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!

2021 – My year in photos

It’s that time of year again where many look back and prepare for a new year. I am one of those people. This activity is really hard wired in my brain. I need to look back not only to learn, but to truly put the year to rest and file it away. This year was a big year for sure. At times it seemed like it screamed by, but when I look at these images it seems that the year was never ending. For me, the year was filled with so many great moments. As I put time into this post, it is also clear that in addition to great moments, there is progression of my personal direction, well being and creative growth.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and consider this the great 2021 catch up post. I am highlighting some of the significant moments & memories as well as my favorite images. Don’t hesitate to reach out to GNAT at LIVE dot COM if you so desire or leave me a comment.

January 2021

Little did I know that this trip short trip to KC to visit friends would change the outlook on my year and my future. It was on this trip, alone in my car on I35W South, that I made a commitment to myself to prioritize me, my well being and my health. It was also on this trip that I started seeing and experiencing some creative freedom and direction. Below, is my favorite shot from that trip.

January also included a ski trip and family visit to Steamboat Springs. This was a trip we had planned last year but cancelled due to Covid and the ski resort shutting down. Lucky for us the passes for 2020 were honored and my brother and his wife were able to join us this year. Bonus!

March 2021

As the world began to open up again, we embarked on a final, family spring break. With our kids off to college in the fall, we knew we this was likely our last chance as a family unit of four before our kids head off to college so we went all in, went through all the safety protocols and testing, and ventured to Hawaii! It was truly magical and a great time. Lots of pics to share here. I am only going to highlight a few here.

A Covid Spring Break!

I love this image and how it reflects the challenging times we were experiencing. These kids are part of history and this image cements the time period we in. This was a whale watching tour with friends. And yes we saw whales. Lots of whales. Everywhere! See below.

It was on this trip I captured my favorite image of my son as well. This incredible young man has so many facets and is a thinker and lover of both fashion and art. This shot of him looking out into the distance in his hand painted shirt he purchased from a local artist captures that spirit exactly and perfectly.

Oh the places you will go and the things you will see in your lifetime!

May 2021

In the final days of my twins’ senior year, I was called into dad photo journalist role one last time for senior year prom. This was a prom like no other. No event. No dance. But our girl and her friends made the best of it. No dates and a boat cruz on Lake Minnetonka! What an incredible group of girls. Honestly, this may be my most fun photo shoot of the year!

This photo shoot for Senior Prom also gave me my favorite image of my daughter and maybe my personal favorite photo of 2021. Just like the photo of my son above from Hawaii, this image captures my daughter perfectly. Happy. Beautiful. Inspiring.

My daughter. Happy. Beautiful. Inspiring.

June 2021

June marked the a significant milestone with high school graduation for our twins. It was a joy to see my kids endure the crazy year, the changes in our society and the challenges in our eduction system. So proud of them. It also gave me my favorite dog & pet image of the year. So proud of these kids and check out our serious and scholarly dog Odie!

July 2021

July marked the decision to leave my place of employment of the past 25.5 years. We also visited grandma, family and friends in Colorado. Again, with our twins leaving for college, we took advantage of those last moments before they flew the nest. A side note here, Colorado and especially Estes Park area often make my wife and I contemplate life’s choices. It was also the low point of fitness in my entire life and was even more evident at 10,000+ feet! This year that was especially strong given we knew we’d be empty nest in the fall. No decisions made, but someday we hope to have another house or property somewhere. We love Minnesota, but we are growing not so fond of our winters. Just sayin’!

August 2021

August was highlighted with a visit up north enjoying my brother’s new cabin life. He bought an old, beaten down property and has spent the summer rebuilding. It’s not done yet, but it was great to be there and be together. I often miss the whole group family photo and this trip to the cabin was no exception. I did capture the dogs though!

We also dropped Nathan off at the University of Minnesota. Fun fact: He is staying in Frontier Hall, the same dorm I stayed in as a freshman when I attended the University of Minnesota!

September 2022

September marked the reality of empty nest life. We dropped Natalie off at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I am sure any parent reading the next line will understand what I am about to write. It is incredible to see your kids off on this new and incredible journey. It is also incredibly heartbreaking and difficult to imagine relearning and letting go of the incredible 18+ years a family unit and pod. We were far from perfect parents, but this family is the best thing in our lives. So grateful and thankful for these two kids.

Leaving Nathan the prior week and dropping Natalie off in Wisconsin hit us pretty darn hard. While you prepare for these moments, you don’t really know what to prepare for. It hit us pretty hard and to combat that, we made our selves really really busy with friends, activities and travel. We capped off the month of September with a trip to Maine with our friends. I have so many images and thoughts from this trip but I will only share a few. One note, if you ever have the chance to visit Maine please go! It’s incredible.

October 2021

We were jam packed with stuff in October. A few highlights include seeing both Nathan and Natalie, lots of bike riding and out door activity as well as my birthday. I did not have my best photo month in October as I was focused on other stuff. But here is a fun one from my birthday outing with Nathan and Jen where we visited the Van Gogh Immersive experience. If ya look closely, you can see my self portrait and Jen and Nathan sitting on a bench in the background. Fun night!

Self portrait at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit

November 2021

Two highlights to share about November. Both Jen an I traveled independently to Chicago to meet friends and we had our kids home for Thanksgiving. I even snuck in an extra short trip to Milwaukee as part of my picking up Natalie for break.

A night in Chicago!

Chicago – Here’s my favorite image from my Chicago with friends trip. I had this image in my head. I didn’t want to leave Chicago without capturing it.

Milwaukee Art Museum at Sunrise

I snuck in a dinner with friend and a Lake Michigan sunrise before picking Natalie up in Madison for Thanksgiving break.

Morning Trail Run – Turkey Trot 10K

This Thanksgiving, Jen and Natalie ran the Turkey Trot 10K together. It was a highlight for me seeing these two run together. Sorry, no pictures of Nathan as he was sick and in bed almost the entire Thanksgiving break.

December 2021

And to close out the year, December brings us the holidays, the ending of fall semester for our kids and road trips to visit family.

These two got through their first college semester and courses. It is a big transition and the first of many life changes for them. We are really proud of them. Minot delivered on the snow and the cold. Nothing like spending the day digging out of a fresh snowfall with Jen’s dad. This image has a real vintage feel to it and brings back a ton of memories for me.

And while 2021 is not officially over, that’s my year in photos review. I will have one more look back next week digging into my bikes, my riding and my photography!

Thanks to everyone for their friendship, their love and support during this fun and at time challenging year. I hope your holidays has been spectacular and may 2022 be your best year yet! Love you all.

A Gnat Family Holiday Break – Costa Rica!

It’s 2020!  I made it another year here at the ImagineGnat blog. Committing for another year.  Before I get to both a look back as well a look forward, I wanted to share some pics from our recent trip to Costa Rica with my friends and family.  So….Get ready.  Heavy dosages of pictures of family and fun.

But first a few words.  For the first time in 20 years of marriage we broke family rules and traditions and escaped the cold.  We went to Costa Rica as a family.  My wife and I essentially captured our kids attention by removing them to another country.  As they have aged and they continue to become more independent, we have missed them.  So, taking them away seemed to be our only option.  To add to the fun, we also didn’t tell them where we were going until we got to the airport.

In all honesty, it was the best thing we have done and I think we all came home happier and closer.  I know my wife and I needed that connection time  with the kids. We also had a total blast.  Activities included hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, zip lining, surfing, slothing (guided tour looking for sloths), horseback riding, sleeping, family games, celebrating and on and on.    It was simply incredible.

And with that, I will just share the pics. Hope you enjoy them. Leave a comment if you have a question.  Click on any to go to slideshow mode.  Thanks and enjoy!

 

Gnat’s Ozark Ramble

As I write this, I am buried in work.  Not caught up on my fall home owner chores. We had our first dinner as our family unit in two weeks and only the second or third in the past 6 weeks.  Life. Is. Nuts.  But…..I find myself energized, inspired and at peace.

Why?  Aside from the obvious of my incredible family, I am feeling all these things because of last week. Last week I spent an entire week rambling through northwest Arkansas with many friends.  I spent last week out there in the world. I wasn’t in an office with days filled with meetings. I wasn’t locked to a computer.  Thanks to my incredible wife, I wasn’t at home juggling all the kid duties, pet duties and home duties.

Nope.  I was hanging out with like minded folks that I have the pleasure to know and call friends.  We were riding bikes, taking pictures, laughing until our guts hurt, wandering, rambling, drinking incredible coffee, eating fine foods, sampling brown liquids,  expanding our minds and exploring.  I planned this trip starting many months ago. It was exactly what I wanted for the milestone birthday I had just a few weeks ago.

I just want to say thanks to my family for supporting me on this fun filled week as well as all my friends that took their own PTO, took time away from their family, spent their own money to make my birthday special.  I also want to thank those friends that just couldn’t make it and sent me good vibes and support too.  We’ll see you soon and we’ll share a trail or gravel road sometime!  Love you all!

And with that, here are a few pics.  If you would like to know more about a picture or place, please leave a comment with a question and I’ll message you back.   Hope you enjoy!

Until next time friends.  More to come as I prepare for the coming year.

The Great Catch Up Post of 2019

It’s been a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG time coming, but I am finally taking a moment to catch up on the gnat blog and fill you all in on what has been happening.  As much as things change, some things stay the same.  My spring and summer has been filled with bikes, family and photography.

As I look back over the last several months there have been a few common themes.  One of those themes is that I/we have been getting glimpses of the future.  For the first time in several years, I am finding some needed time to pursue both cycling and photography again.   Last fall, our kids got their driver’s licenses and I must say that with that comes a bit more time.  In that time, I have traveled, ridden my bike quite a lot, done a bike packing trip in Utah and shot a couple of events (Almanzo and Prom).

That said, those blocks of time are not always consistent.  Additionally, my wife and I are snagging every opportunity we can to relish time with our kids before they head off to college, hopefully, in two years!  But they have given me a sneak peek at the years ahead.

But with time, I have had a lot more time to think.  I am still taking photography a bit more seriously and trying to be intentional with the shots I have.  This gives me focus, but also gives me the ability to simply enjoy the setting and environment I am in.  I am finding more moments to simply take it all in as opposed trying to capture every moment.    I am still trying to find significance in my photography.  What do I want to do with it?  I still believe I want to do something more with it and I need the right kind of project to keep me motivated and out there.  I have a few ideas, but nothing firm enough to share today.

So with all that, here are some photos. I hope you find something here that makes you smile, inspires you or makes you think.

Family – Click on any image to go to slide show

BIKES – Click on any image to go to slide show

FRIENDS – Click on any image to go to slideshow

PHOTOGRAPHY – Click on any image to go to slideshow

 

And with that, a parting shot.   Jen and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. I am so lucky to have her in my life.  Thankful every day for her.

JWB-CU19-41