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


April 25, 2011

Shooting The Ontario Cup Downhill #1 At Kelso


This weekend was the season opener for the Ontario Cup downhill series at Kelso.  You know this is where my passion lies when I am more excited to go shoot it than Sea Otter or any other big event I normally shoot around this time of year.  I love this race!  I loved racing it in my day and I love seeing the new racers look down the course with the same excitement I once did with my buds. The people are what make this race – the whole series for that matter. I always look forward to seeing everyone and it’s become a sort of tradition.  You can always count on Pete and the friendly staff at Sirbikealot Racing greeting you with a big smile.  That Shane Joachim will be at the race, racing or not, supporting the scene in any way he can and that Bill Graham will have a cold beer for you.  You know Rob Fraser is there to win and that Terry Leimonis and Taylor Rowlands will go BIG – never disappointing a screaming crowd. You can bank on the fact that Jeff Faulds will enter and likely win every single category a person can.  I wouldn’t miss this race for the world.

The forecast was originally calling for rain both days but like with every forecast as of late, it changed as race day grew closer. I was set to go no matter the weather but it sure was nice to stand in the sun and shoot on Saturday.  I don’t always make it to practice days but I’m glad I made it to this one.  It was a much nicer day than Sunday and I had a blast shooting the big floater.  I got some great shots there last year and once I got positioned there this year, the word got out fast.  It wasn’t’ long before everyone was sending it.  I wanted to move around on the course more but didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  There’s nothing worse than a rider going big for the lens, then seeing that you have changed spots – so I stayed put.  Word also got out that I was after a killer scrub shot this year and Josh Toohill stepped up to the plate with this insane scrub.  This shot went on to become Picture of the Day on Pinkbike on April 29th 2011.  I haven’t had a POD since this shot of Mike Hermanovsky in 2009.

Josh Toohill – scrubbing it so clean

Jeremy Lavigne – CORE Gravity Team

Rob Carmichael – the camera loves RC

Race day was a bit of a crap-shoot weather-wise.  It was overcast for most of the day, which I normally like, but without cover from the trees I was really at the mercy of the open sky – scrambling to make exposure adjustments with every cloud or sunny break.  The race is a bit earlier this year and our spring is much later so the foliage isn’t as lush as is normally is.  I liked the green backdrop of the jump from the previous day but all the other locations where dead and sparse looking.  I find this sort of backdrop looks at its worse when overexposed so I decided to drop the ambient light a bit and use some flash on the racers to pull them out.  It warmed things up a bit and brought out more of the gold colours from the forest floor.  I shot a little corner-drop then made my way up to try some shots of the rock-drop.  Here are a few shots from each.

Brandon Cassell – always on his game

Matt Cummings – Adrenaline Racer / ToWheels

Grant Nichol – Primary/SRAM/Trek

Jeff Faulds – Silent Norco Racing

For the race itself, I decided to hit up the big floater again.  I knew I would get e decent shot of everyone there.  The light was on/off the whole afternoon – rolling clouds that changed the light dramatically by up to 3 stops between shots. I altered between full strobes, fill flash and 100% ambient as the conditions dictated.  I’m pretty happy with how things turned out.  Here are some shots from the race.

Terry Leimonis – Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny`s CC

Brandon Cassell – Adrenaline Racer / ToWheels

Huge thanks to Pete, Lee, Kris, Greg and all the team at Sirbikealot Racing. You guys did a bang-up job as always. Also big thanks to the Core and Adrenaline Racer teams for displaying my website on their jerseys.  You guys rock!  What I liked most about this race were that parents and racers came up to introduce themselves to me.  I really enjoy meeting my customers face to face so that I can convey my appreciation in person. Great to meet all of you! Thanks to all the racers who are buying prints and supporting me so that I can make it out to these races for you guys.

All my images from the race are available here in the FastTimes online store.

I apologize for the huge logo on the images in the online store but because some people have tried to use them without my permission, I had no choice. I know it’s harder to see yourselves in some cases. I do go through each shot and I don’t post blinkers or awkward faces. These aren’t just batch processed and dumped online, I go through each shot. They are all tack sharp and will print up beautifully.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to drop me a line and I will be happy to help you with whatever you need. You can use the” Email to a Friend” button to send me the image(s) in question- use landry(at) as the recipient’s email address. Just enter your questions in the notes.

Also wanted to add that there is a “standard image retouching” option available when you order an image. This is normally used for my portrait work but if there is something about an image you would like “Photoshopped” simply add this option and send me some instructions. A prime example would be removing a lone spectator in your shot such as this.

Please “like” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter to stay up to date with my photography and links to images.

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


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