Strathpuffer 2013 portraits0
neil posted in Photos, bikes, 5Dmk2 on July 22nd, 2012
The first street spot was very near the city center and passersby and festivalgoers joined the crowd. Amusingly the first comment on my flickr photos was unhappy about using this historic derelict paving slab slope for freestyle BMX. Obviously I have a lot to learn about Bristol’s architectural highlights.
How it works *sometimes*0
neil posted in bikes, Neil, Trails, 5Dmk2, Night, Bristol on December 24th, 2011
Brighton Hardcourt Bike Polo Tournament0
neil posted in Photos, bikes, Neil on May 12th, 2011
More here: All Pictures
neil posted in Photos, bikes, 5Dmk2 on March 24th, 2010
I had this photograph in my head for months. Every time we rode to this staircase on the way out to the Pentlands, I would poke myself about it. I was certain there was a good picture to be made. I tried a few times to get myself and another party out there for a shoot, but it was only last night I succeeded. This is a pretty frequent occurance, finding a location or visualising a photograph long before it can be taken. They don’t always work out, angles don’t always fall the way you remember them and locations can lose their magic in the wrong light. This was’nt quite the photo I originally imagined, the light was far better than I had remembered and fell perfectly for the lighting technique I used.
I used my big Elinchrom Ranger pack, tucked into my bag with the head on a tripod on a steep and greasy slope. The final photograph used a gridded reflector to allow the Exposure Enduro on the bike’s handlebars to fill the bottom of the scene. I got focus by getting Simon to shine the light in his face until I managed to dial in the manual focus (using live view). The staircase was otherwise pitch black, preventing the orange sodium lights contaminating the bike’s light or the flash light.
The thing that really made the photo possible, however, was the titular persistence. Simon rode the staircase about twenty times, tirelessly wheeling his bike back up the staircase, stopping halfway so I could check focus and then cheerfully repeating. Only once did he stumble on the descent, but that landed him nearly over the wall. Each time I needed to change the power of the flash I had to run a steep marathon of brambles, thorns and a slick slope which could only be climbed by lunging for tree stumps near its summit and clawing up through the snow and mud. This process took around five minutes, the flash power was changed three times and its pocketwizard ran out of battery once. The exposure was made by bending backwards over the wall and tucking the camera hard onto my left shoulder. It was only marginally possible to see through the viewfinder. We tried triggering the flash while Simon was partway down the descent, but it seems easier to find him in the top image. One hundred and fourty eight exposures were made over two hours for the images you see here. I’m glad we made them, it is good to get them out of my head.