Legendary Red Bull action photographer Scott Serfas recently headed to Whistler, Canada to shoot mountain biking’s biggest contest – Red Bull Joyride. See how he went to work.
Combining elements of slopestyle, dirt jump and North Shore-style mountain biking, Red Bull Joyride fuses together rough natural terrain with man-made elements to create one of the most challenging slopestyle courses on the planet.
“Being able to shoot this event is an amazing opportunity. All the best guys from all over the world are here, and it’s the contest that means the most to them, so it’s definitely cool to be a part of it.”
With an event like Red Bull Joyride, Serfas likes to let the athletes do their thing, while during other events, there’s a lot more coordination between the athlete and the photographer.
“Every event is different. During a competition like Joyride, I don’t say anything to them – they just want to win, the last thing they are concerned about is getting a good photo. I’m just there to document what happens,” says Serfas.
“But then for another event like Uncontainable, Drew and I spoke a lot about what angles were good and what kind of tricks he should think about doing. I’ll offer up some suggestions but leave it in the athletes’ hands to make the final call. We work together to create a great shot.”
Joined by photography partners in crime, Jussi Grznar and Mason Mashon, Serfas and his crew scoped every possible vantage point to find the best angles to capture the 2-hour event.
“I try to put the athletes in a good spot in the frame, and shoot from an angle that represents what they are doing in a proper way and then make an interesting photo around that. I really try to emphasize what they are doing – I am not doing abstract art.”
With a sea of 25,000 fans, the biggest tricks and pure athlete emotion on display – the event was a real challenge to shoot. But with the skilled Mr. Serfas behind the lens, the results look amesome.
Scott Serfas is also a former Red Bull Illume Image Quest Category Winner – find out more about Red Bull Illume 2016.