Tag Archives: Pocket Wizards

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.

Photo of the Week: Brendan Mulrooney

Paul Horan-Euro (1 of 1) 640

I was immediately drawn to the composition of this photo, with the strong verticals and power lines forming a sort of arch around the rider, almost sprouting from the van in the corner. The pale blue sky complements the pale yellow barrier that frames the action and does a good job of attracting attention.

“This photo was shot during a 10 day trip from Philly to New Orleans, Paul Horan and I took back in July. We found this spot thanks to some vague directions from Steve Crandall that Paul was able to decipher. It ended up being a bit harder to ride than we thought it would be but Paul still managed to pop some nice euros out of it. I used one flash to the right hand side of the photo, up high on a light stand, to try and highlight Paul and separate him a bit from the background. When I went to get in position for the photo I almost laid in dog poop which would have been a total bummer and I probably wouldn’t have shot the photo after that. Thank god it didn’t go down like that.

Shot with:

Nikon D5000

Tamron 28-70mm f2.8 @ 40mm

F/11 @ 1/250

ISO 200

SB 800 flash triggered with Pocket Wizard Plus X”

Brendan’s photos.

Paul’s riding.

Push It A Stop Flickr group.

Desktop Wallpaper: Raul Ruiz by Chris Mortenson


During my recent stay in Los Angeles, I linked up with Push It A Stop contributor Chris Mortenson and suggested that we make a photo walkthrough. Within minutes, a shoot with Raul Ruiz was organized and we found ourselves in Glendale, CA a couple days later. The resulting photo can be your new desktop wallpaper by choosing your monitor resolution from the list below-


Here is how the photo was made-

Photo of the Week: Josh McElwee

mulville by mcelwee

“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.

Tech info:

Canon 5D MK II
70-200 f/4
Paul Buff Einstein Strobes (2)
Alien Bee 800
Vagabond Mini Lithium Batteries (3)
Pocket Wizards
Light stands”

See more of Josh’s work here.

See Mark’s riding here.

Join the Flickr group.

Photo of the Week: Brendan Mulrooney

Paul Horan wallride

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 D3100

Nikon 24-70 lens

1/200 @ f/6.3

ISO 800

1 Nikon SB-800 to the left (triggered by pocket wizard)

1 Nikon SB-24 to the right (triggered by pocket wizard)”

Check out more of Brendan’s work here.

See Paul’s riding here.

Join the Flickr group for a chance to be next week’s photo.

Desktop Wallpaper – James Harvey by Josh McElwee


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.

Photo of the Week: Spenser Lee


“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”

Check out more of Spenser’s work here. See more of Joey’s riding here.

Join the Flickr group and keep your megapixels primed.