“This slab of cement is located in the Indian River along US Route 1 in Titusville, Florida. Mark noticed it while driving into town one day, and we decided that it was great location for a bunnyhop barspin photo.
We arrived around 3:30 in the afternoon, so the Florida sun was in full effect. Since we were in the water, my setup options weren’t exactly ideal for getting the strobes in super close to Mark, which is my first line of defense when trying to freeze action during the middle of the day. The first light that I set up was an Einstein on half-power (320 w/s) on the cement slab parallel to the one Mark is riding. Although I placed it in a rim/kicker light position, it serves as the main light in this case by both lighting the camera-right side of his face, and freezing his spokes (to a degree). The atypical positioning was done in an attempt to get the light a little more off-axis and create some depth, and avoid having flat-looking light.
I placed two more strobes in the water about 15-20 feet from the slab. The large distance is due to the depth of the river, although I might have been able to get away with putting them in closer, I wouldn’t trust having normal light stands in water more than a few inches (a C-stand would be a perfectly safe solution, though). To compensate for the distance, I used an Alien Bee 800 at full power (320 w/s) on a small stand, and another Einstein at half-power on a larger stand. This gave me a reasonably large amount of light to kick some fill into Mark’s face and the front of his bike.
Both the pair of strobes and the single strobe metered at f/11. I ended up shooting a third of a stop under at f/13, just to try and get the sky a tiny bit darker, knowing that I could bring back detail from the flash portion of the exposure in post without much of a hassle. I originally envisioned the photo with Mark in the left side of the frame, but it just wasn’t working out, so I ended up switching the composition completely about halfway through shooting. Mark was nice enough to fire out a whole bunch of these so that I could get the framing and timing just right.
Canon 5D MK II
Paul Buff Einstein Strobes (2)
Alien Bee 800
Vagabond Mini Lithium Batteries (3)
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I chose this photo mostly because of the precise composition, with the vertical columns pretty much exactly vertical and the amount of geometry in the frame. The vents that he is wallriding over mimic the lights on the inside of the building almost perfectly and the palm tree is a great balance for the edge of the car on the right side of the frame. The riders blue bike sticks out amazingly as it is the only object in the photo of that color.
“I shot this photo of Paul Horan in Daytona Beach, FL while on a spring break trip we took a few weeks back. I knew exactly how I wanted to shoot this when we pulled up to it but in order to get back far enough to frame the shot how I wanted I had to go down a hill a bit which then put a big ass hedge right in my way. I was getting all pissed off because I didn’t have my tripod or any type of ladder so my friend actually volunteered to be a human step stool. I wasn’t about to break my home boys back so I just stood my bike and framed it the best I could. It was an amazing trip and I was so happy with the way this one turned out.
Nikon 24-70 lens
1/200 @ f/6.3
1 Nikon SB-800 to the left (triggered by pocket wizard)
1 Nikon SB-24 to the right (triggered by pocket wizard)”
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I linked up with Josh McElwee during Texas Toast and suggested that we film a behind-the-shot feature for a desktop wallpaper. We agreed that an appropriate location would be the Five Hip ditch and that his friend James Harvey would be a perfect candidate to get the photo.
Josh has a very impressive portfolio that showcases his ample understanding of lighting. He also seems to have the optimal amount of obsessive-compulsive disorder that any photographer should have. It’s worth mentioning that this shoot was a bit rushed, with the NORA Cup party happening less than two hours after we got on location.
Download the wallpaper here:
How the photo was made:
See a full list of the gear and accessories that Josh uses in his bag check.
Posted in BMX, Gear, Photo, Tech
Tagged ATX, Canon, Einsteins, Five Hip, James Harvey, Josh McElwee, Paul C. Buff, Pocket Wizards
“Shapes! Colors! Lines! Patterns!” – My brain when I first saw this photo. Combine that with an amazingly framed, expertly composed trick (with great lighting too) and you have the photo of the week. I think that the orange of his hat placed against the blue sky (and the reflection of the blue sky in all those windows) really does wonders for this photograph. If I were to make a list of my favorite photos of the week since we started doing this segment, this photo would be very close to the top of that list.
“This photo is of Jose Manuel Torres doing a hop over double peg to back over in Brussels, Belgium. We shot this on our recent Europe trip that me, him and another friend took late last year. Joey did this first thing in the morning on our second day or so. I tried to keep my gear pretty simple for the trip because I was the only one with a camera and had to cover filming and shooting duties. So I shot this using my Canon 7D, two Neewer speedlites and Pocket Wizards. The alley was pretty dark so bumping up my ISO and only using two flashes worked out totally fine. After he landed it and we got the photo I had to switch my setup to film a fisheye angle with the same camera. So thank you Joey for being willing to do this twice!
ISO 640 f/11 1/250th”
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I was immediately drawn to the colors of this photo- the way the red frame plays off the blue sky. I also really like the green in those plants. The rider is nicely framed between the two trees and the brick triangles in the wedge point to the action. The timing is pretty great for a downside whip. The sun to the rider’s back creates a beautiful highlight and the balance with the flash on the front of the rider is nearly perfect.
“This photo of Neal Richardson was shot in Loomis, CA at a small skate plaza. I originally planned on shooting a bar on this wedge and it just didnt work the way I wanted it to. Neal then suggested a downside whip and I was all for it. After moving to the opposite side of the skatepark I realized that the sun was extremely harsh on the bank and Neal’s entire face and body was shadowed from the sun at his back. so I grabbed a Qflash and set it to full power and had my friend hold it right underneath Neal just out of frame to fill the shadow on his face and chest without lighting the already bright wedge. This photo was shot using a Nikon D3 paired with a Nikon 105mm F2 DC lens. My settings were 1/250th @ F9 with a Quantum wirelessly triggered by a Pocket Wizard.”
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