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Ilkley Technique & Photo Workshop

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

After the success of our first combined mtb technique and photography workshop with Whoosh Mountain Biking, we decided on another one this time on the trails of Ilkley Moor.

It was a bit of a gamble with the weather at this time of year, but that is what it's all about, making the best images you can, with the equipment and conditions you have on the day.

We met at the lay-by above White Wells, a quick introduction with Dave and Andy, bike and equipment check and we set off up the steep climb. Near the top, Chris set up a small cone slalom for the riders to practice their turns.

Dave and Andy progressed their bike movement under them, showing in the images I took as the rain started.

Packing away the cones and camera gear, we set off on the singletrack towards Buck Stones.

We found some shelter from the driving rain among the rocky outcrop, before heading off to our first descent of the day. A couple of interesting turns, offered up a couple of


Andy had only brought along a 35mm on his crop body, a perfect light weight setup for any rider to carry in their pack, where as I had 16 to 200mm zoom range in the Evoc Photo Scout.

Dave and Andy put their cone training to the test in the natural berms of the turn, while I got a shot with the 16mm, using the trail to lead the eye through the frame.

Further on down the trail it got a bit muddy, until we hit a nice piece of hard packed track, where we found a couple of rocks for Chris to do some more coaching and the riders to session.

Andy and I went over composition, while he used my 70-200 and Chris and I sessioned the small kicker.

Photo Credit: Andy Marshall

Photo Credit: Andy Marshall

A great quick descent, took us back to repeat the climb we did earlier in the morning.

In no time we were back at the top of Keighley Road, this time heading East at the top, towards the Stanza Stones.

We regrouped at the stones where we took in the fitting words of Simon Armitage.


Rain-junk Sky-litter Some May mornings Atlantic storm-horses clatter this way, shedding their iron shoes in potholes and ruts, shoes that melt into steel grey puddles then settle and set into cloudless mirrors by noon. The shy deer of the daytime moon comes to sip from the rim But the sun likes the look of itself, stares all afternoon, Its hard eye Lifting the sheen from the glass, turning the glaze to rust. Then we don’t see things for dust.

Chris found the perfect spot to go over the importance of track stands on the trail.

As well as more advanced cornering technique.

The descent from here was on fast slabs, but with a keen eye cheeky pieces of singletrack paralleled down the moor.

To our left, the ground dropped away in to an amazing rocky canyon and the trail steepened with rocky drops.

We spent some time in the rain as Chris went over line choice and technique for the drop offs and rocks, and I hunted for compositions of the canyon.

Once Andy had conquered this technical section, I stayed back with him, to capture Chris and Dave in the gully.

This little bit of trail, seems to have a number of compositions to explore, but with the rain now pounding down, we settled for the one and caught up with the group, leaving it for another day.

Once regrouping, the bikes were shouldered for a swift climb and traversed along a muddy section to our final descent.

With the rain now soaking us through, we made the choice to hit the descent with no photo stops and what a descent it was. Natural berms threw us around the corners until hitting the final slippy clay section, Andy thought it would be fun to slide down on his arse instead of using his bike. If only we had the cameras out for that.

Back at the vehicles we were soon in our dry clothes and heading to the Flying Duck for some amazing pork pies and review of the day's images.

If you're wanting to improve on the bike, learn how to use your camera, or just want some images of you out riding, then click on our social media pages to keep up to date with our future events in 2019.

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