Privateer 4 will be in the shops shortly. i've already got my copy and, despite being a cynical old hack in bike mag terms (having worked on them for over 15 years now), I think it's amazing. If you haven't already seen it, do track a copy down (or, better still, subscribe). It's almost certainly like nothing you've seen before and full of good stuff.
it even smells good (I'm not making that up, by the way).
The new issue also has my first full-blown Privateer words-and-pictures feature, called Cheeky Trails. It's the culmination of a project I actually began about three years ago for another (now defunct) mountain bike mag, looking at trail access laws and restrictions in the UK. Yeah, I know, that sounds dull. It isn't, I promise. And, of course, because it's something that sounds dull it presented me with a fascinating conundrum, photographically speaking. To wit, what, precisely, should I photography to illustrate it?
In the end I took a two-pronged approach. Since I was talking to three experts on UK trail access, I spent some time photographing them. In mono, because Privateer gives me that kind of flexbility.
But because trails - specifically, illegal trails - are the feature's raison d'etre, we decided there should be some pictures of those, too. Which begs the question: how to photograph a trail... beautifully? In the end I treated it a bit like a landscape job, although I managed to incorporate a (blurry) rider in a few of the pics. Slowing down to look in detail at the landscape made me appreciate it all the more, though I resisted the urge to put the camera on a tripod (I've always found they restrict me too much, because I like to be able to move around without having to reset everything). I got rather good at hand-holding 1/8 sec shutter speeds, in fact. And I processed the resulting images in different ways, to suit the mood, location and lighting.
It was fun. It's good to try different things sometime. Keeps it all fresh.
Here are a few of the pics that didn't make the final cut. For the rest, run in all their glory across double page spreads with no copy to detract from them, you'll have to track down a copy of the mag...
Nikon D3, 14-24mm f//2.8, 1/60sec f/8 @ ISO200
Nikon D3, 200mm f/2, 1/800sec f/2 @ ISO200
Nikon D3, 14-24mm f/2.8, 1/10sec f/10 @ ISO200