A few weeks back the awesome folks at Sunshine Company (The distributors and rental agents for Hasselblad, ProFoto, Sirui and Black Rapid) offered me the chance to shoot some skateboarding with all of this:

Hasselblad and ProFoto gear for Cape Town secret bowl skateboarding session

So I gathered up these scoundrels: (FLTR: Justus Kotze, Wong, Ryder Nel, Yann Horowitz and Chris Cab)

Justus Kotze, Chris Cab, Yann Horowitz, Ryder Nel, Jimmy Watts

And took them to this secret bowl…

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Now comes the part where I share the images even though I’m not entirely happy with them. I mean, I really feel we got great shots but I really wanted this shoot to produce some of my finest work. I thought I had the perfect location, the perfect crew and the perfect equipment but it didn’t work out that way. This was my second time shooting with the Hasselblad H4D-50 and first time shooting with the Profoto B1′s. It was also my first time shooting at this location and I totally misjudged the sun’s trajectory so we ended up having the harshest light throwing mottled shadows all over the bowl for most of the afternoon. Essentially, everything was different and difficult and I couldn’t rely on anything I normally would. I didn’t know what power I could push the lights to and still freeze motion. I couldn’t find the angles in the bowl because the sun was limiting us and more than anything shooting with a Hasselblad is nothing like shooting with a DSLR.

Chris Cab grinds the cradle as only a mad man would

Chris Cab grinds the cradle as only a madman can.

When shooting with DSLRs I don’t think we realise how reliant we are on the LCD screens. That little LCD screen on our DSLRs makes our workflow so much quicker than you know and with the Hasselblad that speed comes to an abrupt halt. At 75mb per image the images take what feels like a lifetime to display on the screen. What makes things worse is the resolution on the Hasselblad screen is not ideal. You really want to shoot tethered to a computer using this camera as only then can you really see what’s happening. That or know how to read your histograms accurately. I was just unprepared. I know what this camera is capable of and I plan to get even with it. Right now we sit with a score of Hasselblad 1 – Tyrone nil but there will be a rematch!

The resolution of the Hasselblad is insane. Check the uncropped image of Justus Kotze with an oh so stylish crail slide, followed by a 100% zoom of the image. Impressive, no?

Justus Kotze crail slides the deep end

JUSTUS

The Profoto B1 lights were really great. I want to do some more tests to see if I can get them to hyper sync with my pocket wizards but their ability to freeze motion with decent power output is awesome and with everything being built into the head itself you don’t have cables. They’re basically speedlights on steroids. So here are the remaining shots from the day. I am already planning my revenge on that Hasselblad. It won’t get the better of me next time!!!

Justus Kotze Crail Slide Yann Horowitz Yann Horowitz Chris Cab cradle of filth

Thanks to all the skateboarders, the secret bowl amigo, Michael North, Willem Foster and Hendre Louw for making this happen.


When I was shooting Red Bull X-Fighters there was talk of swell hitting that left in Namibia.. you know the one I’m talking about! The chances of going seemed stacked against us but thankfully Red Bull, being the fine company they are, made magic happen. Two days later, flights were booked, accommodation sorted, a moersa lens rented and passports were packed.

The main focus was to get images of Slade Prestwich. Check out the the interview Red Bull did on his pre and post expectations / experience. If you’ve heard rumours of this wave being heavy… believe it! That spitting chocolate mouth of death will eat you alive however it’ll most likely give you the barrel of your life. Its gamble you just can’t walk away from.

As for Namibia, it’s a bizarre place. Your mind keeps changing its mind on where it thinks you are. One minute you think you’re in South Africa, next transported back to “puzzle box” era Germany / Europe. Puzzle box as in those old 1000 piece German architecture landscape puzzles you used to sit for hours with you mom trying to figure out. Then the dessert and vast amounts of sand settle your mind back into reality.

What a great trip. I live for opportunities like these. Quick shout out to Sunshine Company for hooking me up with the carbon fibre Sirui tripod you see me operating in the last photo.

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I have one of the best jobs in the world and believe me I appreciate it. Working with a client like Red Bull I’m constantly put into the most stimulating environments with the most inspiring of people. A double whammy of awesomeness sets the stage on which I work. It’s a team effort when it comes to Red Bull. I can only shoot what is in front of me and for that I give a huge shout out to the team that makes it all happen.

That brings us to Red Bull X-Fighters. The Union Buildings in Pretoria played host to the final round of the 2014 X-Fighters season with a closely contested race for the title between Josh Sheehan of Australia and Levi Sherwood of New Zealand. Due to a hard crash and a seriously tweaked ankle during the qualifiers, Levi Sherwood was unable to compete properly and it was Josh Sheehan who took both the stage and series win.

For the full report check out:
http://www.redbullxfighters.com/en_ZA
http://www.redbull.com/za/en

Here are some of my shots from the event….

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Here are a few shots from my Saturday night at the Red Bull stage at this years Oppikoppi. Not as conceptual as the Snapshot Symphony but still managed to have fun testing out my new Nikon 14-24mm lens. Also have a couple of shots of Zebra and Giraffe coming out in the Red Bulletin magazine. Will share those next month. Next up though is the Red Bull X-Fighters in Pretoria this weekend which I am really looking forward to.

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05 08 2014

I’ve been shooting Wrangler’s lookbooks for a while now and this one has been my favourite to date. A small team, an early morning and a remote location found via a trance party in the middle of nowhere were the recipe for a great days shoot. This was Craig Maxwell Webster’s first time modelling and if I were in an old hollywood production I’d have told him “you did good kid”. Craig is one cool cat, he lives an inspiring approach to life – As his instagram bio reads, “I assist photographers to make money, I make money to buy petrol, I burn petrol to make my life an adventure” . Knowing Craig is an adventure in itself. Oh the stories he can tell….

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Following on from my last post here is a Pantsula outfit from Soweto called The Perfect Storm. I’ve just got to say I’m a huge fan of Pantsula. The outfits, the moves and general attitude I’ve experienced each time has made it a firm favourite culture for me. You can follow them on Facebook 

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19 06 2014

Red Bull Beat Battle took place on 31 May 2014 at Walter Sisulu Hall in Soweto. (For a full report on the event click here)

I shot a few pre event crew portraits a month before and here is the first to share. Meet Supreme I Crew who are a Hip Hop outfit hailing from Soweto.

Follow them on Twitter - https://twitter.com/supremeIcrew  / @supremeIcrew

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