Andrew Shandro and Cam McCaul—Bali, Indonesia
(2015): We were on a Components of Adventure trip
for Shimano. The theme in choosing the destinations
for these trips was celebrating areas in the world where
mountain biking is exploding in popularity. Bali was full
of super-stoked mountain bikers who shredded, and
they had an incredible network of epic rides.
This is what is normally in Sterling’s camera bag when he’s riding between locations. Sterling carries additional gear when
he’s hiking to a location.;❏
14 Tips by Sterling Lorence
1) If something catches your eye, that’s
reason enough to stop and shoot. Use your
own creative barometer to decide if you like
something. Chances are, we all will too.
2) Don’t get too caught up in the gear
needed; even a phone these days can take
a great shot. Become more aware of the
elements that make a great shot, such as
composition, light, action, terrain, etc.
3) Mountain biking can look slow and
upright in photos. Choose fast parts of
a trail or jumps for more dynamic action
shots. Always find the spots where your
rider is going fast. [Shooting] riders with
a natural lean into a corner, with clothing
flapping and dust roosting, makes your
photo more interesting and rad. Save the
slow parts of a trail for an epic-vista climb
section, and be looser on that rider to draw
more attention to the landscape.
4) Are you looking at a beautiful piece of
trail in a landscape with nice light, or was
it more about some cool action from your
riding partners? This will help decide if you
should be looser—wide composition—to
frame in more of the land and light and
nice trail. Or, if it’s some dynamic action
you see, then shoot much tighter than you
think and get closer to that moment you
are trying to accentuate.
5);Morning light and evening light are
extra colorful and dramatic, so shoot lots
6) Shooting backlit, which is aiming
towards the sun and into the shadows, can
add drama and depth and contrast to your
shots, but be aware to maybe hide the sun
behind a branch or shrub as to not let the
lens get too flared.
7) Keeping objects of interest in between
you and your subject area in the photo can
add depth in the feeling of your photo. This
could be cool rocks, downed trees, wildflowers, etc., which helps build the story.
Try to draw lines of attention towards your
subject area with these natural items.
8);When in heavier forest locations,
these can look best on a cloudy day. Don’t
always think that the sunny days make the
best photos. Clouds act like a big soft box
for the forest, and the exposures look much
more balanced in the woods on an overcast
day. The forest floor greens “pop” more.
9) Shoot everything about your ride. It is
amazing as you review the shots—days/
months/years later—how much interest
and enjoyment you can get out of the
non-riding moments of that day. ;
10);Be your own tough editor and learn
from your own photos if something is good
or average and adjust next time. Review
your work a lot.
11) Interesting perspectives, be experimental. Today’s gadgets all have incredible
cameras. From GoPros to iPhone mounts
to toy drones, create interesting photos by
putting the camera where the rest of us
12) Lots of today’s cameras, even an
iPhone, have burst rates that take lots of
images per second. When shooting dynam-
ic action, shoot lots of images and keep the
camera firing through the action. You will
be surprised sometimes by getting a shot
you weren’t planning for.
13) If you own an SLR camera, all the
various lenses that are available each have
their own character and look, which can
help drive a certain creative [vision] you are
looking for, or be an inspiration to the type
of look you like to create.
14) Study the works of photographers
you admire and gain information through
the decisions that they have made. The
photo is the answer to the equation. Try
to work back through the result to get the
ingredients! I did that to many John Ker
images over the years!
HOW TO SHOOT MOUNTAIN BIKING LIKE A PRO PHOTO TIPS