Rocky Trail Entertainment

Shimano GP Orange

Shimano GP Orange

Back out on track again with Outer Image and kicked the season off with a trip out west to Orange for Rocky Trail Entertainment‘s first round of the Shimano GP

I made a quick stop in the Blue Mountains World Heritage area to see some of the devastation brought on by the recent fires. It was a complete burn-through leaving only tree stumps everywhere. Seeing houses in still standing in amongst all this carnage is a testament to the amazing work of the volunteer bush firefighters. I hope to get back up there shortly for a better look around.

Two locations I like shooting mountain biking are amongst green ferns and in pine forests (sometimes I think I am in the wrong country) When the light is right in the pines then it can be beautiful. Plus as an added bonus pine needles are a lot more comfortable to lay around on than the native scrub usually. Kinross forest is a nice forest and there is a lot more there for me to explore. It’s a shame it’s all due to be lopped this year but that’s what the plantation is for. And I would much rather they chop that than some of the old-growth they talk about chopping.

Swing over to the Outer Image website to see the full gallery. Next up, Thredbo Super Enduro. See you there!!!

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
Stromlo Weekend

Stromlo Weekend

I like Canberra. I never used to but it has grown on me over the years. I still have no idea how to get to anywhere except Mt. Stromlo but I’m getting there. I don’t often get down there in Summer and I am not so sure those scorching hot dry days would suit me so well but, being a winter person, the cold blustery days suit me just fine.

I arrived late on the Friday afternoon and caught the sunset. With the sun going down so too was the temperature. Martin from Rocky Trail set up a gas heater inside the marquee and we chatted and ate dinner. I crawled off to bed early, keen to get wrapped up in the warmth of my sleeping bag. At some point in the wee hours of the morning the temperature went sub-zero

Saturday:
I awoke to a thick frost covering the car. The chill made it hard to get up. It was the final round of the Shimano GP series though and I have been shooting this series for a few years now. Stromlo is one of my favourites on the circuit there are some great views to be had around the hill.

A couple of hundred people turned out for the race. I got out onto a new section of track on the backside called slippery rock. Although i say new the track itself is old but its new to the race and new for me to shoot. I made my way upward shooting at various locations along the way. At the top of the section I was greeted with a great open vista across to the Brindabella range to the west.

Sunday:
Day dawned warmer but soon cooled off as a cold wind set in. Today it was the Elite Sprint Cup, a new race for, as the name suggests, some of the top names in the Australian XC racing scene. The course was only 2kms long and as I was here to shoot editorials rather than competitor shots I found myself running around a lot more trying to cram in as many shots and locations as I could in the short time. Thankfully it was a nice compact track. One of the things I love about Canberra at this time is the golden blooms of wattle And this short course ran straight through one of the finest stands of wattle trees at Stromlo. It also ran across the 4 cross track and so I found myself running between the 2 sections each lap. It was great to see the impressive pace these athletes all kept up.

The rain moved in as we were packing up. I heard mention that it was snowing 10kms up the road in the hills so I took a short detour (completely in the wrong direction) and dashed up into the Brindabellas. I had all the weather on the way there rain followed by hail followed by sunshine followed by snow. As I near the top of the range the snowfall became quite heavy and started to sit on the road. Since I realised I was no longer going around corners but rather more drifting around them I turned back down the hill and decided to start the long drive home

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, Landscapes
Jetblack 24hr MTB

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 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, 0 comments
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
Superflow Enduro Championships

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.

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