Freeride is so many things to so many people. It is literally riding free. Free from boundaries, free from race tape, free from timing.
Freeride is also a way of life; the travelling, the friends, the trail building. Photo shoots are also a regular feature of Freeride life.
The analogue Leica M6 is the perfect companion for Freeride shoots, unrestricted by deadlines and commercial concerns. Capture the decisive moments and then forget until you develop the film.
For sure, you remember the movie ‘BUILDER’ by Scott Secco. I had the privilege to accompany him in 2014 and shoot some ‘making-of photos’.
I also had my DSLR with me, but with my analogue Leica M6 I was looking for the unusual moments, mostly non-commercial.
When you come straight from an MTB World Cup, you have the feeling that time is now running in slow motion. This time shift lends itself perfectly to working with analog film and black & white photography.
In black and white photography, it's essential to base image composition on contrasts. A perspective which works in colour will not necessarily be a triumph in black & white.
Sometimes you must turn everything totally on its head to build composition from contrasts.
Most people would say avoid spotty light in the woods. In my opinion, you have to deal with both light and shade. If light is patchy, you have a lot more options to play contrasts.
Why using only one lens?
If I were allowed only one lens, I would choose the 35mm prime.
The Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 lens offers the closest focusing distance at 0,7m and the image ratio is similar to that of the human eye. In other words, the distance to the object as it appears in the photo is exactly how it looked to you in real time.
With a maximum focal aperture of 1.4 you can use the Leica in moderate lighting conditions, important for taking pictures in the woods or in foul weather.
Unfortunately, you have to manually focus since there's no autofocus and no zoom either, that's the only catch.
That is no real restriction, you simply behave and shoot differently, and your legs are the zoom.
Voice by Scott Secco
Photos by Hoshi Yoshida
Shot on BUILDER locations in Vancouver, Nelson and Williams Lake.
Riders: Ryan Berrecloth, Mark Matthews, Garett Buehler, Alex Volokhov, James Doerfling.