THE PHOTOGRAPHERS

When I wrote about why I ride I neglected something that’s a large influencer on the why, what and where. It’s seeing a beautiful view, food, city or a person turning themselves inside and out on a climb, I’m influenced by great photography, it makes me buy stuff and want to go places, a marketeers wet dream. The Sommet image has largely been created around inspirational photography from Ian, one of the first photographers whose work made me stop, think and wonder how the hell he saw what he did.

Over the last few years I’ve met more and more talented people, I’m an Instagram addict and every now and then I get lucky, but I’m painfully aware that a good photographer see’s things I never could now matter how hard I try. You can obviously teach the technical stuff and learn how to use the buttons on your fancy camera but you still will not see what these people do. My bike maybe super light, advanced and fast but that doesn’t make me Peter Sagan . The great thing about Instagram is that it’s made me aware of these peoples work and want to find out more about them so I decided to ask a few photographers I know, pro’s and friends to pick a number of their favourite images, not all cycling related just ones they love and a few brief words about them, brief seemed to be a challenge….bloody creatives.

I chose these each of these guys for different reasons, the best way to access their work is through instagram.

I met Sean about three years ago before his career really took off and I’ve loved watching him take over the world. Tristan’s a mate, his Instagram account is all about the life he’s created for himself in Girona, the shots he’s supplied here are not what you might expect. Angelo, a real gentlemen, from chasing the pro’s around Italy to shooting his other love the ballet, a chance meeting at Milan San Remo before realising we’d met before. Peter Clarkson, a friends brother, I loose hours getting lost in his work, it’s not even cycling related. Camille Mcmillan, Rouleur, Rapha, books, exhibtions he’s shot for some of the biggest names in cycling……..and Sommet

Sean Hardy. I approached Sean a few years ago after seeing some of his work on Instagram and Simpson Magazine. He’s gone from strength to strength, now working for large brands, pro teams, magazines.

When I first got involved in cycling photography I was a little too heavy with the black and white edits. I was massively (still am) inspired by Ben Ingham’s work with Rapha and like all people learning to master their craft I reverted back to my comfort zone too often. I have chosen these images because of the colours captured with the one black and white in there for good measure. I initially found it quite hard to actively play with bold colours but during 2017 I have become obsessed with it. Researching photographers like William Eggleston and Saul Leiter to see how they painted colour across their images. I am nowhere near where I wish to be with when applying this look to my photos but I am looking forward to experimenting more during 2018 with as much colour as possible but never neglecting the black and white image where it is required.

Tristan Cardew. We met in Girona, hit it off and then I discovered his work. An Aussie in Europe living the dream, working smart not hard.

1: In His Element:
From the second trip I took to Indonesia to surf, just after i’d bought my first ever underwater housing for my camera. I’d used the housing for 5 minutes in my backyard pool the night before leaving for the trip, then somehow managed to bag a shot I absolutely guarantee I won’t be able to recreate again. This shot was run multiple times as double page spreads in a number of different photography magazines around the world. The surfer is a 14 year old local Indonesian kid.
2. Suspended in a sunbeam:
Just a beautiful combination of golden afternoon Sydney sunlight and a drop of water I managed to capture mid-air in the ocean one afternoon. I remember running down to the water with 5 minutes of light left and getting this  shot 30 seconds before the sun completely disappeared. The way the water and light interact is exactly why I love shooting in the ocean.
3. Rain soaked wedding day:
By far the rainiest wedding I ever photographed. It did not ease up the entire day, for one minute. Luckily the couple were incredibly happy (and in love) and were okay with going out in the rain to create a shot i’d had in mind for a few months. This was one of the last photos I took before we went inside for the evening reception.
4. Crystal ball:
The kind of Winter water clarity and light i’d dream about when I lived in Sydney. I used to shoot swimming underneath waves for hours on end, trying to capture the way waves roll and crash and the way they reflect what’s underneath them. Funnily enough this is one of the few photos i’ve ever had printed and framed.
5. Last rays over Queenstown:
In 2015, just after my 25th birthday, I bought myself a ticket to Queenstown, New Zealand for a week of sleeping in a car while driving around solo taking landscape photos. I deleted Facebook off my phone and spent little time on social media, just driving, shooting, driving, shooting. This was sunset on the last day, when I sat on the side of a hill with nobody and nothing with me but my camera and the view. It was a moment that made me appreciate life just that little bit more.
6. Mare de Deu del Mont:
The first snow of 2017 had just fallen and I wanted to try capture it from a hill close to Girona (where I now live). Unfortunately most of it had blown away by the time we got up there the following morning, and it was blowing a gale and about negative 5 degrees – not ideal for riding bikes or photography. Luckily Till rode the bike for my lens anyway, and we came away with this pretty moody photo of one of the region’s most famous climbs.
7. Paris:
I like Paris, but i’ll be the first to admit I don’t love it. Too many people, and it’s a little too busy for me. Having said this, I do have plenty of happy memories of the place from various trips over the past 10 years. This particular sunset came after a day of torrential rain on Bastille Day in July. I’d booked the ticket to go up Montparnasse to get this specific shot 2 months before arriving in France, and almost decided against going up due to the weather. Thankfully the desire to see the view got the better of me, and the sun popped out for the last 20 minutes of sunset while I shot.

Peter Clarkson.  I love Peter’s Instagram feed. Nothing cycling related just great street scenes. I rarely skim past his work, you get dragged in and want to have a look around. Light, reflections, nothing obvious or commercial.

I’ve always been very interested in photography but it’s only over the last few years that I’ve really committed to developing the craft and my own skill. I do feel like I’ll never stop learning, observing, testing ideas out – sometimes successfully and other times… not so. I pretty much always carry a camera (film or digital) on me and this helps me be ready for whenever I see something that catches my eye. I’ve chosen some street shots to share – but I don’t define myself as a street photographer. I’m an observer. I am very partial to finding abstract, colourful scenes – I’m interested in the unusual, unseen small details, finding beauty in the everyday. I hope you enjoy – and do get in touch if you want to know more.

Angelo Giangregorio. We met in Milan by chance a few years ago and then again over dinner in Piedmont mid trip. A true gent, who can often be found chases races in and around his home.

About the photos, I really like Don McCullin as a war photographer but I liked much more his landscape photography that I discovered some years ago. I’ve no time to travel to nice places with beautiful panoramas, so all my landscape photos are from places near my home in Milano or places where I spend my holiday, normally they are familiar places that I love very much and only rarely I can take photos from places like the Passo Gavia.

Camille McMillan. We met last year in France at a mutual friends house. I think I was a bit star struck initially, Rouleur, Rapha, books, exhibitions, The Trans Continental and Sommet Cycling (tongue firmly in cheek )the list goes on and on.

My best or favorite 5 images Sommet asked for !  That’s scares the life out of me.  I can’t I find my 5 favorite over the last 25 years, its tough enough for just this year.
Sometimes a picture I have taken is very important to me for a reason that would not be apparent to anyone else.  I have images like this that come back and go away again over the years.
To keep my sanity I have made a selection from this year, i hope they give an idea of my process .
The last 3 summers I stopped following the TdF and the Pro Tour.  Race radio, marginal gains and the lead out train had become dull.  I followed the Transcontintal bike race instead. A race thats further than the TdF and done in faster time. A race like the grand tours was, but with cutting edge tech.
This image is simple to read, It’s like my real action ship with bicycle racing, I love and Hate it…its boring and exhilarating.
This was at the end of the Transcontinental Race.  We have 40KLM to go, and this guy is fucked… it super hot, he is out of water and out of energy.  He is tired beyond tired.
This woman had just given him a bottle of water, and was going back to her life, he is just climbing back on his.  His life is the ride.
The composition is perfect for me here. It all played into my hands. It’s like a perfect moment.
So this was working with a clothing brand, they wanted a night shoot.  I got one frame like this.  I held this up as the image to base all the work on, it did not go that way.  Again this is an image that I will return to.  There is something in here, we could build a campaign on this.
This is the same clothing brand. They have lights in there clothing.  We were in Girona for a night ride, it worked… I just love the dynanism of this image.
This was on the Transcontinental, long exposure, hand held.  It worked really well with the motion blur in the background and the racer so still.  Part of me don’t want to say how I did this technically, but I guess if you know you know.  
I love the stillness and the movement

A huge thanks to all of you for contributing. Please take the time to follow on Instagram or send me an email if you’d like to get in touch with any of the guys for prints or commercial work.