My photo of a contestant at the BMW GS Trophy Challenge competition in Spartanburg, South Carolina made the cover of the September 2009 issue of Adventure Rider Magazine. I rode my Honda Goldwing to Spartanburg for the competition. It was wet and foggy the day of the contest, and the participants were forced to work in the heat, bugs and mud of at BMW’s Spartanburg test facility. There were several other photographers there that day, but none followed me into the pit to capture closeup images of the competitors. Most brought long telephoto lenses. I wanted to capture the competition up close and personal, and create a dramatic, “in your face” view of this grueling competition.
I had with my two Nikon D3 cameras. Before the competition started I knew I couldn’t be changing lenses in the nasty conditions. I had an assistant carry a camera while I shot with the other. My assistant also held my off camera SB-800 flash which I used extensively. This really helped add contrast in the dark shadows of the forest. I had to crash through briar bushes, slop through mud and water, and pick thorns out of my skin all day. It was extremely difficult conditions and some of the competitors commented that I had to work almost as hard as they did!
My pictures from this event were picked up by several magazines and one was used for a national BMW motorcycle advertising campaign.