Here's an interview with a long time Pinkbike member, and an amazing action sports photographer, Joshua Weber. Josh is currently located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where he is completing his fourth year of electrical engineering.
We've been friends for a while and I got to sit down and ask him some questions, enjoy the words and pics.First and for most, I remember you as a mountain biker. When did you get into photography?
It wasn't until 2005 that I really started getting into it, although, I first started playing around with a camera about six years ago. So did mountain biking have any influence on your growth of interest in photography?
Yeah, mountain biking got me into photography. I would be riding with buddies and everyone always wanted pictures and I was the one with a camera. As time went on I just started taking more and more pictures, whenever I went out riding.Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing you more and more with a camera in hand, as opposed to riding! If someone were to come across your camera bag at a photo shoot, what sort of goodies would you find inside?
Depends on what kind of mood I'm in. Most of the time I will be lugging around my 5D with my 15mm fish, 50mm, and 70-200mm. There will also usually be a flash or two stuffed in there. When I can, I like to pack my film camera body in too, so I can squeeze off a few black and white shots to develop later.It always frustrates me when you shoot black and white; it takes so long to get processed! What is it about film and, particularly, black and white film that you like so much?
Black and white film just has a certain look to it that is much harder to recreate for digital pictures. Plus, when you’re shooting film, you can't just snap off 20 test shots till you get it right. You have to think about what you are doing, since you won't know the results until it is too late. That is the problem with learning on digital these days, people would rather snap off 200 shots as quick as they can, instead of just 24 or 36 shots that they put some thought and consideration into.Do you ever see yourself abandoning film and going fully digital?
I like film because of the prize at the end. Every time you take a roll of film it’s like taking a test, which asks: do you know your stuff? Were your field adaptations correct? Did you get everything balanced correctly? I may shoot film less than I used to, but I don't ever see myself abandoning it.Shooting film's like a box of chocolates...hey josh?
[Laughs] perhaps.Being an engineering student, I've noticed you've transferred some of what you've learned to applications that are useful and creative in the photography world. Tell me a little about some of the crazy projects you've had.
If I told you I would have to kill you! [Laughs] I like to mess around with anything electronic. The latest thing to suit my fancy has been high speed photography and stroboscopic imaging. Using a sensor and trigger rig that I built, I was able to repeatedly capture a pellet from a rifle traveling at 450 f/s... shattering Christmas tree ornaments! [Laughs] I also have a few other projects on the go but I don’t like to say anything until I at least get a proof of concept working.Very cool, looking forward to seeing more of your creations! Your ghetto rigged remote flash setup; using telephone cord was one of my favorites! What are you looking to do in the upcoming year, any big plans?
As of right now, I don't have any big plans. The one thing I know for sure is: I would like to enter and compete in more DH races this summer, and take tons of pictures... preferably in and around BC.What makes a great photo for you?
Something that makes me go: "WOW!
”... I like a picture where everything about it just seems to enhance how awesome the photograph is... I guess what I am trying to say is, a picture that tells a story.Well you've definitely taken some bangers! What are some of the highlights you've had during your time as a freelance photographer?
For me, it is pretty much a highlight any time I get to go out into the woods with some buddies to shoot and play around on bikes. I don't think I will ever get tired of that!Definitely! Do you have any stories or memorable moments from a shoot that you'd like to share?
[Laughs] The really memorable ones involve me crashing, or almost crashing with my camera bag on my back! I have gotten pretty good at using my body as an impact cushion and protecting my gear, over the years!Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone who's just starting out with photography?
Asking questions will only get you so far, try things out, experiment, get your hands dirty!Shout outs?
All the people who I have made hike their bikes up a trail... over.... and over... and over... again while I lounge at the bottom, and wait to "try one more thing; I swear it will look really cool!"Thanks Josh!
No, Thank you!
For more information you can check out his blog at: www.joshuaweber.com