LESSONS LEARNED // CHIP'S 535 GT
A few weeks ago I was scrolling through the disaster that my Facebook newsfeed is and came across a post that literally put my heart in my stomach.
There are several reasons why reading this post resonated with me. The first few reasons are because Chip is genuinely one of the funniest dudes I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I've been following the build of his Royal Enfield Contitental GT since the day he got it. I've also had the pleasure of photographing this babe before a little over a year ago when it was white, and had only been in Chip's ownership for a few months or so. This babe was also undergoing a little bit of a transformation when it was stolen which included a new dent free gas tank as well as some pretty new paint. The worst part of the transformation story is that Chip had gone and picked up the newly painted pieces but had no bike to put them on...how sad is that??
The next reason I was so hit by this was because Chip had something he was so fucking passionate about, and worked very hard for taken from him. I recently was hit by the same hammer and right away I knew EXACTLY how he felt that morning when he saw his bike missing.
THAT SHIT STRAIGHT UP SUCKS.
NOW- The way this all played out is pretty incredible if you ask me, and is a pretty strong lesson in the power of Social Media. Pay close attention here people. Learn something, I know I did!
Chip shared his post into the group STOLEN KC on Facebook which has been recognized in the past for linking several people with their stolen objects and has an insane amount of members who are VERY interested in solving crime at any given hour of the day, it's pretty dope.
Within a few hours his phone was ringing with details about his bike being spotted in the back of a stolen truck not too far away. The hunt was on like Donkey Kong and Chip was not messing around.
HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT?!
The updates kept coming and coming and I was sitting on the edge of my seat hoping to God there would be a recovery post, and soon enough THERE WAS!!!!!
I contacted Chip RIGHT away and demanded he bring that newly recovered babe to the studio for a shoot. He obviously obliged and before we both knew it we were hauling that thing into an elevator up to the 4th floor where it would live for the next couple of weeks after the recovery...which basically means for those couple of weeks I had Chip's newly recovered and freshly painted bike longer than he did, haha!
On the last day of shooting, the news team stopped by to do a bit on Chip's pretty incredible story. Obviously we all sat around the TV and anxiously waited for it to come on while eating pizza....and of COURSE the internet goofed when it came on forcing us to crowd around Erica's phone while we witnessed Chip smiling like a kid on Christmas. It was perfect.
FULL NEWS STORY AND VIDEO CAN BE FOUND HERE. <-- GO CHECK THIS OUT.
OKAY OKAY ON TO THE SHOOT!
Having the bike in the studio was awesome. I've wanted to shoot something bigger in a studio setting for awhile now and with the help of the good peeps over at 8183 Studio I was able to grab a big ol' softbox to properly light this babe.
The in studio lighting and setup was kept as simple as possible using only 1 overhead source and bounce fill, we got a little crazier with the location stuff, but for good measure here's a full breakdown of everything used!
1X CANON 5D MKIII
1X SIGMA 50MM F/1.4 ART
1X 6X4' CHIMERA LARGE SOFTBOX
1X CHIMERA DUAL HEAD MOUNT SPEEDRING
2X SPEEDOTRON 202VF HEADS
1X SPEEDOTRON 2403CX POWER PACK
2X PAUL C BUFF EINSTEIN HEADS
1X WESTCOTT ICE LIGHT V2
1X 12X60" SOFTBOX
1X 4' SEAMLESS ROLL (WHITE)
BLACK / WHITE FOAM CORE
CAPTURE ONE PRO 10
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CC 2017
I knew I wanted to make good images of this bike, but I wasn't really sure what that meant. So I naturally called Travis Young in on the deal and my life was instantly better, DUH.
Before we made the trek upstairs Travis rattled off a few frames with his Leica, and I absolutely love them. I'm pretty hyped that we were able to put a set together on both ends of the spectrum for this one, I hope we get to do more like this in the future!
Naturally, Travis also shot a ton of awesome BTS frames for us as well, and of course they're dope as hell per usual.
There's really not much to the studio images in terms of complexity, in fact they're extremely simple. We shot with one overhead light against grey, cut them out and made a clean grey background, and thats about it!
The most challenging part of this series was deciding how to retouch the motorbike, but since we were kind of shooting it as a trophy for Chip winning at cops and robbers the general consensus was to keep it true to its real form. Which was pretty as ever thanks to some new paint, but had a bruise or two from the kidnapping.
FUN FACT: Gasoline spilled over that metal case cover giving it sort of a patina look. Chip was pretty hyped on it, I am too since it adds some pretty nice character to this bright colored babe.
Since moving into this new studio I haven't been able to fully take advantage of the dope ass building I'm in. So we drug Chip's bike around a little bit and grabbed a few environmental shots. Again- nothing too crazy here...just some nerds playing around until something finally worked!
Needless to say I'm hyped at how these look and I'm even happier that Chip got his bike back. Cheers Chip- you da man.