Travis is someone I stalked…err…met on a mountain bike website that we both frequent. Once I found out that we were both in the same town, it was an exchange of a couple emails and a phone call and we were off on our first photo shoot. It’s been great to not only get to know Travis but also watch his skills improve over time. We’ve collaborated on a number of photo shoots and took the time to make a mountain bike video too. I have some ideas for new stuff to shoot with Travis this year and I can’t wait to take those to beyond just ideas.Details
Part One of this series can be found here.
The second rider meeting made possible through the internet was Skye Schillhammer. I met Skye (@skyride on Twitter) through mountain bike film maker Stephen Tenuto (Lush Cinema). Steve was a recent transplant to the L.A area and I found him online after watching a few of his videos….Skye was out from Washington to shoot some video in SoCal with Steve and I was able to shoot some stills that day. I also had the opportunity to shoot Skye at his local trails in Washington State….a chance to grab some great shots of an amazing rider.Details
I was recently looking over some of my photos and started to do a mental inventory of where or how I’d met the person in the photo. Seems that while the internet is full of endless amounts of crud, I’ve met a number of people because of it….AND ended up taking photos of them. Now that I’ve re read that last sentence it could sound kinda creepy. BUT you’ll see below that my relationships are built around two wheels and photography. Two interests that quickly form a common bond…So thank you internet…you connected me with some solid friends and friends who can sure ride bikes. This is my chance to thank them and highlight some of their skills on a bicycle.
I’ll feature one rider each week for the next few weeks…
The friendship that goes back the furthest is Todd who I call my original
guinea pig stunt rider. Always up for a challenge and almost always pulling off amazing things on a bike. You’ll see below why I said almost always pulling it off. We live in different states, but have managed to ride together all over the place (Moab, Mammoth, Sedona, SoCal, Colorado). Also a photographer, Todd seems to understand what I am trying to do behind the camera which always helps. Thanks Todd!!
One of the benefits of living in Southern California is the diversity of the terrain. A short drive and you are at the beach, desert or mountains. While I have taken trips to shoot surfing at the beach and motocross in the desert, I haven’t done a lot of exploring/shooting in our local mountains. That changed recently when I decided that I had officially had enough of shooting mountain bikes in my local “zone” where we have a great amount of hills, but not real mountains. We have loads of great places to shoot, but over the years I’d hit them all. A change was definitely in order…
The plan was to take a few riders and knock out a day of shooting in our local mountains. With summer still lingering a change in altitude sounded like the perfect idea to escape the heat and change things up. The one downside of my plan was going in without any local knowledge of spots to shoot. One of the riders with me had ridden this area before..which helped in getting there, but not really on locations for shooting.
Going in to a shoot sort of blind can be un nerving, but also makes it kind of exciting. We had a day to explore, ride, hike and get the shoot completed. We were able to quickly find a few different spots that I thought would work for the shots I wanted. One issue with shooting in the trees is the un even lighting you have to deal with. I currently don’t have control over the clouds so I brought some extra help in the form of my light kit to help out.
While it was a bit of a risk to plan a shoot at a place I’d never been, we ended up with the shots I wanted and the client is happy with the shots that we delivered.
I wouldn’t do it for free….and I know you found some one who will.
A couple of years ago you would have had what you wanted and at the price you wanted. With your slick opening lines and smooth word play…talking of the things we had in common. I’m sure you justify it all as a game. Approaching it with pre rehearsed words of praise and selling “photo credit” with way more value than it truly has…A couple of years ago I yearned for the attention you as a photo editor brought my way. I would have believed that the words you were spinning were true. I would have believed it was YOU doing me a favor. Promises of glossy print and thousands of eyes on my work. “A missed opportunity if I said no” you would say.
You said that if I didn’t do it there were many lined up who would. And you were right and perhaps that’s why you had the balls to even suggest the deal you were making. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have the common sense to realize that every third page of your magazine is an advertisement…advertisements that make YOU money.
Sure you found another photographer victim to work with, but I have the joy of knowing when you go to print that you AREN’T running the cover photo you really wanted.Details
Soooo…It seams I continue to fuel theft on the internet. This is part 3 in a series that I imagine will continue as long as I keep at this photography game. This time around the site using my image not only stole it, they encourage you to download it too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving..and hey if you like it they suggest you tell your friends about it via social media. A direct quote from their site “Sharing is Caring! If you like this Download Cycling Mountain Bike Wallpaper Download Sports Wallpapers wallpaper, share it with your friends.”
I will give the the thiefs credit, they chose a nice image that I took in Moab, Utah. And really why drive all the way to Utah and go through the hassle of riding a bike, getting all sweaty, and hauling a camera around when you can just grab one on the internet.
And of course if you want to grab a quick download of my stolen image, you can head over to their site. Be warned it probably comes with some icky computer STDs.
Quick update…while searching for this post I found another shot of mine on another website. Of course they added their own exciting graphics.
I often spend time looking at either a photo or a photo after I’ve edited it and…well doubted that it is decent….doubted that I should share it. Why? Not exactly sure why we doubt our own work. Maybe we stare at it too long or maybe we spend too much time comparing it with the work of others. Either way I wish I’d get over it already and move on. With the photo above I had three versions in Lightroom that I kept bouncing between. I like the color version, but it lacked something to me…I liked the B/W version, but it wasn’t standing out to me…then there was this version that I actually ended up using. I wasn’t going to post it to Flickr because I wasn’t sure what others would think of it. I posted it anyway and it ended up making Explore on Flickr and was at over two thousand views by day two…
Better Photography magazine used on my of BMX photos for an example of 2nd curtain sync…
Click image for a larger view.
A friend who is just getting into photography asked me what was the one piece of gear (beyond camera/lens) that I couldn’t live with out…
It didn’t take but a second for me to respond with “PocketWizards“…and “oh I should blog about this conversation”. Often viewed only as a means to trigger your light kit/flash, I wanted my first set of PocketWizards to try my hand at some remote camera photography. Little did I know at the time of purchase that I’d rely on them for most of my photography work.
As with any facet of photography it really helps to have a subject that you are interested in shooting. Sounds like a no brainier, but I’m surprised at how many people I come across that buy a camera and are out things to shoot after a very short period of time. With action sports there is always something going on and I’ve always had plenty to shoot. But there are certain places you can not or should not go..or certain angles you can’t obtain with a person behind a camera. And this is where my desire for the PocketWizards came in to play. Remote trigger…
I’ve pasted a few examples below of some remote shots that I’ve attempted.
Beyond the remote triggering the camera, I’ve used the PocketWizards to trigger my Boling light kit and my Canon 580ex flash…often at the same time. With my original PocketWizards I was limited to shooting at 1/250th of a second and while that didn’t stop the show, it was often an annoying limitation. UNTIL..PocketWizard came out with technology that allowed me to shoot at any speed. I’ve blogged in the past about someone killing the 1/250th limitation and how great it is…. How fast can I sync? Believe it or not I haven’t found that out….I’ve shot as high as 1/3200th with my light kit. Make sure you read that extra zero on there..its not 1/320th..its 3200. Love that worrying about shutter speed is no longer a problem.
Some examples below…
Now if you got this far and are wondering what my second favorite piece of gear is….wonder no more and read about my love for my Tokina lens here.Details