PHOTO BOOTH: Tom Forster | Ride UK BMX

BMX Every Day | #UKBMX



PHOTO BOOTH: Tom Forster

Tom Forster has been active in BMX for a long time.  Great rider.  He’s actually just celebrated riding for 20 years – that’s quite an achievement!  Over the years he’s had hookups with the likes of FBM and appeared in some 4Down videos, but mainly he keeps things local.  Local right now means a DIY spot in the midlands, with concrete, metal and dirt sculpted into a decent set up for the crew.  Tight affiliation with Hideout BMX.  Tom shoots a lot of photos down there…  And we’ve enjoyed seeing these photos so much that we thought it was time we shone a spotlight on Tom’s photography.  Scroll on for some of Tom Forster’s finest images and some words from the man himself.

Above: Gaz Docker, wallride moto.  Ben Basford crouching to see.

Ben Basford
Ryan Dawkins

– How long have you been shooting photos? And how did you get into it?

It’s just one of those things comes with riding BMX I think, I’ve had a couple of different camera setups come and go over the 20 years I’ve been riding now but the need to capture myself or friends on camera came as soon as I saw a bike leave the ground with my own eyes I’d say.

“The need to capture myself or friends on camera came as soon as I saw a bike leave the ground with my own eyes”

You start, in my case, by holding a 1 megapixel Nokia 6230i in the general direction of your friend as they destroy themselves searching for their moment of glory.  When/if it finally comes, you look at this trophy you’ve captured expecting to see the next cover of Ride and it inevitably is just a blurry tourist shot that seems to have a trick rider in it, and you take it from there.

Most riders at very least learn the basic controls of their camera guy’s equipment, follow techniques for video, the importance of triple checking that they are in fact recording this time, etc.


– What camera gear do you typically use?

Textbook backpack BMX kit: full frame DSLR, 12mm wideangle, 50mm, flashes and tripod.

– Who are your favourite riders to shoot photos of?

My favourite photos to shoot are of a trick that the rider is really working for, if you can get a sweet bail shot on the way then even better.

Usually the more they work for the trick, the more the photo will mean in the end.

Basford, 360 table
Ryan Dawkins followed by Ben Basford

– Which other photographers inspire you?

I’d say I’m inspired mostly by riding happening in front of me and it just so happens I’ve been smart enough to bring my stuff along.

Other than that, just photographers that tag #ukbmx

– What are you aiming to capture in your images?

What happened perfectly a moment ago, usually.  But other than that I like the challenge of there being hundreds of ways to shoot the photo and have it come out disappointing or okay, but maybe a few ways of shooting a photo the rider will put on his bedroom wall.

– Do you have any goals for your photography?

Do more, I’d like to nail a few star-trailed BMX photos.

“Usually the more they work for the trick, the more the photo will mean in the end”

– What would be your favourite photo you’ve ever shot, And why?

Hmm hard to say so probably the star-trailed test shot I made (above).  The camera had to be tripoded but fisheyed (so right in the way), the stars needed to be out and it obviously be pretty much pitch black already at the spot so it was unplanned but convenient, the camera needed to face polaris-ish but also be able to frame the spot / trick, and then once we were done trying to get a good riding shot the camera had to sit there for another hour hopefully collecting photos.

– What else do you do with your time?

You can typically find me building stuff or doing building-stuff-related tasks haha.  Admin and H&S for Forster Construction, kitchen fitter, guitar builder, ramp builder are a few from this year I suppose.

– What’s coming up next for you?

A whole new summer of DIY spot upgrades/ trails upgrades hopefully and new front teeth #bmx

Sam Marden


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