Coleman Skatepark, located directly underneath the Manhattan Bridge was just given a full Hollywood makeover. Although I don’t skate as much as I used too, I wanted to come out and support the IrollNY.com session and dust off my blades. Just going around the park made me realize how rusty I am. I did a few tricks then broke out my camera to get some shots of the fellas. It’s a great feeling when you show up and people still ask if you can shoot a pic of them. I guess my style of photography is still appreciated in the blading scene. It was awesome to see faces that I haven’t seen in a while and shred (well as much as I could). Check out the Photos.
Ricky Rodriguez – Top Soul
Ramelle Knight – Disaster Back Royale
John Stephens – Fishbrain
John Stephens – Back Royale
Brian Rivera – 180
It’s been quite some time since I have been on my Blades, however when I heard there was going to be a comp coming to Flushing Meadows, I knew it was time to dust off the ol Fruit boots and blade. The weather in NYC has been unpredictable as of lately and the original date of the comp was scheduled for Saturday June 2nd but was postponed to Sunday June 3rd. Of course it didnt rain on Saturday but by the time we realized that it was too late. This comp would be the 1st NYC comp in the WRS (World Rolling Series) of the season and it was scheduled to be a pure street comp organized by Trevor Johnson & Craig Benabu (IrollNY.com).
I loaded up my chrome bag with my camera equipment and skates and rode my bike from the Bronx to flushing meadows. It’s been a long while since I shot blading photos so needless to say I was very excited. Upon my arrival I saw a crowd of bladers spectating the comp that had already started. I made my rounds and said “what up” to those who I haven’t seen in a long time then threw on my blades to get some warm up tricks in. Not more than 30 minutes after I arrived the rain started coming down which would delay the competition. Once the rain ended, we made our way to the Maloof skate plaza which was located a few yards down.
Somehow I ended up as one of the judges of the comp so I wasn’t able to shoot photos of the comp which was fine by me. I was never really one to try and shoot the action of competitions, i like shoot what goes on outside of the comp. skaters are more relaxed and focused which makes for better photos. So here are some of the photos that I shot from the event while I wasn’t judging.
Danny Figgz – Top Torque up the ledge
Jordan Baez – Backslide
Ruben Prez – Monkey Flip
Carly Sanchez – Makio
Wakums – Back Farv
Sorry for the delay on the portraits, the whole domain switch screwed up up for a moment but the blog is back and working to to be better than ever. On February 23rd the fellas and myself took a drive out to Royal Oak Michigan for the Bitter Cold Showdown. For those of you who do not rollerblade this event is one of the biggest if not the biggest competitive event we have. The opportunity to shoot on the floor during the finals and semi finals is a position that many photographers seek. So while those photogs were busting their ass trying to get that one great shot I took to the sidelines yet again this year to capture some portraits of not on the competitors but those who were in attendance that wanted to get a portrait done. I have to admit that this year the attendance and the energy was blah in comparison to previous years but i still had a great time shooting and chopping it up with the fellas in Royal Oak. I chose to use the same setup as last year, with only my Nikon speed light and shoot through umbrella at 45 degrees to the subject and my Nikon D90 DSLR. Check out the Photos and if you like what you see, repost on whatever Social Network you like.
Brandon Smith – Valo
Chris Haffey Sporting his Handle Bar Mustache – Remz
Jose Henriquez – Flatlines Skate Shop, BX
Montre Livingston – SSM
The Monster Jaren Grob, Definitely one of my favorite skaters and the only rollerblader to make it into Sports Illustrated Magazine.
Troy Dezeeuw : Rollerblader and creator of the Daily Juice Blog & Track Or Die NYC Logo.
Last but not least, My Handsome ass grill.
I decided not to shoot any competition skating this weekend for the Bitter Cold Showdown for a number of reasons. I brought limited equipment to this trip since I was sharing the car with 3 others and thats would be inconsiderate to take up all the trunk space. After the 12 1/2 hour drive we arrived too early for check in to which we decided too head over to the Coney for breakfast in order to kill time. Once we finally checked in the others fell out while I decided to tour the hotel to look for a location for some test shots. The hallway I chose was right by the weight room so I hot the weights for a quick work out. Once the fellas woke up we made our way to the park where I posted up on the Mini ramp to get some Shots of the skaters going in..I was able to get a few shots that I was proud of.
John Stephens – Mute Air
Jeff Stockwell – Front Farv (hands touched 😦 )
Vinny Minton with one of the most stylish alley oop souls in the game
John Stephens – Switch Top Mistrial
Vinny Minton – Back Slide
Jose Henriquez – Top Mistrial
Victor Arias – Front Torque
Wakums – Fishbrain Stall
Jeff Stockwell – Alley oop Negative Mistrial
After a quick liquor run I made my way back to the hotel room to edit some photos while everyone else partied. Once back in the hotel I grabbed up the fellas to shoot some hotel portraits using a single speed light with a shoot through umbrella. I chose the shoot through umbrella to provide a softer light. I set my exposure for the ambient light and positioned my subjects for their individual portraits.
Wakums counts his cash before making it rain
Navin looking like a fugitive.
Juan Ice Grilling Chris Brown
E Z Goezy
Juan cant play Assassins Creed so he drinks away his pain
Shortly after Navin Got Kicked in the Face.
I really didnt party this weekend, it was more work than play but thats was my intentions. We went back to the hotel to finish off the liquor and bullshit. The whole weekend we picked on Juan since he was the new guy. After a night of drinking and youtube hunting for cat videos (you had to be there) we fell out but not after laughing the night away.
The next morning we cleaned up the room and made our way to the coney for breakfast before the long drive home which has become somewhat of a tradition of the past 5 years. While eating at the Coney we ran into some fellow New Yorkers also getting ready for the long ride back to the NY. The pics will say the rest.
Needless to say since your reading this, I made it home safe by 3am with work by 7am. What a great weekend in total, I think the competition wasn’t as exciting as previous years but I still enjoyed myself none the less. Until Next year…..Be On the Looked Out for Faces of Bitter Cold #2
Every year I make it my business to run around the trade show like a maniac and shove my camera in the face of those who are in attendance while shopping for deals from various booths. This year was no different and although the turn out wasn’t as big this year I still had a good time doing so. For the trade show I only packed my Nikon SB600 and 35mm 1.8. Check out the faces that took the time out for a photo op. This is not the Bitter Cold Portrait Project.
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Shima – SSM, Legend
Navin – Skeptic Media
Dan Fabiano – Scribe
Montre Livingston – SSM
Adam Kilgore – Denial, Dub Caesar
Alex Broskow – Valo, 2012 Bitter Cold Showdown Champ.
Jaren “The Monster” Grob
Chris Farmer – Xsjado
Troy Dezeeuw – Graphic Artist, Creator of the Blogs Watermark
Those who are my friends on facebook already know about how much of an instagram whore I can be. Although I will argue that Instagram does not make you a photographer, its still is a fun little app which helps you develop your eye since it only allows you to shoot with a fixed focal length. I wanted to document this whole trip with up to the minute photos for those who could not attend this years event. Sam DeAngelis (SLDean.com) mentioned a project he wanted to do involving the hashtag #BCSD2012. This made me even more excited to shoot through my iphone to which I coined the Phrase “I’ll Instagram my life away”. I walked around all weekend and shoved my Iphone in the faces of any and everyone that I came across. You could call me the “Mobile Paparazzi”. Check out these shots while I work on the Photos from the Nikon D90. Although these photos are watermarked I pinky promise that they were shot with only my iphone 4 and mostly under the influence of liquor and Coney Island (local Dinner).
Juan angry over breakfast & Chris Brown
Wakums & Navin sleep the day away
The Hampton Inn
A little weight work before the comp
The Equipment for the weekend
A sweet Salomon/Carbon Collaboration
E Rod On the mini
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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