Behind The Photo w/ Justin Kosman

Justin Kosman with the deets behind this rad photo of Dean Dickinson.

Click below to read.

Dean Dickinson

Oceanside, CA

Pocket to downside footplant


Canon 1Ds mk2

15mm Fisheye Canon


ISO 160

Shutter 1/250th

Dear Defgrip.

Welcome back! Guess what, I’ve got a photo for you and a story to back it up!

Ask anyone who rides pools. Are they frightening?  “Yes”

Do the photos of the pool do the trick justice? “Usually no.”

I’d say that this photo doesn’t do the trick justice, but it’s probably more interesting than my other options. This pool was actually at Cory Nastazio’s house in Oceanside, after he moved out of Tehachapi for the winter/kids/lifestyle etc. I’m pretty sure only a few people got to ride this spot and arguably not a great pool – square and no shallow end features – but I think the list was short. Nasty, Gary Young, Dean, Simon Tabron and maybe TJ Ellis. Ultra random crew.

Anyway, as you can see there is hardly any deck space in that corner. My first thought was to get a camera on the deck and basically get that bike blasting out of the pocket and hope Dean didn’t split his shorts, typical fisheye from the coping shot. Sometimes having environment constraints forces you to think outside the box, and let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to be able to sell this photo of Dean to anyone besides Ride Magazine so I had to make it a little more interesting than the bone stock fish deck angle. Basically you’re walking around the pool looking for angles thinking, this sucks, this sucks, this sucks, where can I put my strobes, etc etc.  All things considered, this is a good example of using the thing that is getting in your way to your advantage. Don’t try to make it go away, make it work for you, not against you.  This is a subtle thing, but it didn’t hurt that the pool was white and acting like a bounce card to fill in some of the would-be harsh shadows – an added bonus. Seven years later, how would I shoot this? Gopro Hero 7 in 360 mode, suction cup to the blue tile in the corner apex live streaming to my iPhone X …. kidding. For real though, after seeing this on the screen, I thought a good balance would have been to put something in the grass outside like an old man tanning in skimpy shorts and an umbrella drink, or like a dinosaur.

Justin Kosman

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