Master of the Offroad Image

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Steve Behr is a legend in his own lifetime, one of the greats of cycling photography. Steve has kindly given us access to some of his favourite images, and talks us through them.

Whether you’re an MTB fan or not, these are a delight. Enjoy.

It’s not always easy to decide which pics to include in a request for a  "Pick your favourite shots and talk about them" type of feature.  On different days I'll have different choices; sometimes it'll be full frame full on action, others it might be more mellow bike in landscape. Or racing. Or dirt jumping… But the common thread I guess is always the rider.  To take great cycling pics it really helps to be shooting great cyclists. And I've been lucky enough over the years to work with a lot of great cyclists.  So when Vulpine asked me to include some of (Mtb legend and Vulpine employee) Dave Hemming in action, it led me to pull out a few pics of some of the exceptional riders I've worked with.  I soon realised that there have been way too many to include more than a few here, and there are some obvious omissions like Jason McRoy and Martyn Ashton, saved for another occasion. I've also ignored racing and other competition today.  So this is an eclectic choice of pics; some old, some new and a couple of random ones at the end that are either recent or just happened to take my fancy on a wet autumnal Tuesday morning in October.

 

Dave Hemming, Chamonix, early 1990's. Dave was one of the first riders I worked with regularly when I first started shooting mountain biking for MBUK magazine back in the late 1980's. We travelled a lot together, and my camera loved him. Dave had a flamboyant style, both in his riding and choice of clothing. Which usually translated into interesting pics! And he was a dream to work with, always going for big moves.  

 

Dave Hemming , The Common, , 2012.  This is a relatively recent pic of Dave in action. A little more toned down in style both clothing and riding wise, but still nailing it, and great to shoot. This is on my local common, not the best riding in the world but good fun and a handy location for many pics over the  years. 

 

Steve Peat, Spain late 1990's.  It was really hard to choose a single pic of Steve Peat to include. I have a lot of favourites of Steve, and went for this one from a magazine feature trip.  So stylish, so in control; nothing fazed him, everything was doable. A pleasure to shoot. 

 

Rob Warner , Swinley Forest. Rob and I both live not too far from Swinley, and occasionally meet up there to shoot or just ride. This was a couple of years ago, in the jump gully; I wanted to include a pic of Swinley and one of Rob, so this ticks both boxes. Rob still cutting it on his Giant Anthem 29'er, quite a few feet higher than many riders on much beefier bikes. 

 

Steve Worland, somewhere foreign, mid 1990's. Cycling lost a legend this year with the passing of Steve. We were thrown together in the early days of MBUK magazine, and spent many years as friends and colleagues; working, shooting, riding and talking. A great person and a great rider. A great loss.

 

 

Ashton Court , Bristol , Summer 2014.  This was taken during the Bristol Bikefest Steve Worland memorial "drink a cider and ride a lap for Steve" event this summer. It reminds me of the day, sunny and showery with some good riding with good friends in a place that Steve Worland loved. 

 

Grant "Chopper" Fielder, Hampshire 2013. Chopper is a great rider too. He's far better known for his airtime, but he is stylish on any bike and I've included this pic because it looks foreign but is actually pretty local. Sometimes you can get interesting shots in the least likely places by picking different angles. This is one of those times. Plus it reminds me of summer. 

 

Rob Weaver, Bikepark Wales , Spring,2014.  Rob is always excellent to work with, and we've done many shoots over the years from his student days in the early part of the millennium to his MBUK magazine days in the present.  This is another one chosen as a reminder of nice weather! And it has bluebells. 

 

Sam Behr, Surrey,  Autumn 2011. What’s the point of having kids unless you can pressgang them into posing for cycling photographs?  I guess this one is in today because its autumnal, and I ought to get with the season and stop going on about summer…. 

 

Unknown rider, New Forest. October 2014.  I've chosen this one to close because it’s the most recent cycling pic I've taken.  I was doing a landscape photography day in the New Forest last week, trying out some new Canon and Manfrotto gear. (Very nice it all was too).  I was searching for inspiration when this guy rode past; I had time to grab a few shots and I like the feel of this one. It made me realise that I prefer taking landscape pics when there are bicycles in them.

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