When it comes to shooting photos, once the sun goes down is when the fun really begins. Without that big ball of fire in the sky covering everything in bright light, photographers can get creative with their flashes and long exposures, making for all sorts of wild looking images. LA based photographer Jeff Gipson and BMX legend Rick Thorne teamed up for after dark pool shoot and the result was one hell of a unique looking image. Keep reading for the full story on how this image came to be.

"I had taken some light painting photos previously, but had been talking about doing a shot in a pool with Rick Thorne for a few months. I wanted to do some light trails to show the riding lines around the pool, freeze the action of Rick airing over the light, have the night sky, and play around with some colors in the flashes. Rick drained this abandoned pool solo and rode it. A week later we went during the day and rode, but because this property was tucked away out of sight I thought this might be the perfect location for the night shoot I had been planning—I was concerned people might notice my flashes and the movement of the headlamp. We went back around sunset a couple days later and started setting up for the photo.


The photo is actually comprised of 11 photos taken from a tripod and composited in Photoshop. I knew that I would have to do the shot with a limited set up since I'd be jumping the fence with my camera equipment and sneaking into the property, so I tried to keep my gear light.

– Rick’s air over the light was shot with a speed light on a stand above and to the left of Rick.

– The light trails were created by taping a blue light stick in various locations on Rick’s bike for each shot and Rick wore a head lamp as well.

– For the colored flash shots, I switched out different colors to paint the background with light and just have fun.

The images were all brought into Photoshop and composited together, the only image I worked on in Lightroom was the action shot of Rick to get a bit more contrast and get richer colors; but then ultimately brought it into Photoshop to be composited in. I am pretty happy with how it turned out and have some ideas I'd like to tie into the next one. Big thanks to Rick for trusting me and being patient through the process. I don’t think he had shot something like this previously, and was shredding the pool in pitch dark for the light trail shots.” —Jeff

Canon 6D, Rokinon 12mm Fisheye, Canon 430EX Speedlight.

To see more of Jeff's work on the WEB check out jeffgipson.com. And make sure to follow Jeff and Rick on Instagram @callmetrimtab and @rickthorne

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