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Cyclocross Photography with Brian Vernor
Brian Vernor has been busy this year. Aside from using his photography skills to shoot for Easton, Giro and Peloton Magazine, Brian went to South America with Jason Sager and the Jamis Mountain Bike team to shoot the Trans Andes Challenge mountain bike race. Most recently Brian gathered together the friends and family of his Cyclocross racing and shooting life and put together an art show at the Rapha Cycle Club San Francisco based around the North Cal. Cyclocross scene. While the Facebook Cyclocross Photo Competition has come to an end the racing and photographing will continue on for a few months more. Take a look at Brian's response to our short questions (and also check out Chris Milliman and Dan Sharp's) and then make sure to head over and vote for your favorite supporter photo for one day more.
What was the first race that you shot?
I wouldn't say it was serious, but I shot some Surf City races in 1997. Justin Robinson rode for Lemond Bikes.
What differentiates shooting Cross from other Cycling sports?
Intimacy with the effort. If the fans can get as close to the action as the photographer (unlike road racing) then we have to do something more than just be there. The photos have to elevate the moment, or be more potent than reality. If we just record an action then we've failed.
What is your favorite format to shoot with?
I like working with multiple formats. I often have a medium format camera and some super basic 35mm cameras slung over my shoulder at the same time. If I'm working on a magazine story about cross I think having some squares and some rectangles to play with is really nice for the layout. I shoot some Super 8 for motion and that is usually my favorite.
Let's do the word association game… first few words that come to mind when you think of Cyclocross? Quick!
Sideways. Hairy legged fur-face. Robinson. Tonkin.
Do you have one particular racer, or category that you like to shoot?
I am trying very hard to find the drama in the women's races. That story isn't told enough. However, it's not as easy as it sounds. The parity of the men's field is missing in women's racing here in the States. Regardless, the women at the top are amazing athletes and I'm psyched on some of the racing I've seen so far this year. Sue Butler is intense.
Muddy and sloppy or dry and fast? (That's a bike racing question.)
Muddy and fast have always made sense to me.
What is it like to shoot the European Cyclocross Races vs. The USA?
I use the scene at races as a kind of architecture. There are simply many more shapes to work with in Europe. American races like Starcrossed and Gloucester are really nice because the courses have more shapes, and a lot of people are there watching (people=shapes). Richard Fries had a dream of running the US National Championships in downtown Boston, and that alone would have been better for US cross than if Page had won the World Championships in 2007. The non-cyclocross public would have been fascinated and compelled by the scene.
Any tips that you might have for photographers aspiring to shoot Cyclocross?
Allow the time to think about the course and what you find beautiful or hard about it. What you see in the place is more important than anything else. The race and who wins is a very small part of making a good cyclocross photo.
- RT @IonaNiDhalaigh: Yahhh mountain jersey in the bag!!! Nice one @mike_cuming!!! @raphacondor http://t.co/GrGqSL0Kgl
- RT @CondorWarehouse: Nice to see the @raphacondor JLT team bike on display @campagnolosrl HQ with so many top pro teams http://t.co/5CgE0tY…
- RT @anpostras: GC after Stage 4: Bialoblocki,, McConvey, Guldhammer, Handley, Pelletier-Roy, Hunal, Simon Yates, Fodor, Roger Aiken, Archbo…
- Spare a thought for @Porterelliott who punctured out of the yellow jersey group, when will he get some luck!
- Took the @anpostras on today. Didn't quite pull it off. @RichHandley90 4th on GC and @mike_cuming in the KoM jersey.
- Tour series update from Stoke up on the site http://t.co/aVdcnGnkOX
- RT @elstopbanana: Here's Kristian House @raphacondor at last night's @TourSeries picture by Sue Howlett Great racing! @SoTCityCouncil http:…
- RT @sticky_bottle: Meant to say, to be eligible for the @raphacondor team car compeition you have to be a stickybottle twitter follower!
- RT @sticky_bottle: OK folks; nice morning for it. To win a day in the Rapha Condor JLT team car on the Rás last stage, Sunday, just retweet…
- Third team overall for the Men in Black at Stoke last night in the @TourSeries