Weekend cyclocross races in New England are all-day events that take place under the picturesque skies typical for New England. One of the oldest cyclocross race weekends has been held in Northampton, Massachusetts for the last 26 years. Fall weather often varies. This year, it was dry and seasonably cool under a cloudless sky that made for harsh early afternoon light until the sun finally went behind the trees. Then it was almost dark -- sunset seems to arrive more suddenly after the end of Daylight Saving Time. What to do? I found interesting shady places until the light was more appealing and then used fill flash to make the photographs capture small moments of time...
Over the last few years, I have made a handful of contacts within the cyclocross universe, mostly journeymen competitors who ride for boutique teams. The grassroots backbone of cyclocross are the smaller teams who do not receive an equal share of media attention. Because of easier access and open reception, relationships are formed. It is these relationships that provide the purpose for my 'cross photography. My purpose for being there is as much to greet my friends as to document their racing efforts. It took me a while to figure this out, but it adds to getting the "must have" photographs (race start, first lap madness, strategic moments, finish and podium) the opportunity to make environmental portraits that tell a story about both the event and the participants.
Ironically, this approach tends to create more failures than successful photographs. I returned with 400 in-camera images that were quickly reduced to less than half before image review and editing had even begun. While I'm not searching for the perfect photograph, I am looking to create meaningful photographs. This has led me to an unexpected discovery not only about my work as a photographer, but also about myself - a personal journey.
Thanks for reading.
See ya next week,