I don't do much Photoshop work because I'm not very good at it and don't have enough patience, but this photo just looked like it needed something in the sky, and dropping in a full moon was too tempting. Back in the days of shooting film, a shot like this required a double exposure, changing lenses and a lot of trial and error, but it's a hell of a lot easier now. You youngsters don't know how lucky you are!
The first round of the 2011 BDS was grim weather. Seeding runs were cancelled after Matt Brown got stretchered off, so this was the only chance I got to photograph Steve that day. The photo was shortlisted for best photo from the round, which I didn't win, but have managed to get shortlisted for every round this year (the ones that didn't get cancelled!)
Round 2 of the BDS produced the only sunny race of the year. This corner at Moelfre is great on dry afternoons, as the sun is at just the right angle to light up the dust. There were loads of photographers there producing plenty of great pics in the fine weather, so I was pretty surprised to make the shortlist again with this roosty shot of Jack Geoghegan. Still didn't win though!
This shot was taken on the section of 4X track that has been incorporated into the downhill track at Moelfre. There are 3 doubles, and it is difficult to maintain speed over all 3, so getting this height off the third is quite a feat, especially with the one-footer thrown in!
This was the first time I photographed Gee, and I think it wasn't bad for a first attempt. There haven't been many opportunities this year to take dusty shots like this!
The track was so wet at Bringewood on the Saturday morning that the top section was practically unrideable, so Dave Pearce had to come up with a new section in a hurry. This new bit of track had never been ridden before, so there were plenty of opportunities for roosty shots like this, especially as Michael seemed to crash every time he passed me that morning (which he seemed suitably unimpressed about).
I think this shot pretty much sums up this year's weather. The weather gradually worsened during the weekend, up to the point where the elites had to ride down in a wild hail storm. In the heaviest part of the storm, this rainbow appeared over the fire-road in the background which kind of made it worth staying on the hill and getting soaked.
This was taken the first time I went to MTB Pursuits at Harthill to get some practice at photographing dirt-jumps. It overlooks the area around Chester, so is great for shots like this with a bit of scenery in the background.
This shot was taken at an air-bag session at MTB Pursuits. Although it's not a great trick or anything, I just like the rather surreal feel that leaves you wondering quite was going on.
At the Rhyd-y-Felin race this year it was possible to take a direct route out of the forest, although only a few riders were brave/daft enough to choose this option. There's a lot going on here - you can just about see the dust in the left corner where the rider has taken off, the enthusiastic spectators in the background, the branches that are about to hit the rider in the face and the sign that makes you realise he is almost jumping over the Marshall Point. Although it's brought down to earth by the completely unimpressed looking kid leaning on the fence in the foreground.
Ryan is one of those riders that always looks pinned whenever he is riding, sometimes you just have to sit back and wait for the riders to do their thing.
This was the first Gravity Enduro race I have been to. I walked the track on practice day (12 miles!) and realised that on the morning of race day this really dusty corner would look good if the sun came out at the right time. After walking all the way back there on race day, the sun stayed in until the last few elite riders were passing, then finally came out for a few seconds, just long enough to get this shot. You riders don't realise how much effort we have to put in sometimes!
This was the first night race I have been to, and the practice was held as the sun was going down, giving plenty of photo opportunities. Will was one of the last riders down, so it was really dark by this point. The combination of dark sky and the spectral flare from the flash (which was accidental!) have combined to make a pretty surreal atmosphere.
There are often paragliders at Moelfre, but I never seem to manage to combine photo's of them with photo's of riders, so I was pretty stoked to get them in the pic behind Dave, particularly with the one-footer thrown in for good measure.
Picking one photo of Luke from this year was quite difficult, as I have loads of pics of him showing off at various tracks throughout the year, but this is probably my favourite. As with most of the Pearce races this year, it was dry and dusty on practice day followed by heavy rain on race day. This shot was taken late on practice day and gives a good idea just how dusty the track was.
I don't often take shots through vegetation, but the combination here of the track and tape leading up to the rider popping out of the dark woods seems to work quite well.
There was an extra BDS round this year after 2 previous rounds were cancelled due to bad weather. There was a short burst of sunshine on Sunday morning (long enough to take 2 photo's!) before the sky started to darken rapidly. This shot was taken just before the rain started, and I think it gives a sense of the impending downpour, which pretty much sums up the weather all year!
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