My Photography

willsimmons Posts: 5
edited September 2009 in MTB general
Hello everyone, I'm new here, so if this is in the wrong section I apologise :D

I'm a few weeks away from starting my Photography and Video course in Leicester, with the hope of becoming an extreme sports photographer in the future. Here is a link to my Flickr account, it has some kitesurfing shots in there too. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! I'm really trying to improve with every shot I take :D ... 117290160/



  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Ooh! Very nice.
    I'll be honset, I was expecting to see another obvious beginner, so had low hopes, but man, some of your shots are really good.
    Not only are they technically well taken, but you've got some interesting angles ont he action too.
    Great stuff! :D
  • CanalRider
    CanalRider Posts: 194
    Good use of the available light considering the angles and tree cover.

    Some guy was on here launching an online mtb mag, he'd do well to review your stuff too [1]

    Good luck with the career.

    [1] not in anyway implying bad photography in the mag :-)
    Saw a sign on a restaurant that said Breakfast, any time -- so I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance.
  • Dazza69
    Dazza69 Posts: 11
    They are very good matey.... well done :D
  • lesz42
    lesz42 Posts: 690
    very nice! very impressed! :D

    what lens are you using? stock?

    here is mine, first go at mtb, and not great, going to have a go soon with my mates at degla, but using a flash too
    Giant Trance X0 (08) Reverb, Hope Hoops 5.1D, XT brakes, RQ BC, Works Components headset 1.5
  • trekhead
    trekhead Posts: 626
    These are super cool. Keep going like this and you`ll have no problems I`m sure.
    Good work 8)
    ole ginger b*ll*cks / the ginger ninja
  • Wow they are very good, you captured the moments very well with an energetic atmosphere, I want to see some of your pictures in a mag sometime with talent like that!
  • pics are really good

    what you using mine never look as sharp
    Life is not a spectator sport
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    He's using a Canon EOS 400D - says right on Flickr
  • tjwood
    tjwood Posts: 328
    edited August 2009
    These shots are ace. Your lighting in most of them is spot on and your composition/use of cropping is excellent. I've normally only photographed stuff that stays still and that's hard enough to get right, so I can appreciate how hard it is to get all the elements right and manage it while the subject is moving very fast.

    If you wanted any points for improvement then it would really only be that a couple of them (e.g. "Ollie air" and "Jon double") are starting to show the limits of your lenses - particularly the "Ollie air" one is a tough shot because it's backlit and has fine detail in the trees but this one is showing chromatic abberations and corner softness which are quite visible. Opening the lens up a bit might help (say f/5.6 or f/8 rather than f/11 and reduce the ISO to compensate) but also you can use software like DxO Optics Pro ( to correct much of this, particularly if you shoot RAW. DxO is also good for the other lens and exposure corrections it can do, download the free trial and have a play!

    Edit: also just seen your kitesurfing shots, these are great too! Particularly like the ones that have some interesting context in the frame, again lots of good composition here.
  • camerauk
    camerauk Posts: 1,000
    Some nice shots their it is hard with so little light under the tree cover you have good use of flash and slow shutter speed on your shots
    I am a pro photographer who likes to do sport dont get much mountain bike stuff down here in devon am begin very busy lol
    well done keep practicing it costs nothing on digital
    Specialized Camber Expert
    Specialized Allez Sport
  • rudedog
    rudedog Posts: 523
    Some great balancing of ambient light and flash combined with good panning technique really gives your photos the impact needed to pull off these types of shots. The composition is good too but could be a bit tighter on some of the shots

    I'm not so keen on your black and whites, they don't have the same impact as your colour shots - maybe playing with the levels a bit more to boost the contrast, trying different toning or going for tighter crops could help.

    Keep up the good work !
  • XxxBFGxxX
    XxxBFGxxX Posts: 1,355
    very god pics there chap. keep em coming
  • M1llh0use
    M1llh0use Posts: 863
    bluddy brilliant!

    but would like to see some impression of movement with blur on the wheels/spokes, other than that really ace pics!
    {insert smartarse comment here}
  • marinman1
    marinman1 Posts: 262
    nice, just added you on flickr
  • Wow everyone, thanks for the kind words; it means a lot! I'm always trying to improve my technique every time I go out, so watch this space!

    All of the pictures were shot with an EOS400d, using either the kit lens (18-55) or my new baby (18-200).

    TJwood wins the observation gold star, because those two pics you commented on were both my kit lens with a VERY shonky fisheye adapter, which absolutely murders the sharpness and saturation around the edges.

    Rudedog, I agree with you on the black and white issue, I just felt that every album needs some black and white haha, maybe boosting the curves like you said will give the shots the punch they need.

    Thanks again everybody! :D
  • joshtp
    joshtp Posts: 3,966
    very good! if you work hard, you will have a very succesfull career in mtb photography
    I like bikes and stuff
  • paul.skibum
    paul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I really liked the black and white of the guy in the berms - thought that was good in B&W.

    All great shots, really liked them.

    OT - I like to see a man boosting a good size dirt jump with shin pads but no helmet - that's prioritising!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp whore.
  • MattHarper
    MattHarper Posts: 489
    Nice shots, added you to my flickr btw.
    Yorkshire Man living in Somerset
  • wesdev
    wesdev Posts: 104
    will i sent you a pm.

    Just remember when planning a session - take into account rider garments and the background you are shooting against. I found this out when shooting a snowboarder and he turned up wearing white.. so we swapped jackets! ;o)
    08 Trek Fuel EX 8
  • wesdev
    wesdev Posts: 104
    also there is a photography thread over on which loads there are some very good people who will give you loads of tips - most of which can be applied to MTB'ing...
    08 Trek Fuel EX 8
  • furby
    furby Posts: 200
    Brillient shots, anyone that hasnt also had a look at your kitesurfing photos should go have a look.

    This one is very 8)
  • wesdev wrote:
    will i sent you a pm.

    Hey man, thanks for the tips - I really never "plan" a session, I just go out with my camera and see who's about. I know exactly what you mean though.

    And I have no PM from you :(
  • tjwood
    tjwood Posts: 328
    furby wrote:

    Yes and no. It's certainly much better than any kitesurfing picture I've ever taken or am likely to take, so feel free to ignore this comment at your will.

    Though for me the composition is a bit off. The lighting and arrangement of the elements means your eyes are lead from the darkest part of the picture (top left) through the frame down past some nice clouds towards that rocky outcrop and that breaking wave bottom centre (the lightest part of the picture). So I find myself focussing on a nice breaking wave rather than the somewhat cooler kitesurfer.

    Had the guy been a third of the way further down the frame (compositionally speaking, however that were acheived) or the lighting adjusted (possibly with some selective exposure changes in post processing) to draw your eye top-left it would be a much stronger picture of a kitesurfer. But then perhaps circumstances were such that you would never have been able to make that shot anyway, and the one you have is certainly a lot better than no shot at all. It also probably has quite a lot of commercial value - would be very useful in advertising or in a magazine where the "empty" space in the centre would leave a space for written copy.

    I do particularly like these ones: ... 117286562/ - facial expression is brilliant! ... 117286562/ - your eye is drawn down the kitestrings that you can't even see! ... 117286562/ - I love the composition here, the positioning of the guy and the red marker thing on the horizon mirroring the splash beneath is brilliant. There is a certain humour to this shot! ... 117286562/ - the position of the water is excellent
  • Thanks for the feedback everyone! I've shot some new ones with a new slave flash I've invested in! :D