What is a Cycling Photographer?

The other day someone asked me What is a cycling photographer? Does that mean you just shoot cycling?”

Well…No. I had to think about that a bit. Just what is a cycling photographer? I like cycling. I shoot cycling. I shoot while cycling. I cycle to inspire me to shoot photographs. I photograph cycling experiences and events. I photograph bike races. I photograph bike rides. I photograph cyclists. I capture cycling moments, both in victory and in defeat. I photograph cycling in hopes of inspiring others to get out there and experience the world by bicycle. I’d like to think the definition of a cycling photographer is all of those things.

The road to Wonder Lake, Alaska – That’s Denali in the background – 1995 or 1996

That image above was taken by someone at a campground on the road to Wonder Lake, in Denali National Park on my bike tour from Alaska to Utah. My friend and tour mate John made it the Eugene, OR while I travelled all the way to Moab, UT to meet some friends and do a Canyon Lands bike and 4×4 tour. It was on this trip that I married carrying a camera with me while cycling.

To help define and answer the original question, I want to share a number of images that I have shared on Facebook over the years. I have thousands of images from around the globe like these in my catalog. These are low res, un edited from how I shared them originally so I apologize that they are not a uniform set. I think they will help add some definition and support what I am trying to say. For me, seeing this stuff together cemented the definition of a cycling photographer. I love cycling. I love photography. I love anything that puts those two things together. There are 50 or so of them so I hope you enjoy the slide show and then head outside to ride your bike or book a trip to plan your next tour or ride.

Click on any image below to go toea Lightbox Slide Show Mode!

2016 Minnesota State CX

Needing some creative shutter therapy, I managed to get out to the 2016 Minnesota State CX race yesterday. While it is a two day event with many more races today, I got out yesterday and shot the SS, the 45 Men, 1-2-3 Women and the 1-2 Men. Wow. What a day.

Just like clockwork, MN winter came upon us the day prior to the event making me even more excited to photograph the race.  I love shooting cyclocross. It’s like a dance performance with beauty, grace, suffering, joy, and occasionally a fall or two!

I am not going to write a lot of words. I just want to share some pics. I have two sets of images here. I am going to do a really quick selection of my favorite 10 shots of the day followed by a much larger selection. I wanted to share the much larger collection as many of these pics are of people I work with, friends and brands I support.

For the camera nerds here, I shot these with the new Fuji XT2 and 16-55 and 40-150 zoom lenses. It was a very capable kit with only a few little weird quirks. Not bad really for a first outing to shoot an event like this with this set up.

So….Here are my favorite 10Click on any image to move to slideshow mode.

And if you want to see more, here is another set.  Again, click on any image to move to slideshow mode.

All in all an incredible day out see see friends, shoot images and support my local bike community. It’s a day I really needed.  Congrats racers!  See you next year!

Cross Vegas 2015 – A few pics

Good day folks. It’s been a while. Since I last wrote I’ve traveled to Las Vegas for Interbike 2015. For those new here I HATE Las Vegas. It must be something like 15 trade shows in this dump and it represents most things I hate. Honestly, I think the industry I work in deserves better but that is a story for another day. I have found ways to cope with Vegas and those things are friends, food and photography.

I started shooting Cross Vegas 3 years ago. Mostly for fun and to give me something to focus on. Each year I have shot the event differently and with different cameras. Year 1 I shot it with a 28mm and a 150mm. Year 2 I shot it pretty much with a 24-70 and a 70-200 zoom (like every other event photographer). This year I shot it entirely with a 20mm wide angle lens on a Nikon D810.  I like the challenges of 1 or 2 lenses and prefer shooting prime lenses. Shooting 20mm at an event does force some cropping on the images below, but that is OK to me as I shoot for me and for me only.

The images below are processed with a fairly harsh Black and White conversion. I did this intentionally as I shoot for myself and for this series I just thought it worked. Almost all of the women’s and men’s pro races were shot in very dark conditions with ISO 3200 and above. I prefer BW anyway and these images just worked better in BW.

Hope you enjoy.

All-City Championships Women’s Street Crit

I finally got my sorry butt out and about the city. I’ve been dying to go downtown to ride and shoot. So…When I had the opportunity to go out and shoot the late evening All-City street crit, I took it. I grabbed my Fuji XT1 and the 16mm and 90mm lenses and hit the streets.

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This was also the maiden voyage for my JYD. I had a prototype that I rode quite a bit, but this was the first outing on the real deal production version. The finishing touch was the titanium king cage that holds my Kish Fabrications mason jar. I filled it with Japanese Yamazaki Whisky and hit the streets. So good.

But the real story of the night was the street crit. Sign up was in the alley behind One-On-One.  For those that don’t know, the street crit is takes place riding track bikes on open streets. It’s crazy.  I had a blast and finished the evening off with a ride by the river and through the U of M campus. So good. Hope you enjoy.

Trans Iowa V11 – My Photo Story

I mentioned last week that I had a surprise for you. The surprise was that I went down to shoot Trans Iowa. The surprise was that I did not tell my good friend Guitar Ted that I was coming but I had arranged a ride in the official photo vehicle of Wally Killburg and Studio 46 West photography.  My alarm went off at 2:45, grabbed some crappy hotel coffee and threw my gear into the back seat. Off we went.

I was shooting only for personal work. I have no agenda to sell prints nor publish anything in a magazine. I shared some portraits already and that was my main intent, but once I got out in the country shooting, i couldn’t help myself. The conditions were horrid. There was no light. Mud. Rain. Huge efforts. It was perfect for grainy black and whites shot at stupid high ISO’s in the poor light.  The following images represent my photo story of the day. I’ll let the real warriors share how the race went on their own blogs and in their own words. I am just going to share images.  Hope you enjoy them.

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But in the end, only 1 rider made it to check point 1 by the cut off. That was Greg Gleason, last year’s TIV10 winner. He made the check point with just 4 minutes to spare, grabbed his cue sheets and hit the road again. He was the only rider on course for some time. He finished later that day after riding at least twice as far as everyone else. I don’t know Greg personally, but I am guessing it was a bittersweet victory. He handily won but the finish line was not crossed.

The last picture is quite possibly my favorite image I have taken in a few years. Love that shot. Greg is a warrior, as are all the other men and women that started the race and pushed on through these brutal conditions. Congrats to all.

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Unbelievable day. Inspired by so many. Thankful for the friends and the cycling community that I am part of.