April 03 2020 Friday at 04:01 PM
Motorcycle Photography by Steven Stone
Seeing that my job description pretty much demands me to spend time on the interwebs everyday, I have become quite the virtual explorer. Delving deep and traveling far in the endless digital sea that hosts an almost unimaginable amount of information. Not too long ago, on one of these 'explorations' I came across the photography of Steven Stone, a Utah based Photographer with motorcycles featuring quite heavily in his subject matter. The aesthetic he manages to capture really inspires me to shoot every time I hop on my bike. He along with a group of friends take trips, make their own parts and have a very simple but refreshing view on motorcycle culture, which I can appreciate. After a few weeks of cyber stalking through a blog he contributes to, Bolts Action, i decided it was time i made contact and saw what his deal was. So i hit him up with some questions, and low and behold he answered. Given the simplicity of my questions, he managed to hit the nail on the head when it came to the sussinct yet illustrative way he answered them. Here's what he had to say… How long have you been into / riding Motorcycles? "As far as i can remember I have had an interest in motorcycles. I've been riding them since I was 7 or 8 years old. My dad always had a few bikes around...mostly mid-70's Japanese bikes. In my teens, I went through countless Jap bikes, buying and selling 2 or 3 every summer. I didn't know how to wrench on them, so I'd pretty much just buy whatever I could for $400, run it until it didn't work, then sell it for half of what I paid." "When I was 19, I was sick of dealing with old bikes that I couldn't fix, so I sold my car, rode a bicycle for 6 months to save money, and bought my first Harley, a brand new gloss black 1999 HD Sportster. And that's pretty much what put my life on course for where it is now." Same question but with photography…have you always been snapping? "The photography...Not too long, really. I never owned a camera growing up, and pretty much had zero interest in photography. I drew a lot, and I always thought I'd grow up to be an illustrator. In my early 20's, I enrolled in college to figure out how to be a career artist. In my illustration courses, I was required to take a photo class in order to shoot my own reference material, and that was the first time I'd ever taken a photo in my life. But I fell in love with it pretty quick... I quit school, started assisting, bought a camera, and I've come from my first photo ever, to building a career out of this shit in the past 8 or 9 years." Whats the deal with the Bolts Action Blog i have been looking through? I see a group of guys who have made quite a few motorcycle trips together…is there more of a story behind that? What is Bolts Action?… God, I never know how to answer that question. We're a group of guys who all grew up snowboarding and skateboarding, ended up in Utah for one reason or another, and somehow ended up making a couple trips together. Along the way, we started talking about how the whole motorcycle world seemed to revolve around Southern California, which we thought was kind of dumb because there were cool things happening in our own backyards that would never get any press…and I guess we wanted to point that out. We were all too broke to start a magazine or anything like that, but blogs were just blowing up at the time. It seemed like everyone had one, but all they were doing was re-posting the same vintage photos as everyone else. So we started Bolts. We didn't really know what we wanted to do, but we did know that we wanted to shine a spotlight on the cool things happening around us, in Utah. And we knew that we only wanted to post original content. No re-blogs and no vintage photos that didn't have anything to do with us. We just set out to make something that served as a venue for what we were into. And that's pretty much how Bolts was born. Over the past few years, we've tried to stay true to that. And, although we all love motorcycles of all kinds, we've tried to keep the focus more on actually riding bikes. We all appreciate a well-built bike, but it seems like so many dudes spend money building whatever the coolest trend for today is... we try not to focus on that too much. We rarely do bike features, and we don't get too geeked out on this week's hot paint job. For the most part, we all feel like the only point in building a bike is to have something that you know is bulletproof and will get you out on the road without blowing up. So that's probably the main focus of Bolts, just getting out and riding. We try to put together a couple major road trips every summer, and as many smaller jams as possible. From my extensive look through your archives I seemed to notice a trend…Snowboards strapped to the back in the winter…and skateboards strapped to the front in the summer. Were you guys riding to specific destinations or just out looking for powder and or concrete? For the past couple years, we've tried to kick-off the season by having some sort of end-of-winter, start-of-spring jam, usually a week or so where we pack up our snowboards when the resorts close and head out across the western US in search of the last pockets of snow. During the summer, most of the dudes we ride with will have skateboards on their packs --- we do a lot of roadside skateboarding while we're out and about. As for destinations? Jeremy and Seth are both pro snowboarders, Hobbs is a sales rep that covers a lot of the west-coast, and I'm a photographer who has hardly any clients within 500 miles...so we all do a lot of business out of state. Basically, if someone has to be 1,000 miles away somewhere and it happens to be in a time-frame that others can hit, then we'll turn it into a trip. We've all jammed to LA before because Hobbs had a sales meeting or because Jer had a photo shoot or whatever. Basically we all just love to ride…we love to ride far and fast…and any excuse to do so works for us.