Photo Story: Behind the Lens with Dan Griffiths for the Atherton Bikes AM.200M Launch

Photography & words by Dan Griffiths

Shooting behind the scenes on the launch of Atherton Bikes latest release – the AM.200M was really good fun.

For starters, the concept behind the video was one of the coolest I’ve seen for a mountain bike launch. Atherton Bikes and the Peny crew crushed it with their creative vision on this one and I was really excited to capture images that aligned with that vision, it’s one of those creative challenges that we crave as photographers.

Working alongside a film crew takes a degree of skill in itself. As a photographer, sometimes you’re there to direct, and sometimes you’re there as the fly on the wall, taking it all in and capturing the happenings with as little disturbance as possible, on this occasion it was the latter.

I’ve worked with the Athertons and alongside videographer Robbie Meade for close to eight years now, and over that time we’ve dialed in a pretty sweet working dynamic. We work around each other and it’s always a relatively seamless process that hails results we can all be proud of and this shoot was no exception.

As a mountain bike photographer I’m extremely blessed to live and work where I do. With access to some of the best riders on the planet and some of the sickest locations, the creative opportunity is immense, and at times I’ve certainly been guilty of taking it for granted.

Dyfi Bike Park and a lesser known secret trail provided the riding on this occasion, and if you paid attention at the beginning of the film, you might have even noticed some familiar slate from projects past. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve shot at Dyfi over the last eight years, and yet every time I turn up, I still feel inspired to push myself creatively and seek out new perspectives on Athy’s mountain bike mecca.

I wanted to use this opportunity to give you an insight into what life looks like behind the lens of a photographer, so without further ado, here’s my perspective on the AM.200M launch.

Nestled amongst towering pines, the darker woods aligned perfectly with the concept of the launch. The trail here is gnarly enough and with visibility reduced, it’s probably one of the most challenging in the region.

Despite all the tight, technical sections, the trail still finds space for riders to let it off. The slacker geometry of the mullet reduces rolling resistance and speeds you up. It gives you the confidence to let off the brakes and let the bike work.

There’s always a window between each shot where somebody is waiting for somebody else. Sometimes the rider will be waiting for us to find our shot, set up a camera or clear a section of trail. Other times, we’re waiting for the rider to push back up, set up the bike or mentally prepare for whatever they’re about to ride next. What I love about shooting with people, is seeing how everybody works in different ways, all while working towards the same vision.

If you haven’t already, you can watch the launch video here.

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