Despite appearances to the contrary on this 'ere blog, I've been pretty busy over the summer. So much so that, a couple of months back, I scored three magazine covers in a single month. And here they are.
1. MBUK, Sep 2011
Easily one of my favourite covers of the year, this is a stream crossing shot with a dramatic vibe courtesy of some punchy Photoshop pre-press by the guys at MBUK. Although the contrast, colours and sky are completely OTT, I love it. It's unusual to see a frozen water-splash on a cover, but it adds a certain something (and it just happens to be shot on one of my all-time favourite trails - Smith's Combe in the Quantocks).
2. What Mountain Bike, Aug 2011
Two rider cover shots are very hard to get right. There's not much space to cram both bikes and riders in, it's hard to avoid the second rider getting lost behind cover furniture, and then there's the timing to worry about. Still, this one came together very nicely. With a British summer theme and a location I'd come across previously on a route guide shoot (the patchwork quilt background is subtle but a vital part of the shot's overall feel), I shot a number of variations on the same theme. The longer lens shots brought the background forward more, but the dynamism of this wide shot won the day.
3. Cycle, Aug-Sep 2011
This is a stock image from several years ago. In fact, it was the first time I'd used my D2X for a commissioned shoot and, in the event, I was glad I did. Shot in mid summer in Cumbria, the weather on this day was gloomy and overcast. Out in the open I was fine at middling ISO values, but here under the trees the only way I could get a shot was to crank the ISO to 800, the aperture wide open to f/2.8 and keep my hand steady at around 1/200sec at the long end of my 80-200mm. These days it's a shot I wouldn't think twice about, but the D2X was maxed out at ISO800 and I had to use some careful - and fairly heavy - noise reduction at the raw processing stage. Even so, it's a nice shot and proof that you don't need the latest gear to produce commercially viable images.