Intro by Crishana Haynes/GrindTV
Photos & Captions by Bruno Long
Perspective is everything. What we bring into focus or push off into the distance says a lot about us as people. But our perspective can waver over the course of a day, especially a difficult one. So for us, time spent outside riding is a great equalizer, and a favorite way to regain our perspective.
The trail is our faithful companion and an essential constituent of our day. It's where we incinerate stress, stretch our boundaries, and gain an understanding of what is honest and noteworthy. The trail is our safe place—to get lost, to let go, and most important, it's where we find our true selves.
Photographer Bruno Long is a master of perspective. Using his scrupulous eye, he captures nature's abundant landscapes and mountain biking, while reminding us that we are but a small visitor in its realm. This gallery below pays homage to some of his favorite outdoor spaces, and some points of view that can be gained if one just takes the time to look.
Sol Mountain Lodge is a backcountry ski lodge located in the Monashee Mountains near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Over the past few seasons, they’ve slowly built up a great little trail system to entice bikers into the beautiful alpine area surrounding their lodge. This image is from my first trip to that lodge, last summer. We were blessed with an amazing day and these beautiful clouds were scattered in the sky. I love how having almost no horizon or foreground, coupled with the tiny rider, showcases the scale and size of those clouds. Rider: Nick Quinn. Location: Sol Mountain Lodge. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
I've been known to climb a tree or two for the right shot spot. What was different this time was that the tree I was about to climb was growing on bare rock and seemed to be quite rotten. I knew that the shot wouldn't be the same without this higher angle, so I decided to climb it anyway. After cutting a few branches, I had my angle dialed, and used a branch in the foreground to help frame the image. I really like the contrast between the white rock and green moss—they make the unique trail surface really stand out. When I returned to this spot in the spring, that very tree had fallen over and exploded into a million rotten pieces. Rider: Lorraine Blancher. Location: Monashee Mountains, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
Read More: Bruno Long speaks about the rider in the web. The BIKE Photo Annual cover photo that spun eyes.
This was definitely the last ride of the season, in the alpine, for Nash and me. We only made it about halfway up the trail before it got too deep for us to continue. Deciding to turn around, we noticed the clouds parted during our descent, and we had a chance to ride down in the sun, with snow blanketing the forest. It was quite surreal and the first time I've ever made fresh tracks on my bike. Rider: Nash Masson Location: Monashee Mountains, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
Ansel Adams once said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." For this image, I knew where I wanted to “stand”; it just happened to be about 50 feet up a tree. I’d scouted this location before, and enlisted the help of a mountain guide friend. He literally taught me the ropes and set me up for this tree climb. After getting into position, I had Stu and Nash ride through the trail numerous times, trying every angle I could think of since I wouldn't be climbing back up the tree anytime soon. The lighting was perfect, and we scored some great images, including this one and a full-page gallery photo that was published in Bike magazine. Riders: Stu Dickson & Nash Masson. Location: Revelstoke, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
I rarely use a flash in my action shots, but when the forest is this dark and moody, sometimes adding a flash of light helps enhance an already beautiful scene. Using one off-camera speedlight directly in front of the rider created a series of light beams that really draws your eye to the subject, while allowing for the rest of the scene to be untouched by the artificial light. Rider: Stu Dickson. Location: Boulder Mountain, Revelstoke, British Columbia.
This image was shot on the same day the previous dark and moody image was taken. It also required a bit of artificial light to enhance it. This moment will forever be lodged in my memory as the most amazing light show I’ve ever seen Mother Nature create. In fact, I get goosebumps every time I think about it. Unfortunately, this image also saddens me deeply. A few weeks after this image was taken, this beautiful forest was logged, and this trail now exists in a large clearcut. Even though the trail still exists, it will never be the same as it was on that day. Rider: Stu Dickson. Location: Boulder Mountain, Revelstoke, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
Earlier this spring, I ventured away from home and went on a short trip to Jackson, Wyoming. Getting our legs under us after a long ski season, the boys and I enjoyed a few days of amazing spring weather and some great trails. Riding and shooting on new trails always gets me inspired. I love how the chaos of the branches all comes together somehow and frames the rider perfectly. Rider: Nick Quinn. Location: Jackson, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
This image combines two of my favorite things: biking a perfect singletrack and a green environment. From our perch at the top of the climb, I could see the trail way below us. I asked the boys to ride down along the trail while I stayed up top. The light was in and out as they traveled, and just before they got to the trail, the clouds covered up the sunlight and provided even light for this simple shot of mountain biking in its purest form. Riders: Nick Quinn & Stu Dickson. Location: Jackson, Wyoming.
While working as a firefighter in Revelstoke, my friend Marty mentioned that he had been working on a forest safety project by piling up ladder fuels and dry timber for burning—helping to protect the forest from fires by reducing the amount of fuels available. He told me which days they were burning the piles, and we made a plan to hit up a piece of trail close to the road for a night shot. I attached a light to the front and back of Marty’s helmet, and with a little help from a friend (to keep the fires burning bright), we came away with this unique image that I was quite happy with. Rider: Marty Schaffer. Location: Mt. Macpherson, Revelstoke, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
I love spending as much time as I can in the alpine during the summer months. Luckily, we have an abundance of it surrounding Revelstoke. Here, Jordy Lebel cruises down in front of the remnants of a huge winter snow drift. The texture of the snow is what caught my eye when we set up for this shot. The sun cups in the snow, created a beautiful repeating pattern that we shot more than once. A different version of this shot ran in Bike magazine's 2013 Photo Annual. Rider: Jordy Lebel Location: Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
I think my favorite thing about shooting in the forest near my home is the opportunity to use the forest greenery to frame my subjects. This spot has always piqued my interest, and I have walked around it numerous times, looking for creative angles. I discovered a grove of Devil's Club (a large plant covered in thorns that get stuck in your skin and fester into annoying sores) and noticed one in particular that had some large holes in it. I came back a few days later with a friend to shoot it. It was the perfect spot for a small flash, which could easily be hidden behind a leaf. We tried a few shots and this was my favorite from that day. Rider: Callum Mcleary. Location: Mt. Macpherson, Revelstoke, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long
Sometimes getting lost reveals exactly where you needed to be. On this ride in the Chilcotins, Andrew and I took a wrong turn at a junction and ended up quite a way down the wrong trail. When we realized what had happened, we had to turn around and ride back up the trail we had just descended. Along the way, I noticed these beautiful wildflowers and ran down below the trail so I could fill my frame with the wild colors. A couple of frames later we were back on our bikes and heading in the right direction again. Rider: Andrew McNab. Location: Chilcotin Mountains, British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Bruno Long