Behind the Lens - Lars Scharl

Dec 14, 2011
by Ian Hylands  

Fischi goes braaaap over a selfmade hip jump on his GHOST DH. Photo c by me
  Tell us a bit about yourself:

Hey, I'm an action sports photographer based in Bayreuth, northern Bavaria, Germany. I'm originally from Munich, the Oktoberfest-town, and I'm 28 years old.

Bienve pulls a huge fronty nohander over the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB jumps during the last minutes of the sundown session... awesome event Re-upload - make sure to watch it in high res Photo c by me
  How long have you been shooting photos?

I started in 2006. Before that I wasn't into photography that much, at least not on the "active" side. That was probably because I only used cheap compact cams, didn't get any good results from them and preferred to ride myself! But after the DSLRs got cheaper I somehow decided to go for it and financed my first decent photo equipment by working as a lifeguard at the local swimming pool for one summer. I read a lot of photo theory online and in books during those months and by the end of the season I had enough money to buy a used Canon EOS 1D and some decent lenses and flashes. I started to shoot as much as I could right away and I haven't really stopped since! My first real MTB photo trip took place in early 2007, when Falco and Gernot Ruppert asked me to join them on a trip to the Mediterranean. We went to a lot of DH tracks in South Italy, South France and Monaco and luckily one photo from there won first prize in Germany's biggest photo contest for young sports photographers, which helped me get some more attention and coverage.

Cashroll to dirt on a MTB
  How long have you been shooting mountain biking?

Pretty much from the start, which means five years by now. I've been on Pinkbike from that time on and it's funny to see some old pictures from time to time. The example below was taken in late 2006, one of my first MTB photo sessions.

Falco Ruppert racing in Finale Ligure in 2007... my first MTB photo trip ever. Photo c by me

Da Tschugg having fun on his GHOST on a singletrail in the Bavarian outback golden autumn light... I love this time of the year photo c by me
  Do you ride yourself? How does this effect your images?

I ride myself, yes, but it's a little bit difficult since I don't have a big bike, only an XC hardtail. I'd really love to have my own big bike, but it's kinda hard to finance that besides the photo equipment. So I grasp every opportunity that I have to ride bigger bikes on gnarlier trails, which luckily happened quite often this season. Thanks to Guido and Fischi from Ghost 4X team and the Freeride Magazin crew for that!!! Smile I think it's important to be active in a sport to be able to understand its "lifestyle" and "values", which is definitely a big part of a good photo.

Snow session in 2009... best pow day in my life Photo c by me
  Do you shoot anything else besides mountain biking?

At the moment it's almost exclusively MTB action and lifestyle. This winter I hope to spend more time in the snow though. I haven't really had a snowboard/freeski photoshoot in two years and that's just way, way too long for me. Unfortunately most of the riders I work with were injured during the last two seasons so I concentrated on my studies instead, but this winter I'll hopefully freeze my behind off again and spend countless hours hiking through waist-deep powder and hit the occasional powder kicker myself Smile

Timo was the only rider to flip the Macho Gap at the 2008 Adidas Slopestyle. Photo c by me
  Do you have another job as well or is it just photography?

I used to do some small jobs at my university for a while but since 2010 I earn my money from photography only. From next year on this will be my full time profession.

Sam Pilgrim doing a huge frontflip at the 2009 26 Trix dirtjump contest in Leogang Austria. Photo c by me
  What is your favorite thing to shoot?

Outdoor action sports of almost any kind, nature, adventure!

Photo c by me
  What kind of cameras do you use?

I work with Canon equipment. At the moment that is a 5D Mark2 and a 7D.

Sunset lifestyle shot with Guido Tschugg. Photo c by me
  Is there any other gear that you use frequently?

I couldn't live without my compact flashes, Pocket Wizard radio transmitters and Sunbounce reflectors!

Martin s last jump during the 2011 Red Bull District Ride - barspin to tailwhip into second place congrats photo c by me
  Who are your main clients?

I do assignment work for Freeride Magazin in Germany and some bike and clothing companies. I also enjoy to work as an event photographer and do/did a lot of more documentary-style photos for event organizers, for example at the Suzuki Nine Knights, Adidas Slopestyle, 26Trix, White Style and the Nissan Qashqai Challenge. Some weeks ago I actually worked for Pinkbike at the District Ride in Nuremberg.

Martin pulls a huge superwhip over the Castle jumps at the 2011 Suzuki Nine Knights MTB event. Epic sundown session Make sure to watch it in high res photo c by me
  Anything else we should know about you?
I'm a positive and competitive guy and I'm stoked to take photos. I love outdoor action sports and I enjoy to meet and work with nice people and to travel the world and see new things. Don't know what more to say!!

Dirt explosion the Ruppert Bros. shredding Italian trails in Laces - Gernot makes his brother eat some dirt Photo c by me

Da Tschugg shredding on his GHOST DH. Photo c by me

You can find more of Lars' work on his website -

Past Photographer Interviews:

Behind the Lens - Mattias Fredriksson
Behind the Lens - Marc Landry
Behind the Lens - Reuben Krabbe
Behind the Lens - Ale Di Lullo
Behind the Lens - Sebas Romero
Behind the Lens - Sven Martin
Through the Lens - Baxter Redfern
Through the Lens - Fraser Britton
Through the Lens - Margus Riga
Through the Lens - Justin Brantley
Through the Lens - Ian Hylands
Through the Lens - Keith Valentine
Behind the Lens - Thomas Gaffney
Through the Lens - Jacob Gibbins
Through the Lens - Eric Palmer


  • 15 0
 Amazing photography mate. Deffenantly 1 of the best selections of pics Iv seen. Keep at it man Smile
  • 1 0
 top two, 2nd to last and the lady with the pile of bricks!
  • 2 0
 Nice one Lars ! Was very interesting to read your article a while back about exactly how you do your sequence stitching, you should post it here too along side those sequences.
  • 1 0
 You take great pictures... Its a great story of how you started with very little and went with your interests.. Very good for everyone to hear... You are very talented ..... It must be thrilling....
  • 2 0
 Awesome pictures, and such fantastic quality. They look superb even on my Iphone.. Excellent work indeed.
  • 2 0
 Some of them have been my wallpaper for months!
  • 1 0
 Theres alot of really nice pictures in there.... and a couple of PODs nice job Lars.
  • 1 0
 Ein paar Bilder waren auch schon auf IBC, natürlich FDW!! Hammer-Bilder!!!
  • 1 0
 Very nice photos. Keep up the great work so people on the other side of Earth can see whats goin' on over there!
  • 1 0
 Lars is really a groovy guy. Really helpful and his photography skills are outstanding!
  • 1 0
 a good read ! thanks for providing us all with top notch photography, cheers
  • 2 0
 Fabulous photos Lars.... great work. Gruesse aus Kanada!
  • 1 0
 Great !!

Maybe Pinkbike will prepare episode "Behind the lens" with winners of "Photo of the Year" contest ?
  • 2 0 of my action photographers heroes. Keep on pushing Lars. Alex
  • 1 0
 This is amazing. Just excellent.
  • 2 2
 So much good work, makes me angry all over again regarding the pic that won POY (fixed!!!)
  • 1 0
 Wow, even the XC shot looks rad!
  • 2 0
 Your shots are dialed.
  • 1 1
 the district ride is in Nuernburg not Nuremberg
  • 4 0
 You're from Germany, you should know that they're both different names for the exact same place...
  • 1 0
 im sorry i did not know you write nuermburg with an "m" in englisch

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