Gurujam 2013

Gurujam 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I shot images for a local BMX Flatland Bike Competition called Gurujam 2013.  It was one of the first competitions in the Columbus area and my first participation in an event like this. I used to shoot photos for the Ohio State University daily newspaper (The Lantern) back when I was in Journalism school and during my last quarter there I spent a lot of time covering winter athletic competitions.  Of course back then I was shooting with a Minolta SRT 201 and a really small flash.  Nothing like what I have to work with today. 

I’d never been to a Flatland competition. Most people think about the half-pipe and X games type events.  The skill required for this competition seems to me to be even tougher than that.  I hope I’m not offending anyone, but these people took a bike from standing still and balanced it on its front wheel, then passed the bike frame around behind them.  They had the bikes spinning in a pirouette at amazing speeds.  Still photographs don’t do those tricks justice. However, I think I managed to capture some of the best things they did.

Another fact from the competition was that the youngest competitor was 10 while the oldest was 43.  The 10 year old did some really cool things as well (I certainly would never have thought to do those things with my bike when I was 10).  

I had visited the site where the competition was going to take place a couple of weeks before the event just to get a feel for the place and to see where I should set up my lights.  I was going for a two light setup and wanted to find a spot with the best sight lines and light.  I wanted to capture the motion and skill of the riders and get some really good rim lighting.

I also rented a Nikon D4 (oh, how I love that camera).  And shot most of the images with my 105mm f/2.8 lens.  It’s normally a macro lens, but I was shooting at f/16 and the lens is pretty dang sharp.  

It was a long day, the competition started at noon and didn’t wrap up until about 10:00pm.  But in the end, I got some amazing images and got to participate in an historic event for Columbus.  I do hope that they hold it again next year.  I’ll be back for more images.

Meanwhile, you can check out more images on my smugmug page at

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the event, check out

For information on Quest BMX bike, go to

For information on Reklamation Bikes, go to


McGuffey Lane Concert

McGuffey Lane Concert

We went to the McGuffey Lane fund raiser concert last night. There was a pretty good sized crowd in attendance. This was the 5th year that they have held this concert and McGuffey Lane kept up the pace all nightl. They also had the Buckeye Brass Band play during the break between the first and second sets. (Where else but in Central Ohio would you get a country rock concert and Marching Band Music? We love our Ohio State Buckeyes here.)

For those of you outside of the Central Ohio area, McGuffey Lane was (and still is) a very popular local country rock group. They reached their heyday back when country/bluegrass/western music became popular in the late 70s and early 80s. They had one really big album and a second album that was much less successful. The toured with the Charlie Daniels Band, the Judds, and the Allman Brothers.

In 1984 the keyboard player Tebes Douglass was killed in a car crash and the group never seemed to recover. They broke up in 1990, but John Schwab and the some of the remaining members of the group continues to play local concerts and fund raisers. Their current play list includes some new work as well as their favorites from that first album. They always put on a good show.

The weather was perfect for the evening and my friends who went to the show had a lot of laughs. Being a photographer, I’m a people watcher. I love faces and love to check the crowd. One of the audience members (who I called the band leader) was running around crowd dancing with any woman he could find. He also loved to jump on a chair and encourage the crowd to clap and sing along. He seemed to be having a great time.

Summer is definitely on the wane here in Ohio. You can start to feel and smell autumn in the air. The plants are starting to dry out and the leaves have started to change color. That means one thing: Football season and shooting more outdoor portraits showing off the autumn colors. I’m excited for both.