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