TOP TEN: Table Photos by Robin Pearson - Ride UK BMX

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TOP TEN: Table Photos by Robin Pearson

Ten of the best and the stories behind them.

Words and photos by Robin Pearson


The classic tabletop. The invert. The tweak. The flatty. The pancake. The bike lean…? Whatever you call it, you can’t go wrong with a table. As a photographer, I’ve always enjoyed taking photos of a high quality table air – it’s a pleasing image when the rider is in the sky, folded up, bars turned, bike slightly inverted. I’ll say it again, you can’t argue with that!

I decided to pick out ten of my favourite table photos that I’ve shot and share the stories and videos associated with them. Some of these are simply a fine table, others are a reminder of a fun trip, a great spot, or a rider whose presence we miss.


01 – Mike Miller, table air, Surrey, UK.


Ben Green took the Lotek UK team to this jaw-dropping spot on a Surrey hillside during Ride To Glory 2011. With this kind of set up, obviously all eyes were on Miller. Much missed by the BMX community, Mike was one of the most stylish UK riders of all time, with a legendary inverted table on him. This photo reminds me of the excitement we all felt when we arrived at this spot – it was magic. See the video below for the footage, 5:05 in.


 

02 – Rubio, table air, Tenerife.


Tenerife is one crazy place… A volcano sticking out of the ocean with a landscape of barren rocks and sand, sunburnt tourists and water parks on one side and then beautiful dramatic gorges, lush forests and majestic scenery on the other. There are black sandy beaches, great surf spots, interesting plants and wildlife, sweet towns and quaint villages tucked far away from the eyesore holiday resorts. The volcano hosts a moon-like landscape and offers you the view of a number of different weather systems within the island. It’s a rapidly changing, fascinating place.

After a BMX trip there with the Vans team for Let It Ride, I visited Tenerife on holiday and met up with Rubio long enough to shoot a few photos at this skatepark on the north coast. Rubio kills it, he’s blessed with as much bike control as is humanly possible  to have and makes absolutely everything he does look fluid and appealing.

Shooting this photo was a pleasure – Rubio snapping a sweet table with just a snippet of Tenerife landscape behind him.


 

03 – Ronnie Napolitan, 360 table, La Mesa, California.


This photo was taken the first time I went to California, in late 2012, when I was shooting a Ride UK interview with Connor Lodes. Connor was working at a restaurant every morning, so Ronnie, Boiski and I would go round to Dennis Enarson’s ramps at his parents house and have a session before the heat of the day.

Ronnie did a few 360 tables and I noticed how inverted and divebombed Ronnie was getting just past 180, so this is how we shot it.


 

04 – Bob Manchester, 360 table, Lloret Trails, Spain.


Bob is a total trails boss. I jumped at the chance to accompany him to Catalonia one winter, escaping a wet week in England and riding trails around the Barcelona area. I was shooting with Bob for a Ride UK interview and my media buddy Mike King was making a video for Monster – it was a perfect little crew! We stayed with some rad Norwegian MTB riders, went everywhere on trains and had a blast.

I often shoot 360 tables from the front of the jump, looking at the take off, but this set up was crying out for a side shot with Bob framed nicely between the trees. I shot it on my medium format camera, it turned out exactly how I wanted it, good times indeed.


 

05 – Matt Roe, table air, Robwood, Nottinghamshire, UK.


When I asked Roey if we could shoot a photo on this ramp, I thought we’d be looking at a turndown or a grizz. He suggested a table air, saying he’d like to shoot one because he didn’t do them very often… I said something like, “Okay, yeah, if you want…”

Well, this is a pretty damn flawless table air if you ask me. The knees, the bar turn, the position of the cranks, the HEIGHT… Exceptional.

This was a good day shooting for the Dream It, Build It, Ride It feature – check the video below.


Bonus: Paul Bromfield, The Pond, Essex, UK.


When I told Roey I would be shooting at Ant Pearson’s ramp, The Pond, he said something about Paul Bromfield possibly being there. He told me that Paul was one of his heroes growing up, and that if I could get a photo of him riding he would be stoked. So here we are, Paul Bromfield with a massive table air at The Pond on a summer’s day.

06 – Angus Gough, table air, Lakeside, California.


Palm trees, mountains and a proper inverted table air from Angus Gough earlier this year. It was a rad trip filming for Angus’ Talisman edit and this photo takes me back.


 

07 – Matt Cordova, hip table, Pat Casey’s yard, Riverside, California.


A photo from the same trip., when we drove out to visit Pat Casey and ride his ramp and trails. Angus wasn’t feeling very well but Matt Cordova was more than stoked to shoot some stuff. Matt kills it – but you knew that. Check our THRICE feature with him HERE.


 

08 – Mike Miller, table air, Biggin Hill, Surrey, UK.


Yeah, Miller again. Textbook, right?

This was one of the first photos I took with the Bronica 35mm fisheye lens for my SQ-A medium format camera, and I was very pleased with it!


 

09 – Joe Embrey, table air, Bury St Edmunds, UK.


Joe is one of those dudes who’s always up for a mission, wherever and whenever – his enthusiasm is without question. This picture-perfect huge table air was one of the easier photos to get as it’s at one of his local skateparks on a beautiful day, but for something slightly more out there, check the final sequence in his Ride UK interview edit below…


 

10 – Phil Aller, table air, Full Factory, California.


Last but by no means least is this splendid effort from Phil Aller. This was shot at the Full Factory ramps on Vans Ride To Glory 2013 and has remained one of my favourite table shots ever. Why?Phil’s killing it, he’s wearing a very colourful outfit, the ramps look sick, the composition is pleasing and looking at it gets me stoked. Plus, this was taken on one of the funniest trips ever. That’s it!


 

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