M5 Photography

Through the mill… Chris Akrigg

Worth five minutes of your time if you are into bikes at all…or just impressed by human freaks.

Through the mill from chris akrigg on Vimeo.


Starting over…A photographer trying his hand at video

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.



The crew for the day

Reviewing the options

On the ground with the slider



Hire me Boling…non existent marketing from another photography company

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….


Returning from a photo shoot empty handed…

Point Dume Beach California...in the afternoon

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.


Teton Gravity Research….Further

Lots of good action sports videos coming out recently. This one looks solid!


Award winning producers Teton Gravity Research are pleased to announce Further, the second installment in the Jeremy Jones snowboard movie trilogy, Deeper, Further, Higher, presented by O’Neill.
Further will explore some of the world’s most remote mountain terrain while continuing Jones’ mission to camp deep in the backcountry and on the summits of unridden lines to access nearly vertical spines and wide-open powder fields. Join Jeremy and his crew as they push their minds and bodies Further.
Order now: shop.tetongravity.com/teton-gravity-research-jeremy-jones-further.aspx
Starring: Jeremy Jones | Ryland Bell | Mitch Toelderer | Bibi Pekarek | Lucas Debari | Forrest Shearer | Josh Dirksen | Terje Haakonsen
Locations: Japanese Alps | Atomfjella Mountains, Norway | Karwendel Range, Austria | Wrangell Mountains, Alaska | Sierra Mountains, California
Music: Reworkers, “City of Angels”
Facebook: Facebook.com/tetongravityresearch
Twitter: @TetonGravity #JJonesFurther
Instagram: TetonGravity


Jeremy Jones’ Further Official Trailer – Teton Gravity Research 2012 Snowboard Film from Teton Gravity Research on Vimeo.


Published..Dirt Rag Magazine

Click image for a larger view

Happy to get one of my shots spread across two full pages in the recent issue of Dirt Rag Magazine. The image is from a shoot I did in Washington this summer. If you missed those shots you can check them out here.


Inspired by @motoXcinema Moto 4 The Movie

Enjoyed watching this preview of Moto 4 The Movie by @motoXcinema…I’ll be ordering a copy.

Watch it full screen in HD if you can.

Published on:
November 1, 2012 9:21 pm

Are you pro?

We met on a hillside, I’m sure with similar goals that day. We probably have more in common than you realized. I know we both love photography and action sports…what a great start to a conversation I thought. Heck we even shoot with the same brand of camera (although not the same model..read on).  My intentions weren’t to invade your space and I made sure that I wasn’t in your way. I thought I’d be the first to say hello and I did so…That’s when I learned so much about who you are.

When I said hello I made sure to attempt eye contact and that’s when I noticed you weren’t looking at my eyes…no…your eyes were fixed on my camera. You took a solid look and finally…all be it slowly…looked up at me. Your face reminded me of when I was young and asked the older kids if I could skateboard with them. They never had to answer, their faces answered via expression…that expression of disgust.

“Are you a pro?” You asked. Which caught me off guard because my mind was expecting a returned hello. Before I responded, I paused. Not because I needed to evaulate if I was “pro” or not..but because I found myself looking down at my camera and wondered what it was that made you ask. I instantly felt like someone had swooped in and replaced my camera with a disposable model from the grocery store. Perhaps in your mind my camera and a disposable are one in the same? I did finally respond with an answer of “well..I’m not a full timer.”

As if the event we were shooting wasn’t prestigious enough, you let me know that you usually shoot full time on the world cup circuit. Without time for me to respond you glanced over at my camera bag and said “if you want a really good bag you need to go with the bag I use. Don’t get me wrong your bag is cool, but my brand is where it’s at. I’m currently doing testing for them.”

Ummm…o.k. I see where I stand/rank here I thought to myself.  The action started back up and I took my non pro camera, sub par camera bag and was on my way to a new spot. I didn’t walk away with aspirations of becoming more like you or wishing I had your camera or next level bag.

Thanks for the reminder that’s not about the gear. I’m off to skateboard with some fellow part timers….

Are you Pro?

Published on:
October 23, 2012 8:43 pm

Flickr….why I can’t quit her.

For purposes of this write up Flickr is female, I assume that because if someone named a horse or dog Flickr it would be female.

I remember when we first met. I was introduced to Flickr by a common friend and we we all loved photography. My friend wasn’t in sales but did a fine job of giving me all of the upsides to Flickr. He knew I was single in the realm of social media and thought he would set me up with Flickr. Free he said…cheap I thought. No!..he insisted that free in this case didn’t mean cheap. I remained doubtful. My friend continued on and mentioned how Google crawled Flickr and searched for the tags/keywords associated with your photos. Crawled? I asked…sounds gross. So here we are with Flickr being free (read cheap) and crawled all over by the worlds largest search engine…Not sounding like a good first date for me with social media. I allowed my friend to press on.

While I admit I didn’t understand the benefits that my friend spelled out for me, since I was lonely in the social media world, I did move forward and sign up with Flickr. Flickr and I got along great at first. She slowly began to gain my trust and I uploaded a handful of images. She went on to impress by allowing others to comment on my photos and add my shots as “favorites”…things were great between us. Flickr even introduced me to new contacts. People from all over the world began to view my images and share theirs with me. It all began to move so fast. I’m not sure I was ready for it all but so far I hadn’t run into any problems. Our relationship seemed so one sided… Sure I was uploading, but Flickr was giving back so much more. What could I do in return?

We went on this way for a couple of years. With me uploading what I thought Flickr and the world wanted to see, and with her working day and night adding new features. At some point I guess I had done too much taking in the relationship. Flickr rolled out some new features, but there was a catch. Perhaps it was the one I was waiting for…yes…she wanted my money. I winced at the news but was soon re leaved to learn she only wanted $20 a year. I could afford that and paid her the requested amount. Things were still moving along..and then it happened.

Flickrs birth parents sold her to Yahoo. At first it all seemed exciting..like being adopted by a wealthy family when you grew up poor. As with most stories, money doesn’t solve all the problems. I began to feel like Yahoo didn’t want me with Flickr anymore. I continued to do my part by telling others about the site and getting them to add content too, but Flickr began to be different  Did she change? No! That was what we all wanted. Change with the times..upgrade, add more new features or at least try to keep up. Seems the rich parents at Yahoo made this adoption to use as a simple tax write off or gain a user base. One thing is for sure they didn’t pour any love into Flickr…and there she sat.

The online community poked fun at her..using words like old and out of touch. They even jumped ship to the shiny and new models called 500px and Instagram. There was an uprising with many pulling their images off Flickr and moving completely to these new options. Turning their backs on Flickr.
What did I do? I admit I tested the other waters too..I felt I had to see what all the hype was about. But I also pressed on with my Flickr relationship. You see Flickr gave me something that I’ll never forget. She connected me with a company who needed an image for a magazine ad. My first real paying job…How could I leave the one helped me get my work published? I couldn’t…

Today we are still together. I continue to get paying  jobs from clients who find my work on Flickr and I continue to upload my images.  She recently, with out my asking, Tweeted one of my images to her 220plus thousand followers on Twitter. Coverage I could never gain on my own. While she might still be “old” and not what the kids are using, I’m sticking around and will continue to tell the world why I can’t quit her.

Where to find me on Flickr? http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithpyt/

First published/paying shot...

Shot Tweeted by Flickr..


Published on:
October 16, 2012 6:28 pm
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