Fast and flowing single track on the descent from Peaking Ridge, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (1/50th @f5.6 ISO 800 10-22mm @ 13mm Canon 7D)

So, I recently got to shoot on the South Island of New Zealand and headed up the area around Nelson. We had a 5 day window and the weather was universally appalling, with rain every day. However, not to be put off we rode, explored and soaked up the water and the cold each day returning to dry out and heat up.

It is always an interesting prospect to find new trails and locations in a new spot, but the usual grilling of local bike shop staff gave us a headstart and we headed into the forests on day 1 looking for a ridge line called Peaking Ridge, described as 80% ridable. Thank you Stewarts Cycles. Given the rain, the overgrowth on the trail and, ahem, the wrong socks, I’d say a more conservative 78%.

1/200th @ f4.0, ISO 640, 24-105L @ 105 Canon 7D

Either way, the technicality of its root sections and the fantastic green/black contrast of the ferns and trees meant it was soon on the list for a shoot. A few days later, and I carried the gear in and we set up for a few corners and some ‘context’ shots. This was very difficult lighting, the flat, dull day, giving way to hot spots of high contrast light when the clouds cleared. However, judicious location scouting and subtle strobe lighting meant that, in most cases the mottled lighting that plagues woodland shoots was avoided.

The highlights of the shoot are below.


About The Author


Action and adventure photographer based in London, shooting commercial and editorial images that seek to capture the beauty in the lifestyles he loves

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