Jeff Fried
Content Maker

How to Take the Best Mountain Biking Pictures

The best mountain biking pictures are the ones that capture the essence of the sport. They should be able to show off the beauty of nature and also capture the thrill and excitement of mountain biking.

There are many ways to take great pictures while mountain biking. The first thing you need to do is find a good location.

Here's a simple guide to get you going. 

A Simple Guide to Getting Great Mountain Bike Images

To start off, when taking mountain bike photos it is important to have a clear idea of what you want the photo to portray. Is it about the rider? The bike? The feeling of biking? Is it about the location? Once you have a clear idea of what you want to portray then you have a basis to make all other decisions.

Things to Consider


What feeling or emotion are you aiming to elicit in your audience? This can be fragemented down and altered as you change audiences. For example, mountain biking can evoke fear — some riders are chancing adrenaline. How do you use photographic techinques to connect to that feeling within them. 

What resources do you have? Are you near the Rockies? Do you live in south Florida? Do own a mountain bike? Figure out what resources you have and work within your means.

Look at Existing Photography

If you want to improve as a mountain bike photographer, look at existing photography.
The best way to learn is by looking at what others have done. You can find inspiration in the work of other photographers and learn from their mistakes.

There are lots of existing techniques, you don't need to invent something new - just take what's already been invented and do it better.

Plan Your Photoshoot Ahead of Time

It is important to plan your photoshoot ahead of time to ensure that you are able to get the best photos possible.

The first step in planning a photoshoot is figuring out what type of photos you want. Do you want lifestyle, candid, or posed shots? Once you have decided on the type of photos that you want, then it is important to look at the location and time of day. You will find more success if you plan your photoshoot ahead of time and take these steps into consideration.

Build a Shoot List

You will find more success in your photo shoots if you build a shot list first. A shot list is a list of all the shots that you want to take in a photo shoot. It includes the order of each shot and what props you need for it, or any technical notes you may want to plan for.

The more detailed your shot list is, the more successful your photo shoot will be. It will help you stay on track and make sure that you get all the shots that you need.

Know Who You Are Shooting

This seems obvious but can easily ruin a shoot. Make sure you work with someone who is capable of completing what tasks you have set out for them. If you need someone jumping a bike, make sure you cast the right talent.

Scout Your Locations

Scouting is an essential part of any photography shoot. It’s not enough to just show up and hope for the best. It's true, scouting takes time but it pays off in the end with more successful photo shoots.

You need to find a location that has good light, interesting features, and a background that complements your subject matter.

Go to your location(s) and plan. When possible it's always good to start looking at Google Maps Street View or Google Earth before. There are other ways to scout your location without having to go there in person first. Get creative and use the internet to do some scouting research. 

Know What Light Quality You Want and Schedule For It

Light is everything in photography —  so make the light you use count. This can be sun light, or strobe, or HMI's. Understand whatever light source your using and how it influences your results. 

Go Have Fun and Allow For Surprises

Creativity is what distinguishes us from machines.

The more we rely on machines to do the heavy lifting, the less room we have to be creative.

The more time we spend in our technology-driven sleepwalk, the more we let go of our sense of wonder about this planet and ourselves.

And when it comes to work and life, creativity is what allows for surprises--as long as you’re willing to invite them in.

Be Dynamic, Adapt When Circumstances Change

Even with all the planning in the world, things go wrong. Just keep swimming. 

This means that the key to success is being able to change your behavior and attitude in order to succeed. With the world changing so rapidly, we can't expect things to stay the same. We need to be able to change when circumstances change.
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