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Editor: Mark Jordan
Senior Art Director: Paul Duarte
Digital Prepress Director: Wes Ducan
Photographer: Devon Balet
Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.
Heidi: Where were you to get the opening shot?
Devon: The article was featured in Decline Magazine from a recent trip to Chatel France. The opening shot was taken from the take off of this dirt step up to step down feature. It was really hard because there wasn’t much room to stand. I had about one square foot and I was right on the edge about 15 feet off the ground. I used the live view feature and held the camera above and behind me slightly. I did have to be a bit of a jerk to some other photogs that wanted to squeeze in with me, in the end I am glad I did it.
Is it hard to get access for the shots you want?
It can be extremely difficult. Sometimes I wish I had a Go-Go Gadget pack to float in the air and get to where ever I want. At big events like this one you are always battling it out with other photographers to get the angle and a clean view. I am always amused by course marshals yelling at me to be careful. After eight years of doing this professionally, I have yet to be hit by a rider. Key word, yet.
How do you edit for the drop sequence?
I used PS to morph that shot, a pretty simple technique. You open all the individual images in PS as layers, this stacks all the images onto one file. From there you use the Align feature, this evaluates all the images and lines them up perfectly for you. Once the files are all lined up, you simply mask away parts of each layer to leave you with the sequence. This is a super fast way to line up sequences.
How much of a rider to do have to be to do this kind of work?
That is a matter of opinion I would say. Myself, the one thing I do just as much as photograph is ride bikes. I recently shot for a week at the Breck Epic, a six day mountain bike race in Breckenridge Colorado. I pride myself in putting forth extra effort to get far out on course. I found myself putting in anywhere between 5-20 miles with a fully loaded camera bag every day. One of the days I hiked to 12,460 feet to get photos of riders topping out Wheeler Pass. The racers were always surprised to see me, especially twice a day in different locations.
What is the heaviest your gear pack has been while on your bike?
Way to heavy! I have never actually weight it, which I should do. There as been times that my pack has been well over 40lbs. One year shooting the Red Bull Rampage I was assisting Ian Hylands and was carrying my own camera bag and a second for him. Still trying to find a photo of myself with a pack on my back and front. I will regularly go on trail rides with a 25-30lbs pack. I am always blown away by how well I ride with no pack.