Now the dust has settled on the Mountain BIke World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, we can look back at what an event it was. Some are saying it has been the biggest MTB World Championships ever. We don't have the statistics to verify that - but it was huge!

There were close to 30,000 spectators, the sun was shining (ok not so much on Thursday), BBQs were fired up spreading smoke into the base of the downhill course, and everyone was cheering riders - no matter where they were coming.

This isn't a rant-a-crowd.

Given the AMB Photography Awards presented by Shimano have just wrapped up (watch this space for the winners!) we asked Matt Rousu to select his favourite images from the World Championships - and explain how he shot and edited them.


Words and images: Matt Rousu

I’ve been flicking through my photographs from Lenzerheide over the last few weeks and thought a few precise technical details and stories might lend some light into how to (and how not to) photograph an event as epic as the World Championships.

All photos were shot on my Nikon D750
Lenses used for these photos were either my:
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2
Every shot was taken at 5300K (Sunny) colour temperature.

During post production every photo goes through subtle changes to try and get them to look natural, I’m not a huge fan of over-editing. Basically a tweak in the levels, perhaps a little colour adjustment, a boost in saturation and some dodging and burning. I’ll mention any major editing techniques in the photos I spent more time on.

Aaron and Paddi. F/3.5 at 1/1000 Shot at 200mm ISO1250

Let’s start with a pretty straight forward shot of Aaron Gungl and Paddi Butler during day one of DH practice, I was quite low to the ground to give a little foreground detail but also to be able to look up into Aaron’s face. The depth of field is really shallow thanks to my workhorse 70-200mm f2.8 lens (If you’re thinking of getting into MTB photography, save up and get one of these), but what really makes the photo sing is the little pocket of light that Aaron has just ridden through that has reflected off his Aussie jersey. Not only is he in sharp focus but he’s highlighted in a way that your eye is immediately drawn to him, the angle of his lean leads your eye into the rider in the background which will probably make you think of going for a ride with your friends. I can imagine that without that little pocket of light the photograph wouldn’t be nearly as successful.