Tuesday, August 12, 2014

@UPFORADVENTURESS: Motorcycling in NYC


This is what motorcycling in NYC is all about...
@upforadventuress @upforadventuress @upforadventuress @upforadventuress

Two years ago, we carried #upforadventure, Stan Evans' story of his 4,000-mile ride across the Unites States on a Triumph Speed Triple. Written by Stan himself, this was, we believe, one of the best-ever travel stories published on Faster and Faster. " A few years ago I did a video and photo-essay called #upforadventure I didn’t really think of it much at the time. It just happened to be a short documentary of my motorcycle vacation but it resonated with people and I kept getting questions of when I would do another. Shortly there after I moved to NYC and I was amazed by the different style of motorcycle riding here. Everything is on a grid, stop and go is the norm and I rarely ride at over 30 mph. With that being said, it is still an intense experience so I wanted to tap into that world," says Stan.

And tapping into that world he is, with @UPFORADVENTURESS. So what is this all about? "@UPFORADVENTURESS is simply being up for whatever, whenever, with whomever. People sometimes are so afraid of the unknown that they get handicapped. I wanted to open the door to the idea of adapting to whatever comes my way and embracing the accidents that transpire along the way. On road trips, things happen, you may have to put your trust in a person you just met. When it works out, it restores our faith in humanity," says Stan. "From a motorcycle point of view, I wanted to showcase a different riding experience - 99% of photos and videos feature a male rider, in sweeping turns, at sunset. It’s a hard question to ask 'do I need to tell another story like that?' and realizing the answer is probably not, but that opened the door to what could be explored. I wanted to break away from conventional, not by being drastic but in subtleties," he adds.

While Stan had used a Speed Triple for #upforadventure, he's gone with a Triumph Bonneville for @UPFORADVENTURESS. "It’s lower to the ground and good fit for female riders. It’s a pretty utilitarian bike - simple, works well, looks good and is easily customizable. I shot most of the video on a Canon 5D Mark III and Mark II but there is the occasional gopro shot from the DJ phantom and a few walk-around shots with the Movi 10. One of my main goals was to keep it simple and that you don’t need a Hollywood budget to tell a fun story. I shot a few of the POV shots with 5D, chest harness and a 40mm pancake lens because it has better low light capabilities and I wanted to get different perspective than ultra wide gopro. It’s still super shaky, so you have stabilize it with one hand while riding, which is tricky riding across a bridge at night. I don’t recommend it! For stills, I used a 1DX and Mark III I mixed some on camera flash along with the Profoto B4. On some images I cranked the ISO and shot in available light to get more of a gritty city feel," says Stan. "The bar scenes were shot during club hours. It was just Emma and I. The fact that they were having a Drag Queen Burlesque show while we were filming definitely made things interesting and crowded," he adds.





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"In an urban landscape, motorcycles provide transportation that is attainable, with a dash of fashion, style and individuality. That’s what I wanted to showcase and I figured why not film it at night, in the busiest city in the world..." - Stan Evans

So who is that girl on the bike? And does she really ride motorcycles, or is she just a fancy face? "That's Emma Lovewell. No, I can’t make that name up. I found Emma on Instagram - I had been looking for a female rider and authenticity is important to me. In NYC there are literally beautiful women on every street corner and it would have been easy to fake it. High fashion magazines do it all the time. Put an exquisite model on a bike, the bike on a trailer and drive it around town," says Stan. "I wanted to find that right mix of style and attitude in a person who can ride at night as well as take direction. Honestly, meeting her changed the whole dynamic of the project. I was going to go the documentary route again but having her involved opened up a lot of interesting doors - fashion, beauty and the bustling female motorcycle market. Emma is also a long time NYC resident, an athlete, model and dancer. The club scene was added because of her and the script changed because she told me stories of how she used her bike mainly for commuting. In a sense, I created the framework but she made it 'her' story," he adds.

And now, of course, you'd want to know what Emma has to say about @UPFORADVENTURESS and about why she rides motorcycles, so here we go. "I love riding a motorcycle because it puts you in the most present moment. You have to focus on the road: you can't check your phone, email, etc. There's also this sense of autonomy that I feel while riding. Like I could go anywhere at any moment and do anything that I wanted. I feel strong, capable, and empowered. There are not many other things that make me feel that same way, and it’s addicting," says Emma. "I never had any interest in riding motorcycles until my first time on one. And immediately I understood why so many of my friends had bikes and loved riding. I've been an athlete my whole life and riding a motorcycle is just like any sport. Focusing on your hand-eye coordination and being able to think and make decisions quickly, is all part of the game. I love the concept of @UPFORADVENTURESS because it is from a woman's prospective. Motorcycle drivers stereotypically are thought of as male, and this project defies that gender stereotype. Sometimes you don'teven know you have gender stereotypes until you witness something that is breaking them. I'm into opening up minds, moving fast, and pushing boundaries. I think @UPFORADVENTURESS does just that," she adds.


Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at @UPFORADVENTURESS

Stan would like to thank the following people for helping him make @UPFORADVENTURESS happen: Emma Lovewell, Jesse Brown, Nate Balli, Monte Isom, Lenny Toussaint, Vanessa Incorvaia, Chris Medina, Icon, Jupiter Motorcycles, Goldbar

And here are some links that you may want to visit:
Stan's Website
Stan on Twitter
Emma's Website
@UPFORADVENTURESS Tumblr
@UPFORADVENTURESS Instagram

You can also write to Stan on stan@stanevansphoto.com

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