For quite some time I have been trying to force myself to go out and shoot some self portraits of me on my bike. I have been putting it off but with a possible permanent change in weather starting any day now for the next 6 months, I thought I should finally go out and do it. I had recently ridden a trail that looked like it could contain some ideal places to try and shoot. I took all my strobe gear and tripods, anticipating darkness under the canopy. The next challenge was triggering the shutter at the right moment. I didn't have a remote that was mounted anywhere on my bars, so had to go with using the 10 second timer, and using the trial and error method of trying to time my position for the moment of truth!! I experimented with different angles, flash guns, positions of light, light filters and different stunts, capturing a number of decent but not outstanding images. Again I find that I must shoot wide open and at a high iso to capture any ambient light, which leaves the images crawling with digital noise. I did find that using a soft box over my Metz flash gave me the best light to work with so that was a good bit of learning. Next project will be obtaining a newer camera body (my 50d is a 2009 camera) that can shoot at higher ISO with having such detrimental effect on the images. Biggest mistake I made on the day: leaving live view on accidentally before pushing back up hill for another run past the shutter. I am not sure of the reason, but when you do that, the flash doesn't fire, and I just happened to have timed things perfectly, so it would have been the photo of the day otherwise!!
30 October, 2013
The beautiful Autumn weather and incredible colours are combing with amazing low, golden sunlight, providing extended shooting hours and many subjects to fill your frame. I was up early and out until almost midday then back out at around three nearly every day this week shooting and scoping locations. It was really fun and a lovely experience being out amongst the beautiful colours, though I did find myself a little jealous of those in parts of the world where the colours are far superior to what we get in the Pacific North West. I liked the trees that lined the road up near Quest University which are not native to the area but give a fantastic taste of how impressive the colours can really be.
|Impressive colours lining the streets of Garibaldi Highlands|
For several years I have wanted to hike from Lions Bay along the sea to sky highway up to the Two Lions, which sit in behind Cypress Ski area and overlook the Capilano Valley and the city of Vancouver. The Autumn weather had been spectacular except a few rainy days some weeks back. I phoned up a buddy and he was all in. We parked the car and set off at first light. It is steep from the get go even though the first section is on open forestry roads. The trail gradually thins and becomes a technical hike up through rockfalls and rooty, loamy steep stands of huge cedar. When you hit the first ridge line you get a good look at the West Lion from the back, but there is still some way to go. Once up on the ridge, the view down to Vancouver, East to the endless Coast Mountains and West to Howe Sound are sensational. Though it was cool in the morning shade, the midday sun at the top was warm and cheerful. By the time we returned to the car mid afternoon our legs were finished and begging for a seat, which we gladly obliged. Great hike with incredible rewards, highly recommended!!
|Thomas navigates the steep ascents through roots and rocks.|
The pinkbike.com photo of the year contest is approaching its deadline for nominations. Being that I had shot very little mountain biking at all this year, I didn't have anything worthy to submit for nomination. It's a tough competition that frequently features pro photographers and images taken on the sets of major mountain biking films in exotic locations across the globe. Still I like the inspiration it gives me to go out and shoot, and learn in the process. I was stoked to hear positive responses from a few buddies of mine about going out to ride and shoot and see what we could come up with. The first ride was with Garrett and Jakub on the North Shore's Cypress Mountain. 5th Horseman was the trail of choice, with its many large rock descents and cool features. I was re-acquainting myself with my wireless flash gear after some time of absence shooting with the equipment. We still grabbed some fun photos even though darkness in the trees forcing high iso upon my aging camera was hurting a bit. I also rode in Squamish with Keith and Adam, down Peanuts Wild Ride and then on to the big senders on Grin n Holler. The riders were nailing it, but I was not, again struggling with darkness under the heavy canopy, and also with finding unique or exciting angles to tell the story from. Finally I went to Whistler with James to ride on one of the last days in the Whistler Bike Park for the 2013 season. We rode most of the day scoping out trails and locations, then late in the day grabbed my pack and came down a few sections, setting up and shooting a couple of cool spots. For a short time, out from the trees under the lifts, the late fall sunlight and yellowish tones looked really cool in the background, and I managed to grab a pretty decent shot of James on the Canadian Open Downhill course. It won't even make it to the finals of the competition, but the point is I got out and shooting and managed to produce a reasonably exciting shot that looks pretty fun and portrays the action well.
|James takes off on Canadian Open|