Honored to be published in the latest issue of Coast Mountain Culture Magazine’s photo gallery. There are so many mind blowing images and fantastic articles in this issue so make sure you grab your free copy if you live in Sea To Sky Corridor.
This picture is one of a few skiing pictures I have taken and it is from the only mini photo session we have done last year. After watching Deep Winter Competition last January, Steve and I got inspired to go out and shoot even when the conditions were weak. We had ton’s of sunny days in forecast and barely any snow on the mountains. One afternoon we grabbed the camera, just in case. I noticed the sun slowly setting behind the mountain and asked Steve if he can see anything in the area that could look good. I had to underexpose the image so you don’t get to see the skied snow and to achieve the dramatic look at the same time. The toughest part was to stay still and don’t move the camera to get that lens flare right. Moving by an inch and the flare would be more distracting than complimenting the picture. I was hoping that this picture would get published one day and I am really exited to see in print. I love it so much that I ordered a big wood print for our place as well.
Skier:Steve Storey, Whistler.
Skiing in sunset.

It’s been a while since my last cover with Velo magazine. It was a last minute call from editor for a high resolution image and a few hours later it went to printing. The picture is from an amazing area of Rabinal, Guatemala. Remote place in the country, even shuttle companies haven’t heard about it. We spent all morning riding and shooting in a burn zone on the fringes of desert. It was really hot by 7am and everything was covered in soot. Rider, Steve Storey, was trying to cover both – photos on small bike and videos on big bike – running from one place to another in between the shoots. Hardest working guy out there and I am so happy that he ended up being on that cover. Well deserved! Hard work paid off and those 4:30am mornings don’t seem that bad a few months later. It is exciting to see the stuff from our trip starting to show up in magazines.
mtb-guatemala-rabinal

Earlier this month I was asked by GrindTV if I would like to contribute to their weekly feature “How I got the shot”. I have to admit I was really surprised and honored at the same time. Seeing big names like Scott Markewitz, John Wellburn, Adam Clark, Bruno Long, Robin O’Neill and many more put a little knot into my throat and suddenly an easy task changed into a hunt for the perfect picture. I decided to go with a biking photo of Steve Storey taken during our trip to El Salvador last year. Maybe it’s not the best photo I have, however I always thought this picture would end up as a double spread in an magazine because of unique and creative look at racing. The photo ended up in couple of magazines but only as a small thumbnail size. Feel free to check out the whole feature at GrindTV or read behind the scene write up here:
We headed down to El Salvador in April (last year) for a personal project—to shoot photos and create a short film with SheGNARnigans. Steve had broken his hand pretty badly on our first day of filming, so he’d spent the remainder of the trip working closely with me to scout for shots. This shot is from the last day of that trip. We were on the hunt for a different type of race shot—one that would round out some of the images we had already captured.
I remember this day being a particularly difficult one. Extreme heat and patchy light were making it a challenge to stay motivated. Plus, we were out of water, food, and pain killers for Steve’s broken hand. We discovered some race tape left behind from a race we had covered a few weeks earlier, but finding a creative angle to work with it wasn’t panning out.
Steve noticed some flowers quite far off of the trail, and pointed them out to me. At first I was skeptical, but ran over to take a look anyway. I quickly realized they were exactly what I was looking for! It was nearing the end of the day, so we didn’t have much time to capture this shot before dark, but it ended up only taking a few attempts to get exactly what I wanted—good body positioning from the rider and framing it exactly how I had pictured it in my head.
DH racing in Central America.

My second photo shoot for Whistler bike park this summer was a blast. Sometimes I feel really fortunate to do what I do for living. Going out with bunch of cool people to take pictures of what we love doing (in this case biking) is something I truly love doing. Yes, we have a shot list we need to complete, we are chasing light, talk about the shots, however I love every minute of it and it doesn’t feel like work at all.
For this photo session, I was taking photos for marketing and promotional use. One of their lessons is Max 4 daily lessons. As you probably guessed there is no more than 4 people per instructor so you are guaranteed attention, value and lot’s of laps in the bike park. We tried to cover little bit more advanced riding and jumps as that’s what you would get in most of these lessons.
Flowy downhill trail in Whistler Bike Park. Riding Freight Train, Garbanzo zone. Four bikers pushing DH bikes. Mountain bikers on chairlift.

Earlier this year I was asked by Whistler Bike Park if I would be available to photograph couple of their bike park lessons they will be promoting the next season. After a few phone calls, organizing models, bikes and bike outfits I finally met a group of young ladies eager to learn to ride and pose for the camera. Before we decide on the trails and locations we will photograph at, the marketing team and myself created a shot list based on their needs and feeling they would like to get out of the pictures. Once we know what kind of images we are after I usually go up the mountain to scout some locations and suggest the ideas to Whistler bike park. For womens night bike park lesson we wanted to capture fun and no-stressful environment, some instructions on easy, beginner trails as well a bit challenging terrain so the lessons would appeal to female rider at any level. With ton’s of sun in the forecast we opted for Garbanzo zone higher up which offers beautiful views and more open sunny areas.
Mountain biking lifestyle Mountain bikers following their instructor during lesson. Woman learning new skills on bike. Women in downhill biking. Female riders learning new skills on bikes.

Justa Jeskova - Whistler photographer.

Without a doubt, Crankworx is my favourite festival and pretty much it’s my highlight of the year as well. Beside all the mountain bike action and races you get to see amazing work from talented and best bike photographers and videographers in the industry. What it means is usually sleepless nights to edit all your photos from the races and other events, carrying heavy backpack in 30+C heat and somehow to deal with your non-biking clients at the same time. This year was different, I haven’t had any assignments and it was actually nice to step back and enjoy the festival on its own. Having longer chats on course or a drink on the patio after is something I don’t get to experience often. I did however miss the thrill of the pressure to deliver and a constant push to find new angles on the race course. Not taking photos was no option for me. It was actually fun to go up there and experiment with new locations. As everything calmed down this week, I finally started to edit those pictures and here are a few of them I can share with you.
Canadian Open DH race during Crankworx, Whistler. Whistler Enduro World Series during Crankworx festival. Crankworx Garbanzo downhill race, Whistler.

Whistler Bike Park contacted me just before the end of the season and asked me if I would be interested to take some promotional images for them at the very last minute. There wasn’t much time for planning as the DFX camps – mountain biking camps for kids – were just wrapping up their season and we had to capture what are the camps all about. Luckily, any time I work with Whistler Bike Park, I end up working with amazing instructors and models. This shot is from end of the shoot, just passing by a new tunnel on easier run.

DFX camps, Whistler bike park.

If you are in bike industry you know Tom Pro, Whistler local legend who spent early years managing Whistler Bike Park and now is a co-owner of Gravity Logic – company that designs, plans and builds bike trails and bike parks around the world. It took us a while to find the time for the photo shoot we did for Velo magazine, however once Tom was in, he took me to ride Top of the World with him instead of just doing a quick photo shoot at the bottom of the hill.

Everybody who rode by us would stop by and say hi to Tom.

After some family pictures, Steve and I spent 2 days riding and taking photos of Steve biking the famous Whistler trails. We chose Lost Lake trails and Top Of The World to get us some variety and I think we were successful.
Here are couple of my favourites:

Top Of The World

Lost Lake trails

My favourite week of the year. The biggest mountain biking festival is happening here in Whistler. This year was very different from the last one, more relaxed, with less shooting and no competitions. As much as it was fun to enjoy all the events and be in the bed in reasonable time, I missed the craziness of tight deadlines, sleepless nights and competitions. Here is a quick photo collage from Canadian Open DH race with Steve Smith winning the race.

Steve Smith wins Canadian Open during Crankworx festival.