Focus On: Matt Hildebrand

Matt Hildebrand xup

My name’s Matt Hildebrand and I’ve been shooting photographs for 6 years now. I started riding my last year of middle school and going into high school I wanted to take electives that related to BMX. My grandma sent me her Pentax K1000 which was the only camera I really shot on for the next four years. My high school teacher gave us the option of whether to shoot film or digital and since I already had my Pentax I went with it. All of my skater friends shot photos and took art classes so I kind of just fell into their group. I went to a pretty well off high school so all of the pretentious kids had expensive digital cameras, the darkroom had a completely different vibe for me. Towards the end of high school all of my older friends had graduated and I would eat lunch and make chemicals with my photo teacher. She sort of made me realize that I should go to college if I had the opportunity. Around that time George Marshall came to Oklahoma to shoot an article for the first issue of The Albion and I got to see him shoot firsthand. Needless to say his work ethic and shooting style inspired me enough to buy a Hasselblad 500c with my graduation money. I’m finishing my second year at OU and working to get a major in graphic design, the university is structured so that graphic design falls under the art school umbrella. I get to take darkroom classes and can check out all sorts of equipment for free. I love both photography and riding because they’re constantly refreshing one another. I never get bored riding with my friends because there’s always an opportunity to get a clip or shoot a photo of something I don’t want to forget. BMX and Skating both have a unique and intriguing subculture which I think is important to document. There’s so much tangible passion in riding for me, whenever I shoot a photo I try and convey those feelings. This is why I feel it’s important for a photographer/filmer to keep pedaling, being on both sides of the lens makes it easier to decide camera angles and timing for me personally. When it comes down to it, the most important thing you can do is help BMX grow into something you can be proud of. Whether you dig trails, wax ledges, film clips, or shoot photos remember it’s all for the same love. (Photo by Luke Mouradian)

 

 
James Anderson Tooth

James Anderson decided to hangover this rail even though the camera died. He really just wanted to do it for his own satisfaction and I offered to shoot a photo. This rail is wobbly and I was surprised with how much of it he managed to slide. As for the angle I wanted him to be coming towards me instead of across the frame to reduce motion blur.

 

 

Final Mikey Curved Rail

Mikey Babbel spent a decent amount of time on this curved rail to hop over. The clip was well worth it and the photo turned out better than I thought it would. I set up the photo so that you could see the entire rail while also giving Mikey room to move about through the frame. My favorite part of this photo are the reflections in the windows and the overall tonal range.

 

 

Caleb Gap To Wall

I got to tag along with Jeremie on a trip to San Francisco last summer and I really benefited from it. I made friends with new riders and shot this photo of Caleb Quanbeck gapping out to wallride at one of millions of Cali school spots. I shot It from the roof with my wide-angle and was nervous about dropping my camera from the impact of the wall. It turned out the shake of the wall I was hanging over helped with my timing and I took it right when he was sinking into the wallride.

 

 

Jabari Winters Hunter

Jabari Winters let us stay at his place one year when Cody Anderson, James, and I were on spring break. When you stay at someone’s house for a trip you get a better impression of who they are then just riding a spot. Jabari is easy going and will spontaneously send himself down some pretty heavy stuff. More than that he’s a very hospitable and helps everyone enjoy themselves. I’m hesitant to shoot photos like this sometimes because I don’t want the photo to turn out posed or make people nervous or act differently because a camera is out. Luckily Jabari didn’t seem to notice I was setting up and I shot this portrait of him in his old back yard.

 

 

Jeremie Infelise ATX Roofdrop

Jeremie Infelise rode off this roof “completely blind”. The twig he had said up to mark where he should ride off at had blown away and he went for it anyway. Sometimes a simple hop looks the best and this was a nice treat after the hell he went through filming a clip around the corner. Both clips are in a James/Jeremie split edit for Delic.

 

 

James Table

James and I ride street together more often then not. It’s hard to tell from his current style that he used to live in the skatepark. When we started riding mostly street he kept up with table’s and can pop one out of anything including this steep bank. The horizontal lines in the architecture helped me compose my photograph and the cheaper quality film my professor gave me for this shot works well together.

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