Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS: MIKE BLEWITT PHOTO: IMO­GEN SMITH

With the ad­vent of smart phones, dig­i­tal cam­eras and ac­tion cam­eras, there has never been a bet­ter time to cap­ture a mo­ment in time. We have ready ac­cess to high quality cam­eras, with easy to use de­vices right at our fin­ger tips.

But any­one who knows how eas­ily you can get the tim­ing wrong, the fram­ing, the light or even the sub­ject knows that it’s not just about the right equip­ment. It is about be­ing able to cap­ture the mo­ment and have that sin­gle, still im­age pour out a story of emo­tion, in­spi­ra­tion, speed, ad­ven­ture or brav­ery. The right photo can do all that, with­out ever ut­ter­ing a word or play­ing a sound­track. There is plenty of truth in the adage that a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words.

Choos­ing pho­tos for AMB mag­a­zine has never been an easy task. The crit­i­cal eye of our re­cently de­parted Art Direc­tor (for Scot­land, not the af­ter life) Robert Con­roy meant that hav­ing the right im­ages wasn’t just about show­ing the right prod­uct or rider. They had to look good. Pho­tos had to tell a story, and in­spire moun­tain bik­ers.

This is­sue does more than just show­case the win­ners of the AMB Photo Awards pre­sented by Shi­mano. We’ve also got more fea­ture con­tent de­voted to photo sto­ries, and in­sights from pho­tog­ra­phers. Even when in Len­z­er­heide for the World Cham­pi­onships, I was re­minded first hand how hard moun­tain bike pho­tog­ra­phers work. Long days blend into long evenings of edit­ing, with usu­ally less than 4 hours of sleep per night for a week. It’s a pro­fes­sion driven by pas­sion and fu­elled by per­fec­tion­ism.

So take a look through this is­sue and read the in­sights from AMB’s Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year, and each pho­tog­ra­pher who won one of the cat­e­gories. And next time you see a great photo in this mag­a­zine or oth­ers, on In­sta­gram or some­where else – pause for a minute and think about how it came to be. And if that photo has made you stoked on moun­tain bik­ing, take note of the pho­tog­ra­pher’s name. They’ve just added to your love of the sport.

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