Events

SF Round 4: Ourimbah

SF Round 4: Ourimbah

Last week we shot the Shimano GP on a dusty trail at Ourimbah MTB park but this week, after a week of rain conditions had changed a little bit. After all the rain of the previous week, one might have expected the tracks at Ourimbah MTB park to be a muddy mess unfit for riding but they shed the water very well…….for the most part

Sunday cleared nicely for the next round of the Fox Superflow. Almost 200 riders came out for the event to brave the conditions. But while there was a couple of mud pits on the lower sections the track where water had pooled the further up I went the drier the track got and conditions were pretty tacky. By midday, things were drying nicely and towards the end of the day, I even could see dust peaking through the layer of surface mud. Suffice to stay I stayed around the upper sections so even though I was getting damp lying on the ground (the things we do to get the best angle) I wasn’t getting covered in mud as well from passing riders.

All in all a good day trackside in the sun after the rain. The main issue for the day would be the number of mosquitos that seemed to have hatched in the rains of the last week. Always carry a good repellent or a chameleon.

See all the shots from the day on the Outer Image website here

Posted by Richard in Events
Super Enduro 2019

Super Enduro 2019

I always enjoy a trip to the mountains. I can’t really say what it is that appeals to me so much but I always feel much more relaxed after a trip to the mountains. Yes there are those of you who may say Australia doesn’t have real mountains but its what we have and they are still very special. There’s a lot of terrain down there that will make you feel really small.

I am up and down these next few weeks as we have a few races on shooting for both Thredbo MTB and Rocky Trail Entertainment with Outer Image Collective. I spent a weekend down there shooting the Super Enduro. Not as big as Cannonball at this stage but it is growing quickly each year. Riders get 2 days on the tracks. 1 day for practice and then the Sunday for racing. They have to hit 3 tracks and get the cumulative best time on all 3. They can do as many laps as possible but only their best will count. It makes for a busy day shooting when you have nearly 500 riders going past with 20-second intervals. It’s good to stay busy though.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, Sport
Mountains and Oceans

Mountains and Oceans

Saturday

A weekend spent in the mountains and on the coast is a weekend well spent in my book.

This last Saturday I was in the lower Blue Mountains near Glenbrook shooting one of the Adventure races from Maximum Adventure. We shoot 3 of these races a year and they are a lot of fun. It makes competitors do a bit of orienteering while trail-running, kayaking and mountain-biking there way around a course. Always a very social atmosphere.

I tested out a new flash system dipping my toes into the Godox system and checked out the AD200. It will hopefully last me a bit longer than the usual speedlights that I use at the races and tend to burn out on a regular pace. Mixed early results but will give it another good nudge this weekend and hopefully have some more to say afterwards. I may even try to read the instructions beforehand this time.

Sunday

Then for Sunday, it was down to the coast for a sunrise session at a highline. Although the sun didn’t cast its usually morning colours thanks to a big cloudbank sitting on the horizon it was a beautiful morning none the less. Sitting there watching the highliners doing their stuff while surrounded by nature. Whales swam and jumped in the oceans below and black cockatoos flew overhead. A good weekend indeed.

Posted by Richard in Adventure Racing, Events, Highlining, 0 comments
OCR World Championships

OCR World Championships

Last weekend was the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Enduro Championships or more commonly known as the OCR World Championships. Competitors ran the 10km course with 30 obstacles in it and tried to knock over as many laps as they could in a 24 hour period.  This year I was chasing Shammes AlShamsi, the only entrant from the United Arab Emirates around the course.

The Race

This has to be the toughest and most brutal race that pops up on my calendar. Whilst I think that the people who do 24mtb races and 24hr trail runs are crazy I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) that these competitors can find a rhythm and lock into it. Obstacle course racers have to break that rhythm every 40m or so to complete a different obstacle. They do a huge variety of obstacles such as rope climbs, crawling in the mud under barbed wire, scaling walls and rope traverses across the creek.

Chasing one competitor around the course is a little bit awkward as the course is so spread out. I found the best place was around the start finish area where the greatest amount of obstacles were found making it easy to jump between one  and another. I didn’t manage to get all the obstacles I still managed to get a good selection of shots with Shammes and and managed to grab a few other folks as I was waiting for Shammes to get back around to me.

Night

This has to be one of my favourite events as I simply love shooting at night. As night fell so too did the rain and fog. Both years I have shot it it has been raining and foggy which definitely add to the atmosphere of the event. I know many photographers don’t like these conditions but I love it. To a point that is, eventually heavy rain can wear me down.

Trying to pick out that one competitor in the night though became even trickier as it was almost impossible to tell one competitor from another in the darkness and the headlights shining into my eyes. I basically just ended up shooting most people in the night and hoping one was Shammes. Its always good fun playing around with different lighting setups at night. Hopefully I didn’t blind anyone but no-one complained to me so that’s always a good thing.

Morning

I got up early for another few shots but had to shoot off before the finish due to another booking. In the early hours of the morning Shammmes, like many others, had pulled the pin due to exhaustion. I still managed to grab a few more frames before I shot off though. Being the athlete that Shammes is though he is off to Andorra this weekend for not one but 2 more Spartan Race events.

I certainly hope to be back again next year. Registration for the event has opened already. The level of fitness of these athletes just astounds me and the vibe at the event itself is just great. It is well worth checking out even if racing is not for you

The rest of the images can be viewed here on my website

Posted by Richard in Events, Obstacle Course
Kempsey Enduro: Superflow Championships

Kempsey Enduro: Superflow Championships

Last weekend Kempsey played host to the Superflow Enduro Championship.  Rocky Trail Entertainment has been running the Kempsey Enduro for 3 years now. It is one of my favourites as I get to go stay out at the beautiful Hungry Head campsite.

It was another great weekend of racing. Though a slightly smaller turnout there was lots of new faces on track. I even met a couple of fellows who had done the drive down from Queensland for it. Pre-race rain dampened Sunday a bit and brought the hordes of mosquitos out enmass. I often wonder what bloodsucking creatures like this eat when there is no photographer sitting in the bush.

It also means a little bit of exploring new spots on the way home. This year I stopped off Middle Brother on the way home and had a look around the Blackbutt forest. I spent the night at Seal Rocks, camped at Treachery with the dingos. I didn’t get to see them though I did see their paw prints in the sand on the dunes. From there I headed to the Bombah ferry Stopping off to see the tallest tree in NSW, a 76m flooded gum called Giantis. I crossed the ferry and down the coastal road to Tea Gardens and Hawksnest a nice little detour.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Redass Downhill: Lithgow

Redass Downhill: Lithgow

The state finals of the NSW Redass Downhill was held a couple of weeks ago out on the Pony Club trail at Lithgow. It was a big weekend for me as it was on the back of a corporate race that we shoot called The Great Adventure Challenge in the Royal National Park.

Whilst the rain held off for the Great Adventure Challenge it greeted us as we drove across the mountains on the way out to Lithgow. All things considered though the rain was very welcome as it’s been months since we have seen any around Sydney way and to be honest it was more like a drizzle the any serious rain. Thankfully this type of rain doesn’t really affect but it does offer a great atmosphere in which to shoot. I love shooting in this type of weather.

Most prosumer/professional cameras are perfectly weather-sealed and have no trouble being out in rain like this. The main thing to watch out for is getting raindrops on the lens as these will distort the picture. The use of a lens hood and remembering to keep the lens pointed down usually take care of this problem. If not a quick dab with a  lens cloth sorts it out. There are numerous ways to protect your camera if the weather get worse. I always have one of these OP/Tech rainsleeves in my bag just in case. Very simple to use and will still let me use flashes or triggers mounted on my camera. Otherwise, in a pinch most plastic bags will offer some amount of protection so as to be able to get the job done.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events