Author Archives: Scott Marceau

TCU TV – Kevin Conners Interview

Kevin does a lot of the legwork for Fiend as well as shooting most of their photos. I had only met him a couple times before conducting this interview and I had no idea that he was so experienced and informed. Needless to say, a lot of important topics are touched and Kevin brought an insightful twist to everything mentioned. He talks about what it’s like to shoot with riders like Garrett Reynolds and what dealing with energy drink companies entails. As a veteran of the industry we commiserate over the decline of print but as active lensmen we discuss the best ways of dealing with this universal shift from paper to pixels. We discuss how (or if) someone could live off of shooting BMX photos alone. Thanks to him, a lot of us may be much more inclined to post our photos directly to Instagram… maybe.

The SoundCloud player is embedded below. Click here to listen on iTunes.

0:24 – Introduction and Kevin’s backstory
12:20 – The formation of Fiend in San Diego
15:28 – Thoughts on San Diego (vs. Los Angeles)
16:42 – Day-to-day operations, website, shooting a roll per week
20:04 – Video work / shooting weddings
20:48 – Valuing both photo and video
22:01 – Putting a price on photographs
23:20 – Thrasher Magazine’s segue into web
26:27 – “Why is everybody doing the same thing?”
27:36 – Can we survive as BMX photographers?
30:08 – “You can’t just do one thing as a photographer anymore”
32:52 – We check out Kevin’s backpack
41:39 – Full-frame vs. crop sensor
44:12 – Ty is outed as an exceptional photographer
45:53 – What film do you load up in your Bronica? (and the pains of shooting film)
48:24 – Shouts to skate photogs Ben Clemens and Brian Gaberman
50:30 – Sleeping in the field
51:52 – When riders pull it first try
53:20 – Two strobes is all you need
55:05 – Old school strobe sequences
57:04 – Shooting a bar crank bar and making sure Red Bull includes both barspins
1:00:01 – Having to shoot vs. wanting to shoot
1:01:26 – Kevin’s digital workflow
1:04:52 – Shouts to Josh McElwee
1:05:16 – “Whatever you take, you better be willing to put back into it”
1:07:12 – You can’t put extra pressure on the rider
1:07:38 – Shooting barspins
1:09:49 – Weekends
1:11:30 – Kevin confesses to having applied to be a Lyft driver
1:12:49 – The longevity of a photograph and Instagram
1:15:30 – Separating between inspiration and imitation
1:16:03 – Instagram is about convenience
1:19:48 – Shouts to Alex Donnachie and Fred Murray
1:20:59 – “What’s the oldest photo you’re sitting on?”

Reed Stark’s California Safari

Reed Stark came out to California with three days worth of clothes and a bloodlust for chunks of steel. Navigating and executing by day, moving under veil of tree-cast shadows by night, searching hours just for a safe floor to sleep on. All it took was one wrong step and Reed’s quest was forestalled until next season. With ice on foot and spoils in hand, Reed hitchhiked back to the Midwest to devise his next excursion into the jungle.

Coordinated by BSD. Thumbnail photo by Tristan Afre.

#TUESDAYSATTIP 6 with Craig Passero

For the sixth installment of #TUESDAYSATTIP we brought Craig Passero and Marv Morales around to sprinkle the ramps with some Long Island seasoning. The heat was high but we found some shade and spent the whole afternoon having a great time riding the ramps and soon the next crew will do the same.

BMX Day in Chicago

BMX Day was celebrated all around the world this weekend and in Chicago shit was goin’ off. Due to airline chicanery I almost didn’t make it but I’m so glad I did. Dan Lacey was the ringleader of the event and Brian Kachinsky showed us around the shoreline of the Windy City for a few hours before the rain put things on hold. Austin Aughinbaugh ended up with the Street Series ring but it was a tough call with Dan KrukJoe Jarvis, Dylan McCauley and Carlo Hoffmann hot at his heels. Derek Strong has a standout clip on the kinker while Mike Stahl put in some work on a clip that I’m sure he’s since gone back to get. Jeff Dowhen almost killed a man with his bike. Grant Castelluzzo was there stealing my angles and Mike Hinkens was looking dapper as always. Someone’s forks snapped at the end and the whole day was pretty crazy. I got wrapped up in the moment quite a bit and I’m pretty loud throughout this entire edit and lucky for all of us I recorded the whole day… I could only edit down to 41 minutes but I think with this amount of footage you’ll get a pretty good understanding as to what a completely awesome day on a BMX bike with a ton of great people in the Midwest is really all about.

Our entire day was dedicated to the life and memory of Glenn Salyers who undoubtedly would have destroyed every spot we went to.

TCU TV – The Filmer’s Podcast

We gathered three of today’s most prolific filmers (Tony Ennis (Deadline), John Hicks (Onsomeshit) and Christian Rigal (Markit)) to spark productivity and inspire creativity in anyone looking to advance their camera-using skills. We talk experience, travel, music, gear and more… Tune in!

If you’ve got any questions, just leave them in the comments. Listen to this on SoundCloud below and on iTunes here.

0:34 – “Still Searchin'” (End Search sequel that never happened)
1:40 – Christian talks about a sequel to Markit Zero and his new RED camera
5:47 – Hicks speaks
7:13 – Christian talks about dividing time between camera and bike and his newfound passion and respect for still photography
11:46 – Tony talks about his current projects and the Garrett Reynolds Red Bull video
14:34 – “Did you ever think you’d be in the position you’re in now as filmers?”
18:38 – Tony talks about his riding career and what gets him psyched and filming Deadline with dying cameras
22:31 – The importance of music in editing
28:47 – We talk about the diminishing amount of physical DVD’s being made
30:14 – Christian talks about filming with Tate Roskelley in 2009 and a video of a 14 year old Chad Kerley
34:14 – We talk about how Connor Lodes shot a cover of RideBMX and how Christian trusts him and Chad to film when he’s riding
37:19 – Everyone talks about their first cameras
41:18 – Reader questions (fish or long? any formal education in video? craziest thing that’s ever happened while out filming? (funny story about Mike Jonas) how does it feel when you eat shit filming? How long do you spend editing any given video? favorite editing software?
50:29 – Do you do video work outside of BMX?
52:40 – Tony alludes to a second Deadline video
53:57 – Export settings
57:12 – Rollerblades / filming boards
58:37 – Post production habits
1:01:46 – Preferred shutter speed?
1:04:32 – Rokinon / Pro Optic / off-brand fisheyes are sharpest at f/8
1:05:24 – Getting shit stolen
1:07:57 – Getting insurance for your gear
1:09:18 – Tripods
1:13:09 – Left eye or right eye?
1:14:38 – Christian’s bag(s)
1:18:30 – Tony’s bag
1:21:38 – Hicks’ gear
1:22:44 – Advice to beginners

New Spenser “Loofa” Lee Photo Website

loofa site

Tempe-based photographer Spenser Lee (or Loofa as he’s sometimes known) just updated his portfolio website with not only some amazing riding photos but also some really clean architectural/interior shots. Click around, get psyched.

Framework: Kriss Kyle for Fuse Protection

crab helmet

Kriss “Crab” Kyle was in town, traveling with Alex Donnachie just to get out of the deadly Scottish winter. Crab had just received a new helmet from Fuse Protection wrapped by his sponsor Red Bull. They needed some promotional photos- a portrait, a still of the helmet and an action shot.

We made plans to head up to Sheldon Skatepark early in the morning before the rush of local skateboarders that occurs every afternoon. We loaded up the van and were at the skatepark around 11. The guys had gone out heavily the night before and there was talk of puke during the drive to the valley. I kept my fingers crossed that we could simply get the shots we needed- nothing more but nothing less.

Crab takes his first through the park and jumps a hip- really the only hip there- only to land almost directly on top of a veteran skateboarder. The guy took a few seconds to get up from the ground and then verbal repercussions ensued. Very vulgar stuff- I won’t divulge the entire conversation but for every five words the guy said there were two obscenities and one genuine Scottish apology. I can’t honestly say that I saw the actual collision but regardless of who was at fault, Sheldon is a skate-only park and OG let us know explicitly that we weren’t welcome, haven’t been for 35 years, as he hobbled back to his rickety pickup and sped off angrily.

“Damn it” I thought. This put a bad vibe to the whole session. I wondered if Crab even wanted to keep riding. I think he was hurt a bit in the accident but definitely not as bad as homie. Homie was in pain. The sun was reaching high noon and the shadows were harsh. On the brighter side, no one had puked yet.

Crab let me know that the hip was shit but we had to work with it. I framed up a shot at a right angle to the landing quarter with the mountains in the background. With the sun at his back, I set up both my Einstein and Lumedyne to light him from the front. Due to parameter requirements, the closest I could get the flashes was still like twenty feet away.

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Even with the Einstein near full power with the 11″ reflector next to the Lumedyne at 200w I could only get a f/16 reading. The ambient was at f/13 @ 1/250. I knew there was a lot of motion blur possible so I was ready to pan with the action (follow Crab with the camera so that he wouldn’t be blurry but the background would be instead).

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“Boom!” I thought we had it first go. Crab wasn’t happy with his height and wanted to give it a few more. The framing between the light posts and just above the mountain range was spot-on. The entire image was a bit dark but I knew that it’s simple to brighten up a digital image without losing much quality. On top of that, if I were to shoot anywhere below f/13 I’d lose the deep blue sky and get much more motion blur. I opened up the lens 2/3 stop and Crab gave it a few more boosts but still wasn’t happy with his height.

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At this point I opted for the fisheye because Crab didn’t think he was going high enough and that helmet I’m supposed to be showcasing was just a small blip in the photo.

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I could get my flashes a lot closer and started to get a reading near f/22. Still shooting at f/16, I knew this would create a perfectly highlighting sidelight. I stumbled upon an undesirable angle when shooting any curved objects with a fisheye- the inside of the curve (you always want to be on the outside of a curve with the fisheye or else everything will look flattened out and not curved).

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Beyond that, you couldn’t even see the helmet. I knew this called for some drastic measures. For his next go I held the camera over my head to try to get an extremely close shot.

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Ok, ok, now we were talking. I just needed to be a little more controlled than just holding the camera above my head and hoping that I’d have both the rider and the ramp in the photo. I looked for objects to stand on but saw nothing. Then it struck me. “Dill! Dill!” I yelled. I knew for a fact that Dillon Lloyd would be more than willing to help out. He put me on his shoulders without a pause and I gave Crab the thumbs up.

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“Got it” I yelled. Dill let me down and I gave him a hug. Crab saw the photo and was very pleased because he still thought he wasn’t boosting high enough. There is still some motion blur in his spokes but it’s very minimal and I had a feeling the client would still be happy about the shot. And they were.

After some very minor curves adjustments and literally no cropping (that never happens for me) we had a final image.

crab helmet

Canon 1DsIII
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye lens
Paul C Buff Einstein 640w flash w/ 11″ reflector @ near full power
Lumedyne Action Pack 200w flash @ 200w
PocketWizards
A strong and helpful Canadian friend

1/250th @ f/16 ISO 100