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Published: 27/06/17

Tom Goldsmith:

Photography talk

Tom Goldsmith is a talented local photographer known for his knack of capturing big moves at their best, and he's not a bad rider either... As some of his top photos will be published here on GetaBMX under Photo of the Moment (Ed note: discontinued feature), it would have been rude not to find out a bit about the guy behind the lens.

So what came first, photography or riding?

It's hard to remember back to when I first became involved in either one of these... Riding came first and from there I gradually became more interested in photography. Admittedly I'm not the best at riding so I guess picking up a camera gave me something else to do while still being out with friends.



When and how did you get into photography (and any inspirations)?

My concept of time is really quite bad, but I have been taking riding pictures for around two years now. I have an album on my computer called pre 2009 with a couple of images from late 2008.


The most influential person to me picking up a camera was my dad, he has always taken pictures since college and encouraged my to pick up a camera when I could. Ever since I started riding I used to read RideUK and that definitely inspired me to pursue taking pictures. Yet, I guess all of the media surrounding BMX is influential and encouraging right in some way.

Dennis Enarson - Invert Air


This weekend I luck enough to attend the Nike 6.0 "the pool" in Dagenham LDN.


40 of the worlds best riders all in one place, riding something unreal with an atmosphere that beats any other BMX contest I have ever been to in the UK.


So grateful to go and watch this event, was amazing.


Didn't mange to get poolside until the later stages of the final and was more content on just watching the amazing riding that went on. Only a few shots I liked so putting them all up for the world to see.


So much "pool" media going out at the moment with good quality stuff everywhere, edits by Fat Tony on RIDE US and can't wait to see what the likes of Ricky Adam and Matty Lambert come up with to remember such a crazy day.

What is your favourite style of riding to shoot and ride?

There really is only one possible answer to this question. Street riding. I couldn't think of anything better. Both riding and shooting street are great. The thing is that every place you ride is different, this form of riding breaths creativity, something I am a big fan of.


With regard to taking pictures this makes every shot slightly different in some respect. Each time you have to carefully think about every aspect of the photograph you are taking as chances are you may not have to opportunity to take that picture again.



You haven’t shot any trails photos this year, any plans to?

Trails isn't really my thing if I am honest. I personally don't ride trails and neither do most of the people I ride with. However, I do think it would be interesting to take some trails pictures so maybe...



What has been your best and/ or funniest photography experience?

This is definitely a hard one and not one that I cannot think of any particular moment to be the best of funniest experience. Lets just say that us Exeter boys get up to some good shit.

Harry Mills Wakley - Tbog


This shot was taken earlier in the week, with the sun shining even at past 8'oclock.


I have been wanting to shoot this gap for ages, as it's just that little bit different from other spots around Exeter.


Took a little white thinking about how to shoot this photo and played around with a few angles before deciding this one was that little bit more interested than your typical picture of a tbog.


Strobist: Canon 580EXII on 1/2 power to my left, Canon 430EXII on 1/1 power further down to my left. Triggered by skyports

Tell us a little about some of your photos this year, anything particularly interesting you have shot?

From a photography perspective I have really enjoyed this year and feel that I have hopefully progressed in some way. This year I managed to get myself some off camera lighting and have been having fun with that ever since.


I have shot a lot of stuff this year and no doubt there are a few photos that stand out upon the rest, these are the interesting ones, the pictures that have more to it than just a quarter pipe and a blue sky.


Also this year I was lucky enough to take photos at NASS 2010. Although photographing competitions is never fun, looking back on it I enjoyed it. This years competition was really challenging to shoot and was great to meet some really cool photographers and influential riders.



Worst photography experience?

Again it's hard to narrow this down to any one experience but there are a few things that are definitely not good.


  • Having to ask a rider to do something again

  • When your flashes get knocked ove

  • Problems with your equipment

  • Getting home and wishing you had shot something differently

  • Getting kicked out before you even get your camera out

  • Leaving something at home

Jamie Skinner - Rooftop Whip


Shot these photos a few weeks ago and haven't got round to uploading them incase they were going to be used but they didn't quite make the cut.


I found this spot years ago and always pictured this photo, so so glad it worked out.


Yet again Jamies riding keep on improving and I hope his recent sponsership by Radio bikes leads to good things.

What equipment do you run?

I run a lot of Canon equipment. I shoot on a Canon 7d, with 2 Canon lenses, Canon flashguns, Elinchrom triggers and manfrotto stands.



If you could photograph any rider, who would it be?

If I'm honest Im more than happy shooting the riders I currently take picture with. However, if the opportunity was there I wouldn't decline a photo session with some of the federal team.

Simpel Session Qualifiers 2011


Just got back from Simpel Session 2011, the whole event was absolutely crazy. Had such a crazy time. The riding was off the hook, parties were crazy and the general vibe that came from a city full of people with a common interest was nuts. More pictures to come soon, some I will be holding onto for a little while.

Yet again Jamies riding keep on improving and I hope his recent sponsership by Radio bikes leads to good things.

What tips or advice would you give to someone starting out in riding photography?

Photographing riding is something that definitely takes a lot of time and practice. The more practice you get the better, don't give up to quickly. Learn from your mistakes and think about a picture before you press the shutter.


There is a lot of influential material out there and it can definitely help you along your way but try to think outside the box. It's something I am still trying to do...

Jamie Skinner - Oppo Rail to Over Bars


This weekend, we ventured down to Torbaydos to hit up some street spots. The sun was out and it honestly felt like a summers day. We must have cycled miles from spot to spot and all we rode was rails (hopefully the rail scene will quite down for a bit soon). However, we did see some pretty crazy rails/tricks go down.

Do you have any plans of making a living from photography?

Unfortunately not, photography is a profession crowded by thousands of people who own expensive equipment and know the "right" people. It's too competitive and something I would rather pursue as a hobby for now.



Any shoot outs?

I would just like to say that I have an amazing group of riding mates who are extremely talented riders and without them the picture I take wouldn't happen. So cheers lads.


Again, thanks to all of the exeter riders, the Boarding House, death for answering my questions and lending me equipment and to Jamie Skinner for repeatedly throwing the bars due to my poor timing.

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