Hitting the (litterally) dusty trail

Self assigning is fun. I recently decided to go out and follow some trad climbers for an evening in Squamish (photos below). It went well! So I then self-assigned myself a photoshoot in Whistler Blackcomb's bike park. I'll tell you all about it after I finish my newest self-assigned project; eat this entire cheesecake by myself.

Why do I talk about self-assigning so much? It's because outdoor photography (and actual paid work in the field) requires you to have a good portfolio, filled with great images companies might want. Makes sense. Problem is, competition is a thing. Established photographers get a huge advantage when applying for shoots because they already have a huge amount a material; they've been at it a lot longer (And are therefore a lot better at it).

This means you somehow have to reach a high level of skill and build a huge collection of images showcasing your talents, without profiting from all that work. It's a huge gamble. You have to really like shooting photos and be very motivated for all of this to even make sense. 

Or you have to be dumb.

I'm definitely one of the above, so I went out to Whistler and shot all day, got stalked by a bear and managed to escape with only 4 of my limbs. Many thanks to the guest relations department of Whistler Blackcomb for hooking me up with lift tickets. The images showcased below would not have been taken if they hadn't been so nice.

Stormy skies and foggy air; I was hoping for that weather to hold, but sadly, the sun came out. Dumb ball of fire, ruining all the fun.

The 11-24mm shines when it comes to showing the scale of a place. It emphasizes the curves and open air of the park nicely, while remaining one of the sharpest wide-angle lenses I ever used.

Another perk of an ultra-wide lens: you can get real close to the action. A little too close sometimes.

You pick up the lingo real fast when shooting in a bike park. For example, this jump is gnarly sicknasty rad.

You pick up the lingo real fast when shooting in a bike park. For example, this jump is gnarly sicknasty rad.

I wanted the riders to be a small part of my photos. Putting the emphasis on the mountain and the loaded skies was more important to me than showing someone riding a bicycle.

I wanted the riders to be a small part of my photos. Putting the emphasis on the mountain and the loaded skies was more important to me than showing someone riding a bicycle.

A nice, steep technical section. The photos don't show the speed at which riders navigate the terrain; it's insane.