I’m a firm believer that photos can tell their own story. The best ones don’t need a lot of words to convey the gravity of a moment. But lucky for you, dear reader, I am in love with words almost as much as photographs, so you get them both!
I wanted to start a blog to capture my development as a photographer. I’m not much of a sports commentator, so race recaps won’t figure prominently. But I can tell a story about what I saw, the fleeting moments of spinning wheels and the clang of changing gears, and why I made certain choices in my shots. Sometimes it’s a big, happy accident; sometimes it’s intentional.
I’ve been an amateur photographer for many years, mostly focusing on travel and landscape photos (you can follow me around the world on Instagram). I enjoyed the process, and especially the travel, but I wanted something a little more challenging to focus on. I’m not into posed images, so wedding or family photography wasn’t a draw (though I appreciate those who do it so well). I loved cycling photography and I think I fell in love with it even before the sport itself. It scratches all my storytelling itches: travel, chaos, redemption, heartbreak; but I had no idea how to get involved. As it turned out, I just needed to show up.
The better part of the last year I've spent at all sorts of cycling events – track, time trial, criteriums, cyclocross, mountain bike and road races. They all challenged me in new ways and I got a charge of adrenaline that I had never experienced in any other photography situation (except maybe that one time in South Africa with the baby leopard, but that’s a story for another day). I was hooked. I’ve been out in all kinds of weather, but it doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for trying to find a new angle, an unusual frame, a perfect shot. And I say this with the understanding that my primary audience is known for their tendency to ride in even the most extreme conditions, so I don’t pretend to be all that tough.
We are in an era where nearly anyone can pick up a camera and take reasonably good photos. The equipment isn’t completely out of range for amateurs and the cameras themselves do a lot of the heavy lifting. It does make it harder to set myself apart, to find a style that suits what I am trying to create. I’m not there yet. I have a lot of work to do, but showing up at races as often as I can is the only way I know to get better. To find my own corner in very crowded and well-dressed field.
To the racers, who graciously let me aim my lens their way while they turn the pedals of difficult races, thank you.