Mountain Biking

Killingworth Enduro, 2017

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.

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

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Downhill Nationals, Awaba

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

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, What's going on, 0 comments
The Jetblack 12hr Mountain Bike Race

The Jetblack 12hr Mountain Bike Race

The final mountain bike race for the 2016 Rocky Trail Entertainment XC season was the Jetblack 12 hour. This year it was held at Mowbray farm MTB track near Picton in the southwest of Sydney. It was a couple of years since previously shooting my last XC race there. Though the course was basically the same, weather over the last month or so had altered the terrain around it.

The main change in the features around the course was the missing lake. Heavy rainfall of the previous weeks managed to wash away a dam, draining the lake in the middle of the course. Rain had left the track over-saturated. More rain overnight had also added to the puddles, making some sections of the track more like water crossings. Although the previous night had been another wet one, the new day dawned windy but otherwise the weather was great.

Terrain along the track varies quite a bit. It heads through open fields with some nice views across to the city, crosses and drifts along a small creek that was once the lake and heads off into a young pine forest. The wet weather had closed a couple of sections of the track making the course shorter. However, this just meant faster laps, bringing the riders back in front of our cameras more often.

At 10am a mass start sent mountain bikers racing off into the fields. The harsh light in the open fields below the start line meant shooting there was tricky. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before a few clouds came rolling in and softened up the light a bit. I followed the track in the same direction as the riders were headed, stopping when I came across shots that I liked. By mid afternoon I had made it probably halfway around the track. I realised the best locations to shoot the sunset would be in the fields and dams back near the start so I packed up my kit and headed back in that direction.

Nightfall saw me playing with my lights around the lakes and puddles. By using a mix of flashes and dragging the shutter to create long exposures I was able came up with some interesting effects. When water was added to the frame I threw reflections of the riders lights into the mix. I always have trouble balancing the riders lights with my flashes.  The problem is, I end up losing portions of the bikes due to over-exposure caused by the riders lights. Exposing for the riders lights is tricky as no 2 riders seem to have lights of the same brightness. Practice makes perfect though and each time I am out there I seem to get a little bit better. The good thing about 12 hour and 24 hour races is that I get plenty of practice and plenty of chances to get it right.

Below are my picks for the race.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Superflow: Ourimbah

Superflow: Ourimbah

The first round of Rocky Trail Entertainment’s Superflow Gravity Enduro took off last weekend at Ourimbah. There was a great turnout for it with almost 200 riders in the pack.

I was up there under the guise of Outer Image again to getcompetitor shots for all involved. Gil was away for the weekend so in his absence I called in the talents of Jaime Black to give me a hand. Jamie settled in on the downhill track and I moved to cover the all-mountain trail. Having shot at Ourimbah so many times before I was wondering where I might find a new angle but there is always going to be a spot or angle out there. I soon found a nice rock section where people are jumping over and tested a couple of different angles on it until I found one I liked .

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
James Williamson Enduro

James Williamson Enduro

For the second year I was invited down to the wonderful Wingello State forest to cover the James Williamson Enduro or the Willo as it’s more commonly known as. I would have to say that this is one of my favourite races on my calendar. The forest scenery that they race through is truly magnificent and both years that I have been there a fog has blanketed the area adding to the atmosphere and ambience.

Being the First race in the National XCM series the race draws in some great riders from around the country but despite the competition there is great camaraderie. The event is held in memory of James Williamson who did a lot to progress the sport. Proceeds raised at the event go towards the development of young riders. To find out more about the charity and James swing over to the James Williamson Enduro event website

After the event and after everyone else had seemed to leave I stuck around the forest for another night and explored the area. Despite the areas of pine forests being cleared by the forestry commission it is a stunningly beautiful area. It backs on to Morton National Park and the forest gets wilder as you get closer to the edges. Lyrebirds roam the forest floors and seemed to spend most of the day singing away.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Stromlo for the Shimano GP

Stromlo for the Shimano GP

And yet again, though this will be the last time for a while, it was back to Canberra. This time it was round 4 in the series of this year’s Shimano GP taking place at Mt Stromlo Forest Park. 

We went down on Friday afternoon and sat around having dinner together with the Rocky Trail race organisers Martin and Juliane. It was a nice relaxing evening catching up and talking through the race season so far. Then off to the car to set up for the night.  The Saturday dawned chilly but not frosty like the previous weekend’s Rollercoaster, no frozen puddles this weekend. There was no brilliant sunrise though just a flat grey sky.

I had the option of getting a lift to the top and walking down or start at the bottom and walk up. I decided on the bottom as I wanted to shoot the riders among some of the beautiful wattles that were in bloom down there before the sun burnt through the clouds and made the light too harsh. Unfortunately, this meant that all up my day was spent walking uphill and shooting riders as they came uphill, not usually what I would normally choose. As it was the soft cloudy light stuck around for most of the day so I could have done it the other way around.  Over the rest of the day, I slowly made my way uphill making the most of the soft light by shooting in the trees. There are some great views around the track which makes Stromlo one of my favourite to shoot. I tried to include these in my shots as much as possible (no point in having these views if I don’t use them).

At the end of the day, I ended up near the top at Echidna Pass shooting the riders as the came through a gap between a couple of big boulders. Having shot there before I count the gap as an old favourite of mine. Gil finished off his day shooting in the trees below me on skyline which was great as it meant that I could get a lift back down the hill.

We didn’t hang around for too long afterwards but drove back North and headed out to Bungonia Gorge for the night. A couple of lookouts there overlook a slot canyon down in the valley below. Plans are already being made for an excursion down into the canyon.

Below is a small selection of the shots from the day. 

 

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events