This is the press release for Groundforce 2011 by Spin Asia Magazine – the #1 bicycle magazine in Singapore and in Asia. Photos taken by yours truly (Kris Gironella) and my friend Anton Tang.
Every flatland rider in Southeast Asia or even around the world knows about Groundforce and the BMX Flatland World Circuit headed by Yasuyuki Takeo. It’s been almost 4 years since the last (Moto) Groundforce – it was one of the best experience I had. Meeting with other riders I only see on magazines and videos. Seeing them in person is like a shock to me – in a good way. I become more motivated in riding. And I did ride harder after a long time of no riding (almost 3 years from 2002-2005) ’cause I was busy pursuing my career in multimedia design. I can still remember the last Groundforce and it was indeed a wondrous day. I was using a Fujifilm 602Z Pro bridge camera and it was may precious possession that time (and an Aresbykes Dita frame). Without the 602Z I wouldn’t be able to learn the things I know today in photography.
When we look at magazines like Cream, BMX Plus, Ride BMX, etc. most of the riding photos specially the interesting ones were shoot with strobes. I my case I don’t own strobes so I use speedlights as an alternative. Basically influence by Joe Macnally and Chase Jarvis both Nikon users, not that I like them ‘coz they both use Nikon but because of their shooting style. They incorporate strobes on most of their works. BMX photographers like Yasuyuki Takeo a.k.a Green-G (BMX Plus) and Fat Tony (Ride BMX) are my personal favorites. It gives a lot of impact to the subject if you isolate the subject in any way possible. In some situation we use “bokeh” to isolate the subject from the background or foreground, Some cases panning is suitable specially for any types of sports racing, lastly and the most interesting of all (for me) is strobing. Some call it painting with light or light bending – derived from the animated series Avatar were light is considered as an element that produces power but light is actually not included on the elementals it’s just cool to call it that way so if you do strobing you are a “light bender”.
This series involves mostly the use of Nikon Speedlights SB-900 and SB-600. Strobing is a lot of fun if you know what your doing and can be quite frustrating if you don’t. Just know your settings very well experiment with light angles. You should also know how to direct your subject/s on what pose to do make him/her feel confident but not too over confident or else your photos will turn out to be unnatural. On different case such as sports photography it’s always good to anticipate the next move of the subject – power of anticipation (