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Scott Markewitz has been shooting mountainbiking all the way from it's renegade roots to the superhuman feats of Red Bull Rampage this year. His love for the sport and photographing it shines on, so Scott teamed up with mtb helmet and apparel brand, Giro to share that passion in a workshop with him - free of charge! Take a look behind the scenes with Scott at how this workshop came to life, and how the participants got hands on in Park City, Utah.
The idea for this workshop started with a visit to the Giro office in Park City, Utah this summer. Giro was looking for community events to host in their office space, I suggested a photo workshop, they liked the idea and since Giro is the market leader in cycling helmets and Park City is a world class mountain bike destination, a mountain bike workshop was the obvious choice.
To get the word out we created a week long Instagram contest where anyone could enter by posting photos on their Instagram page and tagging #scottmarkewitzphotosession and #scottmarkewitzphotosessionutah. At the end of the week we selected 9 local winners to attend the workshop free of charge and one national winner to win an all expense paid trip to the workshop from anywhere in the US along with a complete Giro cycling kit, all compliments of Giro.
We met the group at the Giro office early on a crisp, clear fall morning. It had snowed in the mountains a few days earlier and covered most of the trails around Park City, so we made a last minute decision to take the group down to Salt Lake City, where it would be warmer and drier. After a quick meet and greet and a short presentation, we jumped in the vehicles and headed down to the I Street bike park in Salt Lake.
We had a great group of riders to photograph – Giro athlete and pro EWS racer Cody Kelley, local pro and overall wild man James Perri, and my son Julien, a junior downhill and enduro racer. I Street was a perfect venue to show off their skills and as we jumped out of the vehicles, everyone was excited to start shooting and get some ‘banger’ shots.
My goal with every workshop I lead is to work on skills development and guide people to expand their creative vision. Since this was a one day workshop, I planned to keep it simple by presenting a few concepts to the group and letting each photographer experiment with their own ideas and creativity from there.
After discussing the plan with the riders and figuring out what tricks they wanted to do, we set up around one jump as the riders cycled through. This allowed everyone to shoot the same jump multiple times, experiment with different angles and lenses, and progressively learn from one shot to the next. When everyone felt that they had the shots they wanted, we set up on another feature, giving the photographers enough time to try out their ideas and get creative with each setup before moving on to the next. Throughout the day I moved around, interacting with the group and giving individual feedback and tips on composition, exposure, lens choices and other subjects we discussed at the beginning of the day.
It was striking to see the group dynamics take hold and watch the photographers interact, share images and talk about their ideas and setups with each other. It created a powerful learning environment where everyone was working together to get great shots and building their knowledge collectively.
After a few hours of shooting we headed back to the Giro office for lunch, editing and review. I asked the photographers to select and process 5-10 of their favorite shots from the day, and when the images were ready we projected them on a screen for review and critique.
This is my favorite part of every workshop, where everyone sees the results of the days shoot and we analyze the images in detail. It’s a real learning experience to see what worked and what didn’t work in each image and how it relates to the concepts we discussed at the beginning of the day. It was clear from the start that this was a high level group, and I was really impressed with the images that every photographer was able to create.
Afterwards, the Giro team and I got together to pick our three favorite images from the day and award prizes to the winners. First place, and an f-stop Lotus pack with a Large Pro ICU went to Avery Stumm (@avery_stumm):
...while David Martinez (@dmartphoto) took second and was awarded an f-stop lens barrel and Giro riding kit for his image:
....and Dylan Cirulis (@cirdylan) took home a Giro riding kit for his third place image:
Everything lined up really well for this workshop – great weather, amazing riders and a talented group of photographers to teach and share knowledge with. I want to thank Giro and f-stop for their support, Cody, James and Julien for their hard work and great attitude riding all day for the group, and the photographers who attended for their inspiring work and passion for photography. It was a great day and a lot of fun. Ultimately, isn’t that the goal every time we take our cameras out?