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AUS US Photo Annual #1 2009

Clict Magazine Photo Annual 2009

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Clict Magazine has assembled the world's best mtb photographers for their inaugural Clict Photo Annual. 196 pages of amazing dirt/street/dh racing images.

Text of Clict Magazine Photo Annual 2009

  • DAMIAN BREACH MARK WATSON FRASER BRITTONGEOFF WAUGH SHAWN SPOMER CHRIS BENNY

    STEVE BEHR VICTOR LUCAS SVEN MARTIN STEPHEN HILLENBRAND

    ISSN 08177686

    AUS $15.95 US $12-

    Photo Annual #1 2009

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  • The Limited Edition hard cased version of the Clict Photo AnnualSam Hill portrait shot by Victor Lucas

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    CASt & CREW

    PUBliSHER FreeWheel Media

    [email protected]

    EDitOR Damian Breach

    ASSiStANt EDitOR James Wiiliamson

    [email protected]

    EDitORiAl SUPPORt Robin Weaver

    [email protected]

    ARt DiRECtOR/DESiGNER Niki Fisher

    [email protected]

    www.designbypeppi.com.au

    CONtRiBUtiNG SHOOtERS Damian Breach, Mark Watson, Fraser Britton, Geoff Waugh, Shawn

    Spomer, Chris Benny, Steve Behr, Victor Lucas, Sven Martin, Stephen

    Hillenbrand, John Gibson, Sterling Lorence,

    Adam MacLeod, Markus Greber, Adrian Marcoux, Lars Scharl, David

    Ulrich, Joakim Andreassen, Yorrick Carroux

    ADVERtiSiNG & EDitORiAl Adam MacLeod

    (03) 9853 0841

    Mobile: Adam 0438 292 006

    FAX: (03) 9853 3930

    EMAIL: [email protected]

    POSt CORRESPONDENCE tO : 29 Loch Street,

    Kew

    VIC 3101 Articles printed in this publication are the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editors or Publishers of Clict.

    Andrew neethling and I shoot quite a lot together. A symbiotic relationship if you will, he knows my style I know his. As a result we constantly give each other shit, but always end up with some gems for our combined efforts. Early 2007 near his home town of Somerset West, Cape town South Africa. Viewpoint trail.

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    F:QQBL'9:G/76H6I>6E=DID/7HDC

    Maxxis_Clict_Spread.indd 1 12/13/07 3:48:24 PM

    Distributed in Australia by:For the complete range of Maxxis MTB,

    Road & BMX tyres log onto -

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    F:QQBL'9:G/76H6I>6E=DID/7HDC

    Maxxis_Clict_Spread.indd 1 12/13/07 3:48:24 PM

  • When I was approached by Clict to write the introduction for their first photo annual

    I was shocked, amazed, and humbled. Did this mean that I had finally made it as a

    photographer and can call myself a professional?

    I never planned for this to happen; to become a professional photographer that is.

    It seems like only a few years ago I was looking through my favourite magazines

    photo annual, lost in the imagery and fascinated about how they took the photos.

    now all of a sudden Im writing a forward for one. For me it all started when I final-

    ly bit the bullet and decided to scale back racing and concentrate on photography.

    I have always been amazed at photography and how you can create images that

    can inspire, stir emotion and capture history. taking photos for a job was never

    my intention and my original push to have my images published was, and still is, an

    avenue to display my images my artistic expression of the mountain bike world.

    looking through the list of contributors for this photo annual I can bet that it was

    the same for them. they like riding mountain bikes and they like taking photos and

    one day they woke up and realised that theyre travelling around the world taking

    photos for all of us to enjoy. In reality however its not that easy. Every image

    you see in this magazine, or on the walls of your local bike shop, or as part of an

    advertising campaign are a result of years of blood, sweat, and tears. It takes time,

    money, patience and a lot of luck to get the right photo. You have to put yourself

    in the right place at the right time. You have to take risks and be willing to make

    mistakes. You have to live poor and make sacrifices. You have to beg. You have to

    accept criticism and rejection. Youll get hot, cold, wet, dirty, dusty, thirsty, tired,

    bored, and lonely. the list is endless and its very, very hard work.

    So why do we do it? First off, its fun. We get to travel the world, visit exotic loca-

    tions, hang out with cool people and be part of the best sport in the world. But

    theres more to it than that. We shoot for many reasons and whist I cannot speak

    for all the contributors I would like to guess that were all pretty similar. Simply

    put, we love photography as an art and we love mountain biking and we want to

    combine our two great loves and hopefully when we share what weve created we

    can inspire you to ride and see the sport as we see it.

    that sharing of our images has to be one of the most frustrating parts of the

    work. Photographers are very tough on themselves we want to take photos to push

    our boundaries and please our own inner critic. Its painstaking to select an image

    that we thinks good enough and so many times once weve made that selection our

    customers (a lot of times Editors) pick our least favourite photos. Argghhh, its so

    frustrating and well never understand. this is where a photo annual becomes a

    special part of our photography. A photo annual lets us be the ones who select our

    favourite images; the ones we think are the best. one of the most common things

    asked by people when they see me next to a race track holding a bucket load of

    photo gear is who do you shoot for?. theres a simple answer to that I shoot

    for myself, to please myself. Im pretty sure that everyone youll see on these next

    pages thinks the same, we have to make ourselves happy before we can share with

    the public.

    So here you have the first Clict photo annual. A selection of images that weve

    taken that satisfies ourselves enough to share with you and we all hope that we can

    create that same feelings in you that we get from looking at these photos.

    Enjoy.

    Ed note

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  • DAMIAN BREACH16

    MARK WAtSoN30FRASER BRIttoN142

    GEoFF WAUGH66

    SHAWN SPoMER98CHRIS BENNY124StEVE BEHR136

    VICtoR LUCAS150

    SVEN MARtIN1170

    StEPHEN HILLENBRAND182 13CliC

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    Youve seen us on the sides of mountains or hanging around at a race. Were the ones who

    stand out from the crowd. You know, the ones lugging around a huge backpack, staggering

    uncomfortably and being drawn towards tumbling down the hill because of the shear weight of

    our packs. have you ever wondered whats inside those packs. I pulled everything out of mine

    one afternoon having just finished a shoot and heres what I found.

    1. nikon D2X with 70-200mm f2.8 VR attached. I use this lens more than anything else as its

    so fast and versatile.

    2. nikon D2X with 10.5mm f2.8 fisheye attached. My favorite lens. Fisheyes are so much fun.

    3. nikon SB-800 flashes. I sometimes do use three flashes at a race but I stick to two most of

    the time. these babies have been through the wars and have been covered in mud, dust,

    rain, and have also been ridden over a few times.

    4. Pocket Wizards three flashes so I need 4 Pocket Wizards you do the math

    5. tripods with coldshoes attached. Something to hold the flashes and if I use a 3rd flash I

    have a little stand for that which wasnt in the bag.

    6. nikon 50mm f1.8 lens. Great for portrait stuff and I have used it to shoot racing.

    7. nikon 12-24mm f4 lens. I like wide and this lets me have a little more control than fisheye.

    8. Sekonic light meter. not used too much but makes me look like a pro if I pull it out of the bag.

    9. Spare batteries for flashes. I normally carry about 30 spare batteries

    10. Memory cards I have 8 cards as its best not to have all your eggs in one basket as they

    can fail.

    11. Rubber bads and tape for holing things together

    12. Pen for writing of course.

    13. Cleaning accessories its important to keep your stuff clean

    14. Dust blower it gets so dusty at races this little handy thing lets me blow the dust of my

    lenses easily and effectively.

    15. Flash sync cable for that off camera flash scenario when I just want to run one flash.

    16. not shown: various extra little cords, rain jacket, sun cream, camelback bladder, fly spray.

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    Whats in the Bag

  • Damian BreachHOW DiD yOU GEt StARtED iN PHOtOGRAPHy?I guess Ive been playing with a camera for ever but started to take it all seriously

    when I stopped racing bike back in 2003.

    WHEN DiD yOU DECiDE tO SPECiAliSE iN mOUNtAiN BikE PHOtOGRAPHy?I loved racing mountain bikes and still ride as much as I can so I thought Id keep

    being involved in the sport I love.

    ANy mENtORS OR iNflUENCES?My passion for bike photography really grew from skateboard and BMX photogra-

    phy so theyre one big reason I shoot. no real mentor but myself, Shawn Spomer,

    and Sven Martin exhange notes on stuff so I guess we all help each other out.

    fAVOURitE SHOOtiNG lOCAtiON AND WHy?I would say my favorite place to shoot is a place that Ive never shot at and its

    in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. the huge mountains, brilliant vistas, green

    colours, and blue skys all make for a perfect backdrop for shooting. I guess its

    why theres so many mountain bike photographers from Canada.

    WHAt CAmERA GEAR DO yOU USE?I use nikon bodies, lenses, and flashes. If theres one bit of advice on gear that I

    can give its spend your money on good lenses rather than chasing camera tech-

    nology. theres always going to be a better camera than the one you just bought

    but good glass will remain top of the range for years and years and years. I also

    use Manfrotto tripods and White lightning Strobes.

    WHAt ARE yOUR tHOUGHtS ON tHE CURRENt StAtE Of DOWNHill?Its good. Its sucking in the uSA at the moment and the old 2nd home for Aussies

    to race overseas is in a bad state. So many people are just going straight to the

    World Cups now and the Aussie scene is so good theres no real reason to use the

    uSA as a leapfrog to the big league anymore.

    WHAt iS tHE fUtURE fOR mOUNtAiN BikiNG?the return of Slalom and the death of 4X.

    DO yOU Still RiDE/RACE?Yep. Ridden 6 times in the last two weeks and crashed 4 times. I still love pinning

    it until you crash.

    fEARS? Being a failure.

    HOPES? that one day I can be a fulltime photographer.

    DREAmS? to be a full time photographer and no longer having to work 16 hour days with

    two jobs.

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  • Chris has to be one of he unluckiest riders on the world race circuit. At the Snowmass, Colorado he was killing it but his luck was once again against him and he finished way off the pace. Chris is a

    great racer to shoot as he has such an aggressive attacking style and this photo grabbed my attention as it reminds me of how much

    he was pinning it that weekend.

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    Fun, you have to have fun. Jared and Paul Begg take particular attention to Amiels nipples. I guess its an insiders joke. I like the photo as it shows that even though they

    try their hardest to beat each other on the track theyre still friends away from the action.

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    this was a favorite because of all the wood. not that Im a big fan of all the wooden stunts being built these days they sometimes make a nice photo and heres an example as it matches all the big trees.

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  • I like this one as Id just purchased big strobe lights for shooting and this was pretty much the first time I used them. It just worked out right with the big green tress, the colour of the soil, and a glimpse of a

    storm approaching in the background. It also helped that George flipped this huge double.

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    Race photographers have spots on the mountain that they either keep secret or share with other photo buddies and this shot was taken at one of my secret spots. I had an image in my head as to how I wanted the shot to look but the key ingredient, the

    rider, I had no control over. It wasnt a special part of the track with the stereotypical huge burm or jump to get mega action from and most riders were not hitting it as I wanted. I couldnt ask for the riders to hit the section just one more time as its a race,

    so I just sat there patiently. Rider after rider the shot just wasnt working until I got this one of Joel and bang, it put a smile on my face. I knew my patience had paid off and I had a keeper.

    I was at highland shooting photos with Don hampton from Dh produc-

    tions who was shooting a section for an upcoming DVD. the sun was in a bad spot and the trees were losing

    some colour but when I played around with the photo and put a blue filter

    on it, it just looked different and was appealing to my eye. I generally leave my photos alone as I hate Photoshop but this one was a rare occasion and

    I was happy with the result.

  • I know I said I hate Photoshop but heres another one Ive obviously played with. Sam had just won the race and the ensuing media circus had swamped him for words and images. I jumped behind it all to capture the scene and looking at the photo later I thought that by making everything but Sam B&W that Id be able to make the photo more representational of the scene as Sam was the centre of everyones attention.

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    Sometimes you dont even plan for a photo and it just works out. I was shooting street stuff with Adam and he was waiting for an all-clear from me as there were cars and people coming and going. one such time when there were a few people around the wait was longer than usual so I decided to shoot some photos of Adam waiting and it just worked out so well. Maybe I should name the photo Waiting.

    Jared had a killer year in 2007 and he ended up winning the uS national racing series but it wasnt all good news for him. At the World Cup race in Quebec he got a flat in qualifying in the first few hundred meters of the track and didnt make the cut-off for the finals. however, Jared being the good guy that he is and me being a pestering photographer I convinced him to shoot this one showing his disappointment at the flat tyre. If you look closely at the rear rim you can see why you cant even stop a flat tyre even when running a tubeless system.

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    Ben is normally all black and dark but this day he was bright and red. tip, if you want to be easily recognised on a race track wear something that stands out. It makes it easy for us

    photographers to spot the riders we want to shoot.

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    As I said before, sometimes we photographers keep our spots secret and sometimes we share them. Gary Flipper Perkin showed me a photo just like this and shared with me his spot. thanks Flipperthis photo really is yours.

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    The Firebird sets a Whole Nutha Level in long travel trail bike performance. Weve harnessed Dave Weagles ability to design the worlds best downhill suspension and added more than a few tricks of our own. The Firebirds dw-link design has the DNA of 6 DH World Championships under its belt and its gravity based

    heritage is clearly evident in the bikes incredible descending skills...but it doesnt end there.

    Weve built a bike that can climb as well as it descends. The dw-links position sensitive anti-squat ccharacteristics make for exceptional climbing and snappy acceleration with perfectly tuned Fox suspension to handle anything and everything you love to ride. Build it up light for ultra-technical epics or build it up big

    for gravity runs.The Firebird is your ultimate trail machine.

    Log onto www.jetblackproducts.com for more info on what makes Pivot Cyles different from any other bike on the planet and to find a Pivot Dealer near you.

    Floating Front Derailleur OOur patent-pending variable position floating front derailleur mount is another piece of engineering mastery, translating into even further performance gains. Big travel is the enemy of front shifting. Our floating design maintains the correct relationship with the chain for better shshifting and chain retention at every point in the travel. In addition, the floating mount is fully removable so that a single chairing chain guide can be easily installed to the Firebirds inte-grated ISCG05 mounts. No fuss, and a better ride for you

    Full-Floating Rear ShockTThe Firebird is packed full of cool innovations to make your ride better. The Firebirds full-floating rear shock (its not attached to the front or rear triangle) features a constantly variable shock rate, giving precise control over the suspension performance at every point in the travel. The result is awesome small bump compliance and a controlled ride for every size and speed of hit imaginable allowing you to ride faster and in control.

    Whole Nutha Level!

    www.jetblackproducts.com02 4560 [email protected]

    FirebirdAnodized Root BeerXT Kit with Fox DHX 5.0167mm Travel

  • The Firebird sets a Whole Nutha Level in long travel trail bike performance. Weve harnessed Dave Weagles ability to design the worlds best downhill suspension and added more than a few tricks of our own. The Firebirds dw-link design has the DNA of 6 DH World Championships under its belt and its gravity based

    heritage is clearly evident in the bikes incredible descending skills...but it doesnt end there.

    Weve built a bike that can climb as well as it descends. The dw-links position sensitive anti-squat ccharacteristics make for exceptional climbing and snappy acceleration with perfectly tuned Fox suspension to handle anything and everything you love to ride. Build it up light for ultra-technical epics or build it up big

    for gravity runs.The Firebird is your ultimate trail machine.

    Log onto www.jetblackproducts.com for more info on what makes Pivot Cyles different from any other bike on the planet and to find a Pivot Dealer near you.

    Floating Front Derailleur OOur patent-pending variable position floating front derailleur mount is another piece of engineering mastery, translating into even further performance gains. Big travel is the enemy of front shifting. Our floating design maintains the correct relationship with the chain for better shshifting and chain retention at every point in the travel. In addition, the floating mount is fully removable so that a single chairing chain guide can be easily installed to the Firebirds inte-grated ISCG05 mounts. No fuss, and a better ride for you

    Full-Floating Rear ShockTThe Firebird is packed full of cool innovations to make your ride better. The Firebirds full-floating rear shock (its not attached to the front or rear triangle) features a constantly variable shock rate, giving precise control over the suspension performance at every point in the travel. The result is awesome small bump compliance and a controlled ride for every size and speed of hit imaginable allowing you to ride faster and in control.

    Whole Nutha Level!

    www.jetblackproducts.com02 4560 [email protected]

    FirebirdAnodized Root BeerXT Kit with Fox DHX 5.0167mm Travel

  • I wont waffle on with PR rubbish about how cool I am or what a great job I have but instead simply say that I know one end of a lens from another. I spend my daylight hours (come to think of it, also many night time ones as well) with a cam-era in hand. I shoot commercial imagery and adventure sports for a living and so seem to be pretty adept at putting some of the best built pro-cameras through their paces, whether it be in the studio or getting rained or snowed on. My cam-eras are my tools and I expect them to work the way I need them too to allow me to create the images my client wants. Ive used 35mm cameras, medium format and large format cameras to get the results I need and Ive shot on both the big players when it comes to Digital (Canon and Nikon) however I have been a long time Nikon user for reasons that I cant be bothered explaining here. therefore you are getting a Nikon users view but what I am giving you is an overview of one hell of a camera Ill let you then go and test and choose whether you like the D3 or would rather the white-lenses of Canon or the super-cool name of Hasselblad or even a Leica that doubles as a fashion accessory in the end its youre call!

    Nikon have quietly been working behind the scenes over the past year to blow the photography world away with the release of a high speed, high-resolution, ad-vanced auto-focus digital SLR camera to rival Canon in both the commercial and sports market. Put simply, the Nikon D3 pro digital SLR camera is a pure beast of a camera that fulfils the needs of nearly every sports-shooter out there; and then offers more. However instead of talking highlights and histograms, this mini-review will look at the everyday application of what is a complex piece of circuitry and machinery and discuss in laymans terms the benefits of the new camera.

    But firstly, for all you budding photography gurus out there, here are the stats: the D3 is a 12.1 megapixel full-frame CMoS sensor, professional DSLR camera, firing and focus tracking at 9 frames per second (FPS) in full frame mode and 11 FPS in DX-crop mode. With 51 auto focus points, dual CF card slots and a 3.0inch 922 000px LCD, the camera also boasts an ISo range from 100 to 6400 (with boost to ISo 25600) and a shutter lag of under 41 milliseconds. the magnesium alloy exterior is ergonomically designed for both horizontal and vertical shooting with vertical grip, command dials and shutter release as well as being compre-hensively sealed against dust and moisture.

    But enough of all that stuff, lets look at the everyday application of the above numbers and what they all mean.

    Firstly lets take a quick glimpse at the body. A magnesium alloy fully sealed pro-fessional body is a must for anyone shooting in the outdoors and the D3 boasts all the above, meaning the camera wont keel over and die when you are shoot-ing in the heat, rain, dust or snow. Additionally the body has a vertical grip with a second shutter release and command dials so it is as comfortable shooting in portrait mode as it is in landscape and in both modes allow you to fully control the exposure and focus settings. the body contains a dual compact flash card slot (one of my favourite features) allowing for copious memory so you can simply shoot more and change cards less. the new toggle button on the back allows super fast and accurate selection of your menu items, auto-focus points and preview options in playback mode and the incredible 3.0inch 922 000px LCD of-fers an amazingly accurate representation of the image allowing zoom to 100% to check clarity and sharpness.

    Now heres where the good stuff begins. Instead of upping the pixel count, Nikon redesigned their sensor from the ground up and stuck their first full-frame sen-sor inside the D3. this means the D3 has no more pixels than the D2Xs, however the pixels are much larger and fit on a sensor which is now the physical size of 35mm negative. What this means is that the 12.1 megapixel full-frame sensor produces a super sharp magazine size double-page-spread (DPS) image straight out of the camera allowing the photographer to simply grab the RAW, tIF or JPG file and supply directly to a magazine for cover or even poster use without having to digitally enlarge the file very nice. Additionally the larger sensor means high ISo shooting is simply incredible. I used to balk at shooting over ISo 400 however will now push the D3 to ISo 800 or ISo1000 without a second thought with a resulting image-quality equivalent to ISo 200 from other DSLRs on the market. of course the full-frame sensor also means there is no conversion/cropping on your lenses so now my old 16mm fisheye once again has become a much-used favourite, and my AFS 80-200mm f/2.8 is once again a true 80-200mm zoom lens

    this camera is blisteringly fast in all areas. Lets not talk about the 12-millisec-ond power-up but instead go directly to the super fast formatting of cards. It is an awesome feature often overlooked but as soon as I first formatted a card the D3 I realised what an issue this had been in the past. the D3 allows a two-but-ton rapid format of both CF cards and this all happens instantly so youre ready to shoot when you need to be. then the really good stuff begins Just dial the lens to continuous-servo, the D3s focus mode to 51 point (3D tracking) and the

    nikon D3 Mini Review

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    Who the hell Am I?

    the Beast

    the Buttons and Rubber Stuff:1.

    the Sensor:2.

    the Go-Fast option: 3.

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    Images 1 through to 5 highlight the reliability of the nikon Creative lighting System (ClS) to produce consistent flash reults with motor drive sequences Image 6 - test pilot Mick Ross.

    6

  • shooting mode to continuous high and when you press the button youll be focus-tracking and shooting at 9FPS. of course what will blow your mind is that the new multi-CAM 3500FX tracking system is awesomely accurate and just doesnt drop a frame Nikon have really nailed it this time. But if you really want turbo-charged-go-fast-mode you can change the image size to DX format and youll get 11FPS (but your image size will be cropped to 5.1MP). However 9FPS is pretty much all you need for most applications and with a minimum 6+ FPS required for true sequence photography, killer sequences are now in the bag without having to worry about missing shots or running out of memory as the D3 additionally carries a 20-shot RAW buffer and 64-shot JPG buffer at 9FPS.

    Did I mention the high ISo shooting? oh yeah but just in case you didnt get it, you can put your flashes back in your bag because now when trying to nail that perfect muddy downhill mountain bike shot in the shade under the trees you can dial the D3 to ISo 1600 and let-rip with a sequence instead of setting up a load of remote flashes for one shot. I should also mention that the camera enables live view mode so you can use the rear LCD screen to compose and shoot and the D3 also has an inbuilt intervalometer for timed sequence photos etc (which I have found is not just a gimmick but actually a handy tool Ive used on quite a few occasions). the D3 also captures images in 14-bit for better colour reproduction and highlight and shadow detail. the new sensor size did mean I had to go shop-ping for some new lenses as while my DX lenses work fine, they dont fill the full sensor and so reduce the final images to a lesser resolution. Usually this would be a negative side-effect of a new camera but when you get your hands on the sexy new super-wide AFS 14-24mm f/2.8 or the AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 then the pin-sharp results are enough to deter any negative comments about having to spend the extra dollars.

    oh yeah! Just in case you thought this camera was tailored only to sports, press and magazine work then think again. I recommended the D3 to a portrait and wedding photographer mate of mine, who then took it for a test run and two weeks later had one of his own. For those who want true reproduction of skin tone, natural images in low light conditions or perfect clarity in studio situations, then the D3 also excels in these areas with features such as tethered shooting and camera command from your laptop etc but thats another story.

    Put simply there are limited high end pro DSLRs with the build and features to satisfy the professional photographer demanding high resolution, high speed imagery. Currently the winners are the Nikon D3 (12.1MP @ 9FPS) or the Canon EoS 1D MKIII (10.1MP @ 10FPS). of course this will change over the coming years as new developments occur however in the present market both the above cam-eras will well and truly offer as much as you can ask when it comes to magazine and editorial imagery. the D3 has put Nikon in a very good place over the last few months but before you get carried away, remember your camera is just a tool so owning one of these babies does not make you a professional you actually have to know how to compose, expose and execute great imagery before you start walking into the pub telling everyone how much of a photo-guru you are.

    For further details and technical specs on the Nikon D3 go to :: www.nikon.com.au

    other Bits:4.

    Another last Bit:5.

    Final Say (I Promise):6.

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  • HOW DiD yOU GEt StARtED iN PHOtOGRAPHy?I started working as a photographer in high school

    and ended up doing a mass communications de-

    gree, followed by a journalism degree in university.

    Somehow, I got sidetracked into print and then ra-

    dio work and the photo stuff just sort of faded away

    for a few years.

    I moved to Colorado not long after and slowly got

    back into shooting to have photos to go along with

    the content I was providing to magazines from the

    race scene. It made the articles an easy sell. Even-

    tually a friend convinced me to buy a new 10d and

    not an hDtV. It was the best decision that was ever

    forced upon me, as I have been working full time as

    a photographer ever since.

    WHEN DiD yOU DECiDE tO SPECiAliSE iN mOUNtAiN BikE PHOtOGRAPHy?It was sort of a natural progression as I have been

    racing bicycles since the early 90s, almost exclu-

    sively mountain bikes. I wanted to continue to travel

    with my friends, and knowing where an athlete is

    going to be at any given time in any sport gives you

    a huge advantage. I still shoot other sports as well

    as studio stuff for clients, but I am most at home in

    the woods shooting downhill.

    ANy mENtORS OR iNflUENCES?I dont really have any specific mentors but plenty

    of influences. I am constantly looking at what other

    cycling photographers are doing. Graham Watson

    manages to make some amazing images, with bikes

    almost as the second story most of the time. the

    sheer drama of the venues we are at can make the

    image many times. As for MtB shooters, my first

    job was working for Plush Magazine out of Boulder

    and Mark Dawson, Matt lanning and Mark Doolittle

    really helped me out early on offering advice and

    support. Currently I really admire what Flipper is

    doing. his off the cuff finish line portraits are sim-

    ply the best I have ever seen.

    fAVOURitE SHOOtiNG lOCAtiON AND WHy?Scotland is fantastic for the drama. Shiite weather,

    great course, epic riders. Whistler rates way up

    on the list as well. I managed to talk my way into

    a shoot on the absolute top of the peak last year

    (no bikes allowed normally) and it was epic. the

    backgrounds were incredible and the light was

    perfect. Maribor is up there just because they have

    the sketchiest gondola of all time, and the biggest

    2 euro burgers you have ever seen. And $1 beer. I

    loVE $1 beer.

    WHAt CAmERA GEAR DO yOU USE?I shoot with all canon gear. 1dmk2 bodies (and that

    original 10d still as well!). 300mm 2.8, 70-200mm

    2.8, 17-40mm 4, 15mm 2.8 Fish for lenses. I use

    Elinchrom Ranger lights when I need a fake sun and

    vivitar 285 flashes the rest of the time.

    WHAt ARE yOUR tHOUGHtS ON tHE CUR-RENt StAtE Of DH mOUNtAiN BikiNG?Dh mountain biking is about to hit its next big wave.

    It probably wont touch the mid to late 90s, but the

    slump is nearing an end I think. Better technol-

    ogy, slowly decreasing prices and the next batch of

    young guns are starting to show up to play. Fair-

    clough, Smith, Cammelini, Atherton, Gatto.

    WHAt iS tHE fUtURE fOR mOUNtAiN BikiNG?no idea at the moment. Racing isnt going any-

    where, but trail riding is on its way up. Whistler and

    the other resorts are filled with people on $4000

    bikes who have never raced a day in their lives, and

    are just out shredding. It is good to see. hope-

    fully some more rampage style events show up, big

    mountain riding. Slopestyle bores me, but watching

    Cedric work his way down a massive big mountain

    line and then throw a backflip makes me smile.

    DO yOU Still RiDE/RACE?I still do both. I manage 2 race teams with the

    help of orange Bikes, and am currently on the Mojo

    orange trade team. the more I travel to work the

    less I get to race, but I still try to cram in a half

    dozen events every year. local stuff, Canada Cups,

    Crankworx etc.

    fEARS?Sketchy chairlifts.

    HOPES?that MtB goes rockstar again and I am around to

    shoot it.

    DREAmS?See above!

    Fraser Britton

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  • once in a while standing on the side of a world cup course, something just makes your jaw drop. last year in Vigo, Gracia managed to somehow ride out of this. he lost traction, slammed his inside shoulder into a tree

    started to drag his foot behind him, face over his tyre and then somehow got back on the gas. he pedaled out of it as if he never missed a beat. I was standing with Ian hylands and we both looked at each other in awe.

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    Gee Atherton on the way to his first senior World Championship victory, Val di Sole, Italy, 2008

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    Kyle hansen clearing a road gap/sequence drop in on Vancouver Island, Canada, during the filming of the new video, Barred For life

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  • HOW DiD yOU GEt StARtED iN PHOtOGRAPHy?When I started work as a reporter and someone thrust a nikon

    FM in my sweaty palms.

    WHEN DiD yOU DECiDE tO SPECiAliSE iN mOUNtAiN BikE PHOtOGRAPHy?When I bought my Muddy Fox Courier and cut my knees to f**k.

    ANy mENtORS OR iNflUENCES?not really in mountain bike photography, but guys I used to look

    up to from mainstream sports photojournalism where Chris

    Smith, Mike King, Michael Steele shooting for the broadsheet

    newspapers and some of the Allsport agency boys.

    fAVOURitE SHOOtiNG lOCAtiON AND WHy?Anywhere where the light is firing and the trails look good. But I

    particularly like the graphic colours of Provence, France, utah,

    uSA and Australia.

    WHAt CAmERA GEAR DO yOU USE?nikon Digital, Bronica and horizon Panoramic film bodies.

    Q-Flash and Multiblitz lighting.

    WHAt ARE yOUR tHOUGHtS ON tHE CURRENt StAtE Of DH mOUNtAiN BikiNG?the state of Dh mountain biking will improve 100% when Peaty

    wins the World Champs.

    WHAt iS tHE fUtURE fOR mOUNtAiN BikiNG?Dh will make it to the olympics in place of those dirt roadies. And

    on my small island access may become an issue.

    DO yOU Still RiDE/RACE?

    I ride whenever I can get the dog off my back if you know what I

    mean!

    fEARS?of another Dubya Bush

    HOPES?to attend Peatys Rainbow Jersey piss up!

    DREAmS?A happy face, a thumping bass for a lovin race.

    Geoff Waugh

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    When you drink the water, dont forget those that dug the well.

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    Who will unmask the mystery rider?

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    Dirt hero Cam McCaul leaving the Boneyard wallride in his wake.

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    Mick airing it out at the les Gets Bike Park, June 2005

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    World Cup winner, uK Dh scenester and international playboy, showing his Giant colours. Wales, January 2008

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    Former downhiller and now freeride vet Dave Watson taking some shade at the Kona Camp in les Gets

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    the man that changed the face of downhill racing in the 90s.

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  • Shot by John Gibson for Red Bull at the Snake Pit

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  • imAGES fROm tHE mAkiNG Of SEASONS A mOUNtAiN BikE film By tHE COllECtiVE - A StORy tOlD tHROUGH tHE COURSE Of A yEAR AND itS 4 SEASONS. fEAtURiNG SOmE Of tHE WORlDS BESt RiDERS.

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    My recollection of Highway 99 dates back to 1994. It was on a gloomy west coast September morning. I was 20 years young and had just spent the last 3 days traveling the railways across Canada. It was my first trip of significance away from home and I was only a few hours away from completing the 3000 mile journey. My destination was a relatively undeveloped ski town in coastal British Columbia called Whistler.

    The last 63 mile stretch of road connecting Vancouver to Whistler is known as the Sea to Sky Highway, but over time has earned more dramatic titles like the Drive to Die and Killer Highway. Needless to say the length of bumped-out off-camber pavement had seen its share of tragedy. Fortunately, my introduction to the road was nothing more than an inexperienced traveler taking his first steps in to the mountains.

    Much time has passed since then and since that day countless incidents have occurred. Most dramatic have been at the hands of Mother Nature. Landslides, flooding and heavy snowfall have all shut the road down and often in tragic fashion. But the most common and unsettling occurrences have been a result of poor human judgment. Whether its been excessive speeds, fatigue, reckless driving or alcohol related, the Drive to Die has claimed more than 20 lives in the past 5 years alone, while some 800 other accidents have occurred.

    Its the roads plagued resume that has demanded a $600 million upgrade. While much talk has surfaced over the years about how much and when, it wasnt until the 2010 Winter Olympic Bid that the real push began. Without the Games the project may still have been in procrastination. Without the projects willingness to move forward, the bid would have never succeeded.

    I will never save enough time driving the new highway, as I have wasted in construction delays on the current highway. - mountain bike filmmaker Darcy Wittenburg.

    The driver of the Greyhound played it calm as he drove his bus northbound. He hugged the wet cliff wall of the narrow two-lane undivided highway with an unsettling confidence. In the opposing lane, cars buzzed by seemingly unaware of the hundred foot plunge into the Pacific Ocean. Chilled, I forced myself to watch the driver caress each corner blindly at a frightening speed.

    The Plague

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    The plan was to reconstruct and expand a 2-lane highway in to a 4-lane speedway. The project has brought much positive and negative attention to the road. I can still remember the night my ex was heading home from work in Squamish and was unlucky enough to be the first driver to deal with an overnight closure. They decided to begin blasting that night and as a result a 5 hour wait on a lonely midnight mountain highway began.

    That closure came out of nowhere, while they had a tentative date set it had passed and nobody knew when it was going to start. Of course much commotion was raised, mothers returning to their children and delivery truck drivers were all forced to wait. The following Thursday the local paper was filled with discontented letters from stranded passengers. Over time, progress brought organization and the now prepared community had grown to except this project as part of their life.

    While the blasting and clearing occurred in the black of night, a new road way had slowly begun to surface. The trees that at one time blocked life-inspiring views of the Howe Sound, had been plowed and as the views opened so did the areas potential. For some, focus on the slow traveling road began to turn in to focus off the road. It seemed with every pass, something new was being offered to the ambitious. Old spots had become obvious from the road and new ones had been created with every blast.

    Conversations soon swayed from a travelers blues to a positive mountain bike stoked. Previously only a few had taken the time to pull off the road and session these spots. With the realization of a 4-lane highway halfway through its destruction, a couple of riders came to realize the lifespan of each spot was indefinite. As a result one-off descents, natural rock wall rides and blazing stretches of singletrack were in need of immediate attention.

    I hate getting stuck in construction, my A.D.D kicks in and I cant stop looking for things to ride. Wayne Goss

    On July 18th Dave Smutok and Wayne Goss loaded their bikes over the tailgate of Waynes recently acquired 72 Chevy C10 pickup. Their mission as backwards as it sounded was to get stuck in traffic and ride out the waiting game. A list of spots was collected and the daylong session began to take shape. The list was as variable as the mountain bike is, such names as the Britannia Boat House, Tricuoni jib, the Brackendale drift and even a Dual Slalom spot found a space on the hand scribbled list.

    Construction

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    The session began in an abandoned boathouse on the waters edge of Howe Sound in Britannia Beach. The boathouse has stood before the highway even existed. In the early 1900s the Britannia community was only accessible by boat. Only two structures have managed to survive the coastal weather patterns and one now acts as a roof to four experienced wooden ramps.

    Dave and Wayne quickly moved one ramp outside and began jamming their bikes against the old wooden structure. Wayne managed to nudge himself snuggly under the overhang of the knife-edge metal roof, only just avoiding near decapitation. It was at that point Wayne called the session to a close quickly realizing it would be deadly to go any higher. The ramp was put back in its place and the first spot on the list was crossed off.

    Britannia Beach

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    Just over a year ago a new section of rolling rock was exposed alongside of the highway. Apparently the section cleared was a mistake and was never supposed to be cut. I guess the only positive occurrence about that mistake was it let an imagination run a bike over cleanly sculpted rolling transitions.

    After realizing the speckled orange curves of the rock was far more attractive than ride-able, Smutoks mind wandered around the backside of the mound where it edged the rim and overlooked the port of Squamish. After a short hike-a-bike up the rock an old trials trail made itself visible. The area is notoriously windy and over time the wind had blasted subtle curves along the top of the bluffs resulting in an unassuming play land. Surrounded by water, mountains and the largest granite monolith in North America, the old and now unused trails trail made for a creative hour in the sun.

    Granite Skatepark

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    The granite skatepark sat on the south end of Squamish, after a slow drive through the town, the smaller and neighboring town of Brackendale waited. Alongside this stretch of road sat a section of trail generally used by horses and riders to access the Alice Lake trail network. It is flat and in most cases would be ridden at a very casual pace.

    Fortunately Goss and Smutok dont ride at a casual pace and with the most minimal decline in the land, they both shifted their thighs into overdrive. Their point of interest was a slight doubletrack bulb in the trail, the gentle elbow was summer dry and provided the perfect surface for their wheels to drift in a perpendicular fashion. After the cloud of dirt cleared, front wheels steered the bikes straight and an uncontrolled stoke was released. The pleasure expressed on the faces of the two would have been impossible to rehearse, further proving how little you need when you have a bike between your legs.

    Brackendale Drift

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    Its likely the most obvious spot on the Sea to Sky; a near vertical rock sits with a seemingly perfect transition butting its way to a 12-foot high wall tap. Previously the parking lot it sits on the outer edge of, had been filled with an unmanageable rock surface. To ride a bike on it would be impossible at speed and a s it would be this natural one-off would only be accessed by snowboarders who tow in by snowmobile.

    Over the last season construction on this area of the highway called for a truck turn-around. The lot was graded and a near perfect set up was that much closer to riding. The only problem left was the transition to wall was still made of small boulders. The rocks were shaped into a mock lip and 4x8 sheets of plywood were borrowed from the local Cat Skiing operation and subsequently shimmed and wedged into place.

    It shouldnt have worked. The set up was literally pieced 4 pieces of wood shimmed together and required realignment with every attempt. The emotion of breaking in a new line took over Dave and as he tapped the rubber of his rear tyre higher and higher with every effort, to where he eventually found his rear wheel wedged in a crack. A quick panicked tug and he popped out of the nook and back into the makeshift transition. The boards rattled out of place and a look of relief was evident in his eyes. He rode back, stopped and weighted his elbows on his bars, where he proceeded to grin with a quilty pleasure.

    A Snowboarders Jib

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    Expecting to Fly

    Wayne spends his summer days living with his uncle in Squamish. Sweating through a coastal heat he has searched out the area for the perfect terrain to build stunts for his movie parts in New World Disorder. During the process he has gained a network of knowledge for the local trails. After the boys turned back south they made a quick stop on a new and very short length of trail called Expecting to Fly. A snaking line of step-downs just a mile off the road.

    A quick flow session broke out. The dirt was dry and would have normally choked out a rider but today was different. The roost became the objective. Corners resembled deep powder sprays and the tail-gunner learned how to ride by trust and feel as the visibility became non-existent in the cloud of smoke.

    On the way out a quick one-off dirt jump waited in the woods. The shovels of Darcy Wittenburg and his Collective crew had left a large double in an over saturated land of moss. Wayne started with a snapped moto-whip bringing his bike to a 90 degree angle and then dropping his front wheel into the sniper transition. A quick hike up and he upped his own ante with a tail-whip that seemed to pause in time. He found his pedals and rolled out clean. After some quick mechanical adjustment, Smutok followed with a nothing; no hands and no feet- found his pedals and bar, rolled away and left the woods for the truck.

    What are you trying to cause an accident! Said the man looking backwards driving his truck forward.

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    The day wound down and light started to fade. Content with a day of highway inspired riding Wayne and Dave loaded up the truck and began the return to North Vancouver. As irony would have it traffic came to a stand still and again the boys found themselves in a line of traffic waiting for the stop sign to be flipped back to slow. An exhausting day had patience wearing thin. Coincidentally a downhill section of fresh asphalt lined with 2 rows of well-spaced pylons stood ahead. Quickly the boys jumped out of the vehicle and a headed to the start of the Sea to Sky Dual Slalom.

    Wayne started strong but brushed a gate and lost a bit of speed. Smutok took advantage of Waynes technical and railed the surprisingly tacky track and managed to pull away with the win. As he crossed the imaginary finish line a frightened large man driving in opposing traffic stuck his head out of his window, looked back and yelled at the boys. He nearly rear-ended the vehicle in front of him in the process.

    Dual Slalom

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    Just 2 weeks after Wayne and Dave laid the rubber down on the last slalom session of the day. A few hundred meters down from the course, a massive rockslide broke loose. The beginning of the slide grazed a passenger bus crushing the sides. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. The highway saw a different fate. A pile of boulders 30 feet high and 100 feet wide now sits waiting for removal as crews work around the clock to clear the mess.

    Currently we are in day 3 of a projected minimum 5 day road closure. The last reports have the town of Whistler out of gasoline and a long weekend about to begin. The 2 hour drive to the Whistler Bike Park is now a 6 hour detour. Stores have shut down and according to local news reports; the village has become a ghost town. On a lighter note; I am stuck out of Whistler at perhaps the best place in the mountain bike world - Silver Star Mountain Resort. And for the folks stuck on the other side of the rock pile the Canadian Barbeque Championship scheduled this weekend will still go on.

    The Plague Continues

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  • HOW DiD yOU GEt StARtED iN PHOtOGRAPHy?I started with video and wanted to try photogra-

    phy. I went to a police auction and lucked out by

    getting an old Pentax Spotmatic with a bunch of

    lenses for $100. At a race in 2000, my derailleur

    sucked into my rear wheel on my first practice

    run, ruining the weekend. I had the camera with

    me and played around with it. I was hooked.

    WHEN DiD yOU DECiDE tO SPECiAliSE iN mOUNtAiN BikE PHOtOGRAPHy?It wasnt really a decision, it was the only thing I

    cared to take photos of regularly.

    ANy mENtORS OR iNflUENCES?Malcom Fearon, Paul Bliss, Mark Dawson, Victor

    lucas, Damian Breach, Sven Martin.

    fAVOURitE SHOOtiNG lOCAtiON AND WHy?Any World Cup race because everyone is fast and

    they do their thing, while I just poach em.

    WHAt CAmERA GEAR DO yOU USE?old Canon stuff...1d and 1ds. used sunpak flashes

    and Alienbees big lights.

    WHAt ARE yOUR tHOUGHtS ON tHE CUR-RENt StAtE Of DH mOUNtAiN BikiNG?I think it is in a good place. the slopestyle/fre-

    eride buzz is evening out and racing seems to be

    gaining some popularity. I love all forms of mtb

    competition, slopestyle, race, etc...its all sick. I

    just think that now, perspective is getting a little

    more realistic and the different formats are level-

    ing out a bit. For all I care, it can stay under-

    ground and not become mainstream. the trails are

    crowded enough already.

    WHAt iS tHE fUtURE fOR mOUNtAiN BikiNG?Who knows, maybe the continued specialization of

    styles? Fewer riders dabbling in a variety of race

    formats, instead, they focus on one thing only.

    hopefully slalom takes out mountaincross, though.

    DO yOU Still RiDE/RACE?Yep, ride as often as possible. Mostly a little bike

    at the skatepark and lifts in the summer time.

    fEARS?9-to-5 job.

    HOPES?that hairy men become fashionable and again and

    not ever having another 9-to-5 job.

    DREAmS?to retire to Crescent City, California or Mountain

    home, Missouri in the next 5 years (yeah, right!).

    Spomer

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    Chris makes Superco Bikes. When hes not welding impeccable frames, hes shredding them on the pumptrack in his backyard

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    Joel schralps the jumps at the Fix Bikes in Boulder, Colorado

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    Amiel on his way to destruction at Crankworx. he overshot the GlC drop here by a good 15 or 20 feet and landed flat, exploding in the worst way possible, inches from the finish. he grabbed his bike and rolled through the finish, in spite of the beating

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    John Kirkaldie can handle anything. See the greasy, off-camber corner before this lip? Most riders could barely make the corner and had to push the lip. Kirkaldie railed it and blasted

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  • Cameron McCaul tweaks on the fly and sneaks on by some lumber in northern California

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  • BACK FlIP SuPERMAn | Photo: DAVID ulRICh

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    thE CIRCuS thAt IS VIEnnA AIR KInG | Photo: DAVID ulRICh

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  • Velo-Vita Pty.Ltd P- 02 9695 7744 E- [email protected]

    Hydrolite 3.0L

    Speedlite 2.0L

    Hydrolite 2.0L

    Bike 1

    Compact Exp 8 3.0L

    Compact Exp 12 3.0L

    HYDRATEFOR THE NEXT ADVENTURE

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    sam hill

    SAM, WhAt hAS YouR oFF-SEASon BEEn lIKE? WhAtS BEEn

    thE MAIn ACtIVItY You hAVE EnGAGED In to unWInD FRoM

    YouR RACE SEASon?

    Ive been enjoying it quite a lot. I had some house renovations to

    finish off so Ive pretty much finished that now. Ive been riding a

    lot of motocross and just hanging out with my buddies at home so

    its been cool.

    WhAt hAS BEEn thE BESt thInG So FAR to CoME FRoM

    YouR nEW SIGnInG WIth SPECIAlIzED?

    Im just stoked to be riding for a company that wants to win as

    much as I do. they are willing to develop new stuff and make me

    happy. the whole program is going to be real sick and I have a

    great group of people around me.

    IS thERE GoInG to BE An All nEW SPECIAlISED Dh BIKE

    FoR YouR 2009 WoRlD CuP SEASon?

    I have no idea really, they are getting me all dialled in on the

    Demo 8 right now. Im loving riding that bike so Ill give them my

    feedback and well see what happens with further development.

    WhAt ARE YouR oVERSEAS CoMMItMEntS thIS oFF-SEA-

    Son GIVEn WIth thE nEW tEAM?

    Im actually in the uS right now. Weve been having a bit of a team

    camp and testing out new bikes and stuff. We are just all getting

    set up and making sure we have everything ready to go for when

    the World Cups start.

    hoW MuCh tIME WIll You BE SPEnDInG ADAPtInG to YouR

    nEW BIKE thIS oFF-SEASon CoMPARED to PREVIouS YEARS

    WhERE You hAVE PREttY MuCh hunG uP YouR hElMEt In

    thE oFF SEASon?

    I am really motivated to be on my bike to prepare for 2009. Im

    not happy with my results this past season so it has re-lit the fire

    and I think 09 is going to be good so I will be putting in a lot of

    time on the bike to get fully used to it.

    thE StRoMlo WoRlD CuP hAS CoME AnD GonE. WhAt

    FRAME oF MInD hAS thIS lEFt You In WIth REGARD to

    ClAIMInG BACK thE WoRlD ChAMPIonShIP CRoWn?

    Its going to be a tough one for sure. I dont think I was prepared

    SAM hIll IS A nAME thAt EVoKES SIMIlAR thInGS FRoM MoSt PEoPlE. hIS RESERVED DEMEAnouR AnD ABIlItY to BRutAlISE hIS CoMPEtItIon AGAInSt All oDDS MEAn thAt It IS VERY hARD not to BE In AWE oF thIS GuY.

    In thESE unCERtAIn tIMES, SAM hIll IS A ConStAnt An IRon-hoRSE-RIDInG PoDIuM toPPER AnD RESult CollECtoR. But WhAtS thIS? 2009 WIll SEE SAM on A SPECIAlIzED DEMo 8 YES, thE BIKE KnoWn MoRE AS A FREE-RIDE SlED thAn A nIMBlE, WoRlD CuP WEAPon. hEll StIll BE ChuGGInG DoWn MonStER EnERGY DRInKS, BounCInG RoCKShoX AnD SRAMInG It uP, But thE BIKE IS A BIG ChAnGE.

    hIS FIRSt outInG on thE SPECIAlIzED WAS onE to FoRGEt. DRAWInG PlAtE nuMBER 13 MEAnt SAM WoulD loSE hIS DERAIllEuR to A RoCK At EAGlE MountAIn BIKE PARK, AnD hE FAIlED to QuAlIFY. thInGS WEREnt All BAD thouGh, SAMS DEMonStRAtIon Run WoulD hAVE GIVEn hIM SEConD In thE FInAl BEhInD GRAVES.

    WIth MASSIVE ChAnGES AFoot, RoBBIE MCnAuGhton InJECtED SAM WIth SoME tRuth-SERuM FoR A GooD olD FAShIonED ChAt ABout thE nEW BIKE, nEW DEVEloPMEnt PRoGRAM, SECREtS oF SuCCESS, MotIVAtIon, PRESSuRE

    to WIn AnD houSE PAIntInG.

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    for that race in 08 and I know I have a lot of work to do if I want

    to get the rainbow stripes back. I am going to prepare the best I

    can for it and try my hardest. I would love to be able to win there

    in front of the home crowd but I know its going to take a lot. I

    dont think its an impossible task so I will be going there to try

    and win.

    WhAt Do You thInK You WIll BE DoInG DIFFEREntlY WIth

    REGARDS to tRAInInG In CoMPARISon to PREVIouS YEARS

    In PREPARAtIon FoR thE 2009 WoRlD ChAMPS?

    Just some top-secret stuff!

    WhAt ChAnGES ARE You hoPInG FoR WIth REGARD to thE

    StRoMlo DoWnhIll FoR thE AuStRAlIAn ChAMPIonShIPS

    AnD thE WoRlD ChAMPIonShIPS In 2009?

    there really is still a lot they can do with the area they have built

    the track on. I would like to see it a bit more technical stuff up

    the top and it would be good to seem them either take the flat out

    at the bottom or have a more high-speed entry into the flat with

    some nice big jumps to break up the pedalling.

    hoW Do You FEEl thE StRoMlo Dh CouRSE CoMPARES to

    othER WoRlD CuP VEnuES, AnD MoRE IMPoRtAntlY, to

    othER WoRlD ChAMPIonShIP CouRSES thAt You hAVE

    CoMPEtED on?

    I only have negative feedback about it so I might just keep my

    mouth shut and stay out of trouble. [laughs]

    WIll You onlY BE CoMPEtInG In WoRlD CuPS thIS YEAR

    AnD IF So WhY?

    My schedule will have me focusing on World Cups and the World

    Champs. they are the premiere races and what Monster Energy/

    Specialized and I want to compete in. I will also be competing in

    some other one-off events like the uS open, Crankworks, and

    other events we might have time to do.

    WhAtS thE BESt thInG ABout hAVInG BREnDAn FAIR-

    ClouGh on YouR tEAM AGAIn?

    he is just a cool guy, we get along really well and he goes off on a

    bike so its all deadly.

    lASt YEAR DuRInG YouR oFF SEASon You DID SoME RunS

    At thE AWABA tRACK outSIDE oF nEWCAStlE. WhAt WERE

    YouR thouGhtS on thE tRACK?

    Yeah, I think the track is sick it has a lot of really good turns,

    rocks, jumps and all-round fun stuff. It is good to see people put-

    ting in time to build something cool.

  • At the Specialized training camp in Elsinore, Southern California, getting acquainted with the new gear photo_ Isreal Romero

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    BlackBox product testing - home trails in W.A, prior to the start of the 2008 World Cup season

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    You hAVE MEntIonED thAt It WoulD BE A GooD IDEA to Put thE

    AuStRAlIAn ChAMPIonShIPS CloSER to WhEn thE IntERnAtIon-

    Al RIDERS ARE hEADInG oVERSEAS, WhAt IS YouR REASonInG

    BEhInD thIS?

    I think you would get more of the international race guys going to the

    Aussie events because they would want to do a warm up race before

    leaving. Also, the top guys would be in better shape, which would make for

    better racing.

    EVEn JuSt DoInG WoRlD CuPS, hoW hARD IS It to StAY on toP oF

    YouR GAME thRouGhout thE SEASon? IS thAt WhY You lIKE to

    hAVE A BREAK In thE oFF-SEASon?

    It gets very hard towards the end of the season. Its hard to stay focused

    for six months and I am usually hanging to get home again by the end. I

    find riding my bike a lot more fun after having time off it which is why I

    dont do a lot during the off season.

    tEll uS A lIttlE ABout FIlMInG At Sun PEAKS, MAInlY thE lARGE

    StEP-DoWn FEAtuRED In ClAY PoRtERS MoVIE, F1RSt.

    Sun peaks is just an awesome place to ride. Ive been going there almost

    every year since 2003. there are two drops that I have looked at and

    thought would make a sick jump. Finally filming there with Clay I thought I

    may as well do it, its pretty massive and blind you cant see a thing until

    youre in the air!

    Do You FEEl thAt thE EXPECtAtIonS oF FAnS, SPonSoRS AnD

    oRGAnISERS hAVE InCREASED WIth YouR SuCCESS? DoES thIS

    AFFECt You At thE RACES?

    Im not sure. I guess when you win a race then they know you can do

    it again and might expect more to follow. I try not to deal with all of the

    added pressures and just try to get on with it.

    WhAt Do You FEEl It IS thAt AlloWS You to REMAIn FoCuSED

    EnouGh to KEEP on WInnInG At thE WoRlD StAGE?

    Just not wanting to be beaten is enough to keep me focused.

    At the Adelaide national round at Eagle Park, with a broken derailleur an unfortunate first outing for Sam photo_Adam Macleod

  • Elite Cycle Importseciimports.com(03) 9735 9911

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    While black has always been our bread and butter and what you have been accustomed too in recent times, it has now become apparent that crazy colors are back with a vengeance. Having said that we are not about to offer every color in the spectrum to our family of world wide distributors causing them headaches over what they should or shouldnt stock, so we give to you BOB Limited Editions. For 2009 FUNN will be

    offering various different colored components in limited production runs, this will be based on a first come first served basis, so if youre down with the colors you better be quick as BOB parts will be in great demand.

  • HOW DiD yOU GEt StARtED iN PHOtOGRAPHy?Years and years ago at one of the national rounds

    in Mount Beauty my dad passed me the camera and

    said oi punk, wanna have a go? Ever since, I

    always hogged the camera and shot like crazy.

    WHEN DiD yOU DECiDE tHAt yOU WANtED tO SPECiAliSE iN mOUNtAiN BikE PHOtOGRAPHy?It just happened. I would always steal my brothers

    MtB magazines and look at all the awesome shots

    for ideas.

    ANy mENtORS OR iNflUENCES?Sterling lorence and Chris herron have always

    been people who have inspired me to shoot.

    fAVOURitE SHOOtiNG lOCAtiON AND WHy?Probably the cliff edges Vincent Pernin took me to

    recently.

    the view was breathtaking and scary. I was

    hanging on the edge of a 200 foot cliff shooting

    Vince ride inches from the edge. It was just one of

    those moments where I thought this is awesome!

    WHAt CAmERA GEAR DO yOU USE?Canon 1Ds Mrk III and Canon lenses / Flashes.

    WHAt ARE yOUR tHOUGHtS ON tHE CURRENt StAtE Of DH mOUNtAiN BikiNG?Dh seems to be growing every day. there are so

    many affordable bikes and an endless amount of

    trails being built by local kids.

    WHAt iS tHE fUtURE fOR mOUNtAiN BikiNG?hopefully we will see more and more legalised

    spots for people to ride.

    DO yOU Still RiDE/RACE?Yep, still ride on a regular basis. A bit of

    trials, Dirtjumping and Street.

    fEARS?Dropping my camera.... hehe.

    HOPES?to ride and photograph as much as possible!

    Chris Benny

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  • I had seen some shots of Shorty posted on an internet forum and was keen to meet up with him for a shoot. Shorty has a background in BMX and rips the skateparks and shreds the dirtjumps. he had only just picked up his new frame from his new sponsor Rhythm Imports and was keen to hit the jumps. I set up the lighting and watched the rain clouds creeping towards us. this shot was his 3rd attempt on the jump, whipping out a huge one foot flatty.

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  • A few weeks before Shorty entered a BMX competition on his MtB and placed third. to say the least, he has some serious skill. he awed everyone at Campbelltown while flying high with no foot cans and huge supermans. I set up my lighting and again waited for the afternoon light. the sun set and produced an awesome deep blue graduated backdrop.

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    I had some spare time and was keen to shoot something a little different. I pulled out my bike rig and mounted my camera to my bike. Mounted a flash and set off to take some shots.

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  • HOW DiD yOU GEt StARtED iN PHOtOGRAPHy?Id always wanted to get a decent camera and when

    I started work after leaving law school I spent my

    early pay cheques on an SlR and a couple of lenses.

    the bug bit and I kept learning and shooting as

    much as I could.

    WHEN DiD yOU DECiDE tO SPECiAliSE iN mOUNtAiN BikE PHOtOGRAPHy?As my interest in photography developed, I started

    getting into mountain biking, and the two interests

    coincided and progressed together.

    ANy mENtORS OR iNflUENCES?I had an early mentor in mountain biking photog-

    raphy who was shooting for Bicycle Action at the

    time, Mark Wohlwender. I remember him being very

    helpful to me at early races, giving me tips and

    suggestions which kind of set me on my way. An old

    friend from home (South Africa, onne van der Wal

    who is now a top marine/yachting photographer in

    the united States, has also been influential, and is

    still inspiring. And a couple of ski photographers I

    worked with in the early 90s inspired me too tony

    Mclaughlin and Marko Shapiro. Also, a lot of the

    surf photographers whose work has graced the

    pages of Surfer magazine over the years have been

    inspiring. But mostly its the riders Ive worked

    with over the years that have inspired me to try to

    capture their moves. Without those guys pushing it,

    the pictures wouldnt be anywhere near as good.

    fAVOURitE SHOOtiNG lOCAtiON AND WHy?hmm tough one. Probably the last one I took a

    good picture at! the Alps are always inspiring, the

    scenery and backdrops are second to none in places

    like Chamonix, and Whistler always has good action

    going on. Bizarrely enough I still get a kick out of

    shooting on my local common, I guess cos its home

    and Ive seen it in so many moods and shades of

    light. Its still enjoyable and a challenge to find a new

    angle, and always fun when the light is good.

    WHAt CAmERA GEAR DO yOU USE?I went with Canon from the early EoS 1 in about

    1990, and have been through all their various bod-

    ies, now using the EoS 1d mk II and 1DS, about to

    upgrade to the Mk III. I have a range of lenses from

    15mm through to 300, and several flashes includ-

    ing a Quantum Qflash, with pocket wizards to fire

    them. And a range of bags to carry them in, from

    lowepro, thinktank and Crumpler.

    WHAt ARE yOUR tHOUGHtS ON tHE CUR-RENt StAtE Of DH mOUNtAiN BikiNG?It just seems to get faster and the riders are

    getting good younger. Great to watch. Some good

    characters in it still and that keeps it interesting.

    WHAt iS tHE fUtURE fOR mOUNtAiN BikiNG?Phew, big question. there isnt as much money in it

    for the riders as there was in the heyday of downhill

    racing, and there are some talented riders not

    making as good a living out of it as they deserve to.

    not sure if that will turn around or not, but I hope

    it does. the level of riding continues to rise, and I

    think it will continue to do so.

    DO yOU Still RiDE/RACE?I dont race, but I ride several times a week usually,

    mostly for fitness these days.

    fEARS?that Ill run out of cf cards just as the perfect shot

    presents itself

    HOPES?that I dont run out of cf cards just as the perfect

    shot presents itself

    DREAmS?that I manage to capture the perfect shot when it

    presents itself.

    Steve Behr

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