Behind the Lens - Reuben Krabbe

Oct 5, 2011
by Ian Hylands  
Reuben Krabbe is an upcoming photographer from Calgary, now living in Whistler. I had the honor of teaching him a few years ago in Victoria, and I've been watching him since. I even use his lazy leg lightstand mod on a few of my own stands. (see the video below)

Reuben Krabbe
  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a professional MTB (and ski) photographer, living in Whistler BC. I grew up on the prairies in Calgary, and lived in Victoria, BC and England a little bit back in the day. I did one year of formal school at the Western Academy of Photography (and learned from the Hylands himself).

Major inspirations; Jordan Manley, Sterling Lorence, Phillipe Halseman, Phillipe Ramette, Frank Gehry.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011 Self Portrait Bike Mag Photo Annual 2011
I do quite a bit of self portrait MTB photography, it's fun leaving everything behind to do two things I love, MTB and Photography, isolated by myself in the woods.


Shralp If you arent a fan on Facebook you should be http Facebook.com reubenkrabbephotography
  How long have you been shooting photos?

I started shooting photos some time around the age of eight, I shot for a year before I found film was too expensive. I picked up a little digital camera some time around the age of 13, then my dad's old film SLR, then a prosumer dSLR.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  How long have you been shooting mountain biking?

I started shooting MTB when I got that first digital camera. Two of my best riding buddies at the time got into shooting at the same time, we'd ride and shoot to share and capture what we experienced. Quickly we discovered that taking a decent picture took time and effort, but was worth the special attention spent creating the image.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  Do you ride yourself? How does this effect your images?

I do ride bikes, and love it a lot. A highlight of the summer was tailing Stephen Matthews and Brendan Fairclough off the newly rebuilt Crabapple Hits. A big highlight for me, especially cause I couldn't properly ride a trail like Crank It Up at the beginning of the season. I've been off and on the bike, I have always wanted to be on one, but things have kept me off in recent years: crappy jobs, a lack of a bike, and then a blown knee.

Both riding, and not being able to ride have effected the way I shoot a lot. As a rider you understand the sport better, and can try to capture the experience better. Being unable to participate in a sport I love made me explore and understand it in a different way. I may not be able to completely articulate what that shift was, but if I look at my work over the years there is a major shift from 'bike porn' - shooting the biggest hit on the trail only - to the work that I do now, where I try to include more of the emotion, mood, community, in addition to the biggest and best.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  Do you shoot anything else besides mountain biking?

I shoot skiing during the winter. I love both seasons in many ways, and wouldn't be happy without either of them. I also do some architecture/interior design work, which may seem quite odd, but a lot of the skills and equipment I use cross over.
It's funny how the two sides of my photography contrast and complement each other. I spend a lot of my time out in the woods thinking about keeping alive with the elements, wildlife, and avalanches all trying to get me. Then spend some other time in the comparatively subdued world of architecture photography. One is slow, methodical, and very corporate, the other is much more spontaneous, capturing fleeting moments, and dangerous.


Sunrise shoot got snowed out but sent it anyways


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  Do you have another job as well or is it just photography?

Just Photos


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  What is your favorite thing to shoot?

I couldn't say I have a favorite, I love so many aspects of different riding styles. I love the convergence of nature and trail in cross country, I love the imagination and creativity of freeride, I love the passion and community of dirt jumping, the dedication and intensity of DH... it's all a ton of fun.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  What kind of cameras do you use?

Primarily a Nikon D700. 17-35, 50, 70-200, 24 Tilt Shift

I also have some more unique toys like a Calumet 4X5 (old school, throw a cape over your head, looks like an accordion, film camera), Pentax 35mm, and a disposable film camera. (Yes, really!)


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  Is there any other gear that you use frequently?

Pocket Wizard transceivers, Nikon Flashes, Elinchrom strobes. Outdoor/bike photogs may also be interested in this universal lightstand modification:





Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  Who are your main clients?

Largely editorial for my MTB work. Publications: Bike, Decline, Dirt UK, Singletrack UK, Up/Down Netherlands, Big Bike France.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011
  Anything else we should know about you?
-I like to brew my own beer
-I find quantum mechanics fascinating
-I do yoga, and think most riders should
-I tore my knee open to the bone, and broke an arm riding Freight Train in Whistler. And finished the trail.


Copyright Reuben Krabbe 2011



44 Comments

  • + 17
 Love the ski one the most (y)
  • + 3
 What is inkbike? :L
  • + 4
 This is awesome ! I've known Reuben for like six years he use to bike a bike instructor, legit dude here with some legit photos!
  • + 4
 what's (y) ?

I love how he shoots wide, really including the environment to show what area it is.
  • + 1
 last shot looks a lot like frutia, colorado
  • + 1
 Love the shots, especially the one using the Tilt Shift!
  • + 1
 (y) is supposed to be a thumbs up, and i gotta say i loved the ski one too
  • + 1
 Not only is he good behind the camera, he's very good at editing too. His shots are awesome, talk about inspiration
  • + 1
 I believe the last shot is a self portrait, It was in Decline a while back.
EDIT: Love the shots, haha forgot to mention that. The one with the crane/construction thing in it is probably my favorite.
  • + 1
 all of these shots are so sick!
  • + 2
 i've been shooting for a lot of years, and the development of an individual style and voice takes many of those "years and years" to achieve. i am always impressed with how personal and unique your style is... and you're a youngster! keep at it. thanks for the inspiration.
  • + 4
 Sick photos- I love Nikon. Reuben, you are a Viking for finishing Night Train with busted Knee and broken arm. Awesome!
  • + 1
 brother of my friend, follows me on twitter. Sick pictures. maybe one day, I will pass in front of his lens
  • + 2
 amazing photos, 3rd last is my favourite
  • + 1
 I really like the last shot, that trail is a 30 second ride from my house and it has never looked so good
  • + 1
 Nice shot @ Millennium Park. That bridge truss... The last one looks like the super fun Sideshow.
  • + 1
 Great photography. Seems like we can always count on a new POD every few weeks! keep it up
  • + 1
 Yeah Reuben, nice interview. Was fun meeting you in Whistler. Hello from Holland!
  • + 1
 Awesome work...digging the 9th photo.
  • + 1
 These are some beautifully crisp photos. Nice work!
  • + 1
 I LOVE that skiing shot, it's got me stoked for this winter
  • + 1
 Great photos, very inspiring!
  • + 2
 Nothing but bangers!
  • + 1
 makes me want to buy a camera again Frown
  • + 2
 So Many PODS! Pimp
  • + 1
 nice write up and awesome images!
  • + 1
 SO sick man! Keep it up. Your photos are unreal. Thanks for shooting me
  • + 1
 Reuben the picture wizard!!
  • + 1
 Very very nice shots...!!
  • + 1
 Nice Work, good to see some cow town blood making it out there!
  • + 1
 A true inspiration!
  • + 1
 mad fotos. love it
  • + 1
 funtastic shots!!
  • + 1
 awesome photos!
  • + 1
 amazing
  • + 1
 Holy cow!
  • + 1
 Sick Photos!!!
  • + 1
 nice ink bikeWink
  • + 1
 where does it say inkbike?
  • + 2
 I think they're talking about the sticker on dude's helmet in the dirt jump pic.
  • + 1
 exactly
  • + 1
 Wow, amazing shots!
  • + 1
 great work!
  • + 1
 Impressive photography.

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