13.08.2013

Tips for Photographing Mountain Biking

13.08.2013

Tips for Photographing Mountain Biking

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Outdoor sports have something special –with or without photographic eyes- their raison d’être is all of the environment.

As photographers, this becomes a jackpot to us. Especially when a deep forest or an extraordinary sunset is called to be “the background” of our images. Moreover, the light won’t give up to change “quickly” during the day, varying its direction (dawn, sunrise, harsh midday sun, sunset & dusk) intensity & “shape” (cloudy day, clear sky, rain, mist, snow) did anyone asked for a rainbow behind the subject?

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One of the most common outdoor sports in my area is mountain biking (MTB) due to the fact that the area is a flat plain surrounded by mountains wherever direction you look. This is a quite difficult-to-shoot sport, due to the speed the bikers get downhill, taking you to be as fast as them with your camera, even sometimes picking you to lighting tricks (see “flash as a shutter speed controller”) to freeze them on the frame.

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But that’s not the one-and-only way to MTB photography. Like many other outdoor sports, it’s not only a fitness activity, rahter a way of life. You’ll commonly see pictures of bikers cycling in the bush with the sun on their back and the sense of freedom and wilderness evoking a huge desire to be there. That’s not an Olympic picture, is it?

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A common sentence heard when people start shooting MTB is “my pictures are motion blurred”. As I said, they are superfast athletes going down for extremely narrow trails (remember to place yourself outside of the way, specially after curves with little visibility!!) so you can go up to 1/1000 s. shutter speed, use artificial lightning or why not? Play with the slow shutter speed pictures. But overall remember, if you’re not shooting a downhill exhibition (AKA the will go uphill sooner than later) you can place yourself on the upper side of the trail. From this point you’ll get more time to react, and will get some really expressive faces of effort. Even some of them, carrying the bike on their shoulder.

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Last but not least, set-up a remote camera is a great idea. They are fast, so you would like to have as many pictures as possible from different points, especially when you’re stuck outside the trail. The more you -or your remote camera- shoot from different points of view, the richer your coverage is gonna be.

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David Fajula Jufré is a Photojournalist based in Northern Catalonia. His images have been published in notorious international newspapers such as; Vladivostok Times (Russia) Metro, 24 h, Canoe (Québec) Norrköpings Tidningar (Sweden) Dnevni Avaz (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Slovenian American Times (US & Canada) Mundo Deportivo (Spain) El Periòdic d’Andorra (Andorra) or Budaörsi Napló (Hungary) among many others.

As well, his client list includes US based universities Oregon & Princeton, Hôtel de Ville de Montréal (Montreal City Hall) and other educative and cultural institutions.

His is also proud to be the Vice-president of Manlleu Camera Club.

More about David and his job on www.davidfajula.com

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