Monday, 29 November 2010
It's only been two days of non-hospitable bike weather and my mind is starting to wander, not that you could skate in this weather either mind you. Found this while digging for a present.
Dan Tag photographed at Livingston Skatepark in the early 1990's.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
When it was first mentioned that there was a possibility of me getting my sneaky hands on a book to review i was flattered but a few things crossed my mind, the first being that i am a photographer not a writer, would i have the credentials to comment on anything other than that. Two, would i be able to put aside my prejudices about Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins, i've always been a fan of Spanish climbers, Belgian hardmen and crazy lone attackers (read Vino, oh lord forgive me for my sins), not superteams. And three, what if i didn't like it, would i be able to stick to my morals and tell the truth?
Thankfully, once inside, i was instantly visually attracted to the book, black background double page spreads, jumping to white with room for the photographs to breathe and then into a slightly chaotic mix. I enjoyed the look of it and the further i delved the more it jumped around and it made me think this is what i imagine the Tour is like, organized chaos. The photographs are stunning, just how Scott managed to capture what he has without an official press pass is beyond belief. Apart from capturing Bradley Wiggins tour he has managed to somehow be at the right place at the right time to document many of the iconic moments of this years tour, Lance suffering, Contador climbing behind Schleck with a look of pain in his face, Cav's last burst in Paris, and also many other images which have nothing to do with racing but are just as important to build the story of the Tour, i could go on.
Bradleys story is equally as interesting and refreshing given the fact that he did not fullfil the dream of a podium place, although failure is not a word that i would use. At first i wondered whether a straight daily diary of his Tour could hold my attention to read in one go as i only had the book for a day, i am a photographer remember, however like the visual layout it tends to jump from personal diary to insight on many other things Tour related, then back, organised chaos again? I loved the fact that he dosen't hold back on naming names and dosen't agree with certain unwritten peloton rules, i loved the fact that he admits that he got things wrong personally, i loved the fact that he agrees that there is a place in the Tour for crazy days of chance like the pave, i loved the fact that he admits he got things wrong from a teambuilding point of view and i loved the fact that he admits he has a soft spot for Stephane Auge.
As far as i know the idea for the book was Bradleys own and what has been achieved is something that lives up to the Tour books of yore that he admits to enjoy leafing through himself. Basically i loved the book and i will be going out to buy a copy even though i know a man i could probably blag a copy from, however i feel it would be unjust to not mention a couple of things that are nagging at me. I don't know Bradley Wiggins personally but what i saw of his tv interviews from last years Tour he seemed extremely passionate and firey as opposed to the more measured Bradley from this years interviews, this also comes across in the writing, personally i enjoyed that fire but i admit you can't judge someones character based on tv interviews conducted seconds after stage finishes. Also from a photographers point of view there seems to be quite an inconsistency in the reproduction of the images from a tone and contrast point of view, that being said the book is still worth more than the fifteen quid that it costs.
One other thing i loved was the fact that i spent four hours in the sunshine on my bike with Scott today, oops, does that give away how i managed to get my hands on a copy pre-release. On Tour is available to buy tomorrow.
Top photograph of Bradley Wiggins courtesy of Scott Mitchell.