DIRT, SWEAT,

& SLEEP DEPRIVATION


DEEP SUMMER 2015


Grant Robinson

bigquotesThis year I made a few changes - after hours of interviews with past participants, judges, audience members, supporters, visionaries and Paul Morrison - because we wanted to challenge the photogs to make slideshows, not just collections of images. I wanted to focus them on making a cohesive show that would allow them to show off their particular talents and strengths. We also wanted to make photogs dig deep for photographic inspiration rather than have it become a spot-hunting arms race. Whistler has more than enough to shoot so we reduced the boundaries again and made them focus on a couple of key, over-shot, locations. Hopefully we'll get six creative shows.
-Seb, Chief Cat Herder and Cheerleader

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  Chief Cat Herder and behind the scenes visionary, Seb Kemp - the halo here is purely an illusion.

At 12:59pm yesterday we stood at the doors of the Aava hotel in Whistler waiting for the last of the teams to sprint in with their Deep Summer submissions. With a tight deadline of 3 days to shoot and an additional 13 hours to edit and compile their slide show, even those who were cutting it to the wire had very little in the way of the energy needed to hustle. It's a familiar territory as I played a support role (read: fed, watered, and encourage sleep) for Paris Gore when he competed in last year's competition and in that time, I saw firsthand how driven and passionate these photographers are. Ryan Worcester explained through a fog of exhaustion and over a celebratory and necessary coffee after turning in his show yesterday afternoon that the idea of showing the world your own creative vision, not a product of the needs of a company, not driven by an existing marketing campaign or Art Director, and not rearranged to fit the layout or message of a media outlet, was all it took for him to commit to the event. As a working photographer, it can become rare to shoot something that is purely yours from start to finish and Deep Summer allows for that - it allows for us to look inside some of the most unique and imaginative minds in our industry.

bigquotesI had an idea of what I wanted to do, but my idea wasn't really complicated anyway. We came a week early just to scope because I haven't been here for seven years or so, it was just a case of coming out and riding really. [The changes to the rules for this year] actually made things easier because in the past it sort of seemed like things were getting mental, essentially you could build a trail for Deep Summer and that was it, so coming into it, and having the boundaries and the 50% thing was good. You can get a good photo anywhere, or should be able to anyway, it's not all about finding new locations it's about what you can do in something that's tried and tested. I think that's really cool because between the six of us I know that loads of us, outside of the three things we had to shoot, have shot the same areas as well and you just see different people's perspectives and I think that's a cool thing to see really.
-Sam Needham, Photographer

Sam Needham
  Sam Needham

bigquotesThe biggest challenge? Time. You think you have it all planned and worked out, but when you only have 72 hours any hitches or hiccups are magnified. I had two flats on two separate days, we got lost on a track we'd been on many a time by taking a shortcut. I purposefully kept the team as small as possible to avoid complications from a large team, but even then its a major undertaking to make sure everything runs smoothly. Then adding in the weather changes this year and you are scrambling all over the valley looking for plans B & C. The biggest reward? Spending three amazing day with some truly great mates telling their story. We got to bed at midnight on Sunday after shooting the EWS all day, then got up at 2am to hike-a-bike up Rainbow Peak. 3 1/2 hours later and a mad sprint to catch the sunrise and we are all broken, but absolutely overjoyed to have witnessed this. It's been emotional.
-Gary Perkin, Photographer

Gary Perkin
  Gary Perkin

bigquotesWith Whistler Bike Park being the mecca of riding two wheeled things it sure has drawn some media types over it's many years, what I have found to be the biggest challenge to shoot Deep Summer is trying to find something that hasn't been done before, find an angle or location or shape that nobody has seen before. It's what everyone says, it's all been done before. But the same challenge which is most challenging can also be the most rewarding though when you find that thing that is unique. . . at least you hope it is. It is a reward in itself to hand over the slideshow on the deadline knowing what's done is done and it's all down to tonight!
-Laurence Crossman-Emms, Photographer

Laurence Crossman-Emms
  Laurence Crossman-Emms

bigquotesLCE was a workhorse, head down for more then 3 days. I think he slept 6 hours over 72...what an animal!
-Kevin Landry, Rider

Laurence Crossman-Emms
  Laurence Crossman-Emms

bigquotesIf I was going to go to the Antarctic I would take this team - we all survived an incredibly hectic schedule and at the end everyone was still laughing and having a good time. Obviously people would have a tendency to have meltdowns in a situation like this but our team were all good characters. It was rad!
-Mike Hopkins, Rider

Grant Robinson
  Grant Robinson

bigquotesAll my riders pulled out because they have so many events happening at once, but I just asked around and [more riders] just sort of appeared and everyone seems to want to ride in it too which is cool. I wouldn't think there would be that feeling amongst the riders but they all respect [the Deep Summer contest] too. We knew what we were shooting for, I story boarded the whole show ages ago so we knew exactly what we wanted to do. It's been busy but really enjoyable.
-Grant Robinson, Photographer

Grant Robinson s team
  Grant Robinson's team

bigquotesThe most challenging thing about deep summer for me was honestly energy. Everyone including myself was super excited to get after it the first day, despite the rain! But as the days go on and you're hiking your bike up and down the same trails to try different shots from sunrise to sunset, you get worn down! It's for sure, a few days of less then adequate sleep trying to stuff everything together for the deadline. The feeling of being done, and seeing the shots was amazing! Being rewarded with great shots made it all worth it.
-Anthony Evans, Rider

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  A little peek into the mind of Grant Robinson.

bigquotesThe hardest part of Deep Summer is coming up with a concept driven shot list, and being creative to avoid just taking standard action images. I've been fortunate enough to be involved with Deep Summer for the past 5 years, and the most rewarding part has always been connecting with other athletes and photographers that love collaboration, and the challenges that come with it.
-Stephen Matthews, Rider

Each story that you will watch tonight was arrived at in different ways; photographer's vision or a team collective vision, many riders or few riders, months of planning or none. And some photographers have to scrap their plan days before the event and start at the drawing board again. "Unfortunately due to circumstances outside of anyones control I had to scrap and find a few new team members with about 2-3 days left before the event started." Photographer, Tim Koerber, started out with some bad luck but managed to pulled together an all-star team at the last minute. After seeing first hand last year the months of planning, sleepless nights, and truly incredibly feats of achievement that these photographers manage, it was nice to live vicariously through friends this year who were experiencing the process from the rider's point of view - the exhaustion, the frustrations, and the joys. "Being able to see Ryan’s vision in it’s completed form this morning, I was literally crying watching it." Lars Sternberg wasn't alone in feeling emotional about his team's accomplishment, photographer Gary Perkin was also feeling the roller-coaster when it was all over, "3 1/2 hours later and a mad sprint to catch the sunrise and we are all broken, but absolutely overjoyed to have witnessed this. It's been emotional."

Ollie Jones - LC s team
  Injuries happened and while it was a set back for the teams, we are just happy that everyone is okay.

bigquotesThe challenge for us was that we had a huge team that was full of all Deep Summer veterans and novices and figuring out a cohesive plan to appropriately work in everyone to fit into our story was hard. And with so many people came some pretty serious events and injuries, we had quite a few fallen soldiers by the end of the three days. But when we decided to let humour take over we ended up having a pretty good time and walking away with a really good experience.
-Lacy Kemp, Rider

After three days of tripping over zombie-like riders in the middle of the night as they prepared for dawn missions or listening to them losing vowels in their vocabulary as their tired brains turns 'grapes' into 'gapes' or just stopped them completely mid sentence, I can not wait to see the results of their efforts. When you take your seat tonight at the Deep Summer event and sit back in awe of the creative, stunning, and sometimes (and hopefully purposely) humorous slideshows you will be inevitably caught up in the moment. You will be inspired to ride your bike and marvel at what lurks inside these photographer's minds - and sometimes in the collective conscious of their teams. But it will be easy to walk away from the show without truly realizing that those few delightful minutes were produced over a gruelling and short three days, without allowances for weather delays, sleep, or time out for injuries, gear casualties, or other unfortunately accidents. Being creative is sometimes the easy part, producing your vision under tight guidelines and restrictions is the real challenge - and achieving the 1pm deadline yesterday is a true rush of accomplishment. To quote Tina Fey about her career with Saturday Night Live, “the show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  Tim Koerber

bigquotesThe biggest challenge by far was having to rebuild my team a few days before the event started. I went into this with what I thought a solid and small team, a decently well planned mission, and music and Premier Pro files ready to go. The plan was to sit down with friends, map out rad routes and do exploratory rip and dip missions around the Whistler Valley on trails I vaguely remembered from when I lived in North Vancouver in 2008-2009. Just setting out to have the most fun, and ride my bike the most, not necessarily to get the most banger shots, although I had a few in mind. Unfortunately due to circumstances outside of anyones control I had to scrap and find a few new team members with about 2-3 days left before the event started. Fortunately someone had recommended Lacy Kemp to me, and she helped me line up a few new recruits - Katie Holden, Darren Berrecloth, Jessica Serdowich, and we were off. The biggest reward? An excuse to come to Whistler again and to get to ride the bike park, and valley trails! It's been amazing, and worth every bit of the 3,200 mile drive out here. Stopping to ride in Breckenridge, Jackson, and Bellingham along the way helped ease the pain of the drive and made the whole trip pretty memorable. Bellingham was so rad I think I might just stay there.
-Tim Koerber, Photographer

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  Wiping away the exhaustion on the way to deliver the final product.

bigquotesI think the most rewarding thing is getting to share a vision with everyone in the group and all make that vision come to life through riding and photography - as a bunch of people who spend more time laughing that being serious. I think we laughed the entire time, which makes it pretty rad! The most challenging part of Deep Summer is the stress and the time constraints and how much it takes out of you physically to get all the riding in in those few days.
-Birry Lewis, Rider

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  Seb Kemp receiving the submissions yesterday.

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  Sam Needham handing his slideshow over with minutes to spare.

bigquotesI'm eternally grateful for Seb to invite Ryan, and then for Ryan to orchestrate the team because these three days to me have been f*cking amazing, it's kind of hard to describe, like such a cerebral thing. It's a very interesting group that we have together and a very unique opportunity to spend time learning more about these people and being in the woods and I'm just really, really thankful for that alone regardless of this show or even the photos we got out of it. It's a very special thing to me. And being able to see Ryan's vision in it's completed form this morning, I was literally crying watching it. Ryan's vision for it is so close to all of our hearts, it was really sweet, and you could go any direction with this project and I think it's something we are all super proud of. Contest aside, I don't give a shit.
-Lars Stenberg, Rider

Images from the Deep Summer BTS by Danielle Baker.
  Photographer Ryan Worcester celebrates the completion of their show with his team yesterday.

You can buy tickets for tonight here.

And don't forget that this year you can vote for your favourite online! From 10pm Wednesday, August 12 to 10pm Thursday, August 13 viewers can watch all the shows online and then vote for their favourite show.

2015 Photographers:
Tim Koerber
Sam Needham
Gary Perkin
Grant Robinson
Ryan Worcester
Laurence Crossman Emms


2 Comments

  • 22 0
 So excited for this and to see everyones shows....all the best to everyone.
  • 2 0
 Laurence, congratulations on an incredible show man. Loved every second of it. Also thanks to PB for putting this piece together, Deep Summer is one of my favorite events of the year so it's awesome to get to delve into it a bit deeper.

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