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Published: 12/05/12

Saturday Snaps with

Ged McConville

Who is Ged McConville?

I am 40 years old but I still think I’m 18 haha. Born, bred and grew up in Scotland and moved to England in my teens. I got my first BMX in 1982 and have been in love with the sport ever since. I left school and started working in a bodyshop until 1992 then got into modding and started messing about with water cooled VW's, mainly GTI's, which I still indulge in today. I am now a lift engineer which I've been doing since 1993. I’ve drifted in and out of BMX all my life. I’ve always had a bike but I got back into it more in 2009 and it's been a blast



Years shooting:

Well I am into VW's and have been doing the VW show circuit for over 20 years but my subjects were cars that were motionless.



What got you into taking photos?

During a few riding sessions people were taking photos, and seeing their pics on the screen caught my interest. When I got back into riding in 2009 I wanted to catch some of the sessions I was involved with so I bought a Sony A200 DSLR and started taking photos. I grew out of the camera within a year and now I shoot with a Canon 7D. I’m still learning. I don't have any pics of me when I was riding years ago so I just like getting a few shots now and again.



First photography related memory:

Hard one this. I think it may have been buying my first digital camera about ten years ago, a Fujifilm S602Zoom 6x optical zoom. It was expensive to buy at the time and I remember saving for it for months. I’ve still got it and looking at it now it’s small and seems old but it’s still a good camera. It was expensive at the time at around £500 plus and one year later Fujifilm had cameras out that had better features at half the price. That’s progress for you.



Best photography experience:

In BMX I think it was at Bug Jam 24. I had just got my Sony A200 DSLR a few days before and was trying it out on the mini ramp demos that were going on. I got a couple of cracking shots, including one of Martyn Cooper doing an invert and one of Jack Marchant doing an invert looking at Ant Ramsey. I loved that pic as it was a buzz to see it. I was really pleased with the photos I took that weekend.



Worst photography experience:

On a shoot with the Sony at The Shed in Kings Lynn when Nikki Croft wanted a few pics on the vert ramp. The temperature was about -8 inside and the camera just would’t work properly. It wound me up so much I felt like smashing it on the floor. It was time for an upgrade for sure.



Advice for taking a great photo:

  1. -Think about the shot you are trying to get and what would be the best angle for it.

  2. -Shoot in manual. Don't be scared to play with different settings!

  3. -Ask people in the know for tips on setting up your camera. Also youtube is your friend, you can find anything on there.

  4. -Buy the best you can afford.

  5. -Carry a microfiber cloth in your kit to clean your lens.

  6. -Have fun with it and don't take it too seriously. I only spend about an hour taking photos at a session to keep it fun for me.



Three favourite photographers:

Fat Tony, Nathan beddows, George Marshal, Ricky Adam, Clem hencher-Stevens, SpankyBmx Pymn, Dunk and Chris Wilmshurst (sorry all these guys inspire me and I can’t choose just three).



Photography highlight:

Having some of my photos up on the Alienation website of my good friend Tom Justice who rides for Alienation (link). Thanks to Rob Morgan for putting them up and Tom for riding!



Why do you take photos?

I think I take photos because I like doing it and it’s a good feeling when you get a great shot. That is a buzz for me and I think that it’s good for the riders to get some shots just to see what they’re doing. It’s so easy with todays cameras, just one click and you can see the result. When I was younger cameras were not so abundant like they are now and it makes me feel part of the session taking photos because I ain’t exactly getting any younger.


Top photos:

Invert on the 1/4 at bottesford a very chilled session Niki Croft with not a care in the world... Shot on a Sony A200.

Mark Aitkins on the vert at Corby. I was messing about with a remote flash  and I love the shadow on the wall. Taken with a Canon 7D.

Tom justice doing a Turndown on Corby's seven foot midi ramp. I like this shot because I like the trick and Tom does them just how you should: fully clicked.

Jamie Bestwick doing a downside whip at Las vegas Dew tour 2011. I think it’s just an awesome photo. Shot with a Canon 7D.

An old vert ramp. This is the vert ramp at Ben Manuals Skatepark, Pit wheels in Upton near Doncaster. I love this photo because when I took it Ben didn’t have the money to repair and redo the ramp and it sat like this for a number of years. Then last summer a few older riders pitched in and with financial help from Vans and a lot of hard work the ramp was re-built. There were a couple of jams here last year, the first was Zach and Congs birthday jam in summer 2011 and it was a brilliant weekend. The half pipe is still up and running now... Vert’s not dead.

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