When I first talked to Kurt about getting this column going with The Union we discussed a few different options as far as how frequently I would want to run it. Well, I like to think of myself as a pretty motivated person so I suggested we do it weekly and the rest is history. Today marks the 35th week in a row that I have sat down and tried to put together an original piece of material for you guys to check out. Whether it be a photo gallery, interview, company check, shooting tutorial, editing tutorial, story from the road or whatever else came along in the past 8 months or so and it’s been an amazing experience for me to be a part of something that I have complete creative control over. As any photographer will tell you working for people can sometimes be a shit show and the only way to have things come out exactly the way you envision them is to do it yourself. So, if there is any theme to this week it’s all about taking control of your work and doing exactly what you want with it. Not only is it liberating as hell but it’s also motivating to know that everything I have done has been completely by choice and I wanted to send a shout out and thank you to everyone that I have worked with since the beginning of this whole TTL project. Also, I haven’t really said this before but I wanted to give a sincere thanks to anyone and everyone that has ever checked out any of my columns, re-tweeted and shared links, sent me emails and given positive feedback. I couldn’t…actually I wouldn’t do this without you guys. On that note, lets see what’s in store for this week.
I was recently out at Interbike with the rest of the BMX world in Las Vegas before making my way to Salt Lake City, Utah to work on a project for Soul Magazine out of France. Well, needless to say I ran into my good friend Dean Dickinson once again and as always we discussed shredding at some point in the future. Oh, he also hooked me up with a copy of his brand new book “You Won’t” which documents his epic pool travels since the early days and is well worth checking out. I was lucky enough to have some photos in the book and can’t thank Dean enough for always being so down to shred and letting me document some of the madness along the way.
Needless to say the day before I was supposed to be leaving Nevada and heading towards Salt Lake I got a last minute text from Dean that read “Hey, you still in Vegas?” Now, although he didn’t specify exactly what he was thinking at that moment I have known Dean long enough to know that more likely than not he is going to ask me if I wanted to hit up a pool mission and sure enough, that was the case. If you know Vegas you know that there are plenty of pools to be ridden and plenty of potential to shred.
Well in this case I was meeting up with Dean and Chester Blacksmith and knew that it would be well worth it to get a little side tracked and see what could happen. It’s always better to take a chance and let things happen organically. After getting directions to this specific pool I was absolutely stunned at how out in the open it was and how easy it was to get to. I showed up just in time to make our way through the fence and get the party started.
On the drive there I knew that I was going to want to shoot photos but at the same time I knew I was going to want to ride too. I feel fortunate in the sense that for as much as I love riding I love shooting just the same. I mainly shoot all digital these days but I happen to have a new roll of film and my little travel buddy an old Canon Sure Shot point and shoot with me and figured it was the perfect time to burn through a roll. I asked those guys if they would be into it and got to shooting. There is something so enjoyable to me about shooting with a shitty little camera using only natural light. You can capture the scene and environment a lot easier when you aren’t spending 20 minutes just to set up your lights and worrying about what lens to shoot with. Just point, and go. You would be surprised at how much more naturally you shoot when you leave all of the crazy gear behind. It’s quite refreshing to be honest.
So, after I got some runs in myself and enjoyed the pool the session started to unfold and I just shot photo after photo with no guarantee that any of them were going to come out. That is a feeling that I miss and a feeling that I love. I felt like I was visiting an old familiar childhood friend. You know the one you hang out with after not seeing for a while and it feels like you never missed a beat. Chester cruised the pool for a bit before having to tear apart his bike to catch a flight back home but Dean set out on a mission as always and got his lines dialed in. If you have ever watched Dean ride a pool you can tell that he has some serious experience with all of the crazy transitions that come along with pool riding. Needless to say we came, we rode, and left nothing behind but a few new black tire marks. To see things from my point of view take a look at a few of my favorite shots from the roll in this week’s gallery.
This Wednesday’s TTL was all about mixing it up and working with a little bit of a different medium than I regularly do. There is something magical about shooting with a simple point and shoot camera and taking some chances on the results once in a while. It is nearly impossible to duplicate the way film looks with a digital sensor and the little things are what stand out to me. The slow shutter speeds, soft focus and limited lens selection are all what made this project enjoyable to me. It was a reminder that you don’t have to always stress about getting the “perfect” shot. If fact, who gives a shit what the perfect shot looks like? Just have some fun behind the lens, and if you happen to get a few rad flicks out of it then that’s awesome but if not, there’s always another adventure waiting around the corner. Always remember to take chances, mix things up and get creative. Go out and break some rules, jump some fences, and get into some trouble…just make sure you have a camera in hand. Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the thirty-sixth edition of Through the Lens and as always feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or email me at [email protected] and I will hit you back as soon as I can. Also feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jeremypavia.