Today I shot some video at the 68th annual Santa Parade in Chehalis WA. Lots of waving going on today.
I just took delivery of my very own Canon 1DX mark II, and I felt that a trip to Riverdale Raceway in Toutle WA would be a great place to put it's video capabilities to the test. Take a look, as Alex Feaster goes dirt surfing.
Recently I had a chance to photograph the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team, a group of motorcycle riders who perform choreographed stunts for crowds. The Chronicle (Centralia WA) had me shoot this assignment for an upcoming Life section article. Writer, Carinna Stanton and myself met up at the base of the tower at the Olympia Airport where the team would be practicing. We were greeted by 8 stereotypical looking bikers, all of which were VERY friendly. Tom Iyall, Scot Haskell, Jerry Rowland, Dan Wojtech, Chad Bowman, Ed Phillips, Jesse Lamp, and Gary Young made up the group. Out of the 8 bikes, 7 were Harley Davidsons, 1 was a Can-Am Spyder or a "Snowmobile" as the rest of the guys joked.
The Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team, from left: Tom Iyall, Scot Haskell, Jerry Rowland, Dan Wojtech, Chad Bowman, Ed Phillips, Jesse Lamp, and Gary Young. Not pictured: Wayne Mudartegui, and Steve Lorenzo.
I was impressed by the maneuvers that the team put on, and it was a very fun assignment to shoot. The airport was a great place for it, the backgrounds were fairly clean, and the clouds in the sky created a nice effect as well as a nice soft, even light. The conditions were ideal.
The Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team rides in formation during a recent practice at the Olympia airport. For the past 32 years, this non profit group has performed at variety of events throughout Washington state, all for the love of pleasing crowds and riding their motorcycles.
I always want to make my images interesting, and one way of doing that is by finding different angles, perspectives, and composition. Carinna suggested I hop on the back of the "Snowmobile" and get a riders perspective during some of the maneuvers...GREAT IDEA! I hopped on and began firing away as we followed the group up and down the strip. At one point we performed a "Suicide", and that made for one of the best images in this set.
Rider Jerry Rowland, pilots his motorcycle through the middle of his oncoming teamates, performing a manuever called a "Suicide".
Every year, Landon Currier and his crew seem to put on more and more camps for motocross riders looking to hone their skills on the track. Spring camp, Summer camp, Fall camp, and small sessions around local NW tracks in between keep Landon and his fiancé, Justine, very busy.
Anytime there's a camp in session, I always make a point of stopping in, saying hi, and taking some photos of all the students. Young or old, there is something for everyone. The advise and relationship between the instructors and riders is second to none. "Keep your elbows up", "lean back more in this section", "weight the outside peg when in this corner". The words of wisdom don't fall upon def ears, young and old alike, they all soak it up, and can be seen improving lap after lap.
Woodland MX played host to Currier's camp this time around, and the weather (at least on Saturday) couldn't be better. With somewhere close to 40 riders spread out between 3 different stations, instructors, Landon Currier, Alyas Wardius, and Darrin Currier (Landon's father) schooled the riders on starts, corners, jumps, passing, and everything else in between.
I was able to gain press credentials for the Tacoma Arenacross. Originally, I had an assignment to follow around a couple local riders throughout race day, but those two individuals ended up not racing at all that weekend. So I decided to go shoot the event anyways, who wouldn't?
After picking up my media vest- which was the sickest photographer vest I have EVER worn (so many creature comforts, and BIG pockets)- I worked my way around the pits. Never attending an Arenacross event, I was intrigued at how the pits were setup. I'm used to the typical outdoor, out of the back of a truck pits. This however was just a bunch of pop-up canopy's and bikes everywhere all willy-nilly like.
I then made my way out to the track, and was happy with the layout. Typically, at a Supercross race, there are very few areas you can shoot from. Due to the tight confines of stadiums, and the unpredictability of riders at time, it's important to keep photographers in a "safe" spot to avoid any collisions that may occur between an out of control rider and any media person that isn't paying attention. Tacoma's layout was great, I could navigate from lane to lane without having to cut the track (which, by the way, is a no-no). Lots of room to stand means I'm not pigeonholed with all the other photographers, and getting the same photos.
The remaining evening was spent running up and down the stadium, getting different angles and enjoying the freedom of being able to go wherever I needed to get my shots. Although I was unable to get the shots of the riders I was originally there for, I did meet some cool people, and got some sick shots.
Shout out to Mike Vizer (@mikevizerphoto) for giving me the run-down before the start of the show. I had no idea what to expect or how the night show was going to play out. It was a bit different from a Supercross, and a lot more fast paced.