The Willo Enduro, Wingello State Forest, 2017

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

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