2011 NYC Street Invitational
After a pretty speedy ride from the Bronx to Williamsburg BK on my skinny bike (less than an hour to be exact) we arrived at the location which would host the 1st Billy O’neill NYC Street Invitational. This event was definitely highly anticipated and one for the books so if you missed it because you didn’t feel like getting off your ass then by all means wear your sucka cap proudly. The top skaters from all over the world battling it out under the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) for all the MONEEEEEEY! Organized by Billy “Fish” Oneill , Hakeem Jimoh And Brian Lewis, this event brought out spectators from all over to witness history in the making. I honestly didn’t know if i wanted to be a spectator or the media for this event since I never pass up an opportunity to drink with these dude who I see but maybe 3 times a year. I did a little of both for the day, I started off by chopping it up with the fellas for the 1st round and taking in Rollerblading as a fan. The one thing I knew I didn’t want was to post up in the same location as every other photographer and Videographer because why would I want to have the same shots as them. 1st round went by and I played the spectator role now it was time to get down and shoot some damn Peeeshures!
I started shooting the 2nd round and since the course was so tight I decided to shoot with the 1o.5mm fisheye, I bumped up my ISO to about 640 since we were under a expressway and the ambient light wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. What sucks about choosing that lens is to get a sharp detailed photo I would have to get in close and with the fast paced skating that was going on, I had to get into my paparazzi mode. With these events there is always someone looking for that one perfect shot and I haven’t actually looked at anyone else’s photos yet so I cant say who’s shots I like the most. When I shoot I do what I Gotta do to get the Photo I want so if at any point I jumped in your frame unknowingly, don’t take it personal.
As spectators you may not know this but to shoot these events are pretty damn difficult, making sure your not in the competitors way but also getting a great shot while not breaking your equipment. With all this going on the last thing you need is assholes telling you where you can and can not shoot. The purpose of press pass is that you are allowed access on the floor to shoot what spectators can not. I bring this up because the only person that seemed to give me a hard time was DK. Although I disregarded him on numerous occasions and continued shooting, his attitude and overall demeanor at this event and the last 2 I attended to shoot had me ready to off his Kufi. I somehow managed to keep my composure but after the 2nd round I decided to just spectate and avoid any Bullshit since I did throw back a few already. Ok enough about that sucka! I wanted to do another portrait series at this event but with all the commotion it was impossible or get a location and pull people from the comp. Next Year! These dudes went in on this course which made you really get creative and think outside the box. Shout outs to everyone who competed in this event and for a successful NYC Event. Unfortunately I didn’t get to attend any of the after parties because I was dead tired from biking to BK & back and shooting so I took the night to relax. Hope everyone who attended enjoyed the event and will com back if it goes down again next year. Here are my shots from Round 2.
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