I was immediately drawn to the colors of this photo- the way the red frame plays off the blue sky. I also really like the green in those plants. The rider is nicely framed between the two trees and the brick triangles in the wedge point to the action. The timing is pretty great for a downside whip. The sun to the rider’s back creates a beautiful highlight and the balance with the flash on the front of the rider is nearly perfect.
“This photo of Neal Richardson was shot in Loomis, CA at a small skate plaza. I originally planned on shooting a bar on this wedge and it just didnt work the way I wanted it to. Neal then suggested a downside whip and I was all for it. After moving to the opposite side of the skatepark I realized that the sun was extremely harsh on the bank and Neal’s entire face and body was shadowed from the sun at his back. so I grabbed a Qflash and set it to full power and had my friend hold it right underneath Neal just out of frame to fill the shadow on his face and chest without lighting the already bright wedge. This photo was shot using a Nikon D3 paired with a Nikon 105mm F2 DC lens. My settings were 1/250th @ F9 with a Quantum wirelessly triggered by a Pocket Wizard.”
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“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
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You don’t need to be a photographer to appreciate the lighting in this photo. The twilight backdrop adds a beautiful, almost fake gradient that fades into the distant mountains. I am certain that this photo wouldn’t be as striking had it been midday. The flash placement inside the bowl corner is optimal to show where the rider is coming from and going to. The composition is super clean- a prime example of the rule of thirds. Not to mention that inverts pretty much cannot get any more inverted than this.
“On the day this photo was shot Tazz and I had made the short drive south from Albuquerque to Los Lunas to help dig at some backyard trails that were in the works. After digging at the rained out trails for a while, everyone was ready to get some riding in so we relocated to the small concrete park nearby.
We had a fun session and toward sunset Tazz and some of the Los Lunas locals were sessioning “the U-bowl”. It’s maybe seven feet deep with super mellow transitions and very little flat bottom. Tazz can shred anything you put in front of him so it didn’t take too long for him to start boosting some tricks out it.
I had recently bought a Nikon 70-200mm and right away I could tell this was a perfect opportunity to put it to use. The deck of U-bowl is elevated by about two feet from the rest of the park. This gave me the ability to get a lower angle,hide my light source in the middle of the frame and also put Tazz above the trees in the background. I put a Sunpak 522 and a Sunpak 120j mounted next to each other on a light stand in the flat bottom. The flash were set at 1/4 power and pointed up toward Tazz from underneath. There was also a Quantum Q-flash set to quarter 1/4 power on the deck to just out of the frame about four feet up. My D300 was set to f/4.8 and a shutter speed of 1/125 to try to catch some of the fading ambient light.
We snapped a few frames of good inverts but Tazz wasn’t satisfied. He says that the best way to get a clicked invert is shirtless so that you don’t catch your bars on it. So.. despite it being late January he took the shirt off and buzzed his tire on his bare shoulder a few times ’til we got one he was content with. That’s the sort of thing that makes Tazz my favorite dude shoot with-he’s always super stoked to ride and down put in a good time for a clip or photo, whether he’s in front of the lens or, much of the time behind it as well. Long live the juke life!”
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