I’d been commissioned to shoot and write a piece about mountain biking at night. As crazy as this sounds, there are purpose-built lighting systems that are bright enough to let you see where you’re going at fairly ridiculous speeds… but nowhere near powerful enough for photography.
Because I knew that my life was going to get pretty difficult as soon as it was dark – even with two radio slaves – I arranged to start the shoot a bit early in the hope of getting some shots while there was still light in the sky.
Inevitably, everyone turned up late. I watched the sky turn from a lovely mid blue at 1/60 sec at f/4 to a deep blue at a barely tenable 1/30 sec wide open as cars were unpacked and banter exchanged. In desperation I coerced my group of volunteer riders into a loose chain, asking them to ride a big loop on the edge of the adjacent golf course – which is simply where we happened to be at the time – so that they were silhouetted against the sky. I got half a dozen shots… and then it all went inky black.
Seb Rogers has been riding mountain bikes for 16 years and photographing them professionally for 10. He claims he never planned for things to turn out this way, but reckons something must be right in the world if he can go out for a ride in amazing countryside and get paid for the privilege. He has no formal photographic qualifications other than a grade C ‘O’ level in art, but spent years looking at bike magazines thinking ‘I could do that’ before finally plucking up the courage to phone the editor. His clients include top-selling bike mags What Mountain Bike, Mountain Biking UK and Singletrack as well as overseas cycling publications. When he’s not shooting features, product tests or covers, he can often be found hunched over his Mac writing for the same mags. Commercial clients include the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Detail Events, Wales Tourist Board and bike manufacturers like Saracen Cycles and Whyte Bikes. Seb’s work is also marketed by Alamy.com and specialist mountain bike library Stockfile. Photographer since 1996, EPUK member since 2003.
See more work by Seb Rogers