There was a day years ago when I pedaled my bike past an old water tower..paused for second and knew I needed to make a photo shoot happen there. As the years have gone by I’m sure my friends have blocked out the drone of my voice mumbling about the water tower. I’m sure I mentioned it every time we rode past it over the years. They knew it had been all talk and nothing had been put into action….until…it all came together in 2013.
One of the main reasons it hadn’t happened before was access to the location. It was too many miles behind a locked gate and getting gear back there wasn’t a realistic option. That all changed last year when my friend Travis spoke of another water tower. I’m 99% sure he was letting me know so that we could get this shot done and he wouldn’t have to hear about the tower anymore. Regardless of his motives, he had found a gem of a spot to shoot. It seemed we had the first step taken care of…an accessible location.
With the easy part completed, next came the real work as the location wasn’t exactly shoot ready. We needed to dig…Asking people to dig is about as fun as asking people to help you move. You ask….wait for that pause..then comes the point in time when even your most non creative friends come up with masterful excuses. Unlike helping me move, helping me dig might make you “famous”….assuming you are a rider who can also be a part of the final shot. Also assuming “famous” is getting a few looks on the internet.
The riders in these shots, Travis and Nick are also the two people who put a number of man hours into it with shovels, picks, and rakes. Again I’m guessing here…they were more than willing to dig to help stop that madness that was the water tower conversation. And while I typically show up to a location where the riders have spent hours and hours prepping a spot, only to show up with my fancy camera and shoot…say thanks…and vanish. This time I got dirty for a couple days of digging too. Of course now I think I have some sort of trail digging cred…I know better. I heard the whispers of “wow..he is finally out helping dig”
I was hoping for a sunny day where we could get a sunset shot, but we ended up with clouds. Beyond the clouds, it all went as planned. Two riders willing to guinea pig this new jump, my friend Chris willing to hold a strobe for an hour or so..not complaining as I continually asked..err..demanded he move the light every minute or so..
I’m happy with our results and it could not have happened with out a great group of guys helping me complete my concept. Now I just gotta make them famous..
And a few behind the scenes shots…taken by Nick, Travis and ChrisDetails
On the surface meeting someone on Twitter sounds…well it sounds sorta creepy. I think we mostly hear of strange stories or strange stories made even stranger via Hollywood and the media. My experience so far has been a positive one. I suppose the difference in my story is that I wasn’t doing on line dating or shopping for a wife via Craigslist. My story isn’t exciting or a crime thriller…Nope I’m not typing this from prison either.
I recently had the opportunity to respond to a Tweet where someone I didn’t know but followed on Twitter asked if anyone in the Los Angeles area knew of some local mountain bike trails. Turns out someone was in the area from the East Coast for work and wanted to do some riding. I responded that while I wasn’t in L.A proper..I wasn’t too far away either and yes I knew some local trails. The person in need of some local knowledge turned out to be a fellow photographer who also was a fellow rider. @nickkeating turned out to be the real thing and not an ax murderer or someone out to steal my kidneys..leaving me in a bathtub of ice.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to show Nick our local spots and our time on the bikes allows for us to talk bikes and photography. On our last ride we scoped out a new zone that we both think is prime for both photo and video. Some photos from that days ride are below. While my story of meeting someone on Twitter ends up being a very positive one…I’m not suggesting it is for everyone…plus I feel like Nick keeps eyeing my kidneys.Details
Looks like somewhere I’d like to visit/photograph…
Photograph by Chris Gray
Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was once a small but very rich mining village that is now a popular tourist destination. Driven by the enormous wealth of the first German diamond miners, the residents built the village in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere.
The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. For those wanting to visit, a permit is required to enter the town as it is located within a restricted area of the Namib desert. [Source: Wikipedia]Details
No much here to do with photography, but if you are >30 and used to play real video games this is a great read.
I love the behind the scenes stuff…Just found this series. Looks a bit cold for my SoCal blood.
Further Unplugged takes you behind the scenes of Jeremy Jones’ two-year snowboarding film, Further. Get an inside glimpse of what goes on between the lines as Jones and other top riders including Terje Haakonsen, Xavier De Le Rue and Josh Dirksen travel to exotic locations such as Japan, the Arctic Circle and the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness. Challenges arise around every corner as this crew attempts to push their minds and bodies further.
The rest of the series can be found here http://www.tetongravity.com/videos/series/further-unplugged-49.htmDetails
These guys make it look so easy..I know its not. Some really great footage here using a remote heli…
Worth five minutes of your time if you are into bikes at all…or just impressed by human freaks.
I’ve always had an itch to make movies…never really got into it and I think getting into photography helped scratch it…at least for a while.
It’s still in there. That desire to create movies. Since the days DSLRs could record video I’ve kept an eye on all the news/updates/hype/hope that came along with it. When first announced and people started making movies I was impressed. Then I took a look at the camera rigs they were using..and I got gear intimidation. It was so much more than a camera and a lens. So I plugged away doing my photo thing and dabbled in cutting together a couple very short movies with footage captured from my GoPro…the desire lived on.
Seems this itch I’ve had needed to be scratched for real recently and I decided to get a couple friends and a couple riders together and attempt at knocking out a short mountain bike video. The crew for the day was Chris who was also shooting with his Canon 7D, Kyle our mascot and Sherpa, and riders Travis and Brian.
The reason why I titled this post “Starting Over”?…I really didn’t know what was involved or what I was getting into. Sure I felt confident I could compose shots and I’m familiar enough with mountain biking that I was comfortable with the subject. But it sure felt like a reboot on everything I knew about using a camera. And I’m so green at editing and any sort of post production it’s frustrating. As frustrating as learning Photoshop many years ago…
The day of shooting went fast and before I knew it the sun was setting and we were out of time. I wanted one last shot and set up my tripod to grab it. When I hit record my camera output an error message instead of recording. OH crud! Really? No panic..pull the battery, re insert and try again. Same error…I decided to call it a day and hope that the day of shooting wasn’t lost. Chris was able to grab the last shots and I was reminded how great it was to have another person there shooting with me. Once home I was able to download all of the video clips to my computer…temporary relief. Next I had to review what I’d captured for the day.
Overall I’m pretty happy with many of the shots…and unhappy with a number of them too. I feel like I learned a ton in one day and wish we had a second day to shoot that would allow us to grab the stuff we missed.
The process has been both rewarding and frustrating…..I hope to make more videos down the road and my appreciation for those who do this all the time has gone way up.
Huge thanks to Travis and Brian for riding all day and doing things over and over. Chris for capturing video with me and Kyle for carrying gear all day and taking some behind the scenes photos.
This would be a follow up to my Hire me Tokina post from a while back. It seems I have a knack for latching on to companies that make marketing a low [read almost non existent] priority. While I’d probably give Tokina a D plus if I had to grade their marketing, and Yahoo and C- for their “work” with Flickr( read my post on why I cant quit Flickr here), Boling would be on to continuation school with a solid F.
Boling you can thank Flickr for at least one of your sales. It’s where I found someone using a portable light kit that wasn’t the cost of a small car. Of course once they told me the brand name I went looking for you. You’d think in the days of the internet I would have had something in my shopping cart with in minutes. Not so with you guys. While the person on Flickr had nice things to say..I wanted to read at least a couple of reviews on your product. No luck. More searching…ahh finally…not a review, but someone who actually sold your light kit.
Upon first review the price seemed off from what my Flickr contact had told me…I see…I’m on an Australian web site. Nice! Google, convert this for me..And man, what is shipping gonna cost me? After $ conversion and a conversation with my new mates in Au…I was buying a new light kit. Based on the one review from my Flickr contact and a great price at the online store in Australia. (After writing this part I planned on linking to the store that sold the kit, I noticed they no longer carry it.)
While this is starting to read like a session of complaining, it’s not what I want delivered from it. I want others to know about you Boling..others to enjoy the product you make. Allow them to keep some money in their wallet and use a great product. BUT…how do they find you? I try my best to promote you with constant name dropping and putting “Boling” as a keyword everywhere when I post a photo that I did using your lights. Pretty sure if you Google Boling light kit I’ll have more entries in the first page than you do. Based on my blog post a few weeks ago, I’m not pro and I can only do so much on my end.
So I’m putting the ball back in your court Boling and I have my fingers crossed that you’ll do your part. Or you could hire me to do your marketing…of course I’m kidding about that one because I really don’t think based on your track record that you’d ever find this post. Maybe if I Tweet about…oh never mind.
If you are interested in more info on my light kit, you can find my post about it here. I’ve had it a number of years and it’s been a solid performer outdoors in the dirt and indoors too. I can sync them to any shutter speed, which is something I’m not seeing in many other portable light kits that are close to this price range.
I guess the question now is where do you buy one?
All the shots below were shot using my Boling light kit….Details
I was recently in a conversation about photo gear with a friend and I interupted the geek fest with a suggestion to stop talking about it and go shoot the next day. The simple plan was to hit up a beach spot that we had shot at before. Last time we shot there I was happy with both the action and non action shots that I came home with..so why not try this spot again?
The only difference in this trip was the time of day. The first trip we had arrived in the early morning hours and this time we arrived in the afternoon. I didnt do any research on surf conditions, but assumed surfers always surfed. I was wrong…I also thought we’d be able to at least get some cool sunset shots since we were going to be there in the late afternoon..I was wrong again. Seems giant cliff sides block out sunsets pretty good.
Without any surfers in the water and a sunset hiding behind the cliffs made for a good challenge of looking at other items around us and doing what we came to do..Shoot. Much like the fisherman who say a day of bad fishing is better than a day at work..In this case it wasn’t a “successful” afternoon of shooting for me, but an afternoon at the beach and actually taking photos is always better than sitting around talking about taking photos.Details