My family went on our annual dual sport dirt bike ride in the mountains of SE Oklahoma. This photo was captured on my Olympus OMD EM5. I love this small, portable camera with high quality prime interchangeable lenses and full manual controls. It is small enough to carry even on my dirt bike yet with the powerful controls I need as a pro photographer and the image quality I expect from a pro level camera.
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.
Today I started a personal project to photograph boots – primarily boots that people ride motorcycles in, but I will probably end up shooting all types of boots. I think boots have so much character and each boot can tell a different story. They can be rugged, dirty, rough, dainty, clean, scuffed, or a host of other conditions. The dirt can be from different parts of the world. It can be dust, mud, clay, etc. This is a pair of my wife’s motocross boots.
This story was on the Oklahoma Cross Country Racing Association charity event held in Guthrie each year. I wanted to capture some pictures of youth riders. I grabbed this shot while they were waiting for the start of the race. While a lot of photographers use a telephoto lens for sports action, I prefer to use a wide angle lens and get in really tight with my shots. It gives you a feel of “being there”. I used flash to fill in the shot against the bright sun. I think this first picture would make a great cover shot.
I thought this next picture was great with the father encouraging his daughter before the race.
And finally some action shots. I found some shade from the bright sun and was able to slow my shutter down and use off-camera flash to freeze the action. Panning with the subject helped freeze the rider, and the panning action gave a blur to the background.
I love doing portraits of people. It is always a challenge to capture a picture that really tells who that person is. My job for this story was to tell the story of Geoffrey Wooldridge, an up and coming motocross racer from Broken Arrow. I traveled to Tulsa to photograph him at practice at a busy motocross track. I had to dodge bikes flying around like crazy, and deal with a really boring, cluttered background. I shot the portrait right at sunset using an off-camera SB-800 on a portable light stand. For the action shot I used two SB-800’s to cross light the photo. Dust is always a problem at dirt bike events, so I had two cameras, each with a lens, and did not swap lenses at all during the shoot for fear of a dust-filled sensor. I also wrote the story for this article.