Category Archives: BMX

10 Years of Scotty Cranmer (143 BMX Photos!)

Last night I watched Scotty Cranmer’s latest injury update on his YouTube Channel and it made me want to do something to show him that I’ve been thinking about him and that I care about him as a friend. I ended up staying up all night digging through 10 years of hard drives to pull together these 143 BMX photos.

Scotty Cranmer BMX - Photo by Fat Tony

These shots are from various trips, competitions, and photo shoots starting in 2006 and ending with the last shoot I did with him in 2015.

Scotty has always been one of my favorite riders to hang out with, shoot, and watch compete, and I am looking forward to seeing him on a bike again soon.

Stay strong, Scotty!

Click here if you’d like to help Scotty in his Road 2 Recovery and keep up with his progress.

My 2016 Red Bull Illume Photo Submissions

The Red Bull Illume is the world’s premiere action sports and adventure photography competition. This month marked the closing of the fourth year of submissions, and of course I entered a handful of photos.

I was fortunate enough to have one of my photos in the top 250 entries for the first two Illume competitions, but unfortunately on the third go round I was left out of the upper echelon. Hopefully I’ll get back into the top percentile in 2016!

Below are my submissions to the 2016 Red Bull Illume! (Click here to see my submissions from 2013.)

*Note: Photographers are allowed to submit up to five images into 10 different categories.

Photos are only be re-posted if proper credit given. If you’d like to license any of these images, please contact me directly. 

 

Introducing My New Podcast – The Expansion Project

I couldn’t be happier to share this with you guys! After many months of thinking, learning, planning, and executing, I have launched a podcast that is available on iTunes and Stitcher.

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The Expansion Project is just that—a project based on the idea of expanding. Expanding what exactly? My mind, and myself as a person. It’s also a way for me to do something fun and creative while delivering free content to the world that will hopefully help to motivate and inspire other people.

I plan to release an new episode every week, so please subscribe and help spread the word by telling a friend or sharing a link on your social networks.

Eight episodes are already available. The first is a simple introduction, and the others are interviews and conversations with professional BMX riders, a coach, business owners and entrepreneurs, an artist, and an author. Download one or all of them and please let me know what you think! Any feedback or criticism is welcomed and appreciated!

You can learn more about The Expansion Project from the podcast’s dedicated Web site (theexpansionprojectpodcast.com), and of course please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, give five starts, and leave reviews!

Subscribe-on-Itunes Subscribe-on-Stitcher

2014 Voodoo Jam – Unconventional Photo Gallery

On August 2, 2014 the tenth anniversary of the flatland BMX Voodoo Jam went down in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event was a great opportunity for me to head back to my old stomping grounds in the South, see my family and friends, and of course shoot the competition.

After selecting photos for a Red Bull online feature and a BMX Plus! magazine article I had enough images left over for what I’m calling an unconventional photo gallery.

Normally my BMX photos are pretty straight forward and very natural looking, but while shooting at Voodoo Jam I tried out some slower shutter speeds and tighter crops. There was a lot of action going on during qualifying before the doors opened to the public, so I was trying to find ways to take advantage of the situation and create some compelling images without showing the lack of crowd or audience. What do you think of the results?

(*If you chose to share any of these photos, please be respectful and tag/credit @FatTonyBMX.)

2014 X Games Austin Photo Gallery

Last week X Games celebrated their 20th anniversary, which marked the 9th time I’ve gone to the event to shoot photos. It’s still pretty crazy for me to think that I started out recording the X Games on VHS tapes in my mom’s living room so long ago, and now I get the opportunity to be there in person and so closely connected to it all…

Here are some of my favorite photos from the BMX events in Austin! Jamie Bestwick, Coco Zurita, Dakota Roche, Garrett Reynolds, Chase Hawk, Kevin Peraza, Brandon Dosch, Colton Satterfield, and more…

Coco Zurita - X Games 2014 - Austin, Texas - Photo by Fat Tony.

Danny Josa & Victor Salazar at Bolsa Chica Trails

Yesterday I hung out with my friends Danny Josa and Victor Salazar while they had a casual afternoon session at the Bolsa Chica trails. After watching them take a few runs I grabbed my camera, snapped a few frames with the golden hour ambient light, and decided to throw up some of my favorite shots on the blog… Enjoy!

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Behind The Photo – Scotty Cranmer for Hyper Bicycles

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Behind the Photo post, but after a little encouragement from some Instagram followers, I decided to put together another one for you guys.

The photo I’m sharing today shows Scotty Cranmer doing a turndown off a wooden launch, over a gap, and onto a dirt landing near his hometown in New Jersey. We shot this this in May when I was there on a day-rate assignment shooting with him for Hyper Bicycles. This image was actually the second frame of the day—the first being a lighting test to make sure my flashes were firing.

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To set up the shot I put my main flash on a tall light stand just over my left shoulder as I was crouching down with my 15mm fish eye lens. This was right at 180 degrees from where the sun was coming in from the trees and served as the only flash lighting up Scotty and his bike. The ambient light behind him gave a pretty good key light on his helmet, shoulder, and arm. I would have liked to have another key light hitting the back side of his rear tire, but I only had three flashes with me, and the other two were used to light up the under side of the take off. With that said, I set up my two fill flashes low to the ground just out of the right side of the frame pointing up at the under side of the wooden launch. Without them lighting up the take off it was very dark and shadowy with little to no detail in the wood. Since the take off was so unique in this setup it was important to me to show where he was coming from in the best way possible.

These trails are located behind John Jennings’ parents house, and on the day we were scheduled to shoot Scotty couldn’t get in touch with any of the locals to unchain the roll in, so he had to find a very creative (for lack of better words) way to get the speed for the gap. Being the boss that he is, Scotty not only got the speed, but fully clicked a turndown on his first and only go at it. One and done, in and out…off to the next spot!

PHOTO INFORMATION
Date: May 10, 2013
Location: Area 51 Trails, New Jersey
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon 15mm
Camera Settings:
ISO 100
f/5.6
1/320
Main Flash: Quantum Q Flash with Turbo 400 w/s battery pack (set to roughly 1/4 power)
Fill Flashes: Vivitar 285 (set to full power)
Transmitter: Pocket Wizard MiniTT1
Receivers: Pocket Wizard Receivers

I processed the photo using Photoshop CS5.1 with the most up to date Camera Raw plugin. Since I like most of my photos to look very natural, I didn’t do very much with this image in post-production.

Camera-Settings

I started out in the Raw editing window by applying my personal “stock settings”. These are settings I have calibrated to my particular version of Photoshop to my camera and reflect how I like my photos to look. These settings always seem to be a good starting point for post-production on my images when I’ve shot them at a proper exposure. By clicking one button the Sharpness amount moves up to 125 and the Masking and Noise Reduction to 50. It also moves the Contrast slider to 55, the Clarity to 15, and the Saturation to 10.

Chromatic-Aberations

After my stock settings were applied, I clicked the radio button to remove the chromatic aberrations. This got rid of slight bands of digital color noise that were at the edges of highlight details like Scotty’s helmet and handlebars. From there I pushed the Recovery slider to 45 to get back some detail in the overexposed sky and moved the Brightness slider down just a few notches to 47 for the same reason. However, after doing this certain dark parts of the image like Scotty’s shirt were too dark, so I added a little Fill Light to bring back some of those details. The final adjustment I made was to bring the White Balance Temperature down to 4800 to get rid of the slight orange tint in the dirt and trees.

Here you can see the slight differences in the unprocessed photo along with the final edited image.

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(Unprocessed image above; edited image below. Click to enlarge.)

Scotty-Cranmer

 

Check out this behind the scenes video of what Scotty had to do to make this trick happen!

My Action Sports Photography Class Recap

Last weekend I taught a Red Bull Illume action sports photography workshop in New Orleans with my good friend Terry Adams. There were 12 people who sat in on the workshop, and it seemed like they all genuinely gained some helpful knowledge from the experience, which was really gratifying for me. I can’t thank Red Bull enough for the opportunity to share my passions with other people who are enthusiastic about BMX and photography. Hopefully there will be some more of these in the future! Also, thanks to Terry Adams for being a true professional and always fun to work with. And of course, thanks to everyone who came to learn!

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Here’s a group shot of Terry and me along with everyone who took the photography class and a few of the Red Bull team members who helped make it all possible.

If you’re wondering what went on during the clinic, here’s a breakdown of how it was structured…

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My 5 – BMX Riding & Interview

One of the regular features I produce for Alli Sports is called My 5, and I’ve filmed and edited quite a bit of them in the past year and a half, including one of Ryan Guettler. During a great session at Woodward West recently Ryan and I thought it would be fun to do a little role reversal and have him film a My 5 of me. Everything I did for the edit was new for me, so thanks to Ryan for helping push me!

To check the My 5 videos I’ve filmed, click on the Alli Sports YouTube channel.

Thanks to Freegun Underwear, Fox Racing, G-Form pads, and Fly Bikes for keeping me rolling smooth!

Filmed by Ryan Guettler – @RyanGuettler

Music:
Artist: Barrows
Track: “Red Winds”
Album: Impercari Island

 

2013 Red Bull Illume – My Submissions

Red Bull recently closed submissions for their 2013 Illume photo competition, and for the third time I submitted a couple dozen of my most compelling images. Illume is an action sports photo contest open to any and all photographers around the world. The first contest was in 2006, the second in 2010, and the third is being judged as we speak. Both in 2006 and in 2010 one of my photos was chosen as one of the top 250 images in the entire competition, and I’m hoping that at least one will make it that far this year. Having a photo ranked that high in such a prestigious contest is a huge honor, and I’m really humbled to be even a small part of Illume.

Photos entered in the contest are broken into 10 categories, and as long as they were shot within a certain time period, they can be new work that’s never been seen or published work whether editorially or in advertisements. Naturally, as soon as the 2013 contest was announced I dug through a few years worth of archived images and selected my best shots for all the categories…

Keep reading for some quick stats on how many photographers from around the globe submitted photos to each of the Illume contests, then look below for all my 2013 entries.

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I’m Teaching A Red Bull Action Sports Photo Workshop in New Orleans

I’m really excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Red Bull again to teach another photo workshop all about BMX action photography. I’m heading back to my home state for the one-day event that will be held on May 30th in New Orleans in conjunction with the pre-jam for the annual Flatland Vooodoo Jam competition.

My good friend, fellow Louisiana native, and Red Bull BMX rider Terry Adams will be a big part of the event as well! Terry and I will work together and walk students through shooting a flatland photo from start to finish. I’ll explain everything that goes into the work that I’m most known for, and Terry will elaborate on what it’s like being a professional athlete in front of the lens.

The workshop is absolutely free and includes some free swag from Red Bull, but the seats are very limited, so if you want to attend, please email albert.dykes@us.redbull.com and join the event Facebook page as soon as possible so we can reserve your spot.

Looking forward to seeing y’all in the Big Easy!

Red Bull Illume Photo Workshop Details:
May 30, 2013
10am – 2pm
Fleur De Lis Park
6701 Fleur De Lis Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70124
Host: Fat Tony
Athlete: Terry Adams

Join the Facebook page!

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My New Flatland BMX Photography Book is Now Available

I’m really excited to announce that I just finished a flatland BMX photography book that’s now available through Blurb, a Web site that specializes in print to order publishing. What that means is if you want a book, you can order it through blurb.com and they will print one specifically for you. The quality is top-notch and every bit as good as a book you’d buy from a store, and it only takes about ten days to get your order in.

There are two versions of the book available—a soft cover basic version, and a hard cover Deluxe Edition. The content of the books are exactly the same…the only differences are in the type of paper used. In addition to the imaged-wrapped hard cover, the Deluxe Edition has thicker, higher quality paper. The idea was to make the book as affordable as possible with the basic version, but also give people the option to get something little nicer if they wanted.

The print to order system allows an unlimited amount of books to be ordered, but saves me from having to front the money and worry about distributing and selling them. In a nutshell, this project wasn’t money-driven…it was passion-driven. I wanted a book showing off my best flatland photos, so I made one, and I’m allowing other people to enjoy one if they want to.

To view a preview of the book and order your copy, click on my bookstore at blurb.com.

BMX Photography Book by Fat Tony

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Recent Work: Broc Raiford, Alessandro Barbero, Seth Klinger & Ronnie Napolitan BMX Videos

Here are the three most recent video I produced for Alli Sports

Broc Raiford Talks Tattoos

A Day With Alessandro Barbero at Camp Woodward

Seth Klinger vs. Anthony Napolitan in BMX Trivia

And while I’m at it, click here to see an interview I did with one of the best female BMX riders in the world, Australia’s Peta Shepherd

Peta Shepherd – Downside Tailwhip to Disaster – Ontario, Canada – Summer 2012