TJ Swinkels sails through the night to win the Big Air Competition with a 35 foot leap.
The recent Cathlamet Downhill Corral is once again the subject of this week’s Image of the Week. Biggest Air is from a few hours after Sunset Flight and features the winning jump from the Big Air Competition.
Big Air is one of the most intense competitions of the weekend. TJ Swinkels won the event with a 35 foot leap that was just longer than that of Brian Bishop. Both riders put on an amazing show bringing incredulous reactions from fellow competitors and spectators alike. I especially liked Scott Lembach’s reaction to this leap that shattered distance records not only from Cathlamet but from around the sport.
Shooting the event was a challenge. Things were running late so it crossed from daylight to twilight to night. I chose my 11-16 2.8 so I could keep the aperture wide open while capturing the surrounding scene and giving myself more margin for error if I didn’t track the action perfectly.
It was essentially dark when the longest leaps were taking place. Flash was a necessity but as it got darker it got very difficult to perceive distance looking through the lens. With my position adjacent to the landing ramp I had to err on the side of caution and bail out of several shots when it looked like boards or riders might be heading towards me. With so many other photographers shooting it was also challenging to get clear shots and not have shots blown out by multiple flashes. I ultimately ended up moving under the takeoff ramp for a different, and safer, perspective.
- RAW image with Nikon D7000 @ 400 ISO
- Tokina AT-X Pro SD 11-16mm f/2.8 (IF) DX Zoom Lens @ 16mm
- 1/250th of a second @ ƒ/2.8
- Sunday, August 25, 2013 @ 20:16
- Cathlamet Downhill Corral, Cathlamet, Washington, USA
Host JP Rowan takes flight in the Slopestyle event at the Cathlamet Downhill Corral 2013 presented by Rip City Skate.
The recent Cathlamet Downhill Corral is one of my favorite weekends of the year. This week’s Image of the Week is one of my favorites from the event. Sunset Flight features event host JP Rowan just after takeoff.
The wide variety of competitive events is what sets the CDC apart from other longboard events that I cover. The Downhill race is certainly the signature but the weekend is stacked with everything from very technical slaloms to high flying big air competitions.
One event that is fun to watch but a challenge for still photography is the Slopestyle. The competition is typically held on a paved hill with perhaps a ramp or other obstacle thrown in to spice things up. It is difficult to translate the expertise and style demonstrated by the competitors with still photos, it simply translates better with video.
This year JP and the hardworking design and setup crew for the CDC blew up the mold and took Slopestyle to a whole new level! There were a wide variety of ramps and jumps including many from the Boardercross. They also found a unique use for one of the moving trucks turning it into an obstacle and an announcing stand. They turned the slopestyle on it’s ear and it resulted in some of my favorite photos of the entire weekend including Sunset Flight.
For this image I broke a couple of basic rules of photography. One rule is to use your zoom to keep yourself at a safe distance. In this case I was full wide and right under the action, but safety was a consideration as I was directly adjacent to the takeoff ramp and out of the flight path. Another rule is to not shoot directly into the sun. I clearly broke this one as well but used it to dramatic effect and utilized a hot shoe mounted flash to fill in the shadows. By the time the image was captured the sun had mostly set, but a few minutes early it was a dramatic feature of images like the one at left.
It takes many hard working people to put on an event like the CDC. I’d like to dedicate this image to them and thank them for putting on a spectacular weekend of fun, friends, and great photo opportunities!
- JPEG image with Nikon D7000 @ 400 ISO
- Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens @ 18mm
- 1/250th of a second @ ƒ/13
- Sunday, August 25, 2013 @ 19:33
- Cathlamet Downhill Corral, Cathlamet, Washington, USA
Billy ‘Bones’ Meiners takes down the Cathlamet Downhill Corral’s signature Downhill Race.
I am back in Topeka, Kansas on business this week. The Image of the Week is from this past weekend’s Cathlamet Downhill Corral. Bones Conquers Cathlamet is actually a square frame created to be an Instagram post from the event site.
It was an exciting weekend in Cathlamet capped off by watching ‘Bones’ capture the event he helped create. It was a very popular victory and I wanted to be among the first to share the results & congratulate Billy.
It is becoming increasingly important to post at least a sampling of images either from the event site or as soon as possible following an event. Instagram helps with this a great deal, the app is popular in it’s own right and makes it easy to share to other services. For this image I put an eye-fi card in the second slot of the D7000 and used it to transfer a few selected images over to my iPhone. I then used Diptic to create the three part image, it is a fast and flexible app available both on iOS & Android along with the Mac. Finally I published it using Instagram along with pushing it to Facebook. All of this could have been done in minutes following the conclusion of the race, I had some other obligations but still posted within 90 minutes.
Congratulations to Billy on the well earned victory on an often wet course! You can find preview images from Cathlamet now and many more as I’m able to process in the galleries. You can follow me on Instagram by searching my username: PDXoutre. It is worth mentioning that this Instagram feed is my personal one, so it is a mixture of images both professionally and family oriented.
- Images with Nikon D7000 and transferred onsite to iPhone
- Frame created with Diptic and published with Instagram
- Sunday, August 18, 2013
- Cathlamet, Washington, USA
Jet Sprint Boat taking flight after leaving the course at the Field of Dreams in Tangent, OR.
This week’s Image of the Week is going to be on the short and sweet side. I am currently out of state and working very long days so my opportunities to write are limited this week. Aqua Flight was captured this past weekend at the Field of Dreams near Tangent, Oregon.
The Jet Sprint Boats have quickly become one of my favorite things to watch and shoot during the summer. These amazing machines have acceleration and turning ability unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. We are lucky that they have found a home here in the Pacific Northwest and we have the opportunity to watch them.
Like anything with the kind of “on the edge” performance racing incidents sometimes happen with the Jet Sprints. This incident (Full sequence of photos here) has garnered a lot of attention because the boat ended up going through the fence and into the spectator area. KATU television has used my photos and conducted an email interview with me from my temporary work/home here in Kansas. I will let that article stand as part of this post, it is one of the most popular on their site this week. It has also driven traffic through the roof on my site, interestingly with most of the hits coming through the KOMO television web site out of Seattle. If you haven’t seen it take a moment to click through.
Life has been very busy here in Kansas. Anyone who knows me will be shocked to know that I brought an SLR and a Pocket Camera on this trip, have been here since Sunday, and neither of them have left their respective bags yet!
- JPEG image with Nikon D300 @ 200 ISO
- Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens @ 85mm
- 1/800th of a Second @ ƒ/7.1
- Saturday, July 27, 2013 @ 14:33
- Field of Dreams, Tangent, Oregon, USA
First round racing at the Mt. Tabor Downhill Challenge July 14, 2013 in Portland, Oregon.
This week’s Image of the Week is from the recent Mt. Tabor Downhill Challenge. Eric on the Move captures one of the stand up (at least most of the time) members of the Portland Downhill Skateboarding scene at speed.
Eric Hovey is one of the people behind the scenes that helps make Portland such a standout skate community. He is a team rider and does graphic design for the legendary Eastside Longboards. He is an integral part of the team that brings us the Cathlamet Downhill Corral including marketing and design work. He also designed the world famous posters for the Mt. Tabor Downhill Challenge the past two years featuring photos from Kroll Images. Eric is just as comfortable behind the camera as on a board often shooting still and video images of events around the region.
Eric on the Move was captured early in the racing brackets at the MTDHC. I wanted to drag the shutter to show the speed but still leave enough background recognizable that people familiar with the area would know where it was shot. On a bright day like this it required stopping down to ƒ/18 in order to shoot at 1/50th of a second. I panned with Eric keeping his head in focus which subsequently left his feet and board out of focus and provide plenty of motion blur.
Go check out some of Eric’s handy work. It takes a lot of hard and often thankless work to put on these events around the Northwest, I’m happy to pass a little gratitude on to Eric!
- JPEG image with Nikon D7000 @ 200 ISO
- Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens @ 56mm
- 1/50th of a Second @ ƒ/18
- Sunday, July 14, 2013 @ 14:37
- Mt. Tabor Park, Portland, Oregon, USA
In the Women’s Final Georgia Bontorin from Brazil and Amanda Powell from California come together fighting for the lead.
This week’s Image of the Week is a capture of the most decisive moment from this year’s the Maryhill Festival of Speed. The Women’s Final on the world famous Maryhill Loops Road course near Goldendale, WA provided for the Maryhill Moment of Truth.
The Women’s Championship Final featured Elena Coriggall, Marie Bougourd (Spoky Woky), Katie Neilson, Amanda Powell, Georgia Bontorin & defending champion Alicia Fillback. The early portions of the heat featured tight racing with positions being exchanged at every opportunity. As they passed me at Back Breaker corner the entire field was in contention for the win. After passing through the neverending left the field headed for the straightaway where everything would change.
As they approached Ambulance Corner the close racing led to what it often does; the racing incident. The Maryhill Moment of Truth occurred when Brazilian Georgia Bontorin and Californian Amanda Powell came together battling for the lead. When they went down the entire pack, with one exception, piled in with no time for evasive action. Canadian Elena Coriggall was the loan rider to avoid the incident and was rewarded with an unchallenged ride to victory. Behind her the rest of the field struggled to find their boards and get back underway to battle for the remaining podium positions. Local rider Alicia Fillback took the worst hit as her board was lost deep in the weeds in an unexpected direction costing her an opportunity to defend her MFoS title.
I used two camera bodies to capture this and other race heats from Back Breaker Saturday and Sunday. I outfitted the D300 with the 18-200vr for close action and switched to the D7000 with the 70-300vr for distant shots. This allowed me to capture nearly half of the race course from a single vantage point. Following the Open Class final I rode with the course workers and other media down to the finish line. I had a feeling that I may have the best images available of the incident and that there could well be a protest filed by one or more of the Women’s competitors.
Sure enough, when I got off of the truck most of the Women’s field were gathered around race officials discussing what had happened. While I was a bit late to the party this image was part of what lead to the protests being denied and the final results being upheld. It was decided that it was simply a racing incident with no punishable actions leading to it, from my perspective absolutely the correct decision. It was simply a case of two racers coming together while racing hard and clean. Incidents like this are what the phrase “that’s racin’” was created to describe.
I posted unedited preview images from the event site and in the first few days after returning home, this is the first of the final edited and sorted races to be posted. These images and more can all be found within my 2013 Maryhill Festival of Speed Galleries. More final images will join the gallery as they are processed.
- RAW image with Nikon D7000 @ 200 ISO
- Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens @ 300mm
- 1/1000th of a Second @ ƒ/9
- Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 18:17
- Maryhill Loops Road, Goldendale, Washington, USA
Douglas Dalua Silva leads Tongue, Maytum as they pass me in neverending left (turn 1). Championship Finals of the 2012 IGSA Maryhill Festival of Speed in Goldendale, WA.
This week’s Image of the Week is a flashback to the event that I am at right now. I am at the world famous Maryhill Loops Road near Goldendale, WA for the Maryhill Festival of Speed. Maryhill FOS Sunday Finals 18 _D3C4253, is from the championship finals of last year’s event.
This photo was captured up on the course in one of the more challenging high speed corners during the finals. Patrick Switzer would ultimately win the event, but at this point on the course he was not in the top three. There are multiple opportunities to pass on this highly technical course. I really enjoy covering the event and the people involved in it, the five day festival is one of the highlights of the summer for my son and I. This is just one of many images from the event, and I covered portions of the 2011 races as well.
MFoS is one of the signature events in the newly formed International Downhill Federation World Cup series. Athletes from around the world will race in groups of six on the twisting and turning 2.2 mile 22 turn course at high speeds. The seventh annual edition is running through Sunday, is free for the spectating public, and is only about 2 hours from Portland so come see us this weekend!
- JPEG image with Nikon D3000 @ 200 ISO
- Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom Nikkor Lens @ 34mm
- 1/125th of a Second @ ƒ/9
- Sunday, July 1, 2012 @ 19:37
- Maryhill Loops Road, Goldendale, Washington, USA
Due to some scheduling conflicts over the next few weeks I’m not sure when I’m going to get a chance to edit the photos from last weekend’s P-Town Throwdown. Due to popular demand to see more of the images I am breaking with my normal procedures and releasing the unedited photo backups to the public.
Please keep in mind that these are completely unedited and unfiltered. It is simply everything I shot that day with the good, bad, and ugly. None of them have been edited at this point with the exception of the previously released preview images. I will have a normal edited and filtered gallery for posting as soon as they are ready.
Switchbacks May 2013
Covered an hour or so of the Switchbacks event this weekend and the photos are posted now. It was an abbreviated visit due to other family obligations, but Claire and I enjoyed what we were able to catch!
Raffle winner during Post Race Festivities of the 2012 P-Town Throwdown.
Spring has sprung and with it the first big event on the Portland skate calendar is just around the corner. Hosted by Robin “Robskey” McGuirk of Eastside Longboards, the P-Town Throwdown is held on Memorial Day Weekend each year. This week’s Image of the Week; Winning Joy, is from the 2012 event.
The event is a “push race”, a longboard skateboard endurance race running 8.5 miles from Mt. Tabor Park to Sellwood Park. McGuirk has won every event run on this course dating back eight years and will be trying to make it nine this year. Following the event there is a raffle for the participants held at Sellwood Park. Winning Joy was captured during this raffle at last year’s event. The young man in the photo had just won one of the top prizes, the board he’s holding over his head. Everyone enjoyed how excited he was with the possible exception of the young man over his left shoulder!
As always this year’s P-Town Throwdown is a benefit for the Oregon Food Bank. Come on out on Sunday, May 26th to join in the fun and help set a new record for food donations!
- JPEG image with Nikon D7000 @ 220 ISO
- Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom Nikkor Lens @ 18mm
- 1/200th of a Second @ ƒ/11
- Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 11:05
- Sellwood Park, Portland, Oregon, USA