Bike Best Trick…..snow, darkness, fire Oh yeah.

It’s crazy how a day can turn out. I had the opportunity to go up to Vail and shoot the 2013 Winter Mountain Games for Plus Size BMX. I was so excited to go and shoot great riders going off of a huge ramp, pulling amazing tricks on snow no less. What a cool thing to shoot.

The main event was going to feature a giant ball of fire after each athlete went off of the jump. Cool right? Not so cool for trying to nail low light exposures. I have been very reluctant to jump into the big remote strobe world. I like to move around when I shoot and move my lighting as well, not being tied to a static light source. To say that my approach was different then the other photographers covering the event is an understatement. The lights-stands and strobes that were set up looked like a glade more suited for tree skiing. I got nervous pretty fast. I had decided to travel light due to potentially snowy, wet conditions. I had even elected to leave the light stand, that I do occasionally carry, in the car. There were going to be lights for the event that should work with my highly sensitive very fancy camera.

That proved to be wishful thinking and I was beginning to scramble. The event was about to begin, I could not seem to synch-up with any light from the many other strobes and the images that I was getting were junk. A great photographer once told me that creating images that are different is a good thing. I agree under some circumstance but this was not one of them. I recalled a term used by another of my favorite photographers, the Voice-Activated Light-stand or VAL. I had an epiphany.

My Father had come with me. He had a great day of skiing and had received a spare press pass as my assistant. Little did he know that he was going to be called into duty. I dug through my bag grabbed an extra flash, messed with my camera settings, gave a two minute lecture on what I wanted him to do and the event was underway. It worked! My Father or assistant or VAL proved to be awesome and I got some pretty interesting images of a really great event.

I don’t usually create such wordy posts here. I like to let the images speak for themselves but…..It sure is interesting how a day can turn out.

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Results of the 2013 Winter Mountain Games Best Trick Bike:

1st                  Garrett Robertson

2nd                 Chris Van Dine

3rd                  DJ Brandt

4th                  Zach Lewis

5th                  Tanner Leslie

6th                  Eric Johnson

7th                  Alan Mandel

Unfortunately, Dominic Megalli was injured during the practice session and was unable to compete.