I am an outdoor adventure, landscape, nature, and product photographer based out of Cumberland in the Comox Valley, on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. This blog is where I post up all my adventures in the world of photography!

Vancouver Island Trail Running Series Ladysmith 2017 Highlights

October 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Cumberland Skate and Jump Park Grand Opening

September 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

BC Bike Race 2017 Cumberland and Powell River Photo Highlights

September 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

LJ_20170706-P7060063-PanoThe evening before the big day.The famous BOB (Bear On Bike) mascot overlooks the finish area on the evening before Stage 1 in Cumberland.

I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot the Cumberland and Powell River stages of the BC Bike Race for the first time this year.  To sum up the experience: WOW!  Eleven years in, the BC Bike Race is a well-oiled machine. The logistics involved in putting on a show involving over 600 racers and many hundreds of volunteers, not to mention three ferry rides and 300 km of racing, is absolutely outstanding!  Of that racing a significant portion is on sweet west coast singletrack...

LJ_20170707-B7074368Moto Patrol ready!The Moto Patrol roams the race course during the event, keeping an eye on racers and volunteers. LJ_20170707-P7070110LJ_20170707-P7070110The Cumberland Town Crier was on hand to inspire the racers at the start of their journey. LJ_20170707-P7070090Katerina NashSome serious star power shows up every year for the BC Bike Race. This year's solo womens' champion was Katerina Nash, a 5-time Olympian. LJ_20170707-B7074452And they're off!Racers surge through downtown Cumberland as the horns blow to signal the beginning of a 7-day adventure. LJ_20170707-B7074630Flowy Cumberland downhill.A racer charges down the Vanilla trail during the BC Bike Race. LJ_20170707-B7074680-2More sweet Vanilla flowThe Beaufort range in the background overlooks the action. LJ_20170707-B7075175Vanilla clearcutThe BC Bike Race course traverses logged forests around Cumberland. Cumberland is nestled in an active working forest, and the hard work of organizations like the United Riders of Cumberland has established ground-breaking land use agreements with the stakeholders. For more information, see http://unitedridersofcumberland.com/cumberland-trails-agreement-finalized/ LJ_20170708-B7087073Blue Collar flowBlue Collar never fails to put a smile on riders' faces. P7070077Sunset serenadeUpon arriving at the Powell River ferry terminal, racers were greeted by the dulcet tones of bagpipes. LJ_20170708-B7087593PacelineAs the race progresses, riders self-sort into groups riding at a similar speed. LJ_20170708-B7087673Over the boardwalkWoodwork is a prominent feature of many BC mountain bike trails. LJ_20170708-B7087779Getting rowdy!There's always some time to have a bit of fun on the trails, even during a race. LJ_20170708-P7080314-2Bike Patrol on patrol! LJ_20170708-B7087795Treats!Volunteers bearing trays of flat Coke were a welcome sight as racers neared the homestretch of the Powell River course.

 

The BC Bike Race is definitely a bucket-list type of event for any serious mountain biker.

For more information on the BC Bike race, check out their website:

https://www.bcbikerace.com/

 

 


Cowichan Valley Wine Run 2017

September 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Well, judging by all the smiling faces, the second Cowichan Valley Wine Run was a success!  Two hundred runners and walkers set out to visit four Cowichan Valley wineries on a scorchingly hot day in early September.  

The start of the 13.5km route was Cherry Point Estate Wines; much wine was sampled as participants waited for the first wave of runners to head out.

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The first running segment was the longest and took runners past farm fields and rolling hills.

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Rocky Creek and Venturi Schulze wineries were the intermediate stops on the route. 

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B9020596B9020596They know how to have fun at Venturi Schulze.

 

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A long day of running and sampling wines was capped off at Blue Grouse Vineyards, where a feast and live music was to be had on the patio overlooking the fields.

LJ_20170902-A9021570LJ_20170902-A9021570Jumping for joy! The rare bit of shade on the course put people in a good mood for the finishing stretch.

 

B9020614B9020614Still smiling at the end of a long day. Maybe the wine had something to do with it?

 

B9020655B9020655Delicious dinner brought to you by Food for Thought.

 

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B9020773-PanoB9020773-PanoAfter a long day of running, walking, wining, and eating, sometimes the best thing to do is to chill out on a lush green lawn.

 

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Thank you to the organizers, the hosts, the volunteers, and all the participants for a great day in Vancouver Island wine country! 

The full set of photos is here on my website:

http://photos.lorenzjimenez.com/cowichanwinerun2017

 

 


Island Cup Races 2015 Mid-Season Highlights

May 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I've had the pleasure of taking pictures at many of the Island Cup races this season. Along with getting shots of some kick-ass action, it's been a great way to learn about nearby riding areas that I'd never been to, despite their proximity to my Comox Valley home base.  Taking these pictures has also been a learning experience: the Cumberland Downhill race, for example, was an exercise in practicing how to get great shots of fast-moving riders under a dark canopy. Usually conditions like those in the Cumberland Forest lend themselves to blurry images due to having to leave the shutter open for a relatively long time, or noisy ones due to bumping ISO into the stratosphere.  Luckily, though, I had recently acquired a set of Cactus RF60 speedlights and matching V6 Transceiver, and the Dodge City Downhill race was a great opportunity to put them to the test. (I had been using a set of Olympus FL-600R lights for over a year, but they were a bit under-powered for the conditions, and the trigger is optical and thus requires line-of-sight - not ideal when your light is over the rise or behind a tree.)  Once I get more time with these lights I'll do a review.

In each and every race I tried something different in an attempt to push my photographic boundaries a little bit. Sometimes those experiments worked (hooray for lights and radio triggers in the dark forest!), and sometimes not so much (I never managed to get an overhead shot at a Cumberland bridge that I was truly happy with) - but at least I'll have expanded my repertoire either way.

  LJ_20150419-P4190054LJ_20150419-P4190054Without lights I would not have been able to freeze the action under the forest canopy.

LJ_20150419-P4190090LJ_20150419-P4190090The lights also help to make the rider stand out from the background for dramatic effect.

LJ_20150419-_4191331LJ_20150419-_4191331Of course, there was pretty spectacular action in good light too. Here I'm using some out-of-focus foreground elements to frame the rider and give the image some depth. This is something I've only recently started doing intentionally.

LJ_20150419-_4191235LJ_20150419-_4191235And even in a rad downhill race, you can still find those "awww" moments. I had never taken pictures at a downhill race before, but I definitely want to do it again! The nature of the event - many racers passing by the same spot during their practice runs - makes it fairly easy to find a suitable location and work the angles until you get the ideal shot. 

Of course, there was more than just the downhill race. I also managed to get myself to the Cumberland XC and the Nanaimo XC races. I was also physically at the Hammerfest Enduro, but just barely, due to injuries that left me hardly able to lift a camera.

LJ_20150412-_4129822LJ_20150412-_4129822Trying to get a bit of a change of perspective here: including the bridge details and the stream underneath to tell a bit more of the story. LJ_20150412-_4129544LJ_20150412-_4129544Red against green often works, and not just at Christmas. Also, offsetting the rider to give some visual tension, as well as leaving clear space for text. LJ_20150503-P5030447LJ_20150503-P5030447Crazy difficult shot with a unique foreground element. The rider is strongly backlit by the sun, so I used a speedlight at a very high power to illuminate his face, which would otherwise have been in complete darkness. LJ_20150503-P5030591LJ_20150503-P5030591Wendy Simms having a great time at the 2015 Island Cup Nanaimo XC race. Sometimes there's nothing for you to do except to be there and have a photogenic subject in front of your lens! 2015 Island Cup Hammerfest Enduro2015 Island Cup Hammerfest EnduroAgain, something different here. Used lights as before to fill in the shadows on the otherwise backlit rider, but this time my processing is a bit different than what I normally do. I usually keep my post-processing very neutral, but this series was done to give it a more cinematic feel. What do you think?

Full galleries from each race are on my Events page: http://photos.lorenzjimenez.com/events

So what's next? Well, the XC finals at Campbell River is just around the corner, and you bet I'll be there!

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