Mike Saavedra- Mike’s Trails, Riverside, CA
You know Cody York, right? He’s a dialled photographer, rider, has done a fair few good articles in the magazines, and currently does a bunch of updating on the EXPN website – which also has one of the best video players right now – well worth a look.
BIO: Name: Cody York Hometown: Cleveland, OH Years shooting BMX photos: around 8 or 9 Where you can see my photos: www.codyyorkphotography.com, EXPN.com, BMX Plus! Magazine, Ride BMX Magazine and sometimes Ride UK or Dig. Nikon or Canon or? Canon, that’s like asking PC or Mac. I see Canon as a Mac and a Nikon as a PC. Nikon and PC’s have way too much extra crap going on that makes it annoying for the user.
What are you doing today? What’s the plan? I’m working on gathering and posting content for my EXPN blog, The Endo. I just finished typing up some questions for a Dave Mirra interview and was also sorting through some images for possible use in our Zoom galleries for the site. Our Zoom galleries are pretty awesome and I’m trying to participate in them more, they’re basically greats shots put in a slideshow and featured in full resolution, in a cool viewer on our site. It’s rad because it’s like flipping through full spreads in a magazine but online.
Okay, what are some of the trails spots you’ve shot photos at? Hmmm, let’s see. I’ve shot photos at Greenies (in Ohio R.I.P.), Hightower (in Ohio R.I.P. pretty much done), Section 22 (Doyle’s old trails in Pittsburgh R.I.P), Hidden Valley (California). Stephen Murray’s house (SoCal), Rick Lakin’s Trails (SoCal), Mark Potocyny’s trails (PA, sorry I hacked your name), Gordy Toth’s, Saavedra’s trails, and 9th St. Trails in Austin, Mullville’s Trails in Florida — I don’t think they’re his but you know what I mean — and other random PA ones that I can’t seem to remember the names of at this time.
Dan P’simer- Coe Lake 2 Trails, Berea, OH
What are your stand-out favorite trails spots? I would have to say that I really liked the trails that were near where I live, Greenies and Hightower. Greenies was amazing cause I would get to see Aaron Bostrom and Billy Delfs going off anytime I went there. I was just a teenager then, the spot was original and they are some of the best true trail riders I’ve ever witnessed ride. Also, Doyle’s Section 22 trails were ridiculous, that set was unreal. Built on a side of a hill, they had amazing locals and they were all truly friendly. Anyday, you could find Doyle, Walkoviak, Bennett, Cottle and many other PA shredders killing it. There were some massive sets there, some of the biggest I’ve ever seen.
And are there any others you really want to take photos at that you haven’t been to yet? I’m pretty stoked to have had the opportunity to shoot as many places as I have. Any chance of shooting more places in the future is really a blessing. I have plenty of stories and great memories of the places I listed above. One place that I always, always wanted to see back in the day was Bo’s Trails in California. The ones that were built on the hillside, that were shown a lot in old BMX videos such as Haro Candy. That place looked so amazing, just to see it wouldn’t have been so rad!
For you, how does shooting photos at the trails differ to shooting, say, street, indoor parks, contests, etc? I guess as far as equipment goes I don’t approach it any differently than I would say any other BMX photograph, as far as what gear I bring. I ended up using the same amount of gear as I would any other BMX shot. If I’m shooting in the woods, I’m always using up to three strobes no matter what time of day because it’s always darker in the woods. I don’t really look at it much different than how I would shoot anything else either, there’s just different creative options as far as angles, exposure etc.
Bobby Delaat- High Tower Trails, Parma, OH
Ideally… film, or digital? Ha, that’s a never-ending question. I still use both mediums for several different reasons. Film I believe, still offers more stable colours, especially when it comes to exposure of the blacks. I haven’t used all the cameras out there to say 100percent, but film compared to my professional Canon Mark II camera or other people’s work I’ve seen, it’s hard to reproduce solid blacks with good detail and tone. Film doesn’t tend to have that problem as much. I also like the contrast and colours some films offer over digital. Not that you can’t reproduce that in Photoshop with digital, but I like not having to tweak my colours much. There are also a few technical reasons why I still shoot film. One being that I can sync my flashes at 500th of second and get better exposures in certain situations.
What tips would you give to people wanting to take better trails photos? Don’t be afraid to experiment, learn to try new things, drag the shutter and look for interesting angles. Shooting digital these days, that shouldn’t be a problem! When I was shooting film and that’s all, it was a different story.
What’s your favourite trails photo of all time? My favourite trail photo of all time is a shot of Dan P’simer that I took back in the day, maybe circa 2003 or so? It was one of the first full page photos I ever had published in BMX Plus! and is still one of my favorite photos today. I guess because to me, Dan P’simer is one of my favourite trails riders to watch, that kid killed it back in the day and as of last year or so, he’s still been ripping. Everyone thinks he dropped of the face of the earth and doesn’t ride but he still kills it.
Do you prefer shooting trails in the woods, or out in the open? Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter as long the location, rider, and trails are interesting. I like uniqueness and originality and if you have that, I think you can create awesome pictures regardless if they’re in the woods or the open.
What about dirt jumping contests – how do you see those? Well, I’ve shot many in my day and most of them have been solely for the purpose of work or for an article. I guess I don’t really have much against them but if you’re asking me if I would rather shoot someone doing a flip triple whip or somebody just flowing and whipping some awesome trails in the woods, I’d say the woods. If that answers your question.
If you were going to, say Catty Woods or Bar End, for a photo shoot for one day with just three riders – who would you pick, and why? I’ve heard of Catty Woods and Bar End but have never been to those spots. If I did have the opportunity to shoot at those places I would prefer to shoot with the locals. Cause they would ride there own spot the better than anyone and it make the whole experience more enjoyable hanging out and getting to understand and document what they love to do. That’s what it’s all about.
Mark P.- High Tower Trails, Parma, OH