I can’t speak for all photographer’s but my worst nightmare is being at the right place at the right time and just plain missing the shot. There are a million things that can cause you to miss the photo. Exposure, focus, lighting, timing, framing are all standing by to ruin the shot. It only takes one of these elements to ruin a photo and it takes all of them to make one.
The day this photo was shot Dennis had been riding this rail for a while trying to figure out something for it. He had a few things in mind, all of which were insane, but none of them were working out quite right. He then started floating these 180 downside whips out of the rail, not really coming close at first but if you know Dennis it doesn’t take him long to get something dialed in. So while he was feeling out the trick with his first few attempts, I was trying to get the framing just right so he was framed by the railing at the same time that the railing was blocking out the sun. It was optimistic framing at best, anytime the sun wasn’t blocked by the railing it completely blew out the whole shot, but when it worked I thought it looked great so I just kept the framing and tried to keep consistent with it. The next thing I knew Dennis floated a huge downside 180 whip, the first one he was on top of, and absolutely stopped the shit out of it. I had already snapped the photo and was praying that he would be able to complete the rollback which seemed to be happening in slow motion. Once he came out of the rollback we had a celebration and checked the footy, the sun was hidden behind the rail, the timing was good, and everything was in frame and in focus, breathing a huge sigh of relief!
This photo can be seen in Dennis’ rider of the year interview featured in DIG issue 97 and the clip can be seen in MarkitZERO!