Category Archives: Tech

Photo of the Week: Zach Honahan

potw

Jay Dalton in Poughkeepsie, New York by Zach Honahan

“While sitting down on my computer editing wedding images, I received a spontaneous phone call from my good friend Jay Dalton who was in the area,who just left doing a Ramp show performance in a elementary school. I quickly grab my light stands and camera bag, rushing out of my front door toward my car. I drove an hour to Poughkeepsie, New York where I would soon meet Jay and two other homies. An hour later, I arrive at Waryas skatepark seeing Jay and his two other friends looking quite winded from the session. I approached Jay asking to shoot a boosted T-Bog air and hopefully angle it enough where I could get him in the sky. For the photo, I used an Alienbee B800 sitting on a 10ft light stand, at around 8 1/2 foot tall. The Alienbee was angled toward Jay at around a 10-20 degree angle. The Alienbee was fired at full power, to the left of the frame, around 12-13 feet away from Jay. As far as a secondary light, there was a Nikon SB910 shooting at 1/16th as just a little filler toward the back of the frame sitting on another light stand.”

Nikon D3100, 40mm 2.8 Macro (I left my 50mm at home, so I pulled out this lens from my camera bag), Alienbee B800, Nikon SB910, two 10ft lightstands.”

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Photo of the Week: Dennis Bunn

gannbybunn

Gannwear in Northeast Philadelphia by Dennis Bunn.

“That day me and the Stinkpit dudes heard about a couple spots up in northeast philadelphia, about a 45 min drive from where we are. The day started off pretty awesome, everyone got a photo/clip at the first spot we went to. After the first school we set out to look for another spot we had heard about and stumbled upon this school, as soon as we saw this set up we knew it was the perfect set up for Gann. i set up my gear, i decided to go with a 3 flash set up, 2 doubled up to my right on one stand and one by itself to my left against the wall. ofcourse after i set up and choose my angle, my friend nick wants to get right in closeto film with the fisheye, normally i don’t care too much but this time i wanted this photo to be perfect so i asked him to find another angle, and he did, he still managed to be in the shot but i decided i can deal with where he is because you can only see his legs, so we got started. Gann took one ran up and then banged it out, but in typical Gann fashion he was not happy with the way he did it(perfect) but that worked for me since the sun was bright and my panning was terrible. i moved the flashes in tighter, he went again and boom we got a photo we were both really happy with, then we ended the day with a few beers and some mexican food. Gann is the best dude to shoot with because he really cares about the photo, he will give me all the time i need till i feel comfortable taking the shot.

1 AD 360 at 1/4th to my left parralell with the wall. 2 yongnuo 560’s to my right over the fence at 1/2 zoomed in to 70. cactus v5’s

Nikon D610, 85mm f/1.4″

Photo of the Week: Ryan Ogawa

reagan riley by ogawa

Reagan Riley, toboggan

“I had been wanting to shoot something with Regan for some time. After a few failed attempts to shoot together, due mostly to my family/work schedule I made plans to meet with him at a ditch I had seen him post on his Instagram. This thing is not easy to ride at all, but its home turf for Regan plus it defiantly helps that the dude can shred. After several failed angles and waiting on the sun to get lower than f16 I finally found the angle I wanted and here is one of the few fun shots we got that day. Hope you enjoy!!

Shot specs were:
Canon 5DC
@f7.1
1/500sec
ISO 100

Sunpak 622 to camera left @ 1/2 power with Pocketwizard PLUS II Receiver
Sunpak 555 to camera right @ 1/2 power with Pocketwizard PLUS II Receiver
Both triggered by Pocketwizard Flex TT5 so since Regan was in the upper section I can boost up the shutter to 1/500th sec.”

Join the Flickr group (we just hit 5,000 photos!) and you could be next week’s spotlight!

Vince Perraud Interview

French photographer Vince Perraud was in town a few weeks ago working on some personal projects and dedicated a couple hours of his time (on his birthday, no less) to sit down and talk with us. When I say “us”, there were so many people that wanted to be a part of this interview while there are only so many seats and microphones. Oddly enough, I was the only one who hadn’t met Vince before and therefore had the least business being in there. We subbed between myself, Chris Mortenson and Jeremy Pavia while Gutstains held it down and Reed Stark was there to share some stories from a rider’s perspective. Vince was a bit nervous and unsure how everything would go having a less-than-perfect grasp of the English language so we implemented some brain softener and upheld a more relaxed environment (and an untraditional format) to make sure everything would go as smoothly as possible.

1:30 – The challenge of breaking into a new scene
2:29 – Reed’s introduction
3:00 – Starting in BMX
4:35 – Growing up in a small town in France
5:14 – Mortenson pops bottles
5:45 – From bikes to cameras via knee injury
7:11 – Inspired by Manu Sanz
8:41 – Dealing with shotty equipment
11:51 – THE LIGHT
13:14 – Having an Instagram photo on the cover of RideUK
14:13 – First cover (Soul Magazine)
15:30 – His latest cover (RideBMX)
18:39 – Vince’s take on the death of print
20:09 – The challenge of being French
25:45 – Mortenson steps in, talks about nude women
28:04 – Having an assistant then not having an assistant
29:23 – Shooting without flashes
32:05 – Shooting events (Simple Session)
33:18 – Moving on from BMX
35:54 – The many variables in photography
40:14 – More about the Instagram photo that made the cover of RideUK
42:04 – “Do you do any video work?”
42:20 – Guts’ favorite Vince photo
44:08 – The infamous fisheye pool photo on the cover of Soul
48:36 – Waiting to put out photos instead of posting online
53:42 – Pavia steps in
55:08 – “What drives you?”
56:41 – “What is your end goal in photography?”
58:27 – “Have you “made it”?”
1:00:45 – One camera and lens setup for life, what would you choose?
1:02:56 – “How much value do you place on social media?”
1:04:53 – “BMX is so small”
1:06:24 – Three pieces of advice for the emerging amateur photographer
1:08:30 – Where do you see photography going?

Push It A Stop Talk #2

We conducted the second round of the Push It A Stop photographer’s discussion last week while Tristan “Gutstains” Afre was in town, to address the questions we received from the first round and to explore some more camera-oriented situations that transpire while shooting BMX. We also go through our camera bags and give a quick rundown of the gear we use.

Please leave questions in the comments if you have any!

:42 – Gutstains intro, his #Glux

4:46 – address the questions from viewers (breaking into the scene,

6:37 – shouts to Andy Martinez, Danny Hickerson

7:07 – Seeing other photographers shoot, then seeing those photos in magazines

8:51 – Mysticism in photography

10:13 – “Just be a normal fucking person”

10:24 – Dylan Alvarado’s question (fear of rejection)

10:56 – Coldplay lyrics

12:45 – Progression, critique and the Push It A Stop Flickr group

15:06 – Hudson Naylor’s question (balancing riding and shooting time)

20:18 – Creative process when shooting BMX photos

22:30 – Guts talks about Shawn Mac’s feeble hop over from Holy Fit

26:14 – Having confidence in your settings, doing things right at the spot instead of photoshop

34:13- RIP Paul C. Buff

36:27 – Hypersync

37:23 – Laying in bum piss

39:09 – Test Shots

42:34 – Focusing with LiveView

44:47 – Histograms

46:27 – Shooting RAW

48:24 – Sunpak 555’s

50:00 – Bag Checks

51:00 – Scott’s bag

58:12 – Jeremy’s bag

1:08:00 – Mortensen’s setup

1:10:00 – Guts’ bag

1:19:18 – Shoelaces

1:19:41 – Wrap up/overview

1:21:51 – Last bits of advice

1:24:412 – Don’t give up!

Framework: Steven Hamilton and a Columbus Dumpster

hamilton dumpster to invert

From RideBMX Issue #204

May 23, 2014, Columbus, Ohio

Canon 1DsIII
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 lens @ 70mm
Canon 580EXII flash (zoom @ 35mm (?), 1/2 power)
Paul C. Buff Einstein 640w flash w/ 11″ reflector (probably @ 1/2 power (~1/2000 duration))
Pocket Wizards

1/250 @ f/11, ISO 100

A typical day of shooting with Steven involves picking him up with his bike, skateboard, thermos of coffee and backpack full of tools, hoodie and a TRV900. On this particular day, Shay Lashley and/or John Hughes were tagging along. Steven’s friend Rob met us at the spot- a small ditch in the corner of a vacant apartment complex parking lot. The goal was to film a few clips involving a shopping cart there but upon arrival, an upturned dumpster became the subject of focus. Well-versed in wallrides, Steven sessioned the shit out of the thing before I suggested we shoot a photo. I set up to shoot an x-up wallride with a standard 50mm lens. I put the Einstein to the right, just out of frame, and a Lumedyne 200w Action Pack to the left, sandwiching Steven in between.

ham dumpster 2

I was trying to work with the empty parking lot and lightposts but my composition ended up being pretty tired and boring. On top of that, it was so bright that I had to get my flashes closer to overpower the ambient light and reduce the motion blur. As per usual, Steven suggested I use a fisheye and for once I agreed with him.

ham dumpster 3

The shot definitely became less boring but the motion blur continued to be a problem even after closing down to f/11 from f/9. At this point, Steven was happy with the photo but I was not. In addition to my discontent, my Lumedyne battery died. I replaced it with a much less powerful 580EXII set on 1/2 power (~1/1600 duration). I asked if he could do a different trick and wait until the sun hid behind the clouds so that motion blur would be reduced. I also changed my angle so that he’d be moving toward the camera and not across the frame, effectively diminishing any possible motion blur issues. This is when we got the shot.

hamilton dumpster to invert

The Einstein is just out of frame to the right (you can kinda see the splash of light on the ground from it) about 6′ up and the 580EXII is just out of frame on the left, also 6′ high, simply to freeze his wheels a bit. At 100% you can see that there was still some unavoidable motion blur on his wheels, which were spinning super fast-

ham crop

So the table is looking dialed, à la Joe Rich, but this angle doesn’t convey the distance he was traveling out of the wallride. This one does-

ham dumpster 1

I used some heavy panning to sharpen his lateral movement but I must’ve had the 580 at full power because his front wheel is lit up but a blurry mess-

ham crop 2
Peep the bling tho.

ham dumpster 4 Shot it once natural light for shits and giggles.

TCU TV – The Photographer’s Discussion

A while back, I had the chance to get a few established photographers in the industry together to talk shop. I had a loose list of topics we could hit and Jeremy had a list of his own. We didn’t get to hit nearly as many subjects as we would have liked to, but that’s usually how these things go. I think we did pretty well with the time allotted and we’re hoping that any aspiring lensmen will be enlightened by our discussion.

If there are any specific topics that you’d want us to hit for the next discussion, please leave them in a comment below.

1:09 – Jeremy Pavia introduction
2:47 – Chris Mortenson introduction
4:28 – Josh McElwee introduction
6:25 – Jeremy’s “Through The Lens” column from The Union
9:21 – “Film vs. Digital” (actually we discuss Dean Collins and teaching for a while)
11:22 – We actually start discussing the film versus digital thing
13:26 – Shoutout to the darkroom
18:53 – What’s your favorite f/stop?
21:31 – “I just wanna capture the moment and sometimes the moment is shitty”
23:00 – No more hanging posters
24:11 – “Print vs. Online”
25:08 – Gregory Crewdson
28:48 – Readership
30:16 – Vinyl vs. MP3
30:55 – The Albion
31:55 – Props on VHS
36:04 – Josh’s story
37:45 – DIG/Focal Point
40:57 – A watered-down industry
43:35 – The process of shooting/choosing what gear to carry
46:13 – Getting the shot
49:22 – Fuck barspins.
50:35 – A collaboration between photographer and subject
55:19 – Riders getting hurt while shooting
57:01 – Shoutout to Kiraly
58:34 – RideBMX‘s 1 o’clock photo project
1:04:19 – Let’s talk about gear
1:08:57 – Advances in photo technology
1:12:25 – How to get your photos noticed
1:13:44 – Looking outside of BMX
1:15:43 – Experience
1:17:14 – Final thoughts and comments