Category Archives: Podcast

New Podcast

Travis Mortz interview from last year

Kevin Conners interview from last year

Notes:

We start by talking about my hard drive that crashed last year and what we do as insurance against events like that.

Computer Doctors – recovered almost 90% of my dying LaCie hard drive

I’ve done some reading about formatting memory cards and it seems to be split pretty evenly between people saying that cards should be formatted often and people who rarely do. I will continue to keep my “keepers” on the card itself, deleting the nonsense one-at-a-time without formatting the entire thing, and see how it goes. I’ll keep you updated.

Backblaze – the data backup service I use now

@midschool_bmx

Mark Losey – OG BMX photographer

Older podcasts – 1, 2

The video of Juice’s tailwhip on El Toro

Nick Tellez portfolio

juice-el-toro-tellezNick Tellez photo posted by DIG

maxresdefaultThe photo Chris Eiland shot used as the thumbnail for the CULT video (*He was not actually shooting from the roof, he was on top of the lockers right under the roof)

Kevin’s instagram with a lot of the photos he’s talking about

The Fiend instagram that features a lot of Kevin’s work

Travis asks if we think that Instagram is a graveyard for our photos

garrett_rinchon_whip_pulledGarrett Reynolds whip, composed and set up by Kevin, button pressed by JJ Palmere.

(waiting for the scan from Kevin) Kevin’s medium format shot of the same whip, decidedly late and with a crucial flash misfire

tumblr_mjb7v8ieha1s63415o1_1280Jeff Zielinski photo of Ty Morrow from the cover of RideBMX a few years ago (“Behind The Cover” interview with Jeff and Ty about shooting this)

colin_caboverrailColin Varanyak halfcab by Kevin, shot on T-MAX 3200

etnies_vegas_nathan_nollie-switch-hangerNathan Williams nollie opp hanger in Vegas shot by Kevin for Etnies (shouts to Povah and Will Stroud). Two Einstein flashes

Shouts to Matt Closson

fiend_garrettreynolds_5050hardGarrett pegs hard from his Red Bull video

garrett_ender_workijgGarrett’s ender from “Fiending

Chrome Digital in San Diego

“A computer with a lens on it” -Travis

8197624233_6ac16bff46_o-2Travis’ entry into the Broc Raiford hop photo contest back in the day

travis2Shot by Travis with a Graflex Reflex (one of the first SLR cameras made)

Dorothea Lange died exactly 51 years from the day we recorded this podcast

graflex-pola137

graflex-pola134Van Homan and Garrett Polaroids shot by Travis at Texas Toast 2014 (shouts to Galactic Seabass for wearing a banana suit the whole weekend down there)

Camp Woodward.

We miss Props so fucking bad.

We talk a bit about how people represent themselves via interviews or social media versus their real-life personalities. Not very related but an interesting topic.

My Lumedyne Action Pack started working again thanks to a new charger… So before you go replacing or throwing out electronics, try a different charger.

We talk about our film processing/scanning habits

Camera Exposure in San Diego

***Don’t use any film labs that have HDR images hanging on their walls.

Travis explains his disdain for immediately reviewing digital images (see: chimping)

We talk for a while about the tendencies of a typical digital shooter as opposed to a film shooter.

***Focusing using Live Mode is easier/more accurate than looking through the lens, in my experience.

The term used to describe zoom lenses that hold a focus point while zooming is parfocal. Not all zoom lenses are parfocal, some are varifocal. Someone started this list of parfocal zoom lenses. Kevin understands that any lens with internal zooming and without image stabilization is parfocal.

We talk for a minute about mirrorless cameras and how it’s not as gratifying to shoot with them because of the sounds of a mechanical camera.

Travis’ YouTube page

“It’s all about the final image I guess, right?”

TCU TV – Travis Mortz Interview

I began corresponding with Travis through the Push It A Stop Flickr page after noticing his extensive use of film- most notably shooting some riding shots on large format. He let me know that he’d be at Texas Toast with his 4×5. Sure enough I saw him there lugging around the behemoth of a camera, complete with tripod and dark cloth, and a Hasselblad slung around his neck. We spoke and it soon became clear to me that Travis is both a camera fanatic and dedicated film user. He is informed, experienced and well-traveled. Sitting down and discussing all aspects of photography with Travis opened my eyes to some things I hadn’t considered regarding technology and the lack thereof required in the art. He is someone who understands the power of the camera and loves every part of it- from the equipment to the process to the ethereal qualities of a Polaroid of his daughter. I introduce to you the Ansel Adams of BMX, Travis Mortz.

0:30 – How was shooting at Texas Toast with a 4×5 camera?
2:25 – Travis’ shortened life story and first rolls of film
5:18 – When has film failed you?
6:32 – When has digital failed you? (pretty crazy story involving Tony Hawk)
9:50 – Travis’ formal education in photography and the arts
11:58 – Favorite photographs?
12:42 – Crazy story about Dorthea Lange and a Linhof
16:06 – Online portfolio?
17:05 – Your favorite film?
17:45 – Your lighting setup?
19:19 – Travis asks me about my film-use frequency
22:03 – Travis describes his darkroom setup in the mountains
25:04 – What are your film buying habits?
27:02 – “People are scared of film for some reason”
27:28 – You ever been fucked by a lab?
28:56 – Recent camera purchases?
31:59 – “My results will always be different”
32:39 – Favorite developer?
34:02 – Travis’ theory on preservation
35:20 – REMEMBER TO START UP YOUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR
(A great discussion erupts here and some really good points are made.)
40:02 – We go through the gear that Travis brought with him
48:54 – Shooting at Woodward Camp
51:30 – Travis talks about his recent trip to Sweden and how Hasselblad wrote a story about him
54:06 – “My biggest project is documenting my daughter’s life”

TCU TV – Kevin Conners Interview

Kevin does a lot of the legwork for Fiend as well as shooting most of their photos. I had only met him a couple times before conducting this interview and I had no idea that he was so experienced and informed. Needless to say, a lot of important topics are touched and Kevin brought an insightful twist to everything mentioned. He talks about what it’s like to shoot with riders like Garrett Reynolds and what dealing with energy drink companies entails. As a veteran of the industry we commiserate over the decline of print but as active lensmen we discuss the best ways of dealing with this universal shift from paper to pixels. We discuss how (or if) someone could live off of shooting BMX photos alone. Thanks to him, a lot of us may be much more inclined to post our photos directly to Instagram… maybe.

The SoundCloud player is embedded below. Click here to listen on iTunes.

0:24 – Introduction and Kevin’s backstory
12:20 – The formation of Fiend in San Diego
15:28 – Thoughts on San Diego (vs. Los Angeles)
16:42 – Day-to-day operations, website, shooting a roll per week
20:04 – Video work / shooting weddings
20:48 – Valuing both photo and video
22:01 – Putting a price on photographs
23:20 – Thrasher Magazine’s segue into web
26:27 – “Why is everybody doing the same thing?”
27:36 – Can we survive as BMX photographers?
30:08 – “You can’t just do one thing as a photographer anymore”
32:52 – We check out Kevin’s backpack
41:39 – Full-frame vs. crop sensor
44:12 – Ty is outed as an exceptional photographer
45:53 – What film do you load up in your Bronica? (and the pains of shooting film)
48:24 – Shouts to skate photogs Ben Clemens and Brian Gaberman
50:30 – Sleeping in the field
51:52 – When riders pull it first try
53:20 – Two strobes is all you need
55:05 – Old school strobe sequences
57:04 – Shooting a bar crank bar and making sure Red Bull includes both barspins
1:00:01 – Having to shoot vs. wanting to shoot
1:01:26 – Kevin’s digital workflow
1:04:52 – Shouts to Josh McElwee
1:05:16 – “Whatever you take, you better be willing to put back into it”
1:07:12 – You can’t put extra pressure on the rider
1:07:38 – Shooting barspins
1:09:49 – Weekends
1:11:30 – Kevin confesses to having applied to be a Lyft driver
1:12:49 – The longevity of a photograph and Instagram
1:15:30 – Separating between inspiration and imitation
1:16:03 – Instagram is about convenience
1:19:48 – Shouts to Alex Donnachie and Fred Murray
1:20:59 – “What’s the oldest photo you’re sitting on?”

TCU TV – The Filmer’s Podcast

We gathered three of today’s most prolific filmers (Tony Ennis (Deadline), John Hicks (Onsomeshit) and Christian Rigal (Markit)) to spark productivity and inspire creativity in anyone looking to advance their camera-using skills. We talk experience, travel, music, gear and more… Tune in!

If you’ve got any questions, just leave them in the comments. Listen to this on SoundCloud below and on iTunes here.

0:34 – “Still Searchin'” (End Search sequel that never happened)
1:40 – Christian talks about a sequel to Markit Zero and his new RED camera
5:47 – Hicks speaks
7:13 – Christian talks about dividing time between camera and bike and his newfound passion and respect for still photography
11:46 – Tony talks about his current projects and the Garrett Reynolds Red Bull video
14:34 – “Did you ever think you’d be in the position you’re in now as filmers?”
18:38 – Tony talks about his riding career and what gets him psyched and filming Deadline with dying cameras
22:31 – The importance of music in editing
28:47 – We talk about the diminishing amount of physical DVD’s being made
30:14 – Christian talks about filming with Tate Roskelley in 2009 and a video of a 14 year old Chad Kerley
34:14 – We talk about how Connor Lodes shot a cover of RideBMX and how Christian trusts him and Chad to film when he’s riding
37:19 – Everyone talks about their first cameras
41:18 – Reader questions (fish or long? any formal education in video? craziest thing that’s ever happened while out filming? (funny story about Mike Jonas) how does it feel when you eat shit filming? How long do you spend editing any given video? favorite editing software?
50:29 – Do you do video work outside of BMX?
52:40 – Tony alludes to a second Deadline video
53:57 – Export settings
57:12 – Rollerblades / filming boards
58:37 – Post production habits
1:01:46 – Preferred shutter speed?
1:04:32 – Rokinon / Pro Optic / off-brand fisheyes are sharpest at f/8
1:05:24 – Getting shit stolen
1:07:57 – Getting insurance for your gear
1:09:18 – Tripods
1:13:09 – Left eye or right eye?
1:14:38 – Christian’s bag(s)
1:18:30 – Tony’s bag
1:21:38 – Hicks’ gear
1:22:44 – Advice to beginners

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!

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