Summer seemed to arrive on the South West Coast of BC over night. I feel like one day I was trying to figure out what jacket I would need to fend off the weather and the next I was in shorts and short of sunscreen as evidenced by the impressive sun burn received a week ago. With the sun and summer-like weather event season landed with the intensity of a crashing car and I couldn’t be happier. At some level I will be involved with nearly 100 events this year and I am pretty excited because I love working in the event community. A week ago I was back at the start/finish line and event village of the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation’s Wheel2Heal cycling fundraiser with close to 500 riders taking on one of three distances and raising an impressive amount of money for the local hospital foundation.
This is a short post to share a few images from last weekend and a good break for me while I work my way through images shot yesterday at BC’s Golden Ears Provincial Park of the first 5 Peaks Trail Running event of the season. I should probably write a little about event photography in general, but for now I will keep it short and sweet.
Winter is all around us in Vancouver these days. The past week has been foggy and cold and I am growing increasingly jealous of friends spending time in Hawaii, California, Key West and other places where you’re more likely to see an umbrella drink than an umbrella. Despite the weather I’ve started training for a busy summer of bike riding. and though I am still recovering from a car accident last fall, back and neck issues, I got out on the bike twice this past week and starting logging base mileage in preparation for feeling healthier and stronger in the weeks and months ahead.
January has been quiet and I’ve been spending a lot of time combing my Lightroom archive for forgotten gems, and images from travels long ago. Without having to reach too far back I’ve pulled this from last summer, from my week working with BC Bike Race, with whom I’ve enjoyed an event week operations role the past two years, and look forward to returning this July. BC Bike Race is a traveling circus of a bike event, with stage races in seven different BC communities over seven consecutive days involving nearly 700 people including riders, crew, volunteers and rider support. Base Camp is rarely quiet, even after dark with mechanics working around the clock prepping and repairing damaged bikes for the next day’s stage. It takes a pretty tight knit and committed group to make this happen from the management on down. This week has been a difficult one for the BC Bike Race family, we lost one of our medics this week when he was struck by a dump truck while in a crosswalk. Though I didn’t know Rollie all that well, he was a colleague and an integral part of the BC Bike Race Medical Team.
Riding between patches of fog and sunlight, yesterday, we enjoyed a social ride talking about last summer and the summer ahead. Back at the parking lot we shared a few thoughts about our colleague with the prevailing notion that we should never waste an opportunity to get to know someone. Rollie was a name, a face, a colleague to us, and so much more to the people who knew him best. I am sorry that I didn’t get to know you better.
The above is a image from a sunnier day last July at the start line of the Powell River stage of the 2012 BC Bike Race.
I’ve been looking for pictures of Rollie in my BCBR archives and was able to find only this, from Easter weekend in 2011, on the ferry home from a weekend retreat in Cumberland on Vancouver Island sharing a funny story with a couple BCBR friends. Rollie is on the right rocking the toque and sunglasses.
Three hits from last night at the Giant Dual Slalom from Crankworx. Despite the serious glass fest that is Crankworx (lots of photographers) it’s a pretty good crowd, at least among the professionals. Everyone is pretty respectful of each other’s sight lines and is happy to share a few words between the moments of frenzied movement when a rider appears on course or sets up a trick. I’m new to this world, though I have shot road cycling, and some mountain biking, I am the slightly aging, soft around the middle rookie but I am pretty excited to be on the mountain and I’m pretty happy with the work that I’ve been coming home with at the end of each day. It actually feels a lot like the summer I interned; it’s been getting easier each day to get out of bed in the morning in anticipation of the day ahead. Today is Cheese Rolling and Slope Style. I have to draw up a wedding contract, make coffee and get back to the village before all the free spots in lots 4 & 5 are taken. Cheers!
Enjoying the quiet in Whistler this morning with a cup of coffee while I pull a few ad photos for a client. I couldn’t resist post a couple more images from yesterday’s Teva Best Trick contest at Crankworx. Though it remains true what I wrote last night about the work of others, I am pretty happy with some of the shots I made, not bad for a rookie.
It was so tough to pick one image of the 30 or so edits from today’s Teva Best Trick event at Crankworx but I hope you’ll like this one and that it will keep you interested in coming back and ultimately interested in my post event Crankworx gallery. This is one of those events in which the photographers outnumber the competitors, and today it felt like 3-1, the RedBull Joyride event this weekend is sure to be a glass fest. It is interesting to see so many pros in one place, everyone seeking out their unique vantage point, but ultimately turning their lenses to the same subject. One of the most interesting experiences I have had in photography is how different photographers see and approach the same subject. It hits me every time I look at the work of others who have been at the same event as I have. This is one of those things that makes photography so compelling but also humbling. It can be difficult to look at the work of others and see so clearly the elements of my own work that needs something more.
So much in the hopper right now ahead of this weekend’s 2012 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and just a week out from this year’s BC Bike Race. I have been very excited to put together a team of photographers to shoot the ‘Scotia Half’ this year, regularly regarded as among the most scenic Half Marathons in Canada and I am looking forward to seeing a lot of great images from our team, perhaps as many as 18,000 images, which will see post production and upload next week. Wow, it will be interesting to see the final numbers. Get ready SumgMug!
As last summer was coming to an end I was asked to shoot the 2011 RBC Whistler GranFondo and this is one of the images shot that morning in September from the back of a motorcycle on the Upper Levels Highway above West Vancouver. My buddy Chris and I spent a huge day with the event shooting close to 4000 images between us in the period of about 16 hours. It was an intense day, but what can I say, I love shooting events, and I love shooting cycling. Sunday is going to be epic and I am looking forward to a team photo at the start line at UBC early Sunday morning.
The weekend is almost on us, events are everywhere, cycling, running, farmer’s markets, fairs and parades, these are the stock and trade of staff shooters covering weekend shifts across North America, these are where features are made, faces found and stories are witnessed. I hope you find something to shoot this weekend, your latest portfolio piece is out there.
It takes real effort at times to separate the truly interesting content on line from the truly benign. One of my favourite sites to visit is the Boston Globe’s Big Picture Gallery where I am often rewarded by truly great images collected from sources from all points of the earth. This gallery strikes a chord, it’s called Pedal Power and it is a collection of images of bikes and the people who ride them. Two of my favourite things together, cycling and great photography. Have a look. And have another look next week when a new gallery arrives. I am especially partial to #43, Go Ryder!!
Pedal Power Big Picture Gallery