When I first started documenting the downhill scene in Ontario, I made it a point to attend virtually every toonie race and riding session going. I really enjoyed it and that is where the roots of downhill in Ontario lie. The past few years have been some of my busiest on record and shooting these events is one of the things I have sadly had to let slide. This was one of my first free weekends all summer and I was keen to get back to shooting with some of my favorite local riders. With the Ontario Cup downhill series up in the air for next year, I really wanted to make sure I got out and showed the guys that, no matter the situation next season, we were going to be ok. These are the guys that define the series whether someone is keeping score or not. This is the scene!
The Fall is my favorite time of year to shoot in Ontario. Perfect temperatures and gorgeous foliage make it a great time to be in the woods with your buds, riding. There is only a 2-3 week window to get the killer stuff and really only one week were it is at its peak. This just may have been that weekend north of the city but we are not quite there in town. It was still a beautiful day and the colours were great with just enough to provide a warm glow. This is the 4th year Anton and Mike have put on this event and just like the Dagmar and Shithouse events, it’s become a classic in the underground scene. I’ve shot there before a few times and the location itself has been around since I worked for GT here in Canada. We used to head up and ride XC there after work some 15 years ago. It’s morphed almost yearly with BMX, MX and MTB riders building there and seemingly coexisting in their effort to have a local spot to ride. Every few years the city rolls in and levels everything but thanks to guys like Mike and Anton, the builds are resurrected.
It’s a dark forest and any light that gets though the canopy creates hotspots on the forest floor. That’s just how it is there and you have to roll with it. I took the opportunity to try my Elinchrom Rangers for this shoot. These are a good bunch of guys and they were more than happy to help be my Sherpas for the extra gear. The Ranger packs worked flawlessly and I was able to shoot all day on a single charge. I used both packs with the Varistar Umbrellas. The Rangers produced a nice, broad light with soft shadows. I used the Rangers in conjunction with my Pocket Wizard MiniTT1, AC3 ZoneController and PowerST4. Being able to control the strobes output from my camera was priceless but there were still issues with misfires from one or more strobes. Still haven’t got to the bottom of what is causing this but I really hate to miss shots due to this sort of thing. The reliability of the MultiMax is what keeps guys going back to this proven system. You press the button, the strobes go off – every time! I was really happy with the shoot and the resulting images. Thanks for the great day, guys!
Big thanks to Mike, Anton and all the rippers who came out for the day. Thanks to Bill, Jer, Jeff, Steve and everybody that helped with my gear. It was a blast shooting with you guys! See you at Turkey Session 2012! Plenty more shooting left his year so get digging!
Don’t be discouraged if your pic didn’t make it into my photo report, I’m really particular when selecting images. I’ll get you all some shots!