June 7, 2015 JT

Behind The Shoot – GT Fury At Silverstone

As far a shots go, this one is quite niche: a mountain bike on the podium at Silverstone Grand Prix track? Two sporting legends in their own field, but neither bares much relation to each other unless you happen to know something about downhill mountain biking and motor racing.

There was no real commercial or editorial opportunity surrounding this shot; it was purely a case of two guys who happen to like both the aforementioned sports, combined with the audacity to blag their way backstage.

one thing lead to another and we found ourselves walking the Champagne stained carpet of F1 legends before us

To be honest there wasn’t much blagging going on – the staff at Silverstone were super helpful and couldn’t have been a nicer bunch of people. So I’d like to extend a huge thanks to them for allowing this.

At the time I was working as a cycling journalist at BikeRadar, a company whose main focus is bike tech. It wasn’t unusual for us to head to bike shows to shoot photos of the latest products and this one, ‘The Bike Show’ (not sure where they came up with the name) was in the main stand at Silverstone. Myself and Chris, a marketing guy for the company who distributes GT Bikes got chatting, one thing lead to another and we found ourselves walking the Champagne stained carpet of F1 legends before us.

The shot itself is wide angle (10mm) to capture the whole bike, moody looking sky and the Silverstone grandstand. The lens was a 10-20mm Sigma used at ISO200, f8 at 1/250 sec – so nothing extraordinary there.

IMG_6497-un-edThis image was edited in Lightroom only, and looking at the original you can see the sky on the right hand side is pretty much exposed correctly; making the bike on the left look a bit dark. Two of Lightroom’s graduated filters took care of the zones. A bit of colour correction, balancing and a crop to 16:9 aside, the image didn’t take a lot of work to get to the final product.

If you’re shooting an image like this, it’s really important not to over expose the sky. It’s a lot easier pull details out of the shadows in post than trying to recover a blown out sky.

I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to get back to the home of British motorsports and shoot more… but maybe sticking to ‘four wheels’ is a better idea.


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