I had the good fortune to go out on a photo shoot with Mountain Cycle pro rider Olivia Harkness on the trails of eastern Massachusetts. It was a test in the theory that good photos are possible in any weather.
The shoot was aimed at creating promo photos for Olivia and for Mountain Cycle showing her riding and having a good time. As we unloaded our bikes, a misty drizzle began to fall from the flat, gray sky. A good time can be had mountain biking in any weather, but making the images look fun, rather than a cold, wet and dreary were going to be a challenge. We spent some time playing on the natural features, trying to get images with the ocean in the background. Within an hour, my lens cloth was soaked from wiping rain off the lens and my fingers had lost their sensitivity. The images, however, were working, due, in no small part, to Olivia’s riding. Her smooth confidence made the shots come alive. The muted light also brought out the vibrant greens of new spring leaves and the rain-darkened trail added contrast.
After enjoying the rock slabs and wet rock staircases of the oceanside, we hit the trails. For the record, trails in Massachusetts are excellent. She led me along trails that alternated between rocky/rooty technical sections and smooth, swoopy singletrack. We had so much fun railing bermed corners that I almost forgot to stop and shoot.
Here are some of my favorites from the shoot.
For more images from the shoot click HERE.
Next leg: Back into Montana – Red Lodge through Bozeman
Montana’s vastness strikes me as the needle on the car’s speedometer inches up to eighty-miles-per-hour, a speed I never hit on the east coast because of speed limits and traffic. The wildflowers along the highway blur into broad, impressionistic brush-strokes. Barbed wire fence posts flick by as fast as frames on a movie reel. And, yet, the mountains on my left haven’t so much as moved over the last half hour of driving. And, because of their size and distance, they will hang there in suspended animation for the next hour (until I turn north in Livingston).
I feel comfortable in this vastness, even after spending the last three years buried in Maine’s dense forests, driving on roads that look the same, mile after mile. Don’t get me wrong, Maine is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. When I press my foot against the accelerator in Montana, however, I find myself surprised that anyone could ever fall asleep behind the wheel and die on these roads. Over every hill, there is something new to see!
These images are a small part of what I see as I drive between the grassy plains of Pompey’s Pillar and rocky peaks outside Stevensville, Montana.
Sit back, roll down the windows and take it all in.