Andy – Burnside Skatepark, Portland, OR
This is one of my favorite images from the time I spent shooting extreme sports stuff. It has a lot of the reasons I love this type of photography all rolled into one. The rider is a good friend of mine and I was happy to get the shot published. The place is Burnside in Portland, one of the first spots I shot BMX. The memory of the day is important to me, the two of us were there together and had the place to ourselves one morning. And the image itself is really neat. The whole bit about “death” looking down at the guy on the bike, the bright colors (in an otherwise drab skatepark) of the newly painted graffiti, and the simple elegance of the trick itself. The whole thing came together in a the way that I, as a photographer, most hope for.
Lighting was simple, just one flash pointing up at the rider from low camera left. This is one instance where the Canon 1D’s 1/500 flash sync came in very handy. I miss that camera sometimes. Looking back at the image, I could wish that the rider had different colored clothing on. The red hat and bike pop out nicely, but the grey shirt and pants don’t stand out enough from the concrete and background. I could have tried for better separation by blowing out an edge flash from the right or underneath. But at the time, I believe I couldn’t find a flash location that worked and decided to just go for that big shadow from the single flash. That having been said, I’m not sure why I cropped so tightly in camera.
Canon 1D, 1/2500 sec, f4.0, ISO 200, Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L USM IS