A little sportbike rig shooting with friends.

We’ve been having some great weather here in Southern California recently. So about a week ago I went out with some friends to do a little rig shooting on sport bikes.

We ended up having a really chill afternoon out riding. Tons of great clouds left over from the recent weather patterns that have been blowing through the area, and a warm sunny afternoon without much heat at all.
Since I had rented a fisheye lens for BMX photos the two days before this shoot, I wanted to make sure to get as much use out of the lens as I could. So I hit up my buddies here to see if they wanted to try various shots.

We started with a few passes up and down the highway for some motion images of riding. I shoot and ride one-handed for those types of shots, and found that it was much harder to use a fisheye this way than my 16-35 f/2.8 that I normally would use.
For the rest of images I used my rig arm and remotes to create those photos.

I’ll just go right into sharing those now.

First up was Al.
All of us ride recreationally, so none of have full riding suits like Adam who I did my last rig shoot with. The images came out great though and I’ve been experimenting with various types of editing for different looks.

This was a quick shot as Al left to do a second pass. That’s me in the background taking a shot with the remote that’s in my hand – Frank and Nolan are sitting on the curb.

This was the shot we ended up liking the most. Al leaned just enough to look toward the camera as he passed.

Next up was Nolan and his girlfriend Serena. The sunset added a lot of great color his gunmetal grey CBR600RR.

I was worried the rig arm would be too short for these images, but it ended up working pretty nicely. At least for a crazy skewed-angle type shot. Haha!

Last up was Frank and his white 600RR.

We also tried this shot of both Al (left) and Frank (right) riding together since they both have white bikes.

The final shot of the night was one of Al. This is actually shot by me while riding alongside him on a Yamaha R1.
I have the camera rig mounted low on the swingarm and am firing remotely while riding. (the remote is taped to the gas tank)
Definitely one of my favorite shots from the afternoon.

Here is how I created that image. I’m on right, Al is on the left.
Thank you to Frank for the photo!

Here’s a short video compilation from clips that Frank shot that afternoon! Mostly just him goofing around and cracking jokes. But you get to see a little bit of how this shoot was done.
I’m going to pick up a Flip camera or something soon so I can start creating more behind the scenes videos for you guys.

And here are a few more images from earlier that afternoon that I took.

I think it’s funny that every time we go riding Serena only happened to bring heels that day. But, we don’t do anything too crazy or fast..

All of us before heading out to do rig shooting. Frank is there, just behind me… whoops!

This was shot by Serena. So now I have a photo of me riding too! Woo hoo!

Hopefull you guys all enjoyed the images. Sorry for the delay. This past Friday I went down on the bike in a turn. It was low speed, but I hit some dirt/gravel as I was turning from one street to another. I hit my helmet in two places on opposite sides as I rolled. Always wear protective gear people. You never know what could happen. I’m fine, just a little sore. Bike is good, just some scrapes and cosmetic damage.

Check back soon for more upcoming shoots!

Startin’ off 2011 with Sean Logan and Eric Hough

First post of the new year! And I’m startin it off with some BMX!

This past weekend I met up with two BMX stunt rider friends, Sean Logan and Eric Hough. Despite everyones crazy schedules, I occasionally have the chance to meet up with them while they’re in town and practicing.
It had been a fairly slow week for me (mostly email and client follow-up after the holidays), so I hit up Sean to see when they were practicing next. Well Friday afternoon Sean called and said he was on his way to the jumps in Burbank – so I grabbed my gear and headed out.

Most of the afternoon shots typically are some variation of this… bright, sunny, hot out. Even though it was in the 60’s I was still out in a tank top because you get hot sitting around all the dirt in the direct sun. Above is Sean throwing some tricks for the camera while Eric films.

As the sun got lower in the sky I was able to get a bit more creative with the shots and color. While Sean is pretty happy with any image that is timed well, he’s always down for photography that looks great too… which you’ll see at the end of this post.

Eric, doing a Superman over jump three. And honestly, he’s fitting that description perfectly, haha! Leave to the BMX guys to make you feel out of shape, right? You guys want a good workout? Go ride a few hours a day… and that’s it. No need for pushups or anything else, haha!

Right at sundown Sean and I set up at a new location to try and take advantage of this wild looking tree and clouds and color we had. I have a few more images here of various tricks he threw until we got each one timed right.

Overall the day was hugely¬†successful, got a number of great shots that I’m still sorting and going through. And let’s face it, when most people have to dread their Friday as something that they just want to end so they can start the weekend, I get the chance to chill with some friends and create some really awesome looking photos. What a life, huh?

Saturday and Sunday were both busy with shooting for me too. Here’s a little preview of those days and the next blog update to come this week….

Saturday I was out at the jumps again, this time with Cody McKenna. I’ll be sharing more of his crazy jumping ability with you guys. And no, that’s not a unicycle… it’s just the angle.

And Sunday I spent the afternoon doing rig-mounted remote shots with sport bikes. I had a great time with everyone for these too. Created some really awesome images.

Also, if you guys follow my Facebook fan page HERE then you can keep up to date with my work a bit easier – I post a lot more images there in the galleries, too!

Beau Peregino’s Mad Men contest entry

Beau and I need your help!

Beau has entered the Mad Men contest for a part on the show – and has submitted a shot that we took last week. Please click the image above, or this link, and vote!!
This shoot was very quick and we were able to do it here our large leather arm chair we have in the living room.
I used a simple two-light setup that allowed for two different shots. Beau only really needs one shot, and went with the image above.

This is a different angle of the same pose. Beau barely moved, and I changed one side light just a bit (softer for just a slight touch of light on his right side).
I actually really like this shot too. I think it’s a powerful feeling shot/pose.

I also told Beau that I would get a shot of him riding while he was in town.

Beau on his Yamaha R1.

This is shot one-handed from my S2000. My friend TJ has video of it. I’m sure my family would be mildly concerned if they saw what I do to get half the shots I take for stuff like this, haha.

AMC has removed Beau’s (and many others) image from the contest. We launched Beau’s photo into the Top 10 in under a day a half with out voting. Beau held the #5 spot (overall) and #4 for men for three weeks aquiring nearly 300,000 votes. AMC then suddenly removed all contestants with over 45,000 votes. No reason was given other then “you were cheating”.
Frustrating to say the least, especially since between this blog, facebook, myspace, twitter, and all my friends and followers who were helping promote this image, we had a ton of support.

New Sports Portraits, and some bikes.

This week’s post is going to be a mix of a few things. I’ve been without internet (part of our city was out for three days) and am just getting back into the swing of things before leaving for Michigan on business Wednesday morning.
One of the shoots I did last week was with a model, and friend, named Chris Franklin. I met Chris two years ago doing fashion shows in Hollywood. He’s part of a small group of people from that time frame that I keep in touch with. Most of all of us from that group have gone on and climbed further and further up within our various careers (ie: photography, modeling, make up artistry, etc).
Chris has recently wrapped various projects with Nike and Adidas – so we talked about putting together some more sports images that could help his portfolio with different looks and style.

“Highest production value, John…” is what Chris said when I asked what he was wanting this shoot to look like. I’ll be honest, this shoot was a lot of laughs and story telling catching up on the last year. I had a few ideas in mind of things I wanted to try with lighting. Some of the shots hit, some of them missed. The running image above is close to what I was going for, but, I will likely try and bring Chris out again to reshoot it… I’m not completely happy with it.

The hardest part of our day was finding empty athletic fields to use, or ones that had public access for that matter. Overall I’m very happy with the images that Chris and I came back with.
I am, however, about to expand my gear (again) and purchase a lot of new lighting equipment… So I’ll be doing a lot more athlete and sports themed photoshoots in the near future.

Below I’m going to share some of the other basketball images of Chris. Please feel free to comment on which of them you like.

Before I did this shoot with Chris, I did some test shooting… with Beau.

Beau is one of my best friends, and old roommate. He is currently a working actor out on the east coast, but returns here to California from time to time as he prepares to move back west.
While in town last week though, I made him stand in as my test subject for the lighting style I wanted to do with Chris. I was pretty happy with how it turned out for a first attempt. I may go in and re-edit slighly; they’re a bit too contrasty right now. We’ll see.

Beau even needed a quick, updated, headshot while he was here… which was definitely easy to do outside that afternoon.

Lastly, I went riding yesterday with my friends Crazy Mike and Lyla Dee. You guys will remember Mike and Lyla from their shoot on Venice beach at night in the sand and water.
Well, it’s been months since seeing these two so yesterday I met up went riding with them. This shot was taken, by me, one-handed while riding alongside Mike on a R1 myself, haha.

Shot this image the same way. This is done with my 5DII (not my 1D) and a 16-35mm. Yes, I do put my gear in harm’s way from time to time. But, I get some really cool photos that way… Risk is just part of the job.

Mike also wanted a burnout shot… That smell takes me right back to shooting Formula Drift! Hahaha.

That’s it for this update, hope you guys hung around and checked out everything.
Wednesday I’m leaving for Detroit where I will spend the rest of the week for the D’Orazio wedding. Mike and Christina are a really amazing couple. I had a great time with them last July when I shot their engagement photos during another trip to Michigan. Their wedding will definitely be a blast – and with over 300 guests I even hired my friend (and photographer) Casey Shortt to assist me with all the madness.

Following the D’Orazio wedding I will be heading to Portland to attend my friend Theresa’s wedding in Vancouver. I may even be able to do some shooting while up there. We’ll see what happens.

Check back around the beginning of next week though! I’ll try and have a few previews up from the wedding! And I’ll definitely have some shots from the new 85mm f/1.2 lens I ordered!!

Adam’s CBR 600RR Rig Shoot

Rig mounted motion remote shots.

That’s what I told Adam a week ago that I wanted to try with him on his motorcycle once my new gear arrived. I recently added a 5DII to my camera bag as my backup camera to my 1D that I’ve shot with the last couple years. So, as with any new gear, I was anxious to do some field testing try some different things that I haven’t shot before.

The trick with rig mounted shots is getting nice smooth motion blur while also keeping your subject sharp. I’m very good at this at the track, I’ll be blunt. Take a look at my Formula Drift and my Superbike photos in my portfolio and you’ll see what I mean. But, with rig mounts, I don’t have that aspect of control.
The shutter, aperture, and all the settings are up to me – even the timing is, too, via remote. But, balance and steadiness is up to my subject.

Fortunately Adam is a very talented rider, so asking him to remain motionless while maintaining a specific speed the entire time wasn’t too terribly tricky for him. The image above is one of my favorites. Helmet blur is completely expected in photos, so that doesn’t bother me. I was hoping to get a bit more of an angle on this shot – something we’ll need to try next time out. But, I’m pretty confident that this will still make an awesome print.

Another favorite of mine. I’ve never really seen many shots from this angle… or any shots from this angle actually. As I mentioned above, mounting points were tricky to find on Adam’s 600RR. But, something like this, shot next time around, on an open road in the hills, on a sunny day, will take the whole shot up another notch or two.
Yo Alpinestars, we should do some boot ads…. call me up, I’m available..

Here’s a slight variation on the previous shot. Much lower angle and a bit more aggressive. Still not a bad shot, I didn’t go through the trouble of editing out the clamp because the other shot will be the one that makes my portfolio in the final cut.

Here’s a shot by Steph as we were setting up the last angle to try for the day. Thanks Steph! You’re the best!

Overall the shoot went pretty well. The weather didn’t cooperate much though. The grey sky is due to it being terribly overcast out. It also started raining right as we packed up to leave.
I was very happy with the images we captured while there, and for a first attempt at this style photography and setup, I think it went great. I know Adam is excited to see the images too – and I’m hoping he’ll be equally pleased.
I’m also looking forward to next time out. We know a bit more now about what works and what didn’t. And, Adam is an engineer… and can totally design new mounts and things to try. So I’m looking forward to that and having another option or two!

Next up for rig photos will be TJ’s Subaru WRX.
Check back soon..

Rooftop shoot at sunset – and lots of other editing…

Last night I photographed Nanaz on the rooftop of a garage in Riverside, Calif.
I actually bumped into her while shopping for clothing with Jenny for a previous shoot that I did, you may have read that blog.

Anyway, we’ve been in touch since and planned out a fairly simple shoot, at sunset, to take advantage of the sky and clouds. While the location wasn’t incredibly amazing one way or another, we were able to make a number of shots work. I’ll also be shooting a follow up high-key shoot with Nanaz of headshot-style images… she has incredibly beautiful brown eyes. And none of the photos we shot last night do them justice.

I would have loved to do these in Downtown LA… but, maybe next time.

Here’s one last one. This was just a quick shot before I adjusted any of my settings after moving indoors, into a parking garage. The really low-light effect worked out pretty well though. It gives the image a creepy feel.

Another thing that I’ve spent most of the last week on is catching on my racing edits.

I have images from many different races from multiple types of sports that I’ve been too busy to edit and upload the last three months. I know, it sounds crazy to be that far behind, however when you spend the summer handling the major race accounts that I did, you fall behind on your personal website really quickly.

This image was made during the XDL Sportbike Freestyle competition last month at Irwindale Speedway. I have images ready from this event, and also Flat Track racing at the Perris Speedway that are ready to be uploaded. I also have Motocross and Supermoto ready to go up as well.

This shot is of Darryl Atkins practicing for the X-Games. I have a few shots of him that will be going up, as well as I quick track-side portrait for the racer series I started.

I’m still working on Drag Racing, and also Off Road Racing from the Lucas Oil Series. Hopefully those will be prepped and ready for upload this next week. I’m sorry to those of you who are waiting for this larger update to my portfolio – I didn’t realize just how much work I had in store for me with everything.

I’m keepin’ at it though.
Shouldn’t be long…

AMA Daytona Sportbike and Superbike racing

I spent all of Friday and Sunday at the California Speedway to shoot AMA Daytona Sportbike and Superbike racing. The picture above is of Ben Thompson from the Aprilia race team – which, as it turns out, I knew a couple of the mechanics that were at the race this weekend.

Overall I had an incredible time shooting such a high speed sport. And it’s always a little humbling to realize that many of these riders are younger than me – and I’m pretty young myself… easily one of the youngest professional photographers out there.

There were also a few accidents…

This was probably the worse one. The rider broke his foot, and destroyed the bike… flipped multiple times back over front. Those rims alone are eight grand a piece I’m told.. This was during Friday on the time trials day. There were also two riders that went down today during finals I believe.

I had a really great weekend. This week is looking to be pretty busy as well. Hopefully the weather clears a bit since the clouds, haze, and rain canceled the beach bikini shoots I had scheduled last week – a terrible tragedy, I know.
The next month is going to be nuts… keep checkin back for more photos, more racing, and – of course – some gorgeous models.

Good night all!