Photography

GREASE MONKEY MAGAZINE – APRIL 2011

The April issue of Grease Monkey Magazine is about to hit the streets with some of my images… including shots of the great David Aldana and the Spring Thaw Low Buck Chopper winner. If you are in Tennessee, be sure and grab a copy or check it out on-line by CLICKING HERE.


THUNDER ROADS TENNESSEE – OCTOBER 2010

The October issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee is in the stores and this month you will find photography and an article by “Yours Truly”. I’ve been writing for the #1 motorcycle publication in the state for several years now and it’s one of my favorite things to do. The bike featured in my article is one cool ‘84 Shovelhead built by Mr. Sins. Pick up a copy of Thunder Roads at most any motorcycle shop in the state.


HANGIN’ WITH THE REDNECK BRETHREN!

September is one of my favorite months for a few reasons. First, I can finally hop on my bike in Middle Tennessee and ride a fair distance without my brain becoming scrambled eggs from the 100+ degree heat… second, the NFL season kicks off and I still have hope that the Kansas City Chiefs may have a decent year… and third, the Redneck Rumble!

The first two I’m sure you can relate to but you may not know what the Redneck Rumble is. No, it’s not a bunch of hillbilly’s knocking each other out with moonshine jugs… it’s just one of the baddest car and bike shows with some of the coolest people anywhere in the country. Most of what you see at this show is projects built by their owners, in their own backyards. with their own hands… and the best parts they could come up with. NO TRAILER QUEENS!

My buddy Scooter over at www.BothBarrelsPromotions.com always does a great job putting this show together and this year was no exception. Record turn-out made for a great day! Here are a few pics but you can view a ton more if you CLICK HERE.


’84 SHOVELHEAD FLH

I got to photograph this way cool ’84 Shovelhead last weekend. The bike is owned and was built by Middle Tennessee’s own Mr. Sins (fabricator and painter) and I think everything on it is modified in some way. One of my favorite parts though is the 1976 SuperGlide tank. Sins got this tank from his dad and he can actually remember riding around the yard with his dad on his bike, while he sat on this tank when he was a kid. What a cool two-wheeled legacy!

Here’s the details on the rest of Sins work: WideGlide front end, SuperGlide rear fender, ’56 Sporty tail lights (filled), Sporty bars, SU Carb, Motor is Stroked, S&S Rods and Flyweights, Branch Heads, 5 Speed Trans, Paint: Blue Steel Metal Flake/Vivid Black / White Stripes.


I MUST NOT BE RIGHT…

I must not be right… OK, before everyone jumps on the “ain’t that the truth” bandwagon… I’m talking about my tastes in motorcycles. It seems like a majority of people I come across have a habit of drooling over large amounts of Chrome and Easter Egg paint jobs… but the bikes that always grab my attention and put me into a “Homer-Simpson-Looking-At-A-Donut” kind of trance are the mutts. The outcasts. The Rats. The ugly Betty’s. The bikes that were obviously built with blood, sweat and tears, didn’t cost an arm-and-a-leg, are actually ridden and are never polished!

This weekend I ran across one such bike at a local bike show… and while many were walking past it to get to the “pretty” and “vintage” bikes… I took more pics of this Yamaha beauty than any other bike there. This bike is awesome!


If YOU NEED ONE… I KNOW A GOOD ONE!

I find it amusing when I tell people I am a photographer and they respond with… “Oh cool, you take pictures.” While it is true that photographers take pictures, most people have no idea how much work is involved in the process of arriving at that final product… the picture. I have shot many bike and car shows over the years, sometimes just for my own blog use and other times for major publications. Let’s look at the latter.

The process starts with talking to an editor and finding out what they need. Many times they will let me have total creative freedom to capture an event but other times they will ask for specific types of shots so it is important that when it comes time for them to hand me a check, they have the shots they were expecting. Once the image details are set, it’s time to communicate with the promoter. Usually they are aware I am coming at this point but not always so it’s wise to confirm with them. Experience has taught me that promoters love any kind of press coverage but they also get very uptight if they see you taking photographs with pro gear and they don’t know who you are.

Next the fun begins! I always make plans to arrive early so I can meet the promoter face-to-face (so he knows what I look like) and then start shooting. It’s a long day for sure… lugging expensive and heavy gear around in the blazing sun, jockeying for position with the massive crowds to get just the right angle, waiting for “Mr. Oblivious” to realize he is standing right in front of my lens… haha… and then dragging my worn out self back home with 200 to 300 images in tow.

So that’s it right? If only it were that easy. The real work has now just begun. Every RAW format image now has to be processed. In the old days of film, the color lab would do all of this but in the digital age, this all falls back on the photographer. Each image has to have white balance adjusted, be color corrected and retouched. The retouching alone can take up to an hour or more per image depending on what needs to be done. I have an example of one such retouch job at the top of this RANT. I waited all day to get a clean shot of the red Buell you see and when it became evident it wasn’t going to happen (huge crowd all day long) I got the cleanest shot I could and eliminated the clutter in post processing. It is not uncommon for this process to take 2 to 3 times more time than the actual photography took.

Finally, at that point I can submit the photos and hopefully everybody is happy with the results!

All of this to say… there is a lot more to this than just “taking pictures”. Yes, it is an awesome amount of fun but it is also a tremendous amount of time, work and skill that gets you your final product… the picture. In reality, it is pretty inexpensive to hire a professional photographer when you consider what you get. If you need one… I know a good one!


THAT’S A BUNCH OF HOOEY!

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I had the opportunity to shoot this cool Sporty this week. This bike is owned by a local Nashville guy and I really like it a lot. I don’t know why but I think I will always be partial to the Sportster. Yeah… I know it’s known as the “Little Harley” and I know some people call it a “Chik Bike”… but that’s a bunch of hooey! This bike is an American classic, fun to ride and with a little bit of effort can be made to stand out in a crowd… like this one. Honestly, of all the bikes I’ve owned over the years, the only one I really wish I had back is my ’95 Sportster. I loved that bike and one day hope to have another one.

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CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICS OF BLACK SHEEP


FOR MY FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHER GEEKS

This one is for my fellow photographer geeks out there… pretty cool!