“I’m Rob Perry, I ride BMX and I study photography at college. I had started to create a small collection of my favourite photos that I had been shooting and I thought that it would be cool if I could make a small book or layout design to show these photos and also show off our BMX scene in Milton Keynes, England to everyone. However, I didn’t know how to create this layout/book.
Then luckily in college a few weeks later, a project came up where we had to create a photo journalism piece and straight away I knew I could use BMX. I could work with these images while learning a way to create this small book. This decision meant that I could be out riding, shooting more and having a good time with the different people that ride from our crew in the Milton Keynes area. Throughout this project while shooting the photos, it helped me to think more about the photos I was taking and to look into them to see what is actually happening around the BMX rider to do with the background and the framing of everything. This helped my photos as it meant the viewer would feel more involved with the atmosphere of the whole photo and the people. I took all of these photos on a Canon 500d and an Olympus OM-10.”
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.
As always, this issue of ART BMX is filled with foreign words and great photographs. Check out the photo on page 63- definitely one of the most spectacular flatland photos I’ve ever seen but also one of my favorite riding photos ever (shot by Christian Vanhanja). Also on that note, our good friend Josh McElwee has a photo piece starting on page 142.
The latest project from French agency Write The Future.
“I’ve made this little project this winter with my friends because they are totally unknown in Europe but there riding is so insane. They ride their bike all day long because they love that and not just because BMX and MTB are fashion since a few years. Lot of people in France think riders are so bad in my country so that’s why I want show to the world the truth. In the North of France and Belgium we don’t have a very good weather all year long, very few street riding spots and no mountains for the freeriding. I also made this video to show that the barriers between mountain bike and bmx are finer. Finally the main difference between the 2 sports is the playground.”
The first-ever Push It A Stop video contest was judged by Mike Mastroni, Charlie Crumlish, Ryan Navazio and myself.
Thanks to everyone who entered- all of your shots were damn good. In the end we chose the shots with the smoothest tracking and zoom, the more striking light, use of unconventional angles and all-around cleanliness. The gear used was not taken into consideration, nor was the trick being executed. Remember that cameras don’t film people, people film people. You can make a beautiful shot with cameras of any price range and a little bit of work.
Honorable mention #1: Anthony Loconte – A very smooth tracking glidecam shot with a gorgeous blue sky, a pleasing depth-of-field and bonus points for the use of a graduated ND filter.
Honorable mention #2: Eddie Olschansky – Even though there’s another filmer in the shot, that shadow cast on the wall is super powerful and the overall lighting is very dramatic. I guess I never said there was no slow-motion or editing allowed, so I’ll allow it. Bonus points for hand-zooming with the 24-70mm f/2.8L.
Honorable mention #3: Jacob Hope – I find it hard to believe but Jacob says this was filmed on his first day using the GL2. I’m usually not a fan of foreground objects but it works for this skatepark shot of Morgan Wade. Bonus points for Oasis playing in the background.
Third place: Dylan Thompson – Despite the not-quiet skateboard wheels, this shot uses zoom nicely- going from wide to open and give context, zooming slowly on the rising action and isolating the trick and the rider towards the end. The rolling dynamics are beautiful- the way the rider is moving opposite the camera in the beginning adds an illusion of high speed. Then as soon as the rider’s direction switches, the shot becomes super fluid with the action moving in sync with the camera, making the nose manual look so much more majestic. The lighting throughout the shot is also on point.
Second place: Justin Browne – Nazaz said it best- “I hate that trick but the way it was filmed made me like it.” Personally my favorite part of the clip is how the rider emerges from shadow into golden light as soon as he hops up those stairs, about to hit the rail. The color of the rails complement the warm ambiance as well. The angle is choice (except for how it understates the height of the rail- although it doesn’t look to be too tall in the first place). The zoom is super smooth throughout and the rider’s exit is very graceful while the camera slowly comes to a still shot of the warm ground.
First place: Jeremie Infelise – This was the only shot that was on everyone’s top three list. I am partial to any tailwhip shot from above because of the way the bike looks spinning around under the rider- almost a point-of-view angle. Jeremie chose the most difficult way to film this trick- by climbing a tree- and it definitely paid off. Much like in the second place clip, the vantage point might make the rail look a bit shorter, but let’s be real for a minute- Jared Swafford is like 7 foot-a-million so any rail is baby to him. The shot opens with just a still shot, tree limbs in view, with no rider in sight. You can’t even see the rail yet. Much drama. Then here comes Jared, with a smooth track, hopping onto the rail. As soon as he’s on the rail there are no longer any obstructing tree limbs in the shot- just rider and obstacle (the angle further isolates this relationship- there is nothing else in frame to be distracted by. He launches off the rail and kicks a near-flawless tailwhip (the dynamics of which I previously explained)- all the while the camera zooms ever-so-slightly, keeping rider almost perfectly framed in a clearing of branches. He lands, obviously not directly to pedals (we aren’t judging the trick, remember that) but here’s the kicker- you can’t see him fix his footing because of the branches in our line-of-sight. Either Jeremie ingeniously foresaw this situation or it happened serendipitously… It doesn’t matter. It worked perfectly. Jared rolls out of frame and the camera swiftly tilts and zooms to the ground, the sure sign of a successful clip.
Look out for the next contest in the coming weeks.
Posted in Art, BMX, Contest, Gear, Tech, Video
Tagged 7d, Anthony Loconte, Canon, contest, Dylan Thompson, Eddie Olschansky, Filming, Glidecam, Jacob Hope, Jake Bohrer, Jared Swafford, Jeremie Infelise, Justin Browne, Kordel Caro, Long Lens, Matt Lough, Mike Gray, Morgan Wade, Push It A Stop, Sony, Video, VX2100
Presented by Leica, this series will follow four skateboarders/artists while they go about their craft. Arto Saari has long been my favorite skater and watching his photography career flourish is pure inspiration.
“I tend to take it pretty far sometimes to get what I need to get- whether it be a trick or getting a photo. It definitely goes hand-in-hand.“