We asked you to send us your best bike photos for our monthly photo contest in June, and you delivered! Kit Engwall’s photo of a BMX bike throwing dirt into the air is not the typical motif of Portland cycling as made famous by a certain Portlandia sketch, which we were happy to see. We also love the lighting, which gives the dust cloud a very three-dimensional depth and adds drama to the photograph. This is a perfect example of an exciting subject paired with excellent technique. Congratulations to Kit, and thanks to everyone who entered! Read on for a brief interview with the photographer on how he got the shot.
Please tell us a little about yourself. What kind of photographer do you consider yourself? Enthusiast? Professional? Amateur? Weekend Warrior?
My real name is Kristopher Robin Engwall, Kit is my alias nickname. I crave adventure and enjoy living life wide open. My job is a gift and I’m very thankful for the opportunities that have developed from my passion for photography and story telling; the future looks promising. If I had to categorize myself I would claim to be a professional Commercial & Action Sports Photographer. I tend to shoot anything adventurous & fun, though.
Tell us a little about the image and how you shot it: time of day, location, your plan, technique, gear used, etc.
This photo came together after a day of motocross racing at Airway Heights MX Park near Spokane, WA. It was early evening, the sun had set and it was mid blue hour. The gear I chose was my Nikon D3 paired with the trusty 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and some Nikon speedlights. I really wanted to experiment with lighting dust and dragging the shutter to include the night sky. This image was actually a bust: I shot it 2 stops over-exposed. I thought it was cool, though, so I used the power of raw files to my advantage and brought it back.
Tell us about the post production process for this image. What software did you use, what adjustments did you make (if any)?
I process most of my images in Adobe Lightroom 4 with the occasional project in Photoshop. I shoot everything in raw with a standard profile and then, depending on my mood, edit them to what I feel at the time. I usually go for the natural look with some punch. I correct white balance if necessary, adjust color and sharpness, and make sure the highlights are loud. I’ve always liked my brights to be bright.
Where can people go to see more of your work?