If you’ve been to any big race you’re sure to have seen them, racing around, exhausted and never stopping for a break, no not the racers, we are talking about the photographers! In the hunt for that elusive shot, or to capture the feel of an event nobody works harder than the media teams. If you have ever wondered what they are carrying, the ENDURO team of photographers and Videographers will be sharing what’s in their bag, and some useful advice for those who want to get more into MTB media.
Ross Bell started his foray into mountain biking photography two years ago, focusing mainly on covering British National Downhill alongside the odd World Cup. He joined the ENDURO team in September and has been shooting everything from race coverage to product reviews and magazine features. Meet Ross and find out what he carries in his camera bag:
I picked up my first DLSR in 2013, but had been cycling for several years before hand so it was only natural that those two passions would eventually merge. I think seeing the work from the likes of Laurence Crossman-Emms and Duncan Philpott to name a few really drove me to pick up the camera and get along to the races… It quickly became an addiction and I’ve been obsessed with covering races and shooting sports in general ever since.
I’m fresh out of studying and still finding my feet so we can call my gear and kit list ‘minimal’. It does the job but I already have a definite list of equipment lined up for the coming years! My body is a second-hand 7D that is very worse for wear after three years of shooting in the finest British weather conditions, being crashed into, and rolling down an Italian hillside! As for lenses, I have the 70-200 f2.8 which is the workhorse lens for most of the MTB media circus, the 16-35 f2.8 and the £80 50mm which is a super fun lens for the price! Along with a reflector, a couple of cheap flashes and triggers that I have used a handful of times over the last year. Pretty basic kit which is looking a tad tired and screaming out for a service and upgrade, the two atop my shopping list are a full frame body and 15mm fisheye.
I’ve just changed over to Dakine’s Reload bag which from first impressions seems like a good choice, but we’ll see it’s true functionality when the race season comes along again. When on the hill I carry all my camera kit alongside some tools and spares to fix most problems I may encounter on the bike, with the basics such as food, water, and a waterproof jacket. I also find wearing knee pads pretty useful as they can make shooting a little more comfortable when in shooting in certain positions. I’d like to think I make the best of my gear, new kit certainly wouldn’t revolutionize my images but it would make my shooting more efficient. At the end of the day, it’s the photographer’s eye, not the camera that sees the photo. It has been very humbling at times seeing some of the incredible work being produced in the media rooms of the World Cups and EWS.
Some of Ross’ Work:
Stay tuned for the future installments of our new “What’s in the Bag” series in which our photographers and videographers unveil their camera gear.
Words & Photos: Ross Bell