Having a Ball at Thredbo

Every year the gravity keen mountain bike community heads to the mountains for some of the best village atmosphere and partake in the biggest slope fed event in Australia.

For 2017 nearly 800 riders ascended on Thredbo Village for the Thredbo MTB Cannonball Festival and for the first time Outer Image provided competitor images for all courtesy of Thredbo MTB.  It has been a great 4 days of racing with a variety of all mountain, pump track, flowing enduro, downhill and aerial acrobatics of whip wars.

Day 4 saw the main event run as riders competed for the title of wearelusty Australian Downhill Open under perfect summer sunshine in the mountains.  Troy Brosnan and Tegan Malloy took those titles convincingly and as the sun set on another great year the celebrations kicked off.

Big thank you to all the riders who complimented our work from the previous events this weekend, you can now download all your images from all events in the galleries.  The password to download images from all events is “thredbomtb”

Cannonball MTB: Rockshox Pump Track Challenge

After a great start to racing on day 1, riders took to the mountain for seeding runs in the wearelusty Downhill Australian Open.  Runs were hampered a bit by the weather with sporadic rain but the track is holding up well and riders are looking forward to race runs on Sunday.

In the evening the Village was taken over by crowds and the excitement of the ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge, as the event built in energy the daylight slowly dipped behind the peaks.

After the seedings runs were completed the action really heated up with the head to head knockout competition saw the top eight riders in the elite and U19 men/women battled out for bragging rights.

Jump over to the galleries to see all the action from the pump track.

Rockin’ the Resort

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With the sounds of wake boats on the river, kids playing in the park and fantastic views from on the hill and you could be confused that Rocky Trail Entertainment had jumped shipped and taken all the #RockyTrailRacer ‘s to some far off resort.  Well they did, Del Rio Resort in fact. and with the great camping and wicked trails on offer no one was left disappointed that we did not just sit in the pool drinking margaritas.

Round 2 held out at the township of Wiseman’s Ferry was a step up in challenge for riders as the trails are a little more challenging and the vertical drops a little bigger than Killingworth.  Throw in some hot 35C weather and plenty of dust making for some great late summer racing.  150 strong riders had nothing but praise for the trail-work put in by so many led by no other than Jo Fox and Dave G-man Grupe.  Great work gang, shame Dave’s torn ACL gave out pre-race but Foxies course runs produced another win to make up for it.  Congrats to everyone else who had a good result.

This is the first time that Rich and Gil have shot at Del Rio for Rocky Trail believe it or not and the tracks offered plenty of places to sit and hide trail side waiting for the adrenaline junkies to fly past.  We look forward to the downhill series hitting this location again later on in the year so we can shoot all the stuff we didn’t get to this time.

Maybe at the next round we can convince Martin to bring some post-race margaritas and make up for teasing us with these races being held at resorts where most people go to relax and unwind. I like mine shaken not blended Martin 🙂

Cheers Gil, Richard.

You can find the full gallery of images here

Its Dark when you Solo

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Its been a week now since the 2014 Australian Solo 24hr Nationals were run and won in partnership with Rocky Trail Entertainments JetBlack 24 at Mt Annan trails in Sydney. Winners Jason English and Tory Thomas winning both the national titles and the right to wear the Yellow and Gold for a a year as the national champions in the discipline. One of the staggering numbers from this event is the number of laps achieved by Jason with 36laps of a 9.8km loop and female winner Tory not far behind with 33 a feat which would have put her about 5th overall against all the men.

What also impressed us, besides the new trail work at Mt Annan, was the number of people wanting to come out and test themselves mate against mate and on the course. Numbers for the event were 400 strong with over 100 of those riders riding solo. For the photographers of Outer Image this is one of the ideal events for a variety of shooting conditions. Not only do we get to see the riders over and over again on the looping track but we get to see them throughout a variety of light conditions from full bright sun, evening sunset to complete darkness only to reverse this order again the next day. A photographers dream.

During the event we see many stages of riders energy levels. Now after talking to quite a few post race and via emails its nice to know our presence of music, words of encouragement and “wow I didn’t see you” wake-up calls were helpful.  But on a more serious note, we are always impressed with how happy the riders remain even when exhausted, covered in a thick layer of sunscreen and dust pushing through the pain barriers. It puts our job at hand in perspective as we tire and sometimes struggle with the gear we carry to find new and interesting photo perspectives.  It drives us to continue to find and capture images that will inspire others and allow riders to have a memento of their efforts.

As we settle down for the year we have pretty much finished this year’s events and will be just working on personal projects and preparing ideas for next year. We would love to hear from the #rockytrailracers on anything.  We are always looking for new ways to improve our skills and bring you some of the best mtb photography out there in Australia. What better way to do that then hear directly from those that matter, you.  So if you every want to chat we are always eager to here what you have to say maybe over a cold drink or out on the trails while riding (hopefully there is more time for a bit of that now the year is done) or even just send us a message through here or facebook.

Have a great break and if we don’t see you until next year when the Rocky Trail event series kicks off again with the AMB 100 in Stromlo, Canberra then enjoy that summer sunshine, you have experienced enough darkness during the JetBlack 24hr.

Rider images can be viewed here by searching your race number.

Cheers Gil and Richard.

Rocky Trailers, we thank you.

Rocky Trailers

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Faster and faster we go, another year another series done but with all the memories experienced and captured in this years Rocky Trail Entertainment Shimano MTB GP we can hardly wait until 2015.  Its been quite an experience getting to know every twist and turn of this series and the faces that appear out of the dust, mud spattered and grinning ear to ear.  We have seen some funny moments, some crashes and some low-sugar survival mode zombies but a lap later that zombie is gone replaced with the determined, powering “Rocky-Trailer” we have come to know by so many names.

Martin, Juliane, Graham, Charlie, Max, Peter, Nigel, Chris, Paris, James, Callum, Andrew, Kirby, Ed, Eliza, Jamie, Wendy, Sara, Laura, Michael, Kevin, Spencer, Grantley, Jo, Jackson, Michal, Ondrej……. the list is endless.

For us its not about who is the fittest, who had the fastest lap or who beat who we will leave that up to the athletes.  It is all about being there in the dust, in the scorching sun supplying the local Culicidae with a fresh supply of blood just so we can say yes we saw that, we got it and now you can relive that moment too. We love photographing these amazing locations with the unique terrain and lighting conditions on offer from the sunny vineyards of James Estate, the dark forests of Ourimbah and Awaba to the relentless rocks of Stromlo.  Every round we push ourselves to find new images on tracks that are truly etched into your riding-psyche not settling on the first corner, first jump or closest rock, we hope we have achieved that for you.

What we didn’t plan on was the friendships we made along the way, between ourselves and with everyone we have had the time to stop and talk to while working the angles, looking for the right moment and after all the racing is done.  We want to thank you all who make our job easier and have a little fun out on the course for our benefit.    Its people like Nigel Jefferys and his wonderful ability to pull a wheelie, “Very entertaining Nigel :)”  Peter Selkrig being one of our “time to move to new location” counters with his fluro-kit.  “Thanks Peter we look forward to 2015 colours.”  Eliza Kwan and her energizer-bunny style and smile, “Thanks Eliza we cannot help but smile back.”

 

If you raced at this years series a big congratulations and thank you for your support, we would love to hear any feedback of any kind on what you feel would make 2015 even better yet.  If you have not raced a Rocky Trail event and are reading this and checking out the images we can promise you will not be disappointed in becoming a Rocky-Trail rider.  Come on down the trails are just right…. rocky.

Cheers Gil and Richard.

Mountain Adventure

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As adventure-sports photographers we get to be a part of so many great events and over last weekend we got to add another one to our growing list, the Kathmandu Adventure Series held in the Blue Mountains national park.  The event run by Maximum Adventure is not our first of this style but the location at Euroka Clearing, just a few minutes away from Glenbrook NSW is new for us.  Great location, great event and great weekend.  Richard and I arrived Friday to scout some of the course and then got to enjoy minus degree Celsius temperatures and with what appeared to be some sleet.   Top this off with some new lookouts for us to gaze out from atop during sunset and sunrise made a top weekend and the event had not even started yet.

The event kicked off the next morning with a bang as competitors raced out in every possible direction from the start line picking up orienteering check points as they ran.  Trying to photograph this chaotic charge of energized adventurers trying to warm up limbs in the cold is no easy feat.  You cannot plan where they will go, attempts to do so proved fruitless, and if you sit and wait they seem to all arrive at your chosen vantage point at once creating a busy frame.  Things after that proved a little less challenging as they headed out on mountain bike and foot along single tracks to reach the further ends of the course.  From here they either paddled their kayak or took up another run leg along some cool gullies with fresh running water bubbling away in the background.

One thing I witnessed was the chatter and relaxed, fun attitude people were having out on the course.  Of course there were many focused on the win, a personal-best or simply beating their mates which is great to see but what followed really showed what these events are all about, getting outdoors.  This was evident that evening sitting upon Nepean river lookout, laughing at jokes about the days event while cooking dinner that night, its not the end result and winning that matters its the journey and the experiences getting there and appreciating them while there.

Go check out the full galleries here

Until next event, enjoy.

Gil – Richard.

 

Sydney Trail Series – Kamay

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Kamay Botany Bay national park is situated on the southern coast of Sydney where the sun shines, the air is fresh and scenery is spectacular.  These were the conditions for the Sydney Trail Series Kamay run held on Saturday May 10th and Outer Image were blessed to be on course photographing the day for Big Run Events, our newest member to our client family.

Trail runners are an invigorated bunch race ready and full of smiles on the start line come 7am, nothing was going to ruin their day on the trails.  If you have not run at Kamay before then it comes highly recommended by everyone we talked to in the lead up to this event and afterwards.   The spectacular views from the cliff tops as you head south from the suburb of Kurnell running on open sandstone ledges, thru waste high scrub full of winter colour and out past the Cape Baily lighthouse are breath-taking.  This race has a something for everyone and with three distances of 7, 10 and 20km’s on offer you could choose your level of pleasure or effort.

What was also a great about this course is the diversity of scenery, it wasn’t just wind-swept open cliffs but the beautiful rain forests, swampy flats and the odd sand dune climb that really surprised us in such a compact national park.  The national parks are great for permitting events such as this in their parks as it makes more people aware of the area as many competitors will undoubtedly return with families to casually enjoy a sunny walk, I know we will.

If you are looking for more or different running events, we suggest you check out the Big Run Events website, www.bigrunevents.com.au as they have some local and very remote runs that will challenge everyone regardless of skill.

A big thanks to Laura and Greg, their team and the smiles from all the runners on course.

The full gallery can be found on our website here

 

Bunnies attack Awaba

Last weekend Outer Image Collective founders Gil and Richard had the privilage of shooting their first event under the new Outer Image banner and a what a great event to kick this off, the Rocky Trail Entertainments Shimano MTB GP.  A mouthful to say the least but so were the handfuls of chocolate eggs being handed out at the rego tent…. MTB riding and choccy great combo for some great images.  Also thankful for the sugar hit from the choccy eggs was Richard who had only returned from Europe the day before and was struggling with jetlag, but soldier he did and nabbed some great images… we may be onto something here.

After chatting to a few riders pre-race about photos and these riders expressing that they want new shots, new angles, new whatever just make it new.  Well this can be a struggle sometimes as we are always in need of capturing race plate numbers so cannot just shoot anywhere, tougher still some numbers get pushed way up by brake and gear cables making them impossible to capture.   We like to think we provided some great shots this round and if any of the Facebook comments and emails we have received are to go buy then we have done just that.

Sarah Neumann:  ” Fantastic photos 🙂 ”  – Facebook
David Land: “Firstly wanted to say that the photos from Round 1 on Monday are excellent!” – email
James Lamb: “… these photos are by far the best I’ve ever seen from a mountain bike race.” – Facebook

Also Richard and I would like to let all the Rocky Trail riders know that we are giving out some prizes this year for the Shimano MTB GP series.  We enjoy the series so much and are very appreciative of all who have supported us last year buying images that we want to give back.   So the following prizes are available for 2013.

1. To the rider who purchase the most images throughout the complete series will win a large scale print of any picture of themselves from any round.  *In case you are not so vain to have a large print of your smiley face on a wall at home, we will happily exchange this for a $50 gift voucher for any image off either Gil’s or Richard’s website galleries.  We have many landscape images both Australia and world wide.

2. To the series winners of the 7-hour solo male and female categories, we will be offering a photo shoot with us shooting some great riding and enviromental portrait shots, with this you will receive one large scale print of your choice and the rest of the images in digital format.   ** Images are for personal use and cannot be resold, gifted or used without OuterImage written consent.

So with the sugar rush gone and round 2 at a new venue, a vinyard – lookout, Richard and I are working on plans for some great image ideas and more.  Well done to all the riders who finished on the podium and to all the rest who just had a great time, we will see you again soon.

cheers Gil and Richard.

2013 Shimano MTB GP

It is only a week out to the first round of the 2013 Shimano MTB GP series held by Rocky Trail Entertainment.  Outer Image will be on course shooting the event each and every round throughout the year.  It was great fun covering last years series but this year we will be looking for unique and different shots for riders that make this event so great.  Richard unfortunately will not be shooting with me this time as he is enjoying shooting and relaxing in sunny Europe he will be on course with me for round 2, lucky guy.

The dictionary describes the word Nirvana as “a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world”, what better way to describe the enojoyment riders will have at round 1  at Awaba on March 2nd.  The never ending twists and turns should work everyone into a state of focus, lets just hope that the rain doesn’t repeat from the weekend gone by.  I will be out scouting the course on Friday so if taking in a practice lap or just hanging at camp then say hello always great to put names to the faces I see in the viewfinder and have a chat.

I have added a small collection of favourites from last years series, see you out there and ride hard.

cheers Gil.

 

Single Track Mind – Rydal

Over the weekend we headed out to Rydal to see what the action was like at the Chocolate Foot’s Single Track Mind series and we were impressed. We wanted to see what other MTB event companies were doing and shoot at some new trails. Rydal is a tiny country town with only a dozen houses maybe and a exhibition oval on top of the hill. The trails here are quite new, being only two years old and the members of the Central Tablelands MTB Club are very enthusiastic about what they have achieved there. Rightly so, the 9km circuit used for the day is single-track nirvana, not only is it in some beautiful gum tree forests, which will never be logged, but there is never more than 20metres of straight trail.

As for shooting, we were very fortunate to have some thick cloud cover for most of the day providing very soft and even light eliminating the harsh shadows and requiring loads of flash to balance out. Because of the large number of trees and shin high grass in places getting low with a long 200mm lens made for some great shots. A few dead tree roots were built up to give the more adventurous or experienced rider something to fly off but many showed off for the camera and had some fun.

The course runs along top of a ridge-line in a large loop from the grounds where everyone had set up camps and fires obviously coming out the night before and enjoying the cool fresh air that only the outdoors can provide. Joe and Fiona of Chocolate Foot put on a great race and had plenty of praise for this course.  As usual, the MTB community are a tight knit group who love the sport and the outdoors, if you haven’t attended one of their events or simply the Rydal event check it out, you wont be disappointed.