Author Archives: Scott Marceau

Photo of the Week: Shawn Duffield

JamesTable

It’s not difficult to notice that this photo is pretty great… The rider and his multi-colored shirt pop out of the dark green background like crazy. The composition is super clean and all of the information necessary to bring context to the riding is there- the way the coping hugs the bottom of the frame is my favorite part. It’s a rather dialed invert as well.

“This is James Van De Kamp doing another ridiculously folded table top. Sometime in early April we got some really good weather for a while, so we got out to Gleneagles bowl in West Vancouver for a day. James is one of my favourite people to shoot with. He’s incredibly dialed, so it makes it really easy. I recently picked up the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, and I’m incredibly happy with the way it performs with natural lighting. This photo was shot at 1/4000s at f/2.8 and 160ISO on my 7D. Nothing else to really say, just a bunch of dudes on bikes having a fun session.”

Check out more of James’ riding here.

See more of Shawn’s work here.

Join and contribute to the Flickr group.

Enter the Fisheye Photo Contest!

Fisheye Photo Contest

fisheye photo contest

Since the popularization of the fisheye lens in the 1960s, its use has varied from scientific applications to hip hop music videos to caricaturistic portraits of Golden Retrievers. Its value in the action sports realm burgeoned with help from the early pioneers of skateboard photography like C.R. Stecyk, Glen Friedman and Hugh Holland. The ultra-wide view and extreme distortion adds energy to the subject while keeping them in context with their environment. It also helps when there are obstructions in the scene which work against the use of a longer focal length.

Regardless of the reason, action sports photographers use the fisheye a lot (too much?) and it doesn’t take a professional to recognize when it’s being used incorrectly. While I like to believe that there are no “rules” in photography (therein lies the art), there are definite guidelines and any photo editor will tell you that the fisheye lens brings with it a certain expectation that the photographer will follow them- to a certain extent.

My go-to comment in the Push It A Stop Flickr pool is “get closer!” when I see a fisheye photo where the rider is a speck in the frame (and the rest is filled with useless information). I read/heard somewhere that “if the fisheye isn’t in danger of getting hit then you aren’t using it correctly.” This somewhat hyperbolic statement rings true in what my friends and I used to call “the DIG cover shot” (shouts to Ricky Adam) where a headless rider’s front wheel had to have been brushing the camera.

Mike Tag Stockwell print

On the other end of the spectrum, the fisheye can be used to fill the frame with an exaggerated environment while the rider- still the subject of the photo- becomes a drop in the ocean (the most prominent example in my mind being a photo of Mike Hoder riding the ramp in his Brooklyn backyard shot from the upper-level fire escape by Rob Dolecki).

This contest is about proper fisheye usage, not just seeing who can get their lens destroyed by a flying bike.

Upload your entries (limit 3) to the Flickr pool with the words “Fisheye Contest” somewhere in the title. Much like the guidelines for using the fisheye lens itself, the rules for the contest are vague and will probably not be adhered to. In any case, we will choose our favorite fisheye shot at the end of June.

Winning photographer and rider will receive Push It A Stop/The Come Up prize packages and be featured on the front page.

Good luck and be careful of front wheels!

scotty fufanu chenga 2002Scotty Wemmer, 2002

Jib: Tape #3 – Jon Schimpf

After filming the rest of the third DVD for his brainchild Jib, Jon got to pedal around without any extra weight on his back and ride just the spots that he wanted to ride. OH WAIT, that’s not how it works at all… I hope that you guys show your filmer some love on this upcoming International Carry Your Filmer’s Bag Day (the last Saturday of May – but if I had the chance to invent such a holiday, it would be the last Saturday of every month and would include your photographer’s bags as well).

Photo of the Week: Patrick Schwarzenecker

erwin_toothover

I was surprised to see this photo in the Flickr pool because not only is it film, but medium format film at that. Furthermore, I was psyched to read that Patrick developed the film himself in his bathroom. Beyond the format, I was pleased by the warm colors in this shot as well as the geometry in the ground, the framing of the rider and timing of the trick.

“This is Erwin Muench doing a toothpick over grind. We shot the photo straight after some troubles with the police.. We crunched some new curbs in the city center, and an old couple saw that, they made photos of us – we were a group of 10 riders -…it escalated. It was seriously but no one was hurt.
The police caught us in the Schweizergarten – a garden with some ponds near a military museum – but they let us go after it was revealed that booth sides not acted properly…
So after all that, the general desire was to chill at a pond. Every pond has catwalks on water level with low handrails. The break turned into a session. Erwin did the tooth over first try, so I asked him to do it again for my Kiev 88 – he agreed – so I began to search for a suitable perspective. With a Kodak Portra 160 in the back of my Kiev and the plan to catch as much as possible from the handrail and the water reflections, plus the choice between a normal (80mm)- and a fisheye (30mm) lens; the only thing that makes sense is a snapshot from above. Fortunately there was a viewing platform in front of the catwalk. I went up, looked through the viewfinder and it was perfect. I made a light metering, agreed with Erwin a spot and adjusted the cam. It took two tries, than it was done.
Back home I developed the film in my bathroom and scanned it.

Kiev 88
80mm/2,8
Kodak Portra 160
Developement Kit: Tetenal Colortec C-41″

Check out Patrick’s blog about the BMX scene in Vienna- Wiener Gretzn.

Join the Flickr group today!

“Chase Hawk – Austin, Texas”

The best at what they do- Chase Hawk and Joe Simon- teamed up and made this masterpiece. Not much more description is necessary, but… Chase Hawk. Joe Simon. Masterpiece.