Phunkt has given Ride.io his exclusive slideshow of his best photos this year. Looks like its been one hell of a year for Keith Valentine. With some epic scenes captured in his own unique style.
SCROLL DOWN to read an exclusive Q &A with Keith on his EPIC year.
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– Can you tell us here at Ride It Out a bit about yourself?
Single tog over 21 from Edinburgh who likes cider, the odd cigar & single malt whiskey over 15 years old. I shoot downhill races all over the planet for O’neal, Norco, Unior Tools to name a few…
– Looks like you’ve had an amazing year, can you give us your highlight events?
Mmm two stand out – doing random photo sessions on whistler A-line & dirt merchant with a big cigar and a can of cider in the warmth, without an agenda, while loving life holding my camera shooting anyone cool in mid-air.
And Longboarding from my Val Di Sole flat to the Gondola – 10min mellow downhill joy!
– Out of all the photos of this year which ones you favourite? Is there a story behind it?
Probably the Whistler Crankworx JCB Digger shot with the rider looking like he’s falling out the bucket. Cost me 24 cans of Bud to get the trail crew to move it in position for me. But I felt it was worth it to give the public what they want.
– First time we met back in 2007 in Bromont World Cup, you were camping in an old ladies garden! Could you tell us how that came to be, and how things have changed from then to now?
Simply location. I was camping and there were no places near. I asked – she said fine. Garden was huge and I got to use her shower in exchange for some photos of her house. Old news…– What was the hardest weekend to shoot this season?
Easy – Hardline – only 3 togs got full accreditation – so the other 40 had to make do with the cheap seats, I can’t think of anything more frustrating than not getting full accreditation or the ones that did get it trying to throw there weight around (you know who you are! ). Seems to go to peoples head when they get full accred. But I was with people that also deserved it. Some wasted opportunities and amazing shots lost forever in time. So sad.– What does it take to get the perfect photo in MTB racing?
No such thing as the perfect photo. Nowadays it’s not about the pic, it’s about everything else; like location, background, foreground, rider, riders angle, height, lighting, sharpness, colour, camera settings, equipment used, editing technique, and most importantly right place right time (luck).
– We’ve heard rumours that you like your cider. Europe is a bit lacking in that department. How do you make-do over there?
When there is no cider I try and get a nice single malt – Old Pulteney, Highland Park or Macallan etc. Most are 15 years or older. Call me a snob ha ha…
– On a race weekend whats in your camera bag and how much does it weigh?
Usually between 17Kg and 20Kg. Depends on the race and weather – Fort William is probably my heaviest as is Mont Sainte Anne. Hot weather means extra bottles of water or cider to stop me getting dehydrated.
– What bit of kit you could not do without on a race weekend??
My iPad is full of stuff to watch when I need to chill. I’m into several U.S series at the moment- who doesn’t love Suits? My Lowepro Whistler 450 aw bag keeps everything nice and dry.
– Do you have a favourite camera/lens combo?
Canon 1DX & 70-200mm L IS ii lens – (the money maker lens that most togs use), and the 1DX is just a joy to use!
– Who are your top 3 riders that always look good to shoot at races?
This year my camera seems to like Marcelo, Kaos & Kade. Maybe it’s just the style. It’s like shooting Josh Bryceland (never a dull moment).
– And last, any tips for people who want to try and get into MTB photography?
Don’t… It’s expensive, hard, dirty, smelly, painful and all the top clients are taken by the old school lot. Unless Daddy has deep pockets and you have 100 days holiday a year that you can take whenever you want then you’re already at a disadvantage. You get sprained ankles, insect bites, body odour, colds, dehydration, headaches and oh so frustrated about pics you either missed or can’t ever get. And some guy on a £6000 downhill bike is always emailing you for a pic but only wants to pay £6 for it. Aaaaaarghhhhh!!
SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, FANS, CLIENTS AND SPONSORS – NORCO , ONEAL, UNIOR BIKE TOOLS, LOWEPRO , FORT WILLIAM AND LEOGANG WORLD CUPS, BERNARDO CRUZ , THE MEXICAN CHILL & RIDE DOWNHILL LOT AND RIDE.I.O … Without all you guys my photos would not exist