The colors, the composition and the shapes in this photograph make this the photo of the week.
“James has a one-track brain, he’s either completely engaged or miles away in his own head. Unfortunately he’s spent the last three summers trying to catch up on credits in summer school. This summer day at Capitol Hill high school was different though. James showed up to get work done and double pegged down this hubba twice, showing his rare attention to detail and his obvious love for grinding shit. This high school in OKC’s Capitol Hill district was built in 1928. This hubba (along with the wallride on the opposite side) are recent additions to the other spots in this ancient school.
Shot f5.6 @ 1/500th onto Kodak Ektar 100 iso film with a Hasselblad 500c (80mm lens) then developed by Bedford Photo in OKC and scanned in on my canoscan 9000f film scanner. I don’t really edit my film scans more than removing dust and adjusting the exposure for digital presentation. Lately I’ve been shooting more color since my college darkroom is closed over the summer, Kodak has been my favorite color film for a while now. My favorite part about taking this photo was hiding the designated filmer (Manny) directly to the left of the frame on one of the top steps. I attempt to make truthful images and don’t photoshop out filmers or any other distractions. Spending time moving around and composing the right image before I press the shutter makes me much happier in the end.”
Check out more of Matt’s work here.
See more of James’ riding here.
Join the Flickr group and enter the Fisheye Contest.
I really like the framing of this shot combined with the color palette. There are a lot of shapes and textures in this environment but the rider is framed so nicely in a small area that would otherwise stick out as a blank space.
“A few of us traveled up to a new park in Cardiff… Rampworld. After a good session ridin, myself and James decided to shoot some pictures. James Jones is amazing to shoot pictures with cos he is an animal on a bike! This shot came about as I had just set my flashes up and I hadn’t intended this angle, it was a test shot, to see how the lighting worked. I was really happy with how it turned out once I saw it and it looked really clean. My flash set up was 2 far left on 1/2 power and 2 right and behind on 1/4 power, shot with a Canon 60d with a 10-22 lens. Rampworld is awesome to shoot pictures in as it’s so new and clean, it’s also a damn fun park to ride.”
Check out more of Pj’s work here.
See more of James‘ wild riding in this edit.
Join the Flickr group and enter the Fisheye Contest.
2011? What the fuck? Bear with me here. It’s Jeff Martin‘s birthday and it’s probably no coincidence that this throwback popped up in my Vimeo feed. Although I find it hard to believe, there are easily one or two people in this world who aren’t a fan of Martin’s riding. How can this be? Some people might have something against precision rail tricks or a style as relaxed as it is buttery. Some people might not like the way he fires out huge gaps while also lacing locked-in crooked grinds in the same video parts (the way he powers though the kinked crook @ 2:38 is second-to-none). Others may have a hard time comprehending that although you may not hear from him for months on end, any time that Jeff Martin footage is made public it makes a huge splash. To me, his style embodies the East Coast and companies like Skavenger recognize that. The only thing I don’t like about Martin is that I hear that Naughty by Nature track in my head anytime I see him ride (and frankly, I can deal with that).
I may have met him at some point earlier in the years but a Sunday in May 2010 is the time I won’t soon forget meeting Jeff Martin. My memories of those days are quite blurred but I think it unfolded as such: Adam had some of the Peg Leg guys from New England in town staying at his place for the weekend and it had either rained or plans fell through but we couldn’t link up to ride until Sunday afternoon. It was my first time meeting Devin Feil and he didn’t have dreadlocks. Jeff was smoking a Marlboro Red (I just took a smoke break to gather my thoughts) and was mumblingly quiet upon introduction. It appeared that an infant had gone to town with colored markers on his arms and I think he had diamond (looking?) studs in his ears.
We sat at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza and Jeff smoked at least three cigarettes in a 30-minute period. He calmly grabbed his bike and placed himself at the top of the renowned gap to rail while Devin got the video camera from his bag and put on the fisheye. I inquired as to what was about to go down.
“Gap to tires”
What!? I asked Jeff if it was cool if I shot it and he had no problems and lit another cigarette as I set up my flashes. From what I remember, he didn’t really warm up with a gap to pegs and went straight for gold. He did manage to snag (albeit on accident) the NBD gap to feeble on his way, which he didn’t seem to care much about. In a short number of tries, sure enough he gapped the three stairs and flat and landed perfectly with both tires and rode two bike lengths across the mellow rail of average diameter. I think Mastroni manned the second angle shot.
After receiving daps and praises from everyone witnessing (including a pioneer of the spot, Edwin himself) he sat down with an idle smile, lit another Red and announced that he was finally ready to head back to Connecticut.
Since that day, Jeff Martin has always stood out in my mind as an incredible bike rider whose laid-back attitude and humble personality add to his illustrious persona. Following him on Instagram or checking out his portfolio, you’ll see that he’s also a very talented artist with an obvious skill for translating emotions into visuals. I’m looking forward to seeing any new footage from him- just as we all are. Happy Birthday Jeff!
Posted in BMX
Tagged Jeff Martin
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!
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.
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 Wemmer, 2002
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).