It’s been a hectic month. After 5500km or thereabouts, I think I have been on the road and away more than I’ve been at home. Thredbo, Sydney, Mt Buller, Sydney, Thredbo, Narooma, Sydney, Orange and home again. I did manage to sneak a couple of days of R&R into the mix while at Narooma however.

I was in Narooma to shoot the Rocky Trail Superflow on the new MTB trails they have there, 2 days of racing on 4 different trails. It’s the first time they’ve had a race there and guessing by all the smiling faces it won’t be the last. The trails are fantastic or at least the couple I saw, smooth and flowy with some unique features such as the half-buried car. The trail system is big. I was surprised looking at the map just how expansive it is. Check out Trailforks map here. I only saw a couple of the trails this time but by all accounts, Dirt Art has created another masterpiece.

Narooma has long been a favourite coastal destination of ours. The coastline is spectacular, the water is beautiful (not called the Sapphire Coast for nothing), and the marine life is fantastic. There’s a small colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals living on the harbour break wall easily accessible from town. Off the coast though, is Montague Island or Barunguba where a much larger colony lives. If you are visiting Narooma paying a visit to Montague Island for a dip is a must-do in my opinion. I’m already looking forward to a planned visit later in the year when the water is clearer and the seals more numerous.

Posted by Richard in Events, Places, Travel, What's going on
Mt Buller

Mt Buller

I seem to be running around a lot at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I was in Thredbo for Cannonball then back in Sydney for a Bikes Online shoot, then back south to Mt Buller for the Rocky Trail Superflow. Now I’m back in Sydney for a couple of quick shoots but will be on the road again soon. Not that I am complaining, I love getting away from Sydney. Maybe though, I should just plan things a bit better and stay away rather than bouncing up and down the East Coast.

Mt Buller is always a favourite. Well, anywhere in the mountains is always a favourite for me. The Australian Alps have a unique and distinct flavour, a remoteness, an easy place to get lost. Even standing in the village of Mt Buller (which isn’t very remote) and looking out across the surrounding hills you know there are a lot of areas where you could get lost and not be seen again.

I even managed to get up one morning and go out to take a few sunrise shots. Not something I do too often these days. While not the most colourful of sunrises smoke from bushfires filled all the valleys around Mt Buller and gave it a beautiful softness and an eerie charm.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, What's going on
A decade of Cannonball

A decade of Cannonball

This year was the 10th anniversary of the Thredbo Cannonball. For us, I think it was year 7 shooting the event as Outer Image. It’s been great to see this event go from strength to strength and has become the premier MTB event in Australia attracting athletes from all across the continent and even from abroad.

It is always a hectic week of work for Gil and I with 5 solid days shooting and doing our best to get the images tagged, edited and uploaded each night after the day’s activities. If we don’t, the stockpile of images tends to grow larger and larger as the week goes on. This year we delivered around 7500 images to the competitors on behalf of Thredbo Mountain Bike.

Below is a selection of images that I took over the week.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Visiting an old friend

Visiting an old friend

Last week I caught up with Michael Willis, a downhill mountain bike racer and we swung by a local track I hadn’t been to for many years, the Manly Dam International Freeride Zone (MDIFZ).

MDIFZ (if you know you know) is one of the more technical tracks in Sydney with some of the features being high-risk. It is good to see tracks like this still around. It seems a majority of the tracks these days are built with the intermediate riders in mind with many of the jumps having tabletops for safety. While tabletops are always a great feature to encourage riding, advanced riders need locations too where they can push themselves and improve their skills. MDIFZ has always been one such area. Big drops, demanding gaps and small landings require you to get it right.

It was good to see and shoot there again. Michael and I just did one quick pass through stopping off at each feature and shooting along the way.

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Favourite 23 Images of 2023

Favourite 23 Images of 2023

2023 saw me driving up and down the East Coast of Australia again. I didn’t reach Queensland this year but I did get down into Victoria a couple of times. The images below are my favourite landscape and nature images picked from my favourite 200 or so that are being uploaded to the website. There are no sports images in this group. Once I have finished uploading the landscape and nature shots, I shall fire up a sports gallery.

I once saw a meme somewhere that said:

As you age, it’s ridiculous how fast bird-watching creeps up on you. You spend your whole life being 100% indifferent to birds and one day you are like “Damn, is that a yellow-rumped warbler?”

Internet Meme

And so it seems it happened to me last year. I was never 100% indifferent to birds but, out in the bush shooting the races, I’m always surrounded by birdlife. I took many photos of birds in between waiting for the competitors to pass. Seems the natural thing to do is just point the camera and shoot.

More of my favourite images can be found in the main gallery for Australia here, and more will be going up soon so be sure and keep a watch. Prints are available for all the images.

Posted by Richard in Nature, Places, Travel
One Thirty Seven Point Nine

One Thirty Seven Point Nine

I got chatting to Dan one day as he was de-kinking my body. During the Sydney lockdown I somehow managed to tweak my shoulder and Dan, my chiropractor, was straightening it back out. I knew him to be a runner. We’d discuss races and racing each time I paid him a visit. He told me how he planned to run three 100km races this year but being in lockdown and unable to leave the Local Government Area (LGA) meant that was no longer possible since races were now canceled. Instead, he had come up with a novel idea to keep his goals alive. When he told me I knew I had to document it.

Over the last couple of lockdowns, I have been slowly getting my head around video and video editing, online tutorials, and shooting little bits here and there. I hadn’t shot much though as I wasn’t quite sure what to shoot. I have always preferred videos that have a story rather than a selection of clips thrown together and wanted to shoot something along those lines. Having planned to shoot stills for Dan I realized that his story would benefit much more from being a short video instead.

The Shoot

I spent a couple of days out shooting with him on training runs in the lead-up to the day. We would just visit some scenic local areas and shoot for a couple of hours. The original plan had been just to show his training leading up to the actual run and finish on the scene of him running out the door. But when we were recording the voice-over and I heard the full story I knew I would have to include footage from the run. It went from a 2 minute short to over 5 minutes.

I didn’t get all the shots I would have liked to over the run though. The tracker I was following him on played up and only relayed his position periodically. I knew the course he was taking so I could jump ahead but I couldn’t be sure if he had come through already or was still due so just had to jump far enough ahead to be sure. Still, I think I got plenty of shots but there were a few scenic locations that I missed that I would have liked to have shot.

Moving On

For me, it was a great introduction to short storytelling. I have made a few videos before but they’re more like snippets than short stories with a maximum length of under 1 minute. Throwing myself into the deep end like this has taught me quite a few things about video editing. You can read and watch so many online tutorials but until you go out and shoot there will always be a hole in your knowledge. There is still so much to learn about video creation and short storytelling and I am excited to be undertaking a new journey. I think it might be a long one though. Like shooting still photography there will always be some new direction to head or a rabbit-hole to lose myself in periodically.

I shall keep learning and in the meantime be keeping my ears open for over great adventures and challenges of which I might be able to tell the story. If anyone has any exciting plans that they think may transfer across to a great short story feel free to contact me and let’s work on something together. In the meantime….Enjoy!!!

Posted by Richard in Trail Running, Video, 0 comments
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