I shot this tire change video with my friend Bill Dragoo a few years ago while we were on a trip to Oregon. We stopped at our friend Ricky Brook’s house in Logan, UT and Bill decided to change his rear tire. I had basic video equipment with me including a camera, audio recorder and tripod. We shot this in a few minutes out in Ricky’s driveway. I came back home to Edmond and put the video together in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Affects and posted to YouTube. It has ended up one of the most watched videos I have ever produced, now totaling well over 230,000 views – for a tire changing how-to video! With limited production equipment! Just goes to show you don’t need a truck load of equipment to produce a popular video segment.
In 2010 is was at the BMW MOA rally in Bend, Oregon and was asked to be a judge for the BMW GS “Anti-Concourse” bike show. The purpose of this show was to highlight bikes that were used in odd and unusual ways. During the judging I came across two bikes that were obviously different than the others – both had kiteboards strapped onto the back of each bike.
After the event I had a chance to meet with the riders and discovered they were Mexican nationals who were traveling to Hood River, Oregon to spend a few weeks kiteboarding. They had decided a few months prior to jump on their bikes, load up their kiteboards – and Chano, a dog – and spend the summer riding from Baja north to Hood River, kiteboarding along the way, camping out when necessary, and just exploring life on a bike and on the water.
I had a couple of days to spare before my next appointment in Montana, so I hooked up with these guys and rode with them to Hood River. They were staying at a rental house with about 12 other Mexican nationals who were also kiteboarding Hood River that summer. People threw air mattresses and sleeping bags on the floor, sacked out at night and kiteboarded during the day. I pitched my tent in the back yard and spent a few days following them and documenting their fascinating story. I created a short video of them and the story was picked up by Adventure Rider Magazine.
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In 2010 I had the opportunity to film and photograph a ride along the continental divide ride put on my Rawhyde Adventures, which follows continental divide off-road from Canada to Mexico. Participating in the ride was Pieter de Waal, then CEO of BMW Mottorad North America. I was on my 2009 BMW R1200 GS Adventure motorcycle, carrying all my photo gear, camping gear and equipment for 3 weeks on the road. My job was to ride ahead of everyone, set up, film and photograph the riders as they went past, load up my gear, ride like a madman to pass everyone, then do it all over again – day after day of the ride. When we would arrive at camp each night I would have to set up my tent, grab a bit of food and then film the campsite, off-load my camera memory cards, back everything up to my laptop and external hard drives, charge my camera batteries if possible, and get ready for the next morning’s ride. It was a fun but challenging and busy week of riding. The scenery was spectacular and the riding fun and challenging – especially at warp speed as I went past all the other riders. Off-road, in the dirt, on a 600+ lb motorcycle loaded with gear.
I sent the video and pictures to Rawhyde Adventures and they just recently posted a video about the ride. I shot most of the footage in this video using my Nikon D3s, D7000 and Contour HD.
Here are a few of my photographs from the ride.
After planning my personal project and gathering the necessary supplies and assistants and scouting a location, we converged on Lake Thunderbird near Norman, Oklahoma on Thursday evening. It was HOT – about 104 where we were at and even hotter in some locations around Oklahoma. I had two volunteers/friends there to help with setting up equipment. First we set up “camp” with a tent, sleeping bag, and all the peripheral accessories. I scoped out my planned shots in advance, since I knew once the sun started sinking behind the horizon we would have to move fast to get multiple setups completed.
Aime Taylor, my model for the evening, showed up right on time with her husband and a couple of bags full of clothes. We went through the wardrobe and I picked out some attire that I thought would fit our theme. I wanted the shot to be very realistic yet cute and sexy. It was to be a fantasy shot for adventure riders – someone they would dream about meeting at a campsite.
My original plan was to use my AB800 lights for the shoot – not because I needed the light output, but because of the great light modifiers I have for the AB’s. But alas, somehow the AB-800’s missed the loadout so we fell back to shooting with Nikon SB-900’s. Plenty of power out of those babies, since we were shooting after sunset, but we had to do a bit of finagling to control the light the way I wanted – on the subject and not on the ground in front. I wanted to boost the sunset colors on my models face, so gelled one SB-900 with a full CTO gel and bounced that into a silver umbrella. The second SB-900 was used simply for fill, shot through a Lumiquest softbox. We shot various configurations with just these two lights. VERY happy with the results.
First set was Aime camping, hanging around the tent cooking dinner.
Next we had her in the water cooling off – of course!
Finally a shot of her getting ready for bed in the tent.
At the urging of friend and writer Bill Dragoo, I attended the third annual Rawhyde Adventure Rider Challenge last May held in Castaic, California. The day before leaving for the competition I traded my 2008 Honda GL1800 Goldwing for a 2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure – my dream bike and by far the best bike I have ever ridden. What a great choice. I borrowed some luggage and loaded up my camera and camping gear and headed west for two weeks of riding, camping and taking pictures. What a perfect gig!
My goal was to photograph the competition at the event. These are very difficult pictures to do right. You not only have to deal with the elements – dirt, dust, sand, mud, wind and cold – but also you have to ride your bike along some pretty challenging trails, loaded up with camera gear. You also have to hike over 600 acres of steep hills to get the good pictures, loaded down witih two heavy D3 cameras and lenses, along with off-camera flash & stands. Photographing the competition was WORK, let me tell you. While the other riders were relaxing after a hard day of riding, I was back at camp hunched over my laptop, processing photos and cleaing equipment for the next day.
As I write this I am making plans to attend the 2010 event. Jim Hyde and the folks at Rawhyde Adventures always put on a great event and are really nice folks to deal with. I will once again be riding my BMW R1200GS Adventure there, but this time I will be riding with Bill Dragoo, camping for 2 weeks along the way. Afterwards we plan to travel north to Yosemite and trail ride in the Sierra Nevada mountians for some upcoming stories in Adventure Rider Magazine. Should be a great time once again! We should be publishing several stories from this trip.