Behind The Photo: Blake Bishop Wallride
Blake Bishop is no stranger to wallrides and the endless possibilities they offer at your local cable park. BliBli had just finished the wall so Blake was one of the first to volunteer to hit it. Immediately Blake was comfortable and so we decided to shoot a few photos on it. Instead of shooting the standard long lens see how high you can get I opted for a lower angle. I chose this angle for multiple reasons:
1.There is a lot of white on this wall from the plastic which can easily become an eyesore. Remember that your eye always goes to the brightest part of the photo.
2. The background was distracting so shooting long lens would include a lot of clutter and distract the viewer from what was really going on.
3. I knew Blake wanted to do a layback. Shooting long lens would flatten everything and run the chance of his body blocking the layback part of the trick from the viewer.
I decided to set up 3 flashes for this photo, two on a floating barge and one on land behind the wall. It may seem weird to set up a flash completely behind the wall but it was for a good reason. The sun was setting behind the wall which illuminated the bracing of the wall. To me, all those lines were discrating so I wanted to balance the front and back flashes to create a white area where blake would hit the wall. This would not only create less distractions but it would have lines leading into and away from Blake creating a graphic element and gradient with the normally distracting white wall. If I didn’t shoot with flashes Blake would have been dark and in shadows due to the sun setting behind the wall. You could have achieved a similar look with only two flashes but since I had three flashes I set up two on the barge instead of just one. Also, with this light setup I would be able to shoot different tricks without changing my lights around.
As you can see shooting straight at the white wall not only creates a flat photo but it is just ugly.
This wasn’t a bad safety photo to have. He wasn’t the highest on the wall but there is more depth than the previous photo.
I decided to move a little closer to the wall and shoot vertical. This would eliminate anything in the background completely. Blake went higher than the previous one and shooting more from underneath him will help add to the perspective of his hight. The thing we did;t like about this one though was how only his tail was touching the wall. Some people may call it out as a beach so he went for one more.
Here is the last try and the photo that ran in the July Issue of the magazine. He’s in more of a board slide position on the wall rather then a tail press position like the previous photo. The random cloud also acted as a nice natural framing device for the nose of his board above the wall.
Camera: Canon 1D MArk IV
Lens: Sigma 20mm F/1.4A