FEATURED WORK: CYCLOCROSS
My interest and involvement in photographing cyclocross racing started when I witnessed my first Chicago Cyclocross Cup race, known in shorthand to the Chicago area enthusiasts as ChiCrossCup. I had read about these "fringe" cycling races on-line and became intriqued by images of racers climbing hills, jumping barriers, slogging through sand, sometimes covered in mud. From the moment I walked onto the race course at Bartlett, IL., I was immediately engaged as a photographer. I had found my "photographic laboratory" but more importantly, I had found a community of passionate and expressive bike enthusisasts, both racers and spectators, involved in pure theater, with equal billing. One racing team carried their tattered re-sale couch to the top of the course's highest hill. The couch immediately became the focal point for the circus like environment with one M.C., megaphone in hand, commentating as the racers passed and stirring the crowd into a frenzy. By the last race, the crowd was covering the top of that hill and they applauded, heckled and offered "hand ups" in the form of bacon and beer as the racers conquered the summit, momentarily released from their suffering, until the next lap. The most fascinating aspect of this crazy milieu was that the bicycle racers covered a wide spectrum of talent from the elite pros to bumbling novices and it was the novices that attracted the most enthusiasm and support from the hecklers. The collective release of energy and enthusisam between riders and spectators was intense and I was immediately hooked.
After the first season, I started to experiment with external strobe lighting as a creative challenge and attempt to craft more unique sports action images. The quality of this dramatic lighting better supports my theatrical interpretation of cyclocross and matches it's unique soul and personality.