After a weekend of racing my bike (as opposed to taking photos of other people riding their bikes), I’m all enthused to get race fit again. However spending a week in bed with some horrible bug that is currently doing the rounds of Melbourne is not really conducive to getting faster on the bike. So instead I’ve been looking at pictures of bikes. And finally getting around to editing and posting some personal photos from a trip to Italy last year. I know, something about plumbers and leaky taps.
As tomorrow is ANZAC day here in Australia, I thought I would post some photos from my last trip to Europe. My fiance and I did some hiking in the Julian Alps, on the border between Italy and Slovenia. We were staying in Italy, but on this particular hike we found ourselves straddling the border on two occasions. These photos are from Sella Robon (1865m), where we found ruins from a WW1 outpost and what must be a marker in memory of the 11th day of the 11th month. As we sat amongst these ruins taking in the scenery, with no civilisation in sight, we had a tiny glimpse in to what it must have been like to sit in these bunkers, watching and waiting.
Lest we forget.
Sometimes when shooting downhill mountain bike races, to get the best photos, you have to put yourself right in the path of any rider who might be unfortunate enough to crash. Fellow photographer Jason Stevens (in the blue shirt) was in one of those spots during Saturday’s practice runs during the final round of the Victorian Downhill Series at Mt Beauty. Just before this rider went down, Jason was talking about changing lenses – fortunately he wasn’t mid-change when this happened – talk about dust on the sensor!
To commiserate the closure of the last lab in Australia to process motion picture film, I though it appropriate to dig up the first (and now most likely last) film I shot on 35mm. Shot on a noisy old Arri 35III with a bunch of short ends salvaged from various productions, it was a great experience being limited to two, sometimes three takes at a stretch. I think the closest thing to being forced into these limitations these days would be participating in a time-limited film competition, such as the various 24 hour film challenges going about. Of course you could always just set yourself some rules, and try and stick to them!
There is a language warning on this one.
Road trip! After a shaky start, including a mid-freeway passenger handoff, I made the 7+ hour drive up to the Nation’s capital – a fitting place for a weekend of racing that would decide Australia’s champion mountain bikers for another year.
Tasked with chasing the Kona Factory Team around the course, I was free to concentrate on just the downhill aspect of the weekend. Taking full advantage of this, I skived off on Friday to enjoy actual riding of a mountain bike, instead of watching and photographing others. The delights of Sparrow Hill kept me suitably entertained, although with the new-to-me road realignment it seems we have lost the fantastic Bobsled trail that was always a fantastic way to finish off a ride.
Saturday and Sunday could not have displayed a more different track. From dry, dusty, and incredibly windy for practice runs on the Saturday, the heavens opened up on the Sunday. Rain off and on all day gave a preview of what was to come, and as if right on cue the rain came bucketing down bang on four o’clock – just as the downhill race runs began.
The photos above tell the story of the dry vs wet track, and be sure to head over to the Kona Factory Team race report for video and more photos.
After working professionally with cameras in various capacities over the last ten years, I have recently been given the opportunity to make the move into full time freelancing. With a strong background in video production, about five years ago I ramped up the stills photography side of things, initially drawn into it via mountain bike racing. I’d been racing semi-seriously for a year, and would often notice the photographers out on course. As race entry fees were getting more expensive, and my race results weren’t getting any better, I figured I’d give race photography a try. This was a great way to practice – as the competitors rode around the course you’d get endless subjects, allowing me to work out the best angles and lighting for each location. It also turned out to be a great way to combine a love of the outdoors with a love for creating an image that conveys the sense of being out there.
I’ve carried with me this idea of conveying a feeling, or inspiring an action, through everything that I shoot, be it still or video. Trying to inspire my audience to get out there amongst it – if just one image can result in one person downing tools and heading out on their bike, or start planning that epic ride for the weekend, then I’m happy I’ve done a good job.
I want this blog to help me to deliver on that further. Initially posting twice a week, I’ll be telling you about my own adventures, and providing tips on how I go about documenting them, including gear reviews, articles on workflow, and ideas on places to go (looking forward to researching this one!). If this sounds like the kind of thing you’d be inspired by, then please subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog, and keep an eye out for my newsletter subscription.
Two weeks ago there was the potential for some big storm action hitting Melbourne right around dinner time. Keeping a close watch on the radar, I decided that the balcony of my friend’s new apartment about 8km north of the CBD would be the perfect vantage point to set up a timelapse and watch the storm roll in.