Tag Archives: Josh McElwee

RideBMX “One Moment in BMX” Video

Late last year Ride went to their contributors with the idea of shooting photos at a specific time to showcase just how much BMX is going on around the world at any given time. November 23rd at 1pm PST was go time and teams of riders, photographers and filmers from California to Spain all converged on that One Moment to collectively create something special. The article came out awesome and this video does well to show the anticipation, the build up and the payoff of one extraordinary moment in BMX.

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

Photo Of The Week: Josh McElwee

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“I shot this at the end of April 2014 in Cocoa, Florida. This was taken just after 10 A.M. so the sun was slightly less difficult to deal with, much to my relief. The setup was pretty simple, two lights were used. The key light is an Einstein 640 with a 45 degree reflector at camera left and is slightly hidden by the left edge of the tree. I had it on a stand probably eight feet high and aimed up a reasonable amount in order to concentrate the light on the upper portion of the wall where James is hitting. The backlight is another Einstein with the same reflector about ten feet out of the frame at camera right. In order to avoid the dreaded double-shadow on the wall caused by using multiple lights, I placed the light in a doorway and feathered it slightly away from the wall. This gets the light slightly more off-axis and still gives a good highlight on James.

Tech info: Canon 5D MKII with 50mm f/1.8. 1/200 @ f/10, ISO 100.” – Josh McElwee

ART BMX Webzine Issue #7

ART BMX web#7 contenu

As always, this issue of ART BMX is filled with foreign words and great photographs. Check out the photo on page 63- definitely one of the most spectacular flatland photos I’ve ever seen but also one of my favorite riding photos ever (shot by Christian Vanhanja). Also on that note, our good friend Josh McElwee has a photo piece starting on page 142.

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.

Desktop Wallpaper – James Harvey by Josh McElwee

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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:
2880×1800
2048×1536
1920×1200

How the photo was made:

See a full list of the gear and accessories that Josh uses in his bag check.

Josh McElwee Bag Check

JoshMcElwee.com

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Main bag contains the following:

Canon 5D MK II
Canon 15 f/2.8
Canon 50 f1.8
Canon 70-200 f/4
Sekonic L-358 Incident Meter
Four (4) Pocket Wizard transceivers w/ corresponding sync cords for each flash
Einstein 640 watt second strobe w/ 8.5 in. reflector (45 degrees)
Two Vivitar 285 hot shoe flashes

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In the smaller compartments, the odds and ends are as follows:

Ball bungees
Clothespins
Gaffers tape
Super glue
Velcro
Small gels for hot shoe flashes
Black cinefoil snoot
Extra sync cords
AA batteries
Extra CF card
Lens cloth
Rocket air blower
Battery chargers

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The second bag (black Animal backpack) contains the following:

Two (2) Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Packs

Alien bee 800 (320 watt second) strobe w/8.5 inch reflector

Large sheets of cinefoil put together with gaffers tape. Used to flag excess light when using the reflectors on the strobes.

15 degree honeycomb grid

Lee Gel Pack – I mostly use the color correction gels (CTO, CTB, and fluorescent) in various strengths. There are also sheets of diffusion material and theatrical color gels that I use occasionally.

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