Author Archives: Scott Marceau


“A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it.”

Video Review: “Newlyweds & Nearlydeads”


I love that a BMX community can exist and thrive anywhere in the world at any given time. It’s like flipping over a random rock in a park and seeing a bunch of tiny creatures crawling around and filming bangers with their friends. For this particular instance, the park is the state of Utah and the random rock is the southwestern city of St. George.

I’m not trying to say that these people live under a rock- it’s just a metaphor for their obscurity. The typical American citizen probably wouldn’t be able to locate St. George on a map but if someone were to say that it’s about a third of the way from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City then they’d get a decent idea. With a population of around 80,000, it’s good to see that there are at least five dedicated riders (this gives us an average of one BMX rider for every 16,000 people… Extrapolate that to the other populations and we can loosely calculate there to be right around 20,000 BMX riders in the United States (with 525 in NYC, 1,418 in Southern California and 55 in ATX… does this sound correct? Anyone want to help out with a national/worldwide count?).

At any rate, out of that small sample of the St. George population there is one guy who put in the time to produce a full-length DVD- Jon Tinsley. Using a single Canon T3i with a kit 18-55mm and a Rokinon fisheye lens on a P&C GearBox with a Neewer CN-160 light when needed, the video is filmed smoothly and properly without many frills or unnecessary flashiness. A DIY pinhole was used for the perspective-shifting stop-motion shots used as B-roll and segue shots- a very nice touch to the entire production. Jon used Adobe Premiere for editing.

Since I first read it, the title of the video posed questions. I drew my own conclusion that it was a jab at the church- like when an atheist octogenarian tells his step-grandson “the only people that need to go to church are newlyweds and nearlydeads” or something to that effect. Turns out it’s a sly comment on the population of the area with many young couples copulating and retreating retirees.

The spots in this region of the country remind me a lot of the small Midwestern town spots that I grew up riding- the loading dock behind the shopping plaza, a clutch stacked ledge setup in the elementary school courtyard and a dialed university nearby. I only recognized a few spots in the entire 20-minute video.

I didn’t recognize one song from the soundtrack, however. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it though. Comprised mostly of resurrected psych-rock, there was at least one song that I looked into. Ultimate Spinach is the only band from the soundtrack that I’ve seen used before.

The riding struck me as very innovative, given the spots being ridden. There were numerous tireslide moves I was psyched on, including one from Jon himself (his first clip I believe). There’s trails footage and some concrete park but the video is mostly street-based. Riley Carroll has a very memorable section with some flowing lines and unique spinning grind maneuvers. Everyone has a different approach with respective visions that complement nicely in this DVD.

Pick up a copy here.

The trailer-

If you have a video you’d like featured on the site, send a copy to 127 E. 5th street, LA, CA 90013.

Travis Mortz Explains The Sunny 16 Rule

Our recent podcast guest Travis Mortz explains basic daylight exposure for his local film lab. It’s like learning to read light instead of words.

Edwin Car Wash Railhop T-shirts

edwin shirts

Our friend Kris AKA DaTurtleKing AKA I’m Eugene made these t-shirts featuring his depiction of the iconic Jeff Z photo of Edwin doing the West Side Highway Car Wash railhop. They are available for purchase here.

“The BMX Businessman”

Jon Lynn and his new family at Mashable made this short film as a testament to the picture quality of the new iPhone 6s Plus and for a bit of comic relief. Although it’s not technically 4k (as it’s advertised), the resolution of each frame of video from this cellphone is higher than a single frame from my first digital camera. Make sure you enable “2160p” to view this in all its glory.

Tuesdays At TIP

We produced this week’s #TUESDAYSATTIP (along with last week’s and a few before that).

TCU TV – Travis Mortz Interview

I began corresponding with Travis through the Push It A Stop Flickr page after noticing his extensive use of film- most notably shooting some riding shots on large format. He let me know that he’d be at Texas Toast with his 4×5. Sure enough I saw him there lugging around the behemoth of a camera, complete with tripod and dark cloth, and a Hasselblad slung around his neck. We spoke and it soon became clear to me that Travis is both a camera fanatic and dedicated film user. He is informed, experienced and well-traveled. Sitting down and discussing all aspects of photography with Travis opened my eyes to some things I hadn’t considered regarding technology and the lack thereof required in the art. He is someone who understands the power of the camera and loves every part of it- from the equipment to the process to the ethereal qualities of a Polaroid of his daughter. I introduce to you the Ansel Adams of BMX, Travis Mortz.

0:30 – How was shooting at Texas Toast with a 4×5 camera?
2:25 – Travis’ shortened life story and first rolls of film
5:18 – When has film failed you?
6:32 – When has digital failed you? (pretty crazy story involving Tony Hawk)
9:50 – Travis’ formal education in photography and the arts
11:58 – Favorite photographs?
12:42 – Crazy story about Dorthea Lange and a Linhof
16:06 – Online portfolio?
17:05 – Your favorite film?
17:45 – Your lighting setup?
19:19 – Travis asks me about my film-use frequency
22:03 – Travis describes his darkroom setup in the mountains
25:04 – What are your film buying habits?
27:02 – “People are scared of film for some reason”
27:28 – You ever been fucked by a lab?
28:56 – Recent camera purchases?
31:59 – “My results will always be different”
32:39 – Favorite developer?
34:02 – Travis’ theory on preservation
(A great discussion erupts here and some really good points are made.)
40:02 – We go through the gear that Travis brought with him
48:54 – Shooting at Woodward Camp
51:30 – Travis talks about his recent trip to Sweden and how Hasselblad wrote a story about him
54:06 – “My biggest project is documenting my daughter’s life”