When a high fashion brand has you make photos while your in a village in Morocco.Read More
Our guide in Tel Aviv took us to a lovely viewing deck above the city and then we began to look for ways to get onto the roof. Luckily someone had left the door open and we walked right up there. Fifty stories high on a beautiful sunny day. I found it interesting that although we were breaking the same rules as individuals I wasn't as nervous about getting caught since there were more people involved. Logically I understand that the consequences are the same no matter how many people are involved.
When shooting on roof tops we are very conscious of not breaking and entering. All doors were unlocked and accessible. Although it might have not been meant for the public we didn't break any rules getting there (depending on the country, rules will vary). As it turned out, no one saw us or no one cared and we still felt like we were in our own personal spy movie.
Ive never had a fear of heights. I have the natural, healthy, fear though. It still makes my stomach turn when I watch some of Jason's videos like the one below. However, If I have a camera it creates a divide where I am more focused on what I am shooting than how the drop is making me feel. I don't think I could go around with these guys on ledges and just be a spectator. Photography is really essential to me being able to stomach it all.
Looking back on these photos I am aware how I have gotten accustom to posting to instagram. I remember trying to post twice a day was such a challenge but with a few months practice it become easier and easier. Now its like second nature. When I got out and shoot I have my shots for Instagram in mind. As my instagram posting has improved, I feel like my other channels may have suffered, and maybe even my photography. Its a challenge to make a story out of this very adventurous trip but I am missed the images to go with it. Starting the Vlog with Jason in June might have contributed too. I am now shooting video and we are putting together a story through that median as well.
My new challenge is to work on shooting the story and share it here on this vlog with you.
Wish me luck, edi
The ministry of tourism brought Jason Paul, Amadei Weiland and I to Jerusalem to vlog about our travels there. An ideal experience for Jason and I, to have permission to explore a location and document it. We saw some iconic locations like the Mount of Olives and the Tower of David. Most unique was being able to watch him jump across the pillars in the Cardo, remnants of a central street in the Roman Period. By building a human pyramid with the Help of Amadei and our local freerunner, Aaron Sarfaty, Jason was able to reach the top.
Climbing and shooting in public usually comes with security guards and a high level of sneakiness. With our entourage from the ministry we abandoned all caution.
As Jason was preparing and testing the sturdiness I had double duty of shooting the video for the vlog while trying to get some still images as well. I wish I had more time to shoot the photos but the video does more justice to the actual situation. My challenge was to show the height of the columns while not getting the other camera men and spectators in the shot and the right timing of the jump. A crowd of onlookers gathered, curious as to what was going on. Suddenly a man dressed in a bright yellow vest starts shouting at Jason. We assume he is a security guard trying to chase us off. After making sense of his broken English we understand he is asking Jason to clean up all the rocks that were on the top of the pillars.
Shortly after the police do show up and ask him to get down. We didn't realize the pillars were in site of the police station. Jason didn't bother explaining that we had permission since we got the shots anyway and were ready to move on to the next location.
Jason Paul, Abudi Alsagoff and I traveled outside of Dubai to Umm Al Quwain, to find an abandoned plane. It was just too tempting and the rumors too good. Could this be a plane that use to carry illegal weaponry for Viktor Bout? The man aka "The Merchant of Death" and the main inspiration for the movie 'Lord of War' who is currently serving time in prison? And if not, seeing a huge abandon plane falling apart in the middle of the desert sounded pretty cool.
Originally we wanted to shoot a video with the plane but after scouting we realized it was in no condition to take the weight of the jumps and moves for a video and instead we planed for a photo shoot. We woke just before 5am to get an early start and drive to the location about an hour away. Our hopes and dreams were to get some magical shots in sunrise with this huge plane. However, once we arrive we stayed in the car till the sun rose high enough to give us light to see through the overcast weather. We didn't get any epic sunrise shots but, what we got instead was more time with less contrasting light through out the day to get what we needed.
Being inside a huge plane that is clearly falling apart (it had been stripped of all valuable items, which probably didn't help) is such an eerie feeling. These things are suppose to carry us in the sky? I was amazed that there weren't any bugs. Where I am from this place would have been crawling with spiders and insects but, here in the desert there were just birds and lots and lots of bird poop. We got a few photos inside while we waited for the weather to clear up but I felt like I needed to keep getting fresh air.
Being on top of a plane was such a cool feeling. Its like having fun somewhere you know you aren't suppose to, like when I was a kid and my father would let me watch 1980's Eddie Murphy comedies (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America) with him as long as i didn't tell or get caught by my mother. For the athletes, the plane was challenging and at times limiting. It was slippery and dusty with untrustworthy areas. Ideas that had to be ruled out due to not being safe. Still, I feel like we were able to create some amazing images with the diversity of their skill, bravery and talent to adjust to these places.
Last week Red Bull Indonesia launched by throwing a kick off party in Jakarta. They flew in Red Bull athletes, wings girls, and me to shoot images. I was reminded how I still get nervous before shoots. The pressure felt high. I had one day to get images of people flying in from all over the world.
I was nervous about not having enough time to get what was needed. There is always a tight schedule and many things to do in a day. On top of it Jakarta is notorious for traffic that made getting to each location more time consuming. However, everyone was down to get up early and explore.
Luckily, I was working with Pasha the Boss, who I have shot with many times, and Jason Choi, a sponsored skateboarder from South Korea. Its been a while since I had shot skateboarding and I have missed it! There was never a problem of us all getting along and everyone brought their positive attitude.
Shooting in the old town Sheva and Pasha were mobbed by a group of young kids frantically wanting photos and selfies with them because they were blonde foreigners. As they posed and made their pouts and duck faces Pasha copied them and made a kissy face and sounds to go with it. The whole group erupted in laughter. Smiles and selfies are universal.
I got to meet many new friends from all around Indonesia in the parkour and freerunning community. We talked until it got dark and had to leave for dinner. This is what I love most about traveling, meeting people for the first time from a different place and finding every reason to relate.
I got to do this when I was traveling with bands. We would make new friends in every city in one night. Now its the freerunning community that introduces me to these magnetic individuals, but the connection is the same.
Thanks to the internet and social media I know our conversations will continue until our paths cross once again.
There is an odd sadness when I travel and am exposed to new cultures, foods and languages, I will never have enough time to experience them all.
There are over 700 living languages in Indonesia, and I most likely will not be get to hear them all let alone understand them. I won't be able to learn all the languages and have conversations in native tongues. I can only hope to taste as many local dishes as I can.
I am blessed to visit Jakarta for the first time and lovingly bombarded with all the other beautiful places in Indonesia I must visit with first hand accounts from people who have left their countries and moved there. I want to go there, I want to see it all. And this is why I may never call one place home.
I am so thankful to Red Bull for giving me this opportunity and bringing these amazing people together.
These photos make the Chicago part of the tour much look warmer than it was! It got very windy the day of the jam. I like to use my photography to show the best of each scenario and what I want to remember and I happen to be a wimp when it comes to the cold. Luckily, on the second shoot day the sun came out! Enjoy the video at the end.
I just returned from a parkour and freerunning jam in Singapore which is a short two hour flight over from Bangkok. The Lion City Gathering had over 200 parkour athletes and freerunners from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Denmark, England, France, the Philippines, of course Singapore and believe it or not I wasn't the only American there. Singapore is a beautiful and clean city with some amazing spots for freerunning. The concept of parkour jams and roof culture is a little more challenging for them to grasp. I lost count of how many athletes were arrested for climbing roof tops. Luckily, I wasn't one of them. Traveling with Team Farang, we were able to spend four nights at Wellington Wu's Gym from Kraken. Even though every night was like a giant slumber party with my little brothers entire school, I am eternally grateful. I typically went to bed around 4am each night once the tutorials, wall flip sessions, wrestling, and body slamming died down. Then I was typically woken up around 6am for various reasons; Muslim prayers, Team Alpha Movement returning from jail, Jordan Hile returning from the hospital (with bruised but not broken ribs) And then there was the wild animals that surrounded us in Jason Paul's dream that we had to get up and move away from.
There were photos, videos, selfies, autographs, hugs, love, a few stitches and bruises, free tee shirts being passed out by the bundles and even tears when it was time to say good bye. The hardest part of having friends all over the world is you never know when you'll see them next. After a successful event like this I am sure Lion City will be gathering next year.
While exploring some roof tops in Bangkok we spotted an abandoned pool on top of a six story building. Luckily, part of the building was still being used as various offices so we didn't appear to suspicious walking into the elevator to the top floor. We easily found our way to the empty pool and started and impromptu photoshoot. Not a typical place for parkour or freerunning, humor, strength and ability still shine through when shooting Jason Paul, Pasha Petkuns and Vlad Erovikov.
Shooting in a place where you are most likely asking for forgiveness rather than permission if you were to get caught is an exciting element. Shooting in a space that was once filled with water, where access at one point was not physically possible in the same way really got me inspired to shoot. Each athlete took it in their own personal way and it was fun to watch them use the unique space.
We got invited to partake in the celebration for the first annual Wonderfruit Festival in Pattaya, Thailand. Although it looks empty there were a lot of people attending, the space was just wonderfully spread out. There was amazing food and performances, but mainly I was enjoying instead of photographing them. I did make time, of course, to shoot some shenanigans and smiles.