Our Through the Lens journey continues as we strive to showcase some of the best images in the world of cycling. Every Thursday we interview a different photographer and take a look at some of their favourite shots. In previous weeks we've showcased work from photographers such as Kurt de Freitas, Daniel Roos and Justin Kosman.
This week we have another Canadian born photographer (we're seeing a trend here). 29 year old Brad Holmes lives in Pemberton, BC and is a lifelong mountain biker. He moved out to Whistler a month before his 18th birthday after spending 2 summers prior to that travelling with friends and racing the junior expert Canada Cup races. After briefly moving back to his hometown of Georgetown, ON, to finish high school he returned to the sea to sky corridor of BC's West Coast. We caught up with Brand to gain an insight into the man behind the lens.
Who/what are your main influences?
I got into taking pictures of riding as a teenager using my Dad's Canon T70, but my passion faded away for the next several years. Then in 2010 after a serious ski accident leaving me not able to walk for 6 months, then losing my Dad, I bought a camera and focused all my energy on photography.
I'm inspired to shoot the amazing moments, people and the places that I have the privilege of experiencing living as a mountain bike and ski "bum". Since the age of 13 the biggest influence on my life has been mountain biking and since moving to BC skiing and snowboarding have been close seconds. I've worked as a bike mechanic since the age of 15 and continue working a day job at a shop called Fanatyk co. in Whistler. Photography has always been a way to capture what I see and experience. There are so many amazing pro photographers living in the Sea to Sky corridor it would be really hard to count. But a few who I look up to would be Bryn Hughes, Blake Jorgenson and Margus Riga.
Do you have a particular favourite photo you've taken and why?
I think my favorite bike shot is the one I took of Nick Geddes dropping into Snake Eyes (Whistler Bike Park) in front of the Norco Dirt Factory Team. The shot stands out for me not only because I like it and its sick but, Nick was between chemo therapy treatments and weeks away from a bone marrow transplant. He actually had tubes coming out of his chest under his jersey and he was shredding like it was nothing. He has been cancer free since then. Here is a video I did with Nick at the time.
What's the most challenging location you've ever shot in?
Shooting in bright sunlight in the forest sucks in general. But especially the shore. If its bright and sunny I don't even bother going to shoot on the shore.
Technique or tools – what's the most invaluable?
Tools don't do much if you don't know how to use them. I think just like how in mountain biking you can have the nicest rig on the planet and still be mopped across the floor by some duder on a 1999 cove g spot. However that said "duder" on his g spot will not be seen qualifying on the world cup.
Any locations or riders you would particularly like to work with in the future?
I would like to get down to Utah at some point. I'm still kicking myself for being financially responsible and not road tripping to Rampage this year. I like working with Kenny Smith and would like to more in the future. The dude is rad.
Thoughts on Instagram?
Instagram is great. Billion dollar idea. Everyone is a photographer with an online gallery. What's not to love? I should use it more!
If you weren't a photographer, what would you want to be and why?
Well the original plan was DH super star so I guess I would take that.
What's the one bit of advice you'd give to budding young photographers?
Shoot what you love, learn how to ride tech lines with a heavy back pack and calm down with your flash.
Riding in my back yard, quite literally.
Kenny Smith in Lillooet, British Columbia.
Jamie Biluk flat out on Crabapple.
Coming in for a landing on Warner lake. Ready for a full day of epic single track.
Boston Bar Fire in the distance.
Sending it in to the drainage.
Nick Geddes f***ing cancer.
Thanks to Brad for some awesome images and some equally good answers to our questions.