Behind the Photo – Nate Perry and Chris Garrison
One day Chris called me up out of the blue. I had actually never met him, so it was a bit random, but he had a super cool idea that I couldn’t pass up. At first I was a bit sceptical to weather it would work out, but then he showed me examples of previous photos he had done like this one. Instantly I was down and stoked that I agreed. It turned out better than we had both thought.
This particular photo was the hardest photo I’ve ever had to get. The trick wasn’t too hard. It was just a cab 180 nose press, early pass back backside 180 out. The difficult part was getting my body position right with the timing of the photo. There was so many factors that went into making it work. Sometimes my arm would be in the wrong place, or I would be in a goofy body position. I would say I did this trick about fifty to sixty times, at least three sets, to get the photo. So I have to say thanks to Trevor Bashir for taking the time to drive for me. Chris had the hard part though, he had to get myself and the mirror in focus. He definitely has mad talent behind the lens and I plan on shooting with him a lot in the future.
Camera: Nikon D2x
Lens: Nikon 70-200mm F 2.8 VR II
Flash: 2x Elinchrom Ranger Speed AS with S heads full power and a Pocket Wizard Flexx TT5 on camera/ST4’s on the Packs
Reflection: Random mirror found on the side of the street on Clear Lake.
Settings: ISO 200 1/1,250th a sec F6.3 at 80mm
When I first started shooting wakeboarding I was trying to create different and unique images, but keep them true to classic wakeboarding form. I had already been shooting different projects for snowboarding and thought the “Reflection Project” was perfect for wakeboarding. I had already experimented with reflections from shattered and broken mirrors in snow and started transferring the ideas over to wake.
The idea actually came up during a team shoot where I was shooting CK Koester on the Skullcandy rail at The Projects. Some water had ended up settling on the barge used to build the rails. It was lined up perfect to make a pretty nice reflection. We ended up with a few solid shots and had Garret check them out. He ended up getting me thinking about how I could end up with a perfect 50/50 image reflection.
I had never shot Nate Perry before, but I knew he could kill it on the rail. It also helped that he lives at the Projects and has total access to the rails any time that he wants. I gave him a call, pitched the idea, and was out at The Projects two days later.
I ended up with a homeless mirror I found on Clear Lake that was about 2 feet wide, 3 feet long, on a 2 inch piece of wood that weight about 25 lbs. The entire drive from downtown to The Projects I was seriously thinking about how I was going to get the mirror to stay above the water and also be able to move it where I needed it to go. Lucky it becomes apparent in the early stages of photography; redneck engineering plays keys roles in almost every shoot. And being a Floridian that is one thing we get darn good at.
It was about 12 noon and the light was as bad as it could be for shooting photos. The shot would basically look very flat and Nate would be a big black shadow on the rail. Luckily I do a lot of work with Pocket Wizard and they had recently came out with new technology that allows for super fast shutter speeds to be used with flashes called Hypersync. Using the F-stop to darken the background, the shutter speed to freeze the motion, and the flash to sidelight Nate, I was able to make the shot look like early morning or pre sunset.
With the new tech we basically had all day to get the shot I wanted. It was going to come down to the mirror being angled right, the flashes going off, the focus being right on, and how much gas was left in the ski.
This was Nate getting the rail ready, and my first time seeing if the shot would work or not.
Sneek peek at the Broken Project! Nate and is pup that will run for at least 4 straight hours up and down the lake post shoot!