While there are always amazing highlights from the Red Bull rampage….there are also the crashes. Here are a few sequence shots I captured.
Chris Van Dine..amazing move and crash
Graham Agassiz ejects mid air
Kurt Sorge Crash Sequence
Mike Hopkins gap jump mid air ejectDetails
I’m hoping the images within this post will do some of the talking about the Rampage as a mountain bike event. Since this is my photography blog I’d like to stick to the photography side of what went down in Utah this past weekend. OK a few words about the event. Even if you aren’t into mountain biking at all….I know you’d be blown away at the moves these guys were pulling all weekend. Huge, large, massive, insane are a few words that come to mind. Sure it looks big in photos….it looks even bigger in person.
Having watched the 2008 event on DVD I had a few ideas of what I was in for from a photography perspective. One thing I knew going in was that it would be dusty. Not a huge deal for me as I shoot outside most of the time. I did nothing out of the ordinary to prepare my equipment for the dust. The only thing I guess I wasn’t ready for was the wind storm that blew in on Saturday afternoon….The gear was fine as I put it away knowing the riders were done for the day. It is very dangerous for them to be up on the ridges in that type of wind. My eyes, ears, nose and skin weren’t prepped for the red sand storm that hit them. Maybe I’d pack some goggles next time? (Note to un named hotel in St.George…sorry for the red towels and shower..it was a LOT of dust)
Two bodies. Not only was I wishing I could divide myself in two in order to cover more ground during the event, I also wish I had brought my second camera body. There is so much action going on both at a distance and close up that having one body with a wide angle and the other with my 70-200mm would have been ideal. Switching lenses outside in the dust isn’t the best practice either….I do it all the time though…Do as I say not as I do.
Waiting for that one shot. I wish I had taken up a few more secluded locations and waited for the riders to come to me. I found myself trying to shoot their entire runs which was nearly impossible do to the size of the event. Again having two of me would help here. It’s very hard to sit and wait with the riders out of your view while you listen to crowd go nuts over what that rider is doing out of your sight….not only as a fan but as a photographer you want to see the whole run. But sometimes you gotta miss all that to get the shot.
Overall it was an amazing weekend filled with great riding. I met some really cool people who love the same things I do and were willing to hang out and talk shop. There was one photo guy from europe..not sure what country..who plopped himself right in the way of my shot…he refused to move at first but finally did after a verbal “REALLY?” from me. You know who you are straw hat euro dude.Details