You just made it to one of our sites. This one here is mostly dedicated to some of the highlights from the events we shot and is supposed to give you a little insight to our world of photography.
If you like what you see, or can't find that shot of Carmichael, Reed, James Stewart, the rider with the number....., relax, sit back and hit the Search Engine Button on the home page to make it to our other site. This one is actually more a online catalogue. Actually THE Online Catalogue. With more than 384.000 HIRES !images from MX/SX/Freestyle and other motor sports, there is no other web resource on earth, which has more images online. Make sure to use the search engine (by rider name) or your day will be toast. If you still couldn't find it, and have some breath left, drop me a mail. I do have more than 100.000 slides on file and more than 65Terra bite in digital data' s..
We shot action sports and fashion for editorial and advertising usage on a full time base. As a member of the APALA (Advertising Photographer of America, LA) I am aware of the importance of my copyright and urge you not to borrow (some say also steal) any image without contacting me. All my work is copyrighted with the library of Congress in Washington and infringements will be prosecuted. So much for the scary part.
However, some say the even more scarier part is actually, that I am a freelance and license my images for the unspoken. This service as well as hiring me for special events as a pool shooter for media introduction or catalogue/brochure work has not scared yet the bravest of our industry. Click here to find who those finest of the tasteful are. (some call this references..)
About my background
Spending the first 35 years of my live in Germany, I raced Moto Cross from 1979 to 1987 and earned my name as 'Kamikaze-Hoppen'. All the nurses in the 3 hospitals, surrounding my hometown, knew my by my first name. So much for my defensive and smooth style. After that I raced as the first Yamaha Germany Factory rider Jet Ski's (Stand up's) and was little more lucky. 6 German and 2 Belgian Championships later I decided to sell the Toyota Car Dealership Auto Hoppen, which I founded as a One-Man-Band in 1985, and moved to southern California in spring of 1997.
Here I found time to combine my two loves. Action sports and Photography. As a newbie, the New York Institute of Photography and many, many books of photography related themes made me understand the technical aspects and what it takes to burn the images in my head onto film. Starting with a point and shot camera I made my way and got after 6 month the ‘ad of the year’ award with Yamaha Motor Corporation, US.
What started as a early retirement hobby became bigger and bigger. My plan was to write a little illustrated story for the German Magazine MotoX on a bimonthly base. However, it did not took long that others asked me to sent them images. Today I have relation ships to 67 magazines in the world and pretty much all the Moto Cross industry. At least to those who do have taste... ;-)~
I live now with my wife Marion, my daughter Xylena-Beverly Faith-Carley an my two boys Yannick-Tyger Romeo-Pascal and Zander-Jaguar Wesley-Hunter in beautiful southern California and thank God for everyday of my lucky life.
I always was skeptical when it came to digital photography for professional uses. I got my first digital camera in 1997. Needless to say how little impressed I was when I saw the resolution and colors.
So, I followed the path of every slide shooter which means shooting tons of film and learning how the silver halides react to light. After years of struggling through this expensive and time consuming
process I finally arrived at a stage where I actually was confident and knew how the images would look before I pressed the shutter. Time to throw that knowledge away and start something new, right?
Owning a house worth of Canon lenses I was always jealous when I saw the Nikon Digital SLR but didn't want to buy now the complete range of Nikon Equipment. When the word came out about the Canon 1D, I put the down payment on the counter 6 month before the release. I planned to use it for little head shots or less important shots, but still shot the butter and bread images on slides.
I got it only 3 days before the first US Supercross race in Anaheim 2002 and used it there a little to test it. When I saw the images that night on my desktop, I put the Camera on E-Bay for sale. Yes, they looked that bad to me. I never wanted to touch that thing again!
However that week I met a Photoshop guru (Lee Varis) and he showed me some incredible things he knew.
I was hooked to Photoshop and kept the camera. So I started my crash course with Seminars, One on One teaching and a gazillion of books, pretty much that same procedure I had to do with learning slide shooting. And it worked out fine. Very soon I shot all digital and no slides anymore. 3 month after Anaheim I, I got the very first all digital cover in the States and in Europe as well.
Basically I have to say that shooting slides or digital are totally different games. That is true during the creation as well as in the marketing.
When shooting slides you need to know how the image will look before you take the shot and you are done, handing over that slide to the art director. He now has to do the scan and the final art work on the image. The clients are used to look at slides and like it. Although what they see is an additional light space (actually close to the RGB image on a display - colored light is hitting your eye) and can not reproduced with the SWOB CMYK (light reflecting from a colored surface)Presses we have to work with. But who cares at that stage, right?
With digital you need to learn how digital reacts different to light and all the work done by the lab and art director is now in your hands. Color correction and management, output size, gamut and print preps are your responsibility from now on. You just made the lab loose their job and the art directors job easier, meanwhile yours harder. You have to become a digital artist and Photoshop expert.
Most clients do not know how far digital has made it and need to be educated. The quality of the high end digital runs circles around 35 mm film. Canon 1ds files come close to medium format scans. There is no expenses or down time for scanning and no tracking of slides anymore. I still is very hard to get them on the new band wagon and even risk a look at the ‘Digistuff’.
One of the main reason I went digital is that when I do the pool shooting (Shooting for a manufacturer at a product intro) all the journalists leave the same day with a CD with processed images ready to print in their magazines). We even stepped that up with a huge production coach of 65 feet length, satelite internet and uploading to our server right away, downloadable to enybody in the world, right after the shoot.
Before, I had to edit 6000 – 8000 images when I came home from those intros and sent the slides to the magazines. Than they had to do the editing and scanning, That took up to 10 days. Now they come back from that intro with ready to print images. Dead lines are tight! We can even update within minutes of the shoot.
In 2010 I had finaly say good by to my Canons and bought a house worth of Nikon equipment.
Over the years we had many talented assistants of which many were aspiring photographers and eventually became some. We still work together, shooting events as a team or hiring them for events we there are more than one during the same date. That leaves us being the most powerful online library in the world.