Tag Archives: Push It A Stop
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?
“The idea for this photo originally came during filming for the odd couple video contest. Hollywood told Sponge and I about an idea he had given to one of the other dudes on another team and we kinda left it at that. Then this past Sunday we noticed the setup while riding and talked about how it really didn’t look like it would be too bad to get done. I don’t have two front pegs so this one was all Sponge’s.
Shooting the photo was pretty fun too. I had to stand against a wall on the deck of a quarter that was only about 6 inches, then hang onto some nails that we’re sticking out of a board bolted to the wall. My girlfriend Victoria held the flash for me and I snapped a couple test shots as Sponge attempted the trick. We moved around a bit until I was satisfied with the angle and lighting. The second to last photo was good enough but he hadn’t pulled the trick yet so I tried another angle on the next attempt and it turned out to be a winner. He pulled the trick and the photo came out perfectly. I don’t normally like to shoot photos where you can’t fully see the riders face but this was one of those occasions where the angle to see his face wouldn’t have done any justice to how awesome the trick and setup really are.
Rokinon 7.5mm @ F/3.5
Lumopro Flash with Cactus Receiver
Flash Set At 1/64
SS – 1/100
WB – Flash
ISO – 800”
We filmed this clip the other day for Flip Clips (volume eight coming soon) and on playback I noticed its potential as a noteworthy photograph. After driving him to a successful job interview, Austin and I jammed to The Fall of Troy while heading back toward ASU campus to ride this fun curved ledge spot.
I decided I’d go all-in and use a classic three light setup. My key light (Lumedyne 200w Action Pack) was to the left and in front of the ledge @ f/11. My rim light (Paul C Buff Einstein 640 w/ 11″ reflector) was behind and to the right of the ledge, metered @ f/16. For fill I used a Canon 580EXII set @ 1/4 power to yield f/8, filling in any shadows created by the position of the key and rim.
At first I was thinking I’d shoot 50mm @ f/8 ISO 100 (my go-to these days) but upon further inspection, the 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm became the one. Only after setting up all the lights did I realize that the ambient was giving f/8 @ 1/250- the Arizona sun is much brighter than what I’m used to. In order to cut down on any motion blur that might arise from shooting at f/8, I decided that f/11 would be a better choice. I moved every flash in a little bit and re-metered and somewhat incredibly each one gave a perfect reading.
I gave Austin the nod and he started locking in the opp hanger right off the bat. It took him probably six or seven tries to lace this one (this is the make) from end to end with amazing balance at a low and locked-in speed. We probably should have filmed this one as well, as it was much cleaner than the one we filmed on Sunday, but such is life.
A few on-the-spot corrections: The initial choice of f/8. I should have realized that the sun was beaming (even though we were under shade, the background was super bright) or just have metered in-camera before deciding on that. It only took a couple minutes to move the lights around for more power, but sometimes those couple minutes are the difference between getting the shot and getting the boot. At first, the rim light was casting a shadow of that second post onto the ledge. I moved it a couple feet to camera left and got the shadow to land in front of the ledge. My the fill light was really close to being in-frame and the rim was almost spilling light into the lens but simply moving myself a foot or two to the right and cropping a bit in post solved those issues. And of course, since everything went so incredibly smooth, I realized right after wrapping that I had forgot to switch from JPEG to RAW on my camera, due to shooting a sequence the other night. But knowing that this was going straight to Instagram, I really didn’t care. Life is too good to really care about minimal shit like that. We are both still happy with the results and I hope that you are psyched on this information as well. Thanks for reading, keep shooting!
We met up rather late and rode the spot for a minute before starting to setup for the shot as the light was quickly fading. The dark sky made the photo super dramatic and I love the contrast between that and the gum tire.
Guts is a lowkey technophile who knows how to get the most out of the least equipment. He knows all the tips and tricks to squeeze every stop of light out of a Sunpak 555 flash and he knows how they work inside and out. To spread coverage across this huge (huuuuuge) ditch spot, he tripled up the 555’s (thus creating a 1665) and pointed each in a different general direction. It’s nothing short of amazing that he got light from corner to corner in the frame.
Here’s how it all went down-
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-
Kyle Lee by Shawn Duffield
Benjamin Martinot by Kevin Proust
Thanks to everyone who entered- all of your shots were damn good. In the end we chose the shots with the smoothest tracking and zoom, the more striking light, use of unconventional angles and all-around cleanliness. The gear used was not taken into consideration, nor was the trick being executed. Remember that cameras don’t film people, people film people. You can make a beautiful shot with cameras of any price range and a little bit of work.
Honorable mention #1: Anthony Loconte – A very smooth tracking glidecam shot with a gorgeous blue sky, a pleasing depth-of-field and bonus points for the use of a graduated ND filter.
Honorable mention #2: Eddie Olschansky – Even though there’s another filmer in the shot, that shadow cast on the wall is super powerful and the overall lighting is very dramatic. I guess I never said there was no slow-motion or editing allowed, so I’ll allow it. Bonus points for hand-zooming with the 24-70mm f/2.8L.
Honorable mention #3: Jacob Hope – I find it hard to believe but Jacob says this was filmed on his first day using the GL2. I’m usually not a fan of foreground objects but it works for this skatepark shot of Morgan Wade. Bonus points for Oasis playing in the background.
Third place: Dylan Thompson – Despite the not-quiet skateboard wheels, this shot uses zoom nicely- going from wide to open and give context, zooming slowly on the rising action and isolating the trick and the rider towards the end. The rolling dynamics are beautiful- the way the rider is moving opposite the camera in the beginning adds an illusion of high speed. Then as soon as the rider’s direction switches, the shot becomes super fluid with the action moving in sync with the camera, making the nose manual look so much more majestic. The lighting throughout the shot is also on point.
Second place: Justin Browne – Nazaz said it best- “I hate that trick but the way it was filmed made me like it.” Personally my favorite part of the clip is how the rider emerges from shadow into golden light as soon as he hops up those stairs, about to hit the rail. The color of the rails complement the warm ambiance as well. The angle is choice (except for how it understates the height of the rail- although it doesn’t look to be too tall in the first place). The zoom is super smooth throughout and the rider’s exit is very graceful while the camera slowly comes to a still shot of the warm ground.
First place: Jeremie Infelise – This was the only shot that was on everyone’s top three list. I am partial to any tailwhip shot from above because of the way the bike looks spinning around under the rider- almost a point-of-view angle. Jeremie chose the most difficult way to film this trick- by climbing a tree- and it definitely paid off. Much like in the second place clip, the vantage point might make the rail look a bit shorter, but let’s be real for a minute- Jared Swafford is like 7 foot-a-million so any rail is baby to him. The shot opens with just a still shot, tree limbs in view, with no rider in sight. You can’t even see the rail yet. Much drama. Then here comes Jared, with a smooth track, hopping onto the rail. As soon as he’s on the rail there are no longer any obstructing tree limbs in the shot- just rider and obstacle (the angle further isolates this relationship- there is nothing else in frame to be distracted by. He launches off the rail and kicks a near-flawless tailwhip (the dynamics of which I previously explained)- all the while the camera zooms ever-so-slightly, keeping rider almost perfectly framed in a clearing of branches. He lands, obviously not directly to pedals (we aren’t judging the trick, remember that) but here’s the kicker- you can’t see him fix his footing because of the branches in our line-of-sight. Either Jeremie ingeniously foresaw this situation or it happened serendipitously… It doesn’t matter. It worked perfectly. Jared rolls out of frame and the camera swiftly tilts and zooms to the ground, the sure sign of a successful clip.
Look out for the next contest in the coming weeks.
The usual Flip Clips plus a little extra time and effort. The usual McCarren skatepark clips plus some Europe and Cali footage. The usual ragtag cast and crew plus Blackman and Hamilton and a cameo by Regis Philbin. The usual soundtrack that no one seems to like plus TV samples that may or may not make sense. Enjoy, enjoy!