Sports and photography have always been a good match! Although overshadowed by its big brother ‘the skateboard’ in the beginning, the BMX sport took off and became huge. With so much action going on, photographers started capturing images of the tricks their friends made. Sports / action photographer like Gerwin Lucas took it to the next level, adding strobist techniques in the mix. We had an interview with Gerwin Lucas who shoots images as amazing as the people and tricks in them.
“It was pretty funny to see some really dirty hooker in a thong on the street screaming and stopping cars so my friend could do the drop.”
Tell us, who is the person behind these images?
Well, my name is Gerwin Lucas and I am 21 year old student who lives in Deventer. I study Art and Technology in Enschede. I’ve been photographing for almost two years I think. Besides photography I like riding my tiny BMX bike.
How did you get into shooting photos, especially bmx skateboard photography?
I started riding my BMX bike six years ago and always liked to shoot photo’s and film stuff. Two years ago I got my first DSLR, a Canon 350D and became more serious about photography.
Other people take shots of tree’s and other non moving objects, why do you choose to shoot mostly people flying on bikes 3m of the ground? Because it’s more fun! haha
No, I was always interested in “extreme sports” like skateboarding and BMX so it just happened. The tricks I try to capture always happen in a split second and it gives me a great kick to capture exactly that moment and made the trick look good.
Do you bike yourself?
Yes I do. For almost six years now. Having a good session with your friends at the local skate park or just cruising around on the streets is the best thing in the world. The scene in Deventer is very laidback. Most of the time we’re just messing around and doing stupid tricks on our bikes.
What’s your camera set up?
I have a Canon 40D, Tamron 17-50mm 2.8, Canon 50mm 1.8, some really shitty flash triggers that always let me down at the wrong moment, 3 flashes and some tripods. That’s about it.
Any tips for anyone taking bmx/skate action shots?
Try to get involved in the sport. Knowing the tricks will help you to get the timing right and make it look good. And most important, have fun doing it!
How do you feel about post-processing your images?
I do quite a bit of post-processing. As long as you don’t “damage” the trick. Like making a rider go higher than he actually went is ‘not done’ but adjusting the colors a bit or clone away that annoying light pole is ok with me.
It also depends on the medium your shooting for. I think if your shooting for a newspaper you can’t change the “reality” to much.
Let’s say we gave you a bag of money to buy some new equipment, what’s on your whishlist?
Some decent flash triggers and flashes, the new Canon 5d and a fisheye. And something like a Hasselblad would be fun.
Did you ever got hurt shooting your photos in the “line of fire”?
No I never got hurt, but some of my flashes did.
What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you when you were out shooting photos?
That was actually yesterday. A friend of mine wanted to do some big drop. It was at the “red light district” of Deventer. He climbed up a ledge and all the girls were cheering for him and holding up cars so my friend could get the trick done. It was pretty funny to see some really dirty hooker in a thong on the street screaming and stopping cars so my friend could do the drop.
Do you have any master plans or ambitions for your photography?
Not really, although it would be cool to have some photo’s published in a BMX magazine like Ride or Dig.
Any plans for the future to maybe incorporate film into your work?
I am starting an internship in a few weeks at a company that produces documentary’s and other films. I hope I can make a career as D.O.P. or video editor in the future. Photography is mainly a hobby for me.