For this segment that we’ve been doing irregularly for a few months now, we are showcasing the work of one artist within the BMX community once a day for a week. So far it’s only been photographers but hey, that’s just how it is. Your smartphone didn’t come with a case of paintbrushes, did it? (Use the “submit news” button on the top right to show us your work.)
This week we are featuring photos from Texan Rudy Rodriquez. I first saw Rudy’s photos start popping up in the Flickr pool. He obviously had a firm grasp on successful composition and was keen on dramatic lighting. His black and white shots were tonally accurate and his color shots were vivid and lively. So far he’s had four of our Photo of the Week’s and he’ll most likely have many more- it seems he’s always shooting.
Get to know Rudy a bit more with this short bio or simply enjoy his photos for the next seven days.
“I’m Rudy and I’m from Houston TX. I’m 43 years old. I’ve been shooting for five years with cheap equipment, but for some reason seems to be my style. I’ve never owned a legit camera bag, nor light stands & have tape & a nail or two holding these ridiculous cheap tripods together which is disgusting, but for some strange reason gets me hyped because I always find a way to make it work. When I was 10 or 11, I would see this stoner looking dude riding by on a deep blue colored Schwinn with black Skyway mags pedaling doing a wheelie sitting down, smoking a cig on his way to go see his woman. He would always say “Aye, what’s up?” That was probably in 1982 or ’83. I mostly just BMX. Sometimes, skater homies as well. But, if given the opportunity, I would also shoot a thief breaking & entering into my house. I don’t know if I have a favorite photographer. There are so many good ones out there. I have a lot of favorite photos from different photo takers though. When I’m not shooting, I have a couple of homies I jam with in a garage. We like to play very loud guitars & drums and are always in search of the next riff! We’re into rock-n-roll man! And, I try to spend time with family when I can. I’m always in fear that one day this might be my last day to walk the earth or it may be theirs. My setup isn’t much at all… It’s a Canon T3, 2 flashes- a Vivitar 28FD that was given to me & Sunpack 3000 powered by soldier pixels. I’m like that kind of person that is content with jamming on a $99.00 pawn shop guitar. You can still shred on it. I used to go to a Mexican restaurant for a nice meal and large margarita & study the BMX magazine photos looking for where placement of the flashes were, how the angles were shot, what was included in the overall composition and just little things like that. That would be my advice for people who want to shoot BMX photos is look at the BMX magazines and study the photos. They will help you a whole lot.”
There’s no shortage of ditch spots in Texas and when Chuck told us he was taking us to MegaDitch™, I figured it could make for a good photo and Guts was on board to shoot this wallpaper.
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.
Instead of a single photo of the week, we are going to showcase one artist’s work once a day throughout the week. The first up is Dave Raffa– Jersey-raised Rochester resident. If you have seven (or more) pieces of work that you’d like to have featured, submit them to us.
“Last year I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Austin. This was the first of many ditches we got to ride. Brett Tocco managed to flow around this tight ditch like it was a skatepark, and make light work of this icepick.”
“This photo of AJ Carvalho was taken about a few weeks ago. Aj is a pretty chilled soft spoken guy who doesn’t speak much, however his riding speaks very loudly. As of late, I’ve been bringing my ladder with me everywhere I go. It fits perfectly in my car. I like to bringing it along for special shots like this. I never know when I’ll run into the perfect opportunity for a golden shot of someone roastin’ tabes, turndowns, etc.. I’ve seen Aj blast this hip before and knew he would be down to maybe create a little magic. Initially, I wasn’t stoked on this photo till I went back the other night and saw it again. For some reason it works weird that way for me at times where I’ll sit on a photo for some time only to go back and find that the photo wasn’t half bad to begin with. I’m sure there’s other photographers out there as well that, maybe like me, find themselves asking “what did I not see in this photo the first time around that I’m now seeing weeks later?” Haha, I don’t know. But, what I do know is it’s kind of neat when that happens for sure! Thanks Nick.
This photo was a huge hit in the Push It A Stop Flickr pool for obvious reasons. First off- that sunset is gorgeous. Those are the colors that everyone wants from a sky at dusk. So the timing with that (and the timing on the trick) could not have been much better. The bright green leaves pop amazingly against the sky without distracting from the action. Composition is on point with the landing of the previous set framed in the bottom left which guides your eye directly to the tire marks launching straight off that lip. Then boom, there’s the rider, lit so nicely, portraying a beautiful 360 table. He is framed perfectly in the sky between the dark tree line in the background and a small branch of lit leaves closer to us.
“Most of the time at Redbox I will ride, as it’s one of the few lines in Austin that I can make it through. Scott Glannan was throwing some awesome sauce on this last set, so I got out my camera just before the sun went away.
I set up an AB800 far right at ¼ power and a 285HV at ½ power, behind the landing in the foreground. I was using a Rebel T2i w/17-40L. I am currently looking for a new camera body but haven’t come upon the right deal for me yet (anyone selling a 5D MkII hit me up!)
I started with iso100 but changed it up to 200 as the natural light faded. I also cranked the 285HV to full power to get that tree lit up better. Final settings were 1/200th f4 with iso200. I was really stoked on how Scott folded himself in between the tree lines, a few people asked to see the photo on my LCD and I got some great feedback, much appreciated guys!
Thanks to Scott for giving me time to set up, and being an all around rad dude. Also, thanks to all the people I’ve been shooting with recently, you rule!
Rebel T2i w/17-40L @29mm
Alienbees B800 w/ vagabond
3 x Pocket wizard Plus X”