Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Photography for the Over The Edge Sports Bike Shop

As we made our way across the western US, it's been a goal to reach out to a few select friends and associates, and see what we could do for them in terms of video or photography. One such business that responded was the Over The Edge Bike Shop out of Lake Tahoe. Our pals Sam and Brie owned the joint, and were in need of some great photography for their soon to be re-designed website. Over a beer, we easily decided that a series of environmental photos of people biking on scenic trails in the area would be just what they needed.

After looking over trail maps and tracking the direction of the sun, we decided on a two-part shoot day, where we would capture images at sunrise, as well as sunset, on two different trails with different sets of riders, so that we could have lots of options.

They fitted me for full-suspension bike, as these trails were going to be difficult in parts, and we had to ride quite a few miles to get to the best scenery. I loaded up an F-Stop Gear Ajna with my Canon 5D kit and some water, and with a 4am wake up call, we arrived at the trailhead just before sunrise.

The trail remained in the shade while the Lake started to light up. I used this setting to my advantage, as the soft light that filtered through the dense forest made the lichen colors pop, and smoothed details out on the rocks, trees, and of course the riders.

It was a tricky balance getting the exposure right, as I wanted to freeze the riders in the scene, while still allowing for at least an f/4 aperture to make sure I got them in focus. I rode my ISO up to about 1600-3200 depending on the shot.

Here are my selects from the AM session:

That evening I joined James and Michelle, a couple from the Grand Junction area, on the Van Sickle trail as recommended by Brie from the bike shop. I didn't get any beauty shots with the lake in it, so that was something I definitely desired out of the evening session. After getting a few "safety" shots while the light and trail looked decent, I was soon greeted by wide openings in the forest, revealing Lake Tahoe below. The clouds finally parted a bit and as the sun sat low on the horizon, a vibrant orange-pink was cast on the two riders, giving them a nice warm edge light in some shots and making the trail glow in others.