Firing Squad: November 10, 2009

Snowboarding is all about going down. While that could be construed as being dirty, it’s actually meant in the most literal sense. In the Champ’s photo the rider is going down the hard way, but the in challenger’s shot, the rider is really shaking things up. That’s right, he’s going up. But this isn’t really about gravity, just about which photo you like better. So choose.

The Champ


The Challenger

Jordan Basurto house Layback

[poll id=”101″]

Think you can do better? Then quit your bitching. The Firing Squad is a weekly photo competition. Winners of a single battle will receive a pair of Da Kine gloves and should a photo survive 4 weeks, the photographer receives a place in the Champions Gallery and a Da Kine Camera Pack. To enter your own photo in the Firing Squad, check out our submission guidelines.

27 replies
  1. greenISgood
    greenISgood says:

    i vote the challenger cuz theres way green in it and that reminds me of the one the only the irie the gaanjjaaa!!

  2. the n00b
    the n00b says:

    i’d love the challenger if his arm wasn’t blocking the light from his face. it’s like everything is lit up really well except … the snowboarder.

  3. Jimbo
    Jimbo says:

    Wow, despite the fact that the challenger is a legit photo I’m still surprised that it’s winning. Seriously, champ is just way warmer and more pleasant to look at I think

  4. jordon basurto
    jordon basurto says:

    hmm… first time seeing this photo. we did this a longggg time ago. but thanks for the support guys

  5. Another person
    Another person says:

    I can’t believe the Challenger is doing so well. The moss on the trees is sick, other then that the person in the photo is centered – first mistake, the style of the rider is kinda whack – kills the photo, and when you look at, it’s hard to see what’s going on until you REALLY look at it. The Champ has sick colors, it’s easy to focus, and the rider looks smooth & like they know what they are doing!!! Common people – what are you thinking?

  6. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    Here’s my two cents for anyone who’s interested…

    1. A centered photo is not always a bad thing, you don’t always have to utilize the rule of thirds for a composition. Plus, he’s not even all that centered anyway.
    2. Style is subjective, okay, whatever.
    3. It’s interesting when a photo leaves you wondering what’s going on. I don’t understand why I’m always reading on this website, “there isn’t a clear take off, or landing, and it’s hard to see what’s going on,” blah blah blah. It’s clear to me that this dude is doing some sort of laid back wall ride on a roof or something. I’ve never understood that, why is it a bad thing if you have to examine a photo for a few seconds in order to make sense of it. That’s just something to think about.

    In this case, the moss on the tree mocks the moss on the roof, giving it a nice balance. The rider is clearly the main focus with its juxtaposing colors. Being the tree is such a big element in the frame, it forces the viewer to follow the trunk toward the ground, which then shows you where his take off and landing is for all you people who love things to be flat out obvious. The flash illuminating the roof helps draw the eye down as well. The negative space in the sky amongst the trees provides just enough room for the eye to rest.

    There are good things going on in the champ as well, for one, of course the colors. Who doesn’t like sunset right? The flash illuminating the rider is nice, especially how it creates a little bit of a rim light along the riders left arm, which helps separate it from the sky. I think I almost get a little too lost in all the negative space in the sky though, I think the photographer could have maybe incorporated a little more of the building in the frame. I’m pretty sure that’s the main thing that’s killing it for me.

    Both good photos, I vote challenger though.

  7. Old School
    Old School says:

    Bomb Drops are so played. You can tell the rider in the camps photo does not have the speed to be doing anything but bomb dropping and that is the lamest trick in the world unless it is HUGE. Colors are nice sure and it is a nice looking photo but lets remember why we are all even on this website. We snowboard and we love snowboarding. A layback wall ride trumps a bomb drop any day of the week.

  8. kylehk
    kylehk says:

    amen old school. nice picture but im really not feeling the bern ads riding action. a sunset in the background shouldn’t be a free pass for a good snowboard shot. crustygreen laybacks all the way

  9. Another person
    Another person says:

    but the kid looks like he’s going to fall on the layback & has whack style… and this contest is about the PHOTO… not which trick is better lol

  10. Jimbo
    Jimbo says:

    Hey Brandon, while it’s true that you don’t always have to use the rule of thirds, its a better idea to follow them, because more often than not, if you take two photos of the same subject, one in thirds and one centered, the one composed into thirds is going to be the more visually appealing one. And, I’m not trying to talk smack on your assesment, but I think you’re trying too hard to see the good in the challengers shot. The “negative space” you talk about in the sky is not a place for your eyes to rest. It’s over-exposed sky thats totally bled out the sensor it that spot and made it a bright-white that has quite the opposite effect of rest on the eyes. That could have been corrected with a shorter exposure coupled with a hotter flash. You’re right about things like the rider contrasting well and the moss mocking the roof, but the green is a very dull green. A touch of saturation in photoshop, or a darker exposure would have also fixed this. And since we’re on the over-exposed subject, the challengers photo doesn’t show a single example of true “Contrast” it only has contrasting colors. Look at all the shadows in the champs shot, they give it depth and make it interesting. Theres so little shadow in the challengers shot (except the one blocking the riders face) that you can’t even make out the texture in the snow at the base of the trees. It’s just like one dirty white rug.

    You did nail it on how stupid it is that people demand to see takeoffs and landings. Cheese-wedges in shots are an eyesore unless they’re the ONLY thing that can provide you with a depth-of-field, and I think some of the best shots are those where you wonder where the hell the rider is going. Check out Dave Brewers Hump Day interview and peep the third shot down on the page.

    The rider is hitting the epitome of a close-out rail, with the only conceivable option being an impossible rail-to-fence ollie, which would end in the rider sliding the fence… that’s fucking badass and you can’t see it unless you look for it.

  11. Jimbo
    Jimbo says:

    Sounds entirely possible, and I don’t blame him or trying to stick up for his image. I just think this is another shot thats being won thanks to multi-voting at the public library and whoring the link out to his friends. It’s a decent shot, but not that much better than the Bern one

  12. Jimbo
    Jimbo says:

    Ha, nice post Smat. I think I might like that angle better if it was framed up a little different. Once again it’s a great example of an over-exposed shot because of a cold flash. People are too afraid of putting their light meters at -1, it gives the shot a good contrast, and is almost essential because the meter is biased towards being to bright because it generally is overpowered by the intense whiteness of the snow, which can be misinterpreted as light by the camera. Also, I’m noting that he could be pointing that flash a bit higher. It looks like he has a similar setup to the one I use, pretty janky, one speedlite on a radio remote. People don’t realize that those things reflect quite a bit more downward than they do upward, so you need to tilt it extra high sometimes. It’s hard working with one flash so I give him props. Lagos is still the winner in my mind

  13. Wise Old Goat
    Wise Old Goat says:

    Chellenger Will destroy all who crosses it’s path!! Death to the champ! And a lovely hue of green to boot

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