Tag Archives: Paul C. Buff

Photo of the Week: Devon Denham


“I shot this photo about a year ago in Bellflower, CA while I was on a shoot for Redline. We were supposed to be at Woodward West shooting with the team while they were filming the annual “Week At Woodward” that happens every year. However, the team decided to venture back to civilization so we could shoot some street photos. I wanted to show Zack the oh-so-famous Bellflower Ditch so we ended up there mid-day.

The photo was pretty simple to setup with three flashes (2x Quantum Flashes 1x Einstein) bunched up to give one solid source of light to bring out Zack. All flashes were set at 1/4 power to prevent motion blur, but there probably wouldn’t be any cause it’s a stall type of trick. Also the flashes were all setting to the left of the frame, right on the edge. It can really help to bring all the flashes in any photo right to the edge to maximize your capability of getting a faster shutter, lower ISO, or smaller f-stop. I apply this to all of my photos. Basically bring all flashes to the edges of your frame but not in the photo. I shot the photo with some mid grade Nikon lens… 18-105mm at 70mm I think. Shot far enough away to get a compressed look from shooting 70mm but I wanted to get the rest of the ditch in the photo too. I really think a photo can make-it-or-break-it from using the rule of thirds so I placed Zack in the right third of the photo. Here’s a lasting thought though, I feel what makes a BMX photo most eye catching is a properly placed rider according to the background. In this photo I had a dark contrast between Zacks lit body and the overpass in the background. I also had a clean back drop for him on the gray wall. Ideally, I don’t like to have objects behind the rider like poles, trees, signs, etc. I always try and find a open spot in the trees for the sky as a back drop or a clean wall. It takes an eye but I can make your rider pop and become easier to see.

Shot on a Nikon D200
ISO 100
F 5,6

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Photo of the Week: Josh McElwee


“I shot this photo of Evan Smedley at Grindlab Skatepark in Camp Hill, PA on a late night in January of this year. Evan is the BMX manager at the park and has the entire place way too dialed. On this night, I noticed that he was getting a lot done on this pocket bowl corner setup. My first instinct was to shoot fisheye from the deck, but I decided against that in order to show the steepness of the transition and the thickness of the pool coping. We shot a handful of other tricks, but as soon as Evan did a toboggan I knew that it was going to look better than anything else we had previously shot.

I shot this with a Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200 f/4, Pocket Wizard Plus IIs, a Paul Buff Einstein strobe, and an Alien Bee 800. The lights came from the left and right, and were pointed at each other. The Einstein is at camera right, just out of frame, and feathered to the left a bit in order to keep Evan evenly lit. The Alien Bee is coming from camera left about 25 feet from the bowl corner, and is powered about a stop down from the main light.”

Check out more of Josh’s work here.

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