FastTimes' Blog
Words and photos by Marc Landry | Toronto Sports Photographer


May 2, 2010

Shooting The Ontario Cup Downhill At Kelso


Today I got out to shoot the Ontario Cup downhill race at Kelso.  The race is organized by Peter Appleton of Sirbikealot Racing.  The forecast was calling for rain and thunderstorms but I had made up my mind to go anyway.  Inclement weather can make for great light. I’m used to shooting in bad weather and have complete confidence in my Nikon”s weather-sealing.  I have proper rain gear for all my other equipment as well.  At the end of the day, after only a few drops of rain fell, the only challenge was the scorching sun and humidity. Oh, and the huge tree that came crashing down on the course due to high winds.  You know, typical stuff.

Summer is my busiest season and I am pretty much booked until the snow flies. On any given weekend I have the option to shoot 4-5 events.   On the rare days I am not already contracted, I elect to shoot what is the most profitable such as running, moto or a triathlon. I base my decision on the prospect of selling shots from that event, either to publications, participants or sponsors.  My decision to shoot Kelso, or any other O-Cup for that matter, is based on my love for the sport and my desire to support the scene.  Other than the parents of the kids racing and the event organizer, no one is interested in shots from an O-Cup.  I go because I really enjoy the vibe and seeing familiar faces.  I raced there over a decade ago and enjoy coming back as a photographer.

I got to the venue early so I could park in the expo area.  I have a pile of gear and it really helps to be close to the car.  I only had about 30min between practice and the race to get all my gear repacked and charged. I hiked up the course and found a few good locations.  When shooting a race, I don’t change locations often.  There is a difference between covering a race from a photo-journalistic standpoint and shooting a race as an event, where your goal is to capture as many riders as possible.  I was doing the latter today.  Once I have my lighting setup I shoot there until I think I have a good shot of everyone before I move on.  It’s easy enough to saunter around when you are shooting available light but it’s a whole other matter when you need to position strobes.  It is also challenging to find a location on the course that will be flattering to a beginner rider as much as it would a pro.  A pro will typical look stylish on the simplest feature whereas a beginner can look awkward on just about anything.  I do my best to make people look good.  Today I focused on three spots that I thought showed different aspects of the course.   Here is a sampling of today’s shots.

All my shots from today are available in the FastTimes online store here:

If you want to have a professional photographer come to the races, please help support me by purchasing some prints.   You also have the option to purchase the file as a high-res download if you prefer.

Full Results available at Sirbikealot Racing.  See you at the races!

About the Author

Marc Landry is a Toronto, Ontario based action sports photographer. Honing his skills on local and World Cup cycling circuits, Marc has since expanded his subject matter to include several outdoor adventure sports. Marc is in his element when surrounded by the energy that top athletes radiate. The relationships he forms with his subjects is apparent in his images and is part of what defines his look. He is most at home in the mountains and his preference for long glass and elaborate lighting setups has become his signature style. Born and raised in Ottawa, Marc now lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter


  1. Forrest groves

    Great shots! I am looking through your gallery of may 2nd and can’t seem to find myself but would like to buy some prints, if you have a chance i was #950 a minime riding with a black troy lee suit steve peat troy lee helmet no goggles and a black norco bike thanks.

  2. Adam Donlan

    crazy photo’s ! i was wondering if you happened to capture any of me?
    my plate number is – 627 -

  3. Adam Donlan

    thanks a lot marc!

  4. Graeme Utter

    hey Marc, some great looking shots! wondered if you got any of me? plate 506, thor suit on saturday, kamikaze jersey sunday during race, white V10. let me know it’d be great!

  5. olivertwist

    beautiful pictures always!

  6. Mike Hermanovsky

    once again Marc, a bounty of spectacular shots!! thanks for coming out, hope to see you at a race again sometime soon.

  7. tyler maass

    hey marc man, just beautiful shots so impressed, if you could send the pics of me to my email that would be to sick! #190 i seen a couple in the shop but cant seem to locate the gallery to save them or anything so if you could man thanks alot or just hit me up with a link or something, hope to see you out again man so impressed!

  8. Dave Skea

    Great photos, but I couldn’t find any of my son, plate #1026. If you have any, can you please send me the link.
    Thanks, Dave

  9. Norm Pohl

    Your shots are amazing! I would be please to purchase any you would have of my son. Plate #610. Thank you very much

  10. Dave Marcoua

    Wow! Great photos! I raced in the super d on Saturday, plate #477 (purple vikings helmet) just wondering if you got one of me…

  11. Alan

    Nice shots you should put some on pinkbike you might get POD, i was wondering if you got any shots of me that i can buy, #1027 wearing a black monster jersey riding a Dobermann Pinscher
    Thanks, Alan

    • Hey Alan, thanks for the comments. I did get 2 shots of you but unfortunately they were not up to my standards for image sales. You looked great, it’s just a quality assurance on my end. If I am going to sell it has to be good!

  12. Alan

    Oh ok, is there anyway i could see them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>