One of the great things about being with a stock agency is that it not only brings in some $$$, but it keeps you motivated to shoot…..and gives you a great reason to try new things that might result in images that are unlike anything in your agency’s collection.
I had an idea that I’ve been wanting to try, and last weekend gave me the chance with some decent weather. My wife and I loaded up our fatbikes and drove over to Wompatuck State Park. Once there, I rigged up my Canon 5D to sit off the back-left side of my bike. This entailed a Manfrotto Magic Arm, a Couple of Super Clamps, an Atom Clamp, and a few other various pieces of grip equipment (see photo below). Testing had shown that I needed to use an extremely wide angle lens, and so I rented a Canon 8-15mm zoom (I kept it between 13-15mm).
I used two Pocket Wizards to trip the shutter – one (receive mode) mounted on the camera hot shoe and connected to the camera using their Remote Trigger Cable…… and one (transmit mode) duct taped to the right side of my handlebars.
We started riding and everything went smoothly for about ten seconds. That’s when I kicked one of the ratchet handles on the magic arm and the whole thing basically fell off. This happened just as some people were walking by, and immediately one of the guys started asking me questions about what I was “filming” (There’s nothing worse than trying to sort out a problem with a complicated setup while someone is asking what your favorite f-stop is).
I got everything mounted back up, double checked that everything was tight, and then rotated all handles out of the way of my feet while pedaling. We cruised around on some pretty mellow trails (no catching air with this set up!), and I experimented with shutter speeds and lighting direction. This image is one of the stronger ones and was shot at 1/25 of a second. There was a real balance going on between a shutter speed long enough to allow the ground to blur…..yet short enough eliminate camera shake.
One of the things that I really love about digital imaging is the improvements in lenses that have resulted. 10 years ago if I shot this on film, there’s no way I could have shot into the sun and not had the image ruined….lens flare would have exploded across the frame. With current cameras/lenses though, it’s no problem 🙂
I didn’t actually take a photo of my set up that day, but here’s a shot from a couple of days before when I was testing everything out on my regular mountain bike. A few of the angles are different, but all the gear is the exact same as I used….
Thanx for listening!
When I have time…or get bored…or distracted….or maybe have a deadline that I want to ignore….I’ll sometimes head out on my mountain bike with my camera. Recently we had a beautiful fall day and I did just that.
The trees were a combination of green and yellow, and the trails were a golden pathway leading through the woods. I truly love photographing action when Mountain Biking, but being alone ruled that out. I started thinking about the various ways to introduce motion into a photograph with stationary subjects. Exciting motion photographs come down to one of three situations:
- The subject is moving.
- The camera is moving.
- They are both moving.
Since it’s pretty difficult to photograph myself while I am riding, I had to settle for having the camera move. I have played around with a longer shutter speed and zooming before, but wanted to try and add a little something more. Something that might be a little more identifiable.
This kind of experimentation really lends itself to digital. With film, you’d have to shoot a roll, and then wait a few hours to see what you got. Then, you may or may not remember what you did exactly to be able to reproduce anything that you got that was acceptable. Being able to see the image immediately allows you to build upon small successes as you go.
As any photographer can tell you, a lot of successful images are actually failures that turned out better than expected. Such is the case with this shot. I was kneeling on the ground next to my bike (that was propped up against a tree), and trying to introduce some motion into the image by zooming while I rotated the camera. Normally when doing this, I really try and keep the camera rotating around the middle of the lens….but this time, I was a little off balance and ended up rotating the camera around on point that is very close to the middle of my front tire. This left the tire almost intact (and very identifiable), but allowed the rest of the frame the movement (blur) that I was looking for.
Here is an example of doing exactly what I wanted:
In the end, I liked both images…..but the mistake of rotating around a point off center of the middle of the lens allowed the tire and wheel to by much more sharp and identifiable, which in turn, makes it a more interesting image.
Thanx for listening!
Sometime around 2005, I drove out to the Salton Sea with some a few friends. We didn’t have a specific plan…… just wanted to check it out and see what we could find to shoot. We spent some time at Bombay Beach, and had started to pack up to head home. While stashing my gear and talking with my friends, I kept looking past them at the shore line where I was seeing some amazing light. I stopped talking, grabbed my camera & tripod to get the last shot of the day. It was too dark for auto focus, and manual was proving to be a guessing game. In desperation, I had one of my friends go out on the point and had him stand there so that I could focus on him. As he stood there, I realized he was a very important element in what was to be one of my favorite shots. He held pretty still for a 15 second exposure!
Welcome to Camerocket! I hope you enjoy what you find here…..
There is nothing that I love better than to be impressed by an image…..and then blown away when I hear the story about how the image was made.
That is what this site is about. Great images, and the stories behind them.
Some images will be my own, and some will be by other photographers. Either way, I hope that the stories that you read will be just as impressive as the images themselves.