Thomas Vanderham—Kamloops, B.C. (2013): Thomas and I have
worked together for nearly 15 years. He and I have always enjoyed
trying to create progressive mountain bike images, whether it is his riding or my photography that is pushing boundaries. We often go up to
Kamloops, British Columbia, to do this, for the terrain is limitless and
dusty. Here we set out to find a nice spot where he could drift roost
through a berm corner and leave a huge dust trail behind him. We shot
it in daylight and were stoked with the results, but as twilight came on,
I set up my strobe kit and tried expressing the roost even more with
strobes. The energy, color and dynamics came into play even more, and
we were left jaw-dropped by our results. Those who are truly great riders
will note that he has both feet on the pedals, which makes this drift even
more skillful and challenging.
SL: The hardest part would be some
of the hard travel it takes to get into cool
places maneuvering lots of gear.
MBA: We’ve heard that you can ride the
gnarliest trails in the world with the best
riders in the world and do it with something
like 40 pounds of camera gear on your
back. Is that true?
SL: I was a North Shore mountain biker
before I was a photographer, so, yes, I do
love riding gnarly trails! I think it is very
important to know and love the sport you
shoot to be successful at expressing it well
in photography. When I ride with a camera,
I do lighten down the pack and bring as
little as possible.
MBA: What’s your favorite camera?
SL: I have been a Canon guy the whole
way along for my action photos. I do like
the Fuji series for a light, small street/life-style camera.
MBA: What are your favorite lenses?
SL: My favorite lens is the 70-200/2.8,
and I really like the fast prime Canon lenses
for shooting on the Shore, where it is
MBA: If you could give novice photographers one tip to help them get better
photos of mountain biking, what would you
SL: I like to tell novice photographers to
try shooting as many photos as possible
and to live and learn through reviewing
their own work and critiquing it till they are
stoked on their own shot. Know what you
are trying to express and keep shooting till
you get the feeling you were looking for.
If it is a trail and landscape that you like,
then maybe get looser and frame in the
beauty. Or, if it is a cool moment of action
and style that you like, then maybe get way
tighter on the rider!
MBA: What’s your go-to bike when
you’re going for a ride near home, with or
without your camera bag?
SL: My go-to bike here on the Shore is
a 2014 Trek Remedy 9. 9, 27. 5, 160
millimeters [of travel] up front and 150
millimeters in the rear. I like to be able to
drop the front suspension to 140 millimeters on the Pike for the climbs. They are
steep, and I like the improved posture. The
rear shock has “pedal” mode, which is
great with the pack.