Text and photos by Fat Tony.
Every photo has a story behind it, and to help shed some light on what went into the fifth annual Flatland Calendar, I wanted to share some of those photos and stories that were created while working on the project this year. From Adam Kun in his home country of Hungary to three crazy Canadians in the Southern United States, here are seven behind the scenes photos…
As always, the 2013 Flatland Calendar presented by DK Bicycles is FREE with all orders placed with flatlandfuel.com, so go get yours now!
Adam Kun – Budapest, Hungary
I traveled around Europe for about five weeks this summer, and on the very last day of my trip I had plans to meet up with Adam Kun in Budapest, Hungary to shoot a photo. About a half an hour before we met up I was out street riding and wanted to try a gap over a trashcan. While doing a warm up run for the gap I crashed into a metal light pole and messed up my ankle, wrist, and knee pretty bad. By the time I met Adam at the city’s most iconic riding spot (Hero’s Square) the pain was really setting in. I couldn’t even hold the camera on my own, so I mounted it on a tripod to shoot the photo. Once we were done shooting I was in so much pain I could barely stand it and had to leave as quickly as possible. Even though my entire body was in pain, we managed to get a sick shot, and Monster Energy stepped up to the plate and sponsored the calendar so the photo could get a proper home.
Alex Jumelin – Las Vegas, Nevada
If you remember Alex Jumelin’s Freegun video from a few months ago (http://www.flatmattersonline.com/must-watch-alex-jumelin-welcome-to-freegun-edit), then this scene is probably pretty familiar. The day before Alex got into town I drove around Las Vegas and the surrounding dessert area for about seven hours looking for spots to film and to shoot photos, and this freeway service road about 20 miles from the strip made for a really dope spot. We filmed a solid combo here for the edit and shot Alex’s photo for the Saint Martin page in the calendar.
Chad Johnston – Long Beach, California
This spot in Downtown Long Beach is just a few blocks from both my house and Chad’s house. It’s a really popular street riding spot, but on this sunny So Cal day Chad put it to good use for his photo on the Primo page of the calendar. The view here is looking straight down Long Beach Blvd. from the Performing Arts Center on Ocean Blvd. This is LBC at it’s best!
Dane Beardsley – Austin, Texas
After DK Bicycles agreed to be the title sponsor of the calendar I was excited to find out that Dane Beardsley was going to be in Austin for the Texas Toast contest and I’d get to shoot with him there for the cover and poster. The sun was quickly setting, so we were racing against clock to shoot the cover at a tennis court that he likes to ride at. This was the first trick we shot, but neither of us were that into it. After looking at the image on the back of my camera for a bit Dane decided to try another trick, and that other one is the one that eventually landed on the cover.
Dane Beardsley – Austin, Texas
On the way to the tennis court where Dane and I shot the cover photo he pointed out a big ditch that he thought could be good for a photo. I barely caught a glimpse of the spot out of the corner of my eye as we passed it, but I saw the water puddles and immediately knew exactly what kind of photo I could get there. After Dane and I shot the cover the sun was already gone, but we still had just enough light left for one last photo. We had to move fast and squeeze through a hole in one fence and hop another before going down a super steep bank into the ditch. Then Dane had to quickly sweep some debris out of the way while I set up my flashes—one of which was standing in water. I also had to walk through and stand in water to shoot the photo, but in the end it worked out exactly how I had planned and we got a great reflection photo that was perfect for the DK Bicycles poster.
Eric Wright – Long Beach, California
The Globe in Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor has seen countless flatland riders come and go over the years, and Innertwine Clothing’s Eric Wright is one of them that’s sessioned there more than a few times. Even though the spot is only about a mile from my house, I’ve never actually shot a photo there, so when it came time to shoot with Eric I put aside my desires to stay away from what is considered cliché’ and snapped a picture-perfect fisheye shot of Eric doing Alex Jumelin’s signature one-footed pumping cliffhanger. From this angle you can see exactly how I had my three flashes set up for the shot.
Team Pralex – New Orleans, Louisiana
If you follow flatlanders on Twitter, then you probably know that Prasheel Gopal likes to fake re-Tweet things. Sometimes it’s funny, other times it’s crossing the line, and sometimes it gets him exactly what he wants. That was the case when he fake re-Tweeted me saying that I was going to shoot with Team Pralex at Voodoo Jam for the calendar. It was pretty funny at the time, but once the idea was in my head, I actually thought it would be kind of rad to get the three guys (Prasheel Gopal, Alex Poirier, and Mark Kuhlmann) all in one photo together. I didn’t know how well it would work out, or if would be possible at all, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway. During the Voodoo Jam pre-jam I took the trio to the New Orleans Lakefront for a nice clean backdrop showing just a moody sky and the calm lake. I set up one flash pointing at each rider, and after a couple dozen attempts, all three riders managed to choreograph and time their tricks properly and the mission was a success.
Thanks to Fat Tony for exclusively showing the behind the scenes calendar shoot here on FM! Part 2 next week.
Get your calendar from: http://www.flatlandfuel.com