Behind the Photo: Alex Graydon at BSR
BSR is one of the coolest and most unique wake parks in the world. Not only does it have a great park, but it also has a lemur island in the middle of that park, and it has lights for riding at night. A bunch of the best riders descended upon BSR in September for the final stop of the Monster Energy Wake Park Triple Crown series. On the last night of the weekend, after the contest was over, a group of riders were hanging out at the edge of the lake, watching some locals ride under the lights. At one point though no riders were on the water and it turned into a perfect mirror, providing a cool reflection of the light. That was all the motivation a few guys needed to grab their boards and head out for a soul carving session. I saw Alex come around the corner from where we were all sitting and he did a backside carve that got lit up perfectly by the lights and I knew I had to get my camera out of the bag to try to get a shot.
One of the first shots I took was of Collin Harrington carving back and forth down the back line of the park. The hard part about shooting into a stadium light like this is that you need the rider to be in the reflection area, or else he would just blend into the darkness of the water. As riders rode past me I told them to just keep carving around as they came around the corner and down the line, hoping that I would line up a shot that worked.
This carve of Alex looked cool with him silhouetted against his spray, but the framing didn’t work in terms of keeping the light in the photo.
Graeme Burress was doing some big backside carves right by me every lap, and I thought it might be cool to do a slow shutter drag for a shot as he did one. I thought the movement of the water might look cool blurred through the photo. This one turned out pretty neat, and I decided to keep working with the slower shutter speed as all the guys rode by.
A little bit later Alex laid down this backside carve that was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. It wasn’t what I originally had in mind in terms of a rider carving through the light reflection part on the water, but it was still really cool. I really liked how you could see Alex perfectly in silhouette, with his hand dragging through the water, and I like how the movement of the water shows up in the frame. Having the light in the frame adds to it and brings everything together. In the end this is the shot from that night that made it in the Photo Annual issue.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon 135mm f/2.0 L