Last year when I took on the project of photographing the Coast Ride, for the first time, I had this grand idea of shooting a series of portraits. I packed a full lighting kit. The the only time it gots touched was when the InGamba soigneurs had to lug it from the hotel room every single morning and again every single night, as we made our way down the California Coast.
(Full Disclosure: E co-founder Jim works for inGamba and in such that they provided me with a spot in the team car to shoot from, a bed to sleep in, and fed me whenever it was time to eat in exchange for a few snappies.)
Not enough time. Freakish logistics. Many varied and creative excuses.
I still shot a ton of fun stuff anyway and decided to go back for more with the inGamba crew again just last week. I ditched the full lighting kit and even left my speedlites at home.
Just like in previous years the 2019 edition of The Coast Ride rolled by with several hundred riders doing 100+ miles per day over MLK weekend from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Yet just like the one loop you do with your friends every week can change from mundane to drastically different in an instance, the Coast Ride always throws something new at me.
The colossal Big Sur mudslide and the subsequent (literally) breathtaking Nacimiento-Fergusson Road detour have been removed. We had two beautiful riding days, with a rainy wet day sandwiched in the middle, and for the inGamba crew, an additional day of riding from Santa Barbara to Venice. And I had a new mechanic/driver to break in or, at least try, to break in.
Day One went by pretty much as expected, but upon waking in Monterey on Day Two I was greeted with a steady drizzle. As strange as this might sound, I was excited. Extra element bring extra drama and, plus, I wasn’t riding.
Some point just before the riders left the hotel one of the riders, Andrew, suggested that I should do a portrait series of the riders’ grit and reactions at the end of the day. It was a rather ironic suggestion considering last year I had packed for a portrait series that didn’t happen, but now it was going to happen when I hadn’t packed my toys to do it “properly.” I may not have had my lighting kit, but the InGamba tour bus had a full matte black exterior. The perfect backdrop. I was stoked.
122 miles, 8,000 feet of climbing and six hours in the rain later, I got the portrait series I had planned on over 365 days earlier.