As I was going through the folders on my hard drive recently I realized I had bunch of good BMX photos that haven’t shown up anywhere, so I figured I’d put them all in a gallery… So without further adieu, here are a dozen random action shots that I’ve taken over the past year including Broc Raiford, Ryan Guettler, Terry Adams, Kris Fox, and more.
Here are the three most recent videos I produced for Alli Sports. Don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel!
BMX Trivia: Daniel Dhers vs. Kyle Baldock
Austin Coleman Bike Check
How-To Whiplash With Terry Adams
It’s always a treat to shoot with my close friend Terry Adams, so when he asked if I was down to film some new combos at one of his local spots, of course I jumped at the opportunity. Here’s what we captured in an afternoon at the SLU campus in Terry’s hometown of Hammond, Louisiana.
On The Road with Ryan Guettler, Danny Josa, & Victor Salazar
I’m really stoked on this video! I filmed this one on a really fun trip up to Woodward West with some great guys.
Terry Adams – My 5
Alfredo Mancuso – My 5
Behind The 2012 Flatland Voodoo Jam
I met up with Terry Adams and Scott O’Brien to get some behind the scenes info on the upcoming Flatland Voodoo Jam that’s going down in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 9th. Be there! I can’t wait for this one in my home state!
It’s starting to get pretty tough to keep up with posting all of my recent work, but I guess that’s a good problem to have!
Here are the latest videos I produced for Alli Sports and ESPN:
Here’s a video I filmed and edited of James Foster for MADD Gear and KHE. I’ve known James for several years now, but this was the first time I worked on a specific project with him. He’s super consistent, really easy to shoot with, and an all-around genuine good dude. We are both pretty excited about how the edit turned out!
Up next is a house check I did with Terry Adams for the ESPN site…
A few months ago I went to North Carolina with one of my best friends, Terry Adams, to announce some Red Bull demos for him. Terry had just picked up his newest sponsor, Freegun Underwear, so we wanted to squeeze in a video and photo shoot while we were together. However, by the time we spent the entire day traveling across the country and got to our hotel it was late at night, we were in the middle of nowhere with no car, and it was raining and very cold.
Luckily for us there was a Lowe’s next to the hotel that had a large overhang we could shoot under, and even though it wasn’t the best looking backdrop, the plain grey brick wall would prove to work out in the end. The elements and conditions were definitely working against us, but Terry is a true professional in every sense of the word and came through he always does.
Check out the video below along with the photo that was used in a press release, then hit up Freegun’s Web site to check out what they are all about.
Professional flatland BMX rider Terry Adams is the closest I’ve ever had and I love working with him on photo shoots. One day in July of 2010 we were in Downtown Los Angeles and had just finished filming a “5 Trick Fix” video for the Ride BMX Web site when we decided to set up to shoot photo for the upcoming Dan’s Comp wall calendar. (The photo also ended up being used in a print ad that ran in Ride BMX, and several online ads.) We were at a spot that has a clear view of the city in the background and the sun was just about to set, so it was an extremely picturesque location for the photo. However, the ground was really rough and anything but ideal for riding flatland. As always though, Terry came through and made it happen…here’s how we got it done.
SETTING UP THE SHOT
For this photo I chose to use my 70-200mm telephoto lens because I feel that it produces images that are a little bit sharper than my 24-70mm lens. Also, by being able to zoom in to 200mm I can focus more accurately before zooming back out to 70mm to compose and shoot the photo.
Since I knew this photo was going to be used for the Dan’s Comp wall calendar, and I knew the calendar was a square format I set up to shoot the image horizontally and intentionally shot it with a bit of a lose composition so there would be plenty of room to work with on all sides. For the same reasons I centered Terry in the frame when setting up the shot.
After we found a spot of ground that was flat enough for Terry to do the trick on I picked an angle that would give me a good view of the city in the background and some dramatic natural sunlight coming into frame. I took off my lens hood to catch more of a glare on the lens, which created the light orbs in the bottom left corner the image. This is something I usually try to avoid, but in this case I thought it added some a cool element to the image.
I set the camera’s ISO to 100 to ensure a photo with as little grain as possible. Then I set my shutter speed to 1/200. This is fairly slow for a BMX action shot, but since Terry wasn’t moving very fast during this trick it still stopped the action enough so there wasn’t a lot of motion blur. Next, I set my aperture f/9 to make sure the sky wouldn’t be completely blown out and white. With my camera settings in place it was time to set up the flashes.
The sun was coming in from the back of my subject and to my right so I positioned the more powerful Qflash exactly opposite of the ambient light—pointing directly at the subject from my left. It was on a tripod just at the edge of the frame of this photo; as close to Terry as possible without creeping into the shot. I can’t recall exactly, but I suspect the flash was set to around 1/4 power. Anything less than that would have probably not been enough to counterbalance the exposure I had set for the sun. I then positioned another flash on the right side of the subject, again just out of view of the frame. This was a smaller Vivitar flash set to 1/4 power to help fill in other darker areas of the subject.
I had Terry stand in the spot where he was going to be doing the trick, zoomed all the way in on him, focused on his T-shirt, then zoomed back out too compose my shot.
Although we got a total of nine photos of the trick, we ended up using the second shot because we liked how his legs were positioned the best.
Date: July 20, 2010
Location: Los Angeles, California
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon 70-200mm IS USM @ 70mm
Flashes: Quantum Q Flash with Turbo 400 w/s battery pack (set to roughly 1/4 power) & Vivitar 285 set to 1/4 power
Transmitter: Pocket Wizard MiniTT1
Receivers: Pocket Wizard Receivers
Light Stands: Random, inexpensive tripods.
PROCESSING THE IMAGE
Like most of my photos, the processing on this image was pretty straightforward. And again, like most of my photos, I started out in the Photoshop CS4 RAW editor with my “personal stock settings,” as I call them. For that I set the clarity to 25, the saturation to 10, the sharpening to 125, and the masking and luminance to 50. Because the sun had washed out a lot of color in the image I then bumped up the saturation to 25 bring out the colors more.
From there the only other thing I had to do was to bump up the blacks to 10 and the contrast to 70. These adjustments helped bring out the detail in everything and made the image pop really well since the harsh backlighting had washed out most of the subject.
Still in the RAW editor I used the cropping tool and made a square crop on the photo, then, using the straighten tool I drew a line across the outline railroad tracks just behind Terry to make sure the image didn’t look crooked. Tilted horizon lines are a huge pet peeve of mine in photography, and if the train tracks looked straight, the whole photo looks straight. Then I moved around the crop tool and cropped in a little to select a tighter square composition that worked for the image.
After these minor things were tweaked I opened up the image and converted it to CMYK color mode (since it was going to be used for a printed piece) and saved it as a .tiff.
I’m never one to do a lot of post production to my images, but this one had a few nagging distractions that I just couldn’t leave in there. The antenna sticking up in the background just behind Terry’s rear wheel and the power lines overhead had to go. I took them out using the clone stamp tool in Photoshop. This was a very quick, easy, and effective fix since they were all against the monochromatic sky.
I always tell people that Terry Adams is my closest friend, and part of the reason for that is because he inspires me so much. To me, a “best friend” is someone who brings out the “best” in you, and that’s exactly what Terry does for me.
In 2008 Terry released a full-length DVD about his life. Mickey Gaidos (another flatland rider from Southern Louisiana) filmed, edited, and produced the entire film, which is hard to believe when you see what an amazing job he did. The cinematography is unlike any other BMX film to date, and even Dreams even won the award for Best Cinematography at a New Orleans film festival.
Terry’s life story is told in this film, so if you want to see how a small town boy turned his dreams into reality, sit down for the next 35 minutes and prepare to be impressed, and inspired.
Speaking of Terry Adams, look for a Behind The Photo post one a photo I shot of him to be posted very soon…
After originally designing and launching professional BMX rider Terry Adams’ Web site in June of 2008, this past weekend I did a big overhaul on it with lots of new updates, additions, and improvements.
One of the main changes was updating the WordPress blog to the latest version, customizing it, and adding in the Facebook and Twitter sidebars. Go check it out, and be sure to add Terry to your social networks!
While I’m on the subject of Web design, I also built Terry’s wife a site a few months ago. Vanessa is a model in Southern Louisiana, and the site has already been very successful in landing her some great gigs!
If you are new to this blog and haven’t checked out some of my other graphic design work, be sure to visit my portfolio and click scroll it.