Why photography? Why not video? Isn't that what everybody is doing these days? Shouldn't I be spending my free time trying to be a YouTuber? Well yes, probably. There is very little good cycling video content on the web (not NONE, just not a lot). It would be a fun niche and might be a way to get an edge on the thousands of other sports photographers. And maybe eventually I will expand into that medium. But not now, not yet.
I understand the value of video in the modern era. I believe that well-done videos are amazing storytelling devices - able to capture the sounds and voices that we miss with a photo. As a marketer in my day job, I rely on this premise. But I will always believe in the power of a still image. There are moments that happen only fleetingly - a wink, a grimace. That moment when a carefully constructed mask falls away, just for a split second, and reveals the truth of the matter. Click.
In bike racing, there can be many miles of not much happening, and then someone decides to make a move. If you're lucky, you can be there to see that moment, when the decision is made and the face reveals it. Click. Or when the final sprint is just ahead, the lead-out racers are draining the tank until that final 250m when they crack, watching their teammate pull past them toward the line. Click click.
It's a choice I am making in cycling photography to focus only on the still image, the moments in time I can freeze. There will be many of the same racers competing on the same courses year after year, but they will never be together in quite the same way on that one corner, or that final hill, as they are today, right now. Click. It's a memory that even the racer didn't know they had, but they will always have the picture.