The new MBUK thudded onto my doormat just before the weekend... and it's got one of my pictures on the cover. This is one of my favourite MBUK cover shots for a while, featuring ace rider Mike Smith, a Whyte something-or-other... and a whole load of bracken. It's very British and very summery, right down to the puff of dust being kicked up by Mike's rear wheel.
Nikon D3, 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/250sec f/6.3 @ ISO200, two radio slaves
It was also a lot of fun to shoot. I've probably mentioned before that UK magazine covers tend to be rather formulaic. On the face of it, that should make things easier, right? There's a check list of things that all need to be right, so you can be sure as you're working that you've got a shot that'll fit.
Well yes... and no. In practice a prescriptive cover style can end up being a bit like a visual straitjacket. Recently, though, a complete contents page-up redesign on MBUK has liberated the cover a little, giving the mag's art ed - and me - a bit of creative leeway on this one. Summery green was the theme, so off we went looking for plenty of bracken fonds. This was the last shot of the day and I wasn't entirely sure I could pull it off, because I couldn't see Mike as he approached the corner at a rate of knots. I had to pre-position my camera where I thought he would emerge, listen carefully, then match his speed and squeeze off a single shot as he turned in.
The out of focus bracken in the foreground adds depth to what could otherwise have been a fairly flat image... and although there's no blue sky (or even any sky at all) in shot you can just tell it's summer.
I'm often my own worst critic, but I like this shot a lot and it'll be finding its way into the tearsheet section of my portfolio. That's always a good feeling...