Sun, Sep 8 2013 4:00 am |
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Years shooting: 5
Years riding: 15
Which came first for you, shooting video or photos?
Shooting video for sure. I borrowed my first camera when I was 17 or 18 and have been filming and making videos ever since.
Which do you find yourself doing more?
It’s hard to say. One week I take zero photos. Then another week I take only photos—then obviously a mixture a both on others. I think filming is super fun and it’s awesome to see all your work turn into an edit. Photos you see way sooner and people are usually pretty happy about that. So it’s real hard to say!
Tell us about your video background…
Not speaking for all. But growing up in a smallish town and not being exposed to the outside world can sometimes alter how you see things—including yourself. I was 17 and saw myself doing things guys where doing in magazines and thought I should make a sponsor video. I sent one to Dan’s Comp. The TM, Abe, encouraged me to keep it up (aka not good enough). So I just kept film and editing. Eventually I met Dakota Roche and he sort of changed my outlook on filming and editing. He and I filmed a video together. Spending almost every day for nearly two years together just filming and editing and reading sites like skateperception.com. He just knew what was good and how to structure an edit and how to film better.
Tell us more about the video that you and Dakota filmed together.
The video was called Second Grenade. There was no “First Grenade.” The local park we rode had grenades spray painted on the quarter and we used to say, “Jump the hip from the second grenade.” Dakota and I just wanted to work together on something. He had this little Panasonic three chip. Eventually I got one as well and he and I plus another friend went out nearly every single day to film. For months we just searched every school we could. Every single spot we could think of just mapped all of it in our heads. It had some local Washington kids in it and very randomly it had a clip of Ben Snowden and Kurt Rasmussen. That was one of the most fun times in my life. And after we finished it he got put on Fit flow. We filmed a good while for Fit Life and the rest is history!
Besides Second Grenade, where has some of your footage appeared?
I filmed a little under half of the clips in Dakota’s Fitlife section. Several clips of Sean Burns’ and one of Chris Crawford in Surfin’ for the Ugly Broads. A few clips in the very first Cult Crew team edit. As far as web edits go, more then I can remember.
What’s the BMX scene like where you live?
It’s interesting to say the least. I think the weather makes everyone here a bit unique. The worst I can say is that it can be a bit clicky. I have heard from the Portland folks that the Washington scene has drama. I just think we are all a bunch of weirdoes. Look at the known bike riders from Washington—Davey Watson, Mike Hoder, G.J, Andrew Carpenter, Def Paul, Jake Ortiz, Darin Read—all unique characters who kill it and products of this rain state.
How much does the weather interfere with your productivity?
Quite a lot, actually. I think it was in a Taj [Mihelich] bike check or interview many years ago when he lived here, when he mentioned it rains eight months out of the year in Washington. I feel like sometimes that’s an understatement. Our record is a little over 50 straight days of rain. Nearly two months of gray and wetness—and that was after winter, so maybe four or more months with less then a week of rideable weather. Within the past two years our only indoor park that allowed BMX closed. I know other states have extreme snow and wind and what not, but living between two mountain ranges makes the weather unbelievably unpredictable. It can literally be sunny and 70, drive 10 miles in a direction and there will be a severe weather alert.
Give us a quick breakdown of your gear…
Two Canon T2I bodies, Rokinon 8mm, 18 to 55 IS, 50mm 1.8, 70-200 L f/4, two Alienbees B800s with Vagabon packs, Canon 430 EXII, CyberSync receivers with trigger, LED film light, Glidecam, slider track, and some cheap light stands—it all fits in my Tamron bag—plus I wear a slingshot back pack around my neck—unless someone is kind enough to wear it.
What is one piece of gear on your wish list?
Probably a [Canon] 5D MarkIII—I watched a show many years ago on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit photographers, and one man used a Kodak disposable camera and still gets them printed in the swimsuit issue! So it has always been in my head that I don’t need the best gear, but to use what I have—but the 5D would be nice.
How do you split up your time between riding and shooting?
I mostly go with the mindset that I’m going to shoot or film. Riding being the bonus of going wherever we go, and that seems to work out because I’m not let down so much. However, there are spots that I love so much that it makes me not want to stop riding. I sort of just ride until someone wants to get something done. Or sometimes I don’t get a chance to ride at all and it just becomes a film and shooting mission.
Does it ever get hard for you to put your bike down in the middle of a good session to shoot a photo?
Less then you would think, but when it does happen I really don’t want to stop riding. Ninety percent of the time, though, I am there for the riders.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Movies. And when filming, Navaz has always been someone I look up to—same with Joe Simon. I sort of try and replicate what they do, but with my own twist. Photography I would say is little different. Mike Zinger has helped me a ton with ideas and how to improve. I guess wanting to become the best I can—as cliche as that phrase is—but that is what motivates me and inspires me with photos. However, I’m still a bit new on fully understanding what I see when it comes to other photographer’s work.
Do you enjoy shooting photos of anything else other than BMX?
I would have to say pretty ladies. I do a ton of shoots with models and I have to say it is extremely fun. I also like to shoot HDR landscapes, but mostly the ladies.
Do you have any goals or projects in the works?
My goal is to get the good, non-D-bag riders in this state seen as much as possible. To get more big names here and show everyone what incredible things this state has to offer and make the scene better then ever. I want to get a photo published in RideBMX and maybe keep doing it. And travel. I want to make myself known for helping. I would love to film for more companies and what not. I am currently working on a full-length video, but I might split the parts up and send them to the Hunt—I love what it’s about.
What exactly do you love about the Hunt?
I think the Hunt is a good thing for many reasons. The physical video seems to be going away and everything is on the internet. Maybe one day discs with be this laughable relic. Maybe its the same reason why people cant give up the VX’s Just nostalgia. Not saying we need to start making vhs and laser disc videos. But a structured full length is good to see every now and again. I like how it can also get unknown people in the spotlight. Maybe someone that might not have the chance to get out of there small town very easy but kill it. Granted any kid now days can make a Web edit. I think being in a well know video gives it less of a chance to be overlooked.
And finally, where can we see more of your work?
Slimpandaphotography.com is my website, but there is very little BMX on there at the moment.
TAGS: BMX Photos, Photo Gallery, Photographer Spotlight, tony archibeque