Through the Lens - Keith Valentine

Aug 26, 2010
by Tim Lake  
First off, what's your name, and where do you come from?

Keith Valentine aka From Edinburgh, Scotland 5 min walk from the UK's biggest skate park!

How long ago did you start mountain biking?

I bought my first decent bike when I was 19, and to be honest I'm not much of a Downhiller, I'm much better at XC, and raced in my younger days.

Fabien Pedemenaud at Fort William WC 2010
  Fabien Pedemenaud at Fort William WC 2010

What made you feel you wanted to get behind the lens?

Well in 2003 I was invited to the Fort Bill world cup by my mate Joe. I loved it & I took a few snaps gave them to the web site and the rest is history.

If you could be in any movie, what would it be, and who would you play?

Steve McQueen in the Great Escape, but I would make the jump over the wire on the bike & slip the Nazi's the finger!

<img src='//' />  Scottish Girls aren't bad either!

Scottish Girls aren't bad either!

You're not actually a full time Photographer. What's your main job?

That's classified.. Wink

What's been your favourite, and least favourite races to shoot at, and why?

My fave was Vallnord bike park, Andorra. What great place - so many nice runs. Least fave was Dunkeld - just crap for photos unless the weather's on your side.

<img src='//' />  Stevie Smith in Vallnord, Andorra WC 2009.

Stevie Smith in Vallnord, Andorra WC 2009.

You're a big player in the "Wear bright kit" movement. What would you say to all those riders out there that wear black kits?

Well it's not just the black kits, it's the hoodies & rain jackets also. Really guys and girls just step back and take a look at yourselves in photos - can you find any good ones in those outfits? Your killing me & Troy Lee etc! I've just stopped shooting them these days. Take a lesson from the Scott team, printed rain jackets, yeahhhh!

Where can we find all of your work?

I put a select few on Pinkbike, but my full sets are all on Flickr as I use it as a storage site & all my clients find my stuff there easily.

<img src='//' />  CG tearing up the turf at La Bresse last year.

CG tearing up the turf at La Bresse last year.

Blackberry or iPhone?

Neither, try the HTC with the Android operating system.

You've established yourself really well on the circuit with all the other 'togs and riders. Who's the best at dishing out and taking the banter?
There's so many nice chaps out there. I always seem to run into Ian Linton, Andy Dunwoody or Jacob (Gibbins) at a UK race. Svenny 4 flashes (Sven Martin), Flipper (Gary Perkin), Irmo etc, at World Cups. I find Dave, Si & the BDS chaps funny. I find most riders chatty... Hell, I will talk to anyone. Maybe me, Linton & Dunwoody give Jacob a hard time at races, but he takes it all as witty banter ha ha.

<img src='//' />  Danny Hart pulling his signature Barhump at Schladming last year.

Danny Hart pulling his signature Barhump at Schladming last year.

You haven't made it out to any world cups so far this year. Are you planning any trips to round off the season?

Well that's not exactly true I did shoot the home world cups at Fort Bill & Dalby. I was very ill and missed mudabor (Maribor) & Leogang, but that did give me more time to concentrate on the British race series this year. But I'm going out with a bang as am off to the Windham, NYC World Cup & Mont St Anne World Champs. Can't wait to meet my Pinkbike buddies from across the pond.

Other than your own, what's your favourite accent?

Canadian. I have family in Toronto.

What's the biggest and gnarliest crash you've seen?

Adam Brayton (see pic). Speed is nothing without control mate, ha ha. He's the man & Jess Stone in Wales - soon to be released.

Brayton eating dirt at the IXS cup earlier this year.
  Brayton eating dirt at the IXS cup earlier this year.

What words of wisdom would you give to all the Amateur Photographers out there?

Take a photo - if you think it looks average - everyone else will too. So experiment, find your own style... & don't do it for the money!

Finally, the big one. Canon or Nikon?

Well I use Canon. It's good value, but I think Nikon is better constructed (keep that to yourself). Ha ha Wink
p.s let's put the fun back on the hill people! Pear Cider & Cod MW2 optional.

Thanks for taking the time to answer those questions Keith. Look out for Phunkt flashing everyone at the Windham World Cup and MSA World Champs.

Tim Lake

Posted In:


  • 10 0
 Some things you never knew about 'Keith':

1. His real, birth name is Shaky Keith.

2. He pretends to take photographs but check his camera body, there are no cards within. Instead he hunts around the bins of events looking for and taking discarded photographs from other snappers. He takes them home, sellotapes them together and warps them out of shape over a gas flame to achieve his signature fisheye shot.

3. He actually works for Jacob Gibbins, mainly as a bag carrier. Surely the most lowly job around as the conversation must be dire and that big red bag of Milky's is full of 'magazines of a questionable nature'...

4. He's very proud of the fact that his photos were used on the gondolas at Nevis Range, although he was only paid in sausages for it and had to hand glue all of the images onto each gondola with a pritt stick whilst hanging out the window.

5. He should at the moment be travelling around North America in a camper van full of blokes. Say no more.

6. I can't be arsed to come up with anymore as Heir Hunters is on the tele...........
  • 3 1
 Couldn't have put it better Andy, but will add -

7. Has taken to drinking Pear Cider during races so the photo's are getting even more Shaky Smile
  • 1 0
 haha, these comments are as good as the interview! I need to come over just so I have ppl to chat shit to between runs! hahaha

Nice one Shaky Keith! tup
  • 1 0
 The banter is always good at a BDS!
  • 1 0
 Eric, we'd love you to come. Bring plenty of Gore Tex...
  • 1 0
 Tim, are you the guy with the 550D that I looked at the viewfinder on? If so what was the make again?
  • 1 0
 I'm afraid I'm not. That will have been Tom Davison. I can't remember what it was called, I'll try and find out for you.
  • 1 0
 Ah, cool. Was really good and cheap!
  • 13 1
 ive heard that his main job is amateur pornstar
  • 4 0
 yess pavedog on the pipe
  • 4 0
 i heard this aswell haha
  • 10 0
 Nice article Tim. Kieths snapped some amazing shots.
  • 4 0
 +1 dude. great article Smile
  • 7 1
 Kieth is probs the easiest guy to talk to, he is very courteous even to an amature photographer like myself.

Nice article, it is really good to have more than just articles on bikes and races. keep up the good work Big Grin
  • 9 0
 witty banter my ass! I get home and sob hahaha good interview Tim and Keith, see you both around!
  • 2 0
 i sob when i see your hair chewing gum boy (private joke)
  • 3 0
 Full props to Keith, not just for his amazing snaps but he also helps out at the Halo BDS when you mungrels have gone home and picks up the litter!
  • 1 0
 now dunwoody actually has a full head of hair - he just shaves it off daily in between cleaning nappys.he is also not a photographer anymore he is a filmographer for lucas arts....he just steals frames from his beta max tapes.and secretly wants to make love to a glory hole he found in jacobs f-stop bag.& linton would shag jacobs bag but its just not big he may shag jacobs head if he doesnt get a haircut soon...heed like a swedish hookers armpits..ha ha you guys kill me - and yes get yourself to a bds palmer we will teach you how to abuse fellow togs while still showing respect....not
  • 1 0
 love you lots's the good old US of stateside?
  • 1 0
 after what seems like two days traveling good.flight was great..ran into hughes & marshall buying porn at the local supermarket...they dont do salad by the way (fat staff?)...then put up my tent on the edgo of a steep slope scarey,then woken up by svenny 4flashes doing handbrake turns in the carpark...suns out this morning so probbly no flash today...sun tan lotion optional...not as many sponsor tents as i would have hoped for..brits all had a grate timed practice.6/10 top men british..danny hart rocked..found free wifi everywhere and bout to get acredditation so speak later chap.
  • 1 0
 cool, whats this about the 4X not having the UCI amount of 48 riders going through but only having 32?!? Bit weird.
  • 2 0
 Nice article Keith. Hitting the big time now Wink
  • 1 0
 These articles are great tim!
  • 1 0
 cheers tim wish i had made it funnier....ha
  • 1 0
 nice shots
  • 1 0
 awesome shots!

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