[Photos] – How to Photograph a Cycling Legend


04.05.16 at 5:30 pm

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We are very lucky to have exclusive behind the scenes photographs of Sir Chris Hoy’s latest photoshoot to share with you, and you also have the chance to win a Palmarès jersey, cap and sportive bib shorts from the Hoy Vulpine range (scroll to the bottom of the page to enter). Eloise Adler gets the inside track on how to photograph a cycling legend.


The competition is now closed

For the launch of the exclusive Hoy Vulpine Palmarès Jersey and Cap to honour Sir Chris Hoy’s achievements on the track, Vulpine travelled up to Glasgow for a photo-shoot with Chris himself at the most appropriate location we could think of; the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.


I’ve just joined Vulpine, and I’m feeling pretty lucky to be involved in a photoshoot with Sir Chris Hoy on my first day! After a brutally early start, we (myself, Alexander Rhind – the photographer, and Nick Hussey – founder of Vulpine) arrive in Glasgow on Friday morning. Everything is going smoothly, until we discover that Alex’s flash lights have been left in Gatwick by the airline. Not ideal. We’ve got 2 hours shooting with Chris starting shortly! A few rapid calls and some frantic tweeting later though, and we are in a taxi en route to the velodrome via Calumet Photographic to hire some replacement lights; crisis averted!

The velodrome is a fantastic building; the ceiling an amazing network of industrial metal pipes, and having never actually stood on a velodrome before, I can’t quite believe how steep the banking is at either end!


Having lost a bit of time sorting out the lost lights problem, Alex doesn’t have long to set up before Chris arrives. He quickly changes into the new kit and starts to set up his beautiful custom built Shand track bike. Alex and I begin shooting the set up and chatting to Chris, before the main shoot gets underway.


Alex wants to capture Chris’ phenomenal power and strength in a really dynamic way, and Chris begins doing laps of the velodrome, alternating slow and fast, and sprinting up to the lights, which Alex and Nick call feedback to him. The results are striking; the effect of the flashes not only allow Alex to freeze the action of Chris riding, but also darken down the the background of the velodrome while picking up on the beautiful gold accents on the black jersey, Chris’ bike, and original competition helmet


I’m in the background, trying to capture everything that’s going on; the results of which you see here. The shoot slows down as Chris is shot statically on the track, looking down at the bike, arms popping. It’s a really collaborative process with, Nick, Chris and Alex all providing ideas and giving feedback, checking the images as they are shot on the laptop.

As we come to end of the shoot Alex moves off the track to shoot from above, through the railings at the top of the velodrome. Chris begins to fly round the track just inches away from the railings. I rest my camera on the bar, shooting as he blasts past; it’s incredible to watch him at such a close distance.


Happy with the results of the shoot, we wind things down; a track session is just about to start, and you can see the cyclists trying to work out if it actually is Sir Chris Hoy swinging around the velodrome! They grab the chance for a photo opportunity with him, and then Chris begins to dismantle his bike, with the same care and precision as the set up. It’s been an incredible morning, and the images Alex has shot look stunning; we settle into the velodrome cafe for a baked potato and coffee before the flight back to London.

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