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.

Brush on your Spanish if you would like to know about our biking trip to El Salvador. It might come handy on your next adventure to Central America or at least you can read our travel story “Into the unknown” in recent issue of Solo Bici Spanish magazine.
We found out right away that Salvadoran riders are very passionate about riding. They follow up the World Cup series and talk about Whistler and their dreams of going to ride there someday. What makes El Salvador so colorful is the people who make up this modestly sized country. From the hustle and bustle of city life to the laid back beach towns, everyone is welcoming and happy to chat and ensure you’re enjoying yourself. The biking scene is fairly small, however the local riders are building new trails and the local shop, Probikes El Salvador, hosts numerous races during the year. We were lucky to be there during DH Copa Probikes and our rider Steve Storey even ended up on podium, finishing 3rd in Elite category. What a sweet bonus! As an adventure photographer I loved the people the most. If we weren’t on tight schedule I would be still photographing locals on streets, local markets or surfers on the beach.
Article was written by Steve Storey.
Mountain biking in El Salvador. Mountain biking adventure trip in El Salvador, Central America Mountain biking in Central America. mountain biking adventure in El Salvador

As a mountain biking photographer, I had this road trip in my head for couple of years now. Steve and I have been talking about going there to ride and shoot over a dinner and finally, we actually packed the bikes after work and left for a weekend.
Everything happened so fast that I thought I might have forgotten half of my stuff. We teamed up with our friends Chris and Lisa, who were supposed to meet us at the top of Della Creek biking trail. Those two have never been there before so Steve taped signs along the road hoping they would find us later that night. Without any cell service in the area it was hard to communicate any other way. Unfortunately, they missed the first sign and ended up camping on other side of the valley for that night.
We set up our camp at the top of the trail and celebrated summer solstice with a bottle of wine. Summer solstice also means shortest night of the year which meant early start for the sunrise shoot. By the time we finished, our friends finally showed up and we rode the trail without the camera bags and too much stopping. Della offers fast, dusty and loose ridge ride as well great views down and across the Fraser Valley and is approx 7km long. There are no big stunts and a short steep section that can be walked.
After a fun ride we shuttled up and focused on photo shoot for the next 5.5 hours. Then we enjoyed the chilled beer and wine with gourmet meal at our campground. What a finish to already a perfect day.

Outdoor lifestyle.

Mountain biking photography.

Travel photographer.

As a mountain biking photographer, I was really pleased when Dirt Rag expressed their interest in our El Salvador trip. We talked about the feature before our actual trip and it was almost one year in making. I am very excited to see that the story got finally published in their latest issue. The magazine should be on Canadian magazine stands so make sure you grab a copy and read it. This is my first photo feature published and can’t express how happy I am, especially when I was able to work on it with my partner Steve. We are already planning another bike trip to Central America. The mountain bike scene is not big there, but what they lack in size they make up for it with their passion for the sport.

mountain biking in El Salvador

El Tunco, El Salvador.

As a Whistler lifestyle photographer, I always look for an opportunity to take some pictures just for fun. I finally finished an edit from a trip to Tofino. While everybody was surfing, I was really good at avoiding the water. (not my thing) The good part about it is I get to take pictures for hours and for fun. I just love hanging out on the beach watching people and listening to the ocean. Here is one of my favourites.

Surfers in Tofino.

Ollie and Steve at Sombrio beach.

I can’t believe it’s only been 8 days since we were riding bikes in Whistler bike park in T-shirts! What an awesome season it was! I’ve got fully addicted to DH and met so many great people along the way. Thank you for the best season ever. Can’t wait for the next one to begin already!
The whole summer I wanted to do a shoot with the girls and finally the day before closing we made it happen. The girls in Whistler can schred! Here is one of them: Diana Brucculieri

Diana Brucculieri, Whistler, BC.

It is nice to have a few rainy days. Mother nature definitely needs it and I can finally sit down and work on computer all day without feeling guilty. With weather being so beautiful in last 3 weeks or so, I’ve done numerous shoots, from lifestyle shots, spring skiing, kayaking, biking, wedding and recently some climbing. In these last 3 weeks I’ve biked at least 4 new trails and was shown a place I have no idea exist so close to my home. Cheakamus canyon. A friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in shooting some climbing  photos, so I jumped at first opportunity I’ve got. I had no idea how beautiful this area is and how few people actually know about it. I didn’t do any climbing, I was so mesmerized by all the beauty and photo possibilities, that I didn’t want to put my camera down. I’ll be back and next time I will be hanging on that rope too!