Scott Markewitz Photography | Blog

Great Salt Lake – SUP Shoot

I went out to the Great Salt Lake last week for an early morning stand up paddle shoot with Caroline Gleich and Forrest Shearer.  As I drove out to the lake before sunrise, it was cloudy and grim.  I thought we might be out of luck.  But, as the sun came up, soft light filtered through the clouds, the wind died and the lake became smooth and glassy.  What started out as a grey, dismal morning turned into a magical shooting session.  Here are a few of my favorites:

SUP (Stand-up paddleboarding) is one of the fastest growing sports on the water and this shoot proved to be a lot of fun.  Which shot is your favorite?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on the shoot.



Capturing a double backflip on a Mountain Bike

Recently I was on a shoot in southern Utah with a Red Bull crew, there to capture Paul Basagoitia’s attempt at the first-ever double back flip on a mountain bike in natural terrain. I’ve worked with Paul many times and was excited to be there to photograph his attempt. If anyone could pull it off, it was Paul.

Double backflips have been done on man-made wooden ramps, dirt jump tracks and foam pits, but never in a natural environment. The jump was out in the desert, on a ridge exposed to the wind, with a bumpy, off-camber in-run to a quick, tricky takeoff and a steep, slippery landing. It wasn’t an ideal situation and the consequences were high. He could easily get injured in the attempt.

Every one knew this was a one shot deal, and if he pulled it off there would be no second attempt. We couldn’t miss the shot. There were two angles I really liked, so to get them both, I put a second camera (Nikon D3) with a fisheye lens on a tripod close to the jump with a PocketWizard Plus III attached to it and set myself in the other location 200-plus yards away with another Plus III unit on my main camera, a Nikon D3S. I set them both on transceive (TxRx mode), Channel 1 and fired away as Paul hit the jump, getting shots from both angles at the same time.

I put the second camera behind a wooden Teva sign under the jump to keep it inconspicuous for the video crew. To be sure there was no interference from the sign or anything else around the camera, I put the Plus III on the ground with the antenna pointed on a line of sight to my shooting position, connected to the camera with a standard Nikon/PocketWizard cord about 18 inches long.

There were some tense moments and a few crashes, including one hard impact the first day which gave Paul a minor concussion. We thought it was over at that point, but Paul came back the next day with renewed energy. After a few practice jumps and one minor crash, he nailed a massive double back flip, landing perfectly and riding away on a partially broken frame. It was an incredible shoot, and an inspiring moment to witness another big step forward in the never-ending progression in the sport of mountain biking.

– Scott

Thanks to PocketWizard for contributing to this post.




The first annual Shoot LA event last weekend at Smashbox Studios in West Hollywood was a huge success for Bron Imaging and Hasselblad. It was so popular that the line to get in stretched around the block, and crowds exceeded capacity within the first hour. At that point the fire marshall shut the doors and no one could go in or out for a couple of hours while the crowds thinned out. It was like trying to get into the hottest club in town. To keep everyone happy, the Bron/Hasselblad crew put together some impromptu lighting and shooting demos outside in the parking lots while people waited.



Meanwhile, inside the studio a series of seminars, workshops and live fashion demos were going on, covering many aspects of lighting, photography and the photo business. My workshop, “Lighting for Action”, was last on the schedule in Studio 1, and I was excited to see almost every seat filled. The crowd was really receptive as I went through the basics of incorporating strobes into action sports photography.


The highlight was the live action lighting demo I put on at the end with Norwegian pro skateboarder, Tom Erik Ryen. We were really lucky to find Tom at a local skate shop, and he did an amazing job in the small space we had to work with, jumping high over a wooden box while I snapped his image. Take a look:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a great event, and I want to thank Colin King and the people at Bron Imaging and Hasselblad for inviting me to speak. I look forward to doing it again soon.

– Scott


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,403 other followers