Last weekend brought some of the leading cyclists to the North to compete in the Tour de Yorkshire for the second year running. Not being a particular fan of cycling as a spectator sport and not being overly interested in landscape photography, I find the combination of the two strangely appealing. Furthermore, the fact that the competitors speed past in a matter of seconds means that you have to be very prepared to get your shot.
My preparations for the three-day event began a couple of months ago with a drive around the North Yorkshire sections of the route, looking for that perfect location as a backdrop to the snake-like peloton as over a hundred riders appear to move as one unit with a mesmerizing hum of tyres on tarmac. With such a wealth of natural beauty along the course finding that one spot for each day is easier said that done.
Not only are you trying to find a view which will hopefully create a beautiful scene, you also hope that you are the sole photographer to have found that position. For the freelancer, competition is fierce when trying to make a living from selling pictures. In the current climate, publications are only too happy to use free or pre-paid content, be this from national agencies such as Press Association to whom they pay an annual subscription which gives them license to use their material for an agreed period of time or from readers or camera clubs who are often comprised of keen amateurs who are either retired or taking photos as a hobby in addition to their day jobs, therefore not reliant on a fee for their undertaking.
Being a professional photographer for me is still the greatest job in the world and has provided me with so many wonderful experiences, however variables such as these have made it so much more challenging.