Yanik's Photo School

Photos From Mount Washington

There’s this crazy cycling race called the Mount Washington Bicycle Hill Climb in New Hampshire. Basically all you do is go uphill for 12 kms (7.6 miles). How crazy is that! I like flat or downhill surfaces, and the wind at my back please. Especially when the average gradient is 12% with some parts at 22%. No thank you.

But I have one of my good friends, Marc Mongeau, who’s nutty enough to do this race. And last weekend was the practice run before the big day in August. The road was open to registered cyclists between 5am and 7am. That’s a pretty early wake-up call for a Sunday morning. But being a photographer and knowing that some of the best light is early, I was happy to get up at 4:30am and encourage Marc during his “pain ride”… and take a few photos! 🙂

What’s important here is to have warm clothes. You won’t need them at first but about half way up when you’re in the clouds and above the tree line, the wind won’t be as forgiving. Even Marc, sweat and all, stopped to put on his wicked KISS arm warmers. 🙂 I was hoping for a clear sky at the top and set up my SB-800s to shoot Marc in all his tired glory but… it was thicker than pea soup up there.

Here are some of the images I took during the 1h32 minutes it took him to finish the run.


[nggallery id=39]

All images were post processed in Lightroom. No Photoshop whatsoever. You’ll notice that a few images have that lovely split toning effect  that I showed you how to do in this lightroom split toning tutorial. If you don,t have Lightroom, you can also split tone in Photoshop. The rest of the images were adjusted using standard stuff like curves and saturation/vibrance.

Now, I need your help! I’d like to give Marc a print of one of these photos. Please let me know which one is your favorite and why. 🙂 It’ll be a good exercise observation as well. Thank you in advance for your input!

13 responses on "Photos From Mount Washington"

  1. I think i like the mystery behind #13. The curvy hill, the fog, the idea of someone behind you, even though you dont see his face you can sense the effort he is putting into it.
    And my other fav are #10 and #4

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think #10 is the best for printing. Beautiful colors and such wonderful ambience.

    Thank you for your tutorials. I’m reading them from some time and i have learn a lot new things.

  3. These still look real very amazing photos. Thanks for the blog.

  4. I vote for #5. The background depicts where he has been and his expression is perfect for his accomplishment. It shows determination while also depicting the effort to complete such a ride.

  5. Profile photo of Yanik

    @Janith

    Ya, that fuzzy thing is the car’s antenna. 🙂

  6. I vote for #8 if you can clone out that fuzzy thing on the left hand side. The mile-marker is a nice touch in balance with Marc, and the ‘full fog ahead’ feeling is great commentary. Nice composition too.

  7. Profile photo of Yanik

    @Martin Dufort

    Good catch! I updated the race name. 🙂

    @Jamie

    Ya, I know about the double popup thing… It’s something with NextGen Gallery….

  8. I think my all time favorite is still #10. It show the gradient of the road in the back, the solo effort of every rider going uphill in a climb this steep and the typical Mount-Washington rapidly changing weather.

    BTW: The race is the Mount-Washington Bicycle Hill Climb.

    The Mount-Washington Auto Road is the name of the road that goes all the way up.

    Thanks. That was super fun Yanik 🙂

  9. I think I like 4 the best 🙂 then 10

  10. My personal favorite is #8, because it’s consistent with all my trips to the top of Mt. Washington. I may start out in the sun, but I end up in the fog.

    Photographically, I love #5 the best. It’s got interesting leading lines. The rider on the edge also speaks to me of the often solitary nature of cycling. The Mt. Washington climb being on the edge of cycling. I also like how it captures the environment in the background & shows how far he’s come.

  11. P.S. I’m getting two gallery pop-ups when I click the thumbnails. Might want to look at that 🙂

  12. The fourth image gets my vote, Yanik. Good depth and you can really feel the isolation. The hazy images are great too, but I assume he will want to be identifiable in his print 😛

  13. Thank you Yanik for your post. I Learn new thing from split toning tutorial at lightroom.

    Thank you. Waiting for another post.

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