swim break at alpine dam on our quest for curtis trip
I’ve been inspired by Sandy for many years, be it through riding BMX to shooting photos. Sandy is one of my favorites. His energy and stoked attitude are contagious. He made it out to SF 5 times in 12 months last year to work, hang out, and ride bikes. I thought it’d be a good idea to share what he’s been up to. I’m truly honored to interview a good friend.
So, how many times did you visit SF last year? What keeps you coming back?
I visited 4 times, but 5 if you count within the last 12 months. What is there not to like about SF? It’s an incredible city and so diversely alive. It’s weather and streets really inspire me to make photographs. There’s never a dull moment. I’ve been there for work, photo projects, starting and finishing bike tours and generally having a grand time visiting some of my lifelong friends. It’s almost becoming a home from home at this point.
What’s the story behind the Picture Black Friday Project?
The Picture Black Friday Project was created by photographer John Saponara in 2009. It began as a nationwide call for photographers to submit their images and personal view of consumerism on Black Friday, marking the start of the holiday season. Now PBF in it’s 4th year has created a great community of crowd source photographers, gallery shows, and a book in the works.
What was your angle on the project? What camera did you use? Why?
This time I wanted to shoot differently than I have done from previous years of the mall stampede and big box stores, by taking an anti-Black Friday angle on the project. I wanted to see how the other half lived on the nation’s busiest shopping day, so I rode my bike round the streets of downtown SF for a few days, talking with and documenting the homeless. I shot with my Hasselblad, and Nikon 35mm because I totally trust those guys. The 35 is good for quicker street photos and the Hassy for portraits, and compositions where I needed more time to set up.
Another awesome project you did was the “Paradise has Relocated” documenting the aftermath of Hurricane IKE. How much time did you spend in the Galveston area shooting? What were you attracted to shooting the most?
Thanks, I spent a good half dozen or so visits to the Island after the Hurricane hit and traffic was able to get through during clean up. I was attracted to the destructive decay of the landscape and architecture, due to the hurricane. It was really devastating and compelling, yet made some really desperate and beautiful compositions I reckon.
Any future projects?
A lot of my projects are ongoing and open ended Americana subjects, so I guess I’m always involved in those subconsciously since I’m travelling a lot and always collectively adding to them. I’ve been too busy with commercial work to commit to any new ones, and working on a new book lately which is itself, a big project.
Whats up with the kid’s bike (BMX) motivation? You’re killing it lately! Are you ever going to slow down?
I just like riding BMX bikes and always will. I dunno about killing it! Hah I’ve slowed down a lot. No medals for being hospitalized anymore at my age. Just feels great to flow around and lucky to still feel motivated to ride it.
surfing his way through the BMX road ride up and over MT Tam
signature carson carve over a midget door
After all these years on the BMX, what spots do you still ride?
downside fastplant at 5hip
The adult bikes too! Last year on your Fairdale trip you rode from Seattle to SF. Any trips like that this year?
That was an incredible trip. We hope to do more this year. Already planning some more epic adventures. Stay tuned.
austin texas • bmx • fairdale bikes • hasselblad 500 c/m • sandy carson