The Willo Enduro ’17

Last weekend I was down at Wingello State forest in the Southern Highlands for the annual Willo Enduro. The Willo is one of my favourite races to shoot simply because it is held on such a beautiful track. There are certain sections on the track that are just a photographer’s dream. 

The weather for the Willo is typically a blanket of grey cloudy with a slight drizzle in the air. While that may not sound too tempting for most people, it is great for shooting in the deep dark forests that the race is held in. It drops the contrast right down so instead of having dark shade with super bright patches of light you get a wonderful even and soft light everywhere. 

I went down to Nyes Creek crossing, a beautiful section of rainforest and ferns. I had shot there my first year and knew it to be a stunning section. Overnight rain had left the track slick and muddy and had more than a few riders sliding around in the damper sections. There is a section of tight switchbacks leading out of Nyes Creek. I thought this would make a great shot as riders snaked their way up in a line. As I was sitting, waiting for the first riders I realised that the switchbacks would probably be too challenging for most riders given how tight they are and how slick the track is. Since I was shooting for competitors rather than editorial, I quickly grabbed together all my gear and ran further down to where the majority of the riders would still be on there bikes. Not too many people appreciate shots of themselves pushing their bike uphill. Thankfully, around Nyes Creek, there is so many shots to be had and I was able set up again and still have a few moments before the first riders came.

This was my first year covering the event for competitors though I have shot it over previous years for an editorial basis. Normally I have had to move around a lot more but since it as competitors and only a 3 lap race I basically stayed put. Luckily since it is such a beautiful section there is an abundance of shots and angles. It was nice to be able to tinker with my lighting and try to get a shot exactly how I envisioned it. There was a break after the first lap so I moved 50m’s up hill and then another 10m’s further for my 3rd shot. I’m sure in that 60m I could have found moore shots too. 

After the race I headed up to Bundanoon and spent the night in Morton National park. I awoke to the sound of a young lyrebird outside my car learning to sing. There was steady rain but in between the clouds there was a little bit of magic in the valley below as the forest came to life. Cockatoos, black cockatoos lyrebirds and beautiful scenery.

If you want to see the complete gallery of photos and grab your images from the day they can be found here on our website.

If you have an event that you would like covered swing on over to Outer Image and touch base with us so we can work out how best to suit your needs

Jetblack 24hr MTB

Last weekend saw the 2017 running of the Jetblack 24hr MTB race. This year the race was held at Awaba on the NSW Central Coast.

 A crack in my radiator saw me running late to the event and missing the start which was a shame as there is always great shots to be had of the pack leaving the gate. In one way though, it was kind of a blessing as, for the first time, I was in the start area for the running of the kids race. I’m are normally out on track by this time and miss shooting it every time.  

 Once out on track the warm day saw thunderstorms building and it wasn’t long before they rolled on in. I stayed out through the rain well protected in my rain gear and dry under an umbrella but when the bolts of lightning started to get close I returned back to the car for a quick break and sit the rest of the storm out.

 Night fell and I kept it close to the camp and start area. There is plenty to shoot in close vicinity. I found a nice little bridge and started dragging my shutter to get the nice long light trails and used a combination of flashes to capture the rider as they went past. 

  I snuck in a couple of hours sleep and set off again in the morning. After a short walk out I found myself in an area completely new to me. The rainforest here was nice and dark with a few patches of sunlight in which to trap the riders. I know there is still another section further out that I haven’t had the chance to visit yet but that will have to wait till the next time.

 24hrs are tough races. They are physically and mentally exhausting for the riders but also to a degree for us. They do offer some fantastic opportunities to get shots that you wouldn’t normally be able to get during a usual days race, the night shots and the golden light of morning and sunsets (we missed this due to the heavy cloud cover this time). Because of all the variations 24hr races are among my favourite to cover.

 If you want to see the complete gallery of photos they’re on the OuterImage website and can be viewed here.

If you have an event that you would like covered swing on over to Outer Image and touch base with us so we can work out how best to suit your needs

Killingworth Enduro, 2017

We are back out on track with the first race of the season. A couple of weekends ago saw the first round of the 2017 Fox / Camelbak Superflow mtb enduro put on by Rocky Trail Entertainment at Killingworth. It was a bit of a scorcher again with temperatures pushing into the high 30’s.

Gil and I swapped tracks this year with Gil on the Fox trail and myself on the Camelbak. A new jump had recently been put in on the Camelbak trail so I made my way up to there and settled in. Although it wasn’t a huge jump but it offered the option of being able to just roll over it which meant I got shots of the majority of the riders. When there is an A and B line option then unfortunately I will miss quite a lot of riders. Thankfully, I found a nice spot in the shade from where to shoot the jump from.

After everyone’s first run I swapped over to the bottom of the Fox track to get everyone’s second run on there. I found a nice little corner that was super dusty and backlit so the dust really lit up well.

 Once again, all the images for the Killingworth Enduro, 2017,  are online over at the OuterImage website and can be viewed here. If you were in the race you should have received the instructions to download all your images. 

If you have an event that you would like covered swing on over to Outer Image and touch base with us so we can work out how best to suit your needs

Graeme Mudd: Downhill MTB

Last weekend I went up to Awaba and shot with the Australian downhill rider Graeme Mudd. Graeme has just joined the Atherton Race Team, who make up the Trek Factory downhill race team, and he needed a portfolio update. As part of Graeme’s inclusion into the Atherton Racing Team he has picked up a whole bunch of new sponsors and new kit so the images were to include as much of the new kit and logos in the shots as possible.

Part of the reason I went to Awaba a couple of weeks ago for the Nationals was to scout a few locations for this shoot. If you look through both galleries you will certainly see some matching locations. The great thing was we had cloudy weather on both days which kept the light nice and even through the shots. The red and white kit stands out great against the greens and browns of the surrounding landscape. 

If you are in need of getting a portfolio update like Graeme or if you would just like a collection of great shots of you in action drop me a note and lets work out what best suits you and your needs.

Downhill Nationals, Awaba

The weekend saw the first of the Downhill Nationals rounds for 2017. Since it was at Awaba (which is not that far away from me) and I figured I needed to get my eye in again after the christmas period I headed up for a couple of days shooting. The plan was more to just play around and try some new things than do any serious shooting. I missed the Friday practice due to other commitments but after hearing that the temperatures hit a toasty 45C I was quite happy I missed it.

 Despite having shot at Awaba on numerous occasions it was the first time that I had ever shot a downhill race there and the first time I did a complete track walk-through. I love shooting new tracks because all the angles are new and fresh. It’s also good because when I need to shoot here again I know where to go to get the good shots.

Events like this where I am not committed to give me a chance to try different techniques. I played a bit with panning and blurred shots this time too. It’s not something I get to do too often as I usually need to see numbers to identify the competitor in the photo. 

You can see the full selection and purchase your favourite images here on my website. Just put your number into the search box at the top or click the view all tags button beneath the search box and find your number that way.

If you have an event that you would like covered swing on over to Outer Image and touch base with us so we can work out how best to suit your needs

Superflow Enduro Championships

This year saw the first Superflow Enduro Championships. They were held at Ourimbah MTB track on the Central Coast of NSW. Unfortuneatle it came up against the opening weekend of Thredbo MTB trails which is always a favourite with the MTB crew. That said it was still a respectable turnout 

Ourimbah is an old favourite and it seems that it is still no problem to find new shots and angles there. We have shot the downhill, and the xc series there over the last 4 years or so and the Enduro series incorporates a little bit of both. It was a great day for shooting as the sun kept itself hidden away behind the clouds for most of the day. This means that we can use flashes work a lot less and we can control the light to a much greater degree. 

There was a couple of new faces on the podium at the end of the day. It was great to see Harrison Dobrowolski step up into the male elites and finish up second for the day. You can check out a bit more of this talented young gun here.

Below are a few of my images from the day. You can check the full gallery of work over on the Outer Image site here

If you have an event that you would like covered swing on over to Outer Image and touch base with us so we can work out how best to suit your needs