Innes Graham is a sick downhill racer. His race CV includes top Junior World Cup results (in 2013 he scored 2nd in Norway 4th Mont StAnne and 5th Leogang) and loads of British Downhill Series and National Champs wins. Did you know that Innes is also a aspiring young photographer? Alongside shredding on his Mondraker, Innes is also working with his 7D and looking to get better and better.
Pete Scullion took a minute on a recent trip to Ireland to talk photos…
When did you realise you had an eye for a photo?
I think around the same time as racing started to get more serious for me. That would have been around the end of 2011.
How did you get into photography, beyond what the smart phone can offer?
It was 2009, when I saved up some money from my birthday and bought myself a Fujifilm digital camera. I
first started making videos actually. I remember coming home from school almost everyday and no matter what the weather was like I’d grab some food and a bottle of water then go out with the dog to build trails and film little clips until it was pitch black.
When I started high school that got more serious and I stopped getting the camera out as much. Then at the end of 2012 my dad inherited some money and bought himself a DSLR. I was really inspired by the photos that I kept seeing in magazines and online from races so I started trying to learn a bit about how the thing worked and tried to copy some of the stuff I saw.
What inspires you to pick up the camera rather than the bike?
A lot of things inspire me. I always find traveling, seeing new places and people really makes me want to capture memories. I seem to always look at pieces of countryside or hillside and think how awesome it would be build a track or some sort of jump down it and it is similar with photography for me. I always find myself thinking of angles that would make something look interesting and draw a person’s eye into a subject. I guess I think about things a bit differently.
Did breaking your heel in South Africa at the start of the year make you pick up the camera more?
Certainly. In fact at that point I think having something to put my mind to really helped keep me positive. I took it as an opportunity to do something I wouldn’t normally have time to do.I ended up going to quite a few races and just taking pictures. It was strange not racing or having those race day nerves but I was happy enough crutching up and down hills with a bag full of kit to still feel part of the scene and learn how to take a half decent picture.
What kit do you use?
I have my own Canon 7D body and I always swap lenses etc with my dad. Currently I’m using a Canon 10-22 wide angle, Samyang Fish eye, 35mm prime, 70-200 and a canon 100mm macro. Quite a lot of kit for a novice! haha
Do you use editing software?
A bit of iPhoto and Photoshop for more interesting stuff. I’m still learning how to use it though
What would be your advice to riders wanting to have a stab at taking a decent photo?
Ask a lot of questions and experiment with light and camera settings as much as possible. I remember when I first got my 7D I would stay up until ridiculous hours playing with long exposures in my room to just delete them right after. That really helped me get an understanding of the basic features!
Favourite photographer(s), and why?
There are so many Photographers these days that I look up to! Firstly I’d say Paris Gore. He always seems to be producing amazing work and keeps it fresh. He finds a way to make you feel like you are right there with the subject. He also taught me the basics of panning so props to him for that.Dave Trumpore for running the most badass instagram account and inspiring me daily. Also I want to say Joey Schusler and Duncan Philpott plain and simple because every photo I see of theirs makes me want to go outside and snap anything and everything.
Favourite photo of yours, and why?
Good Question! I’d say I’m still at the stage where luck is a big factor in the photos I take. Finding the perfect light and being in the right place at the right time is a massive part of photography as I’ve found out numerous times. That itself is a skill.It’s hard to put a finger on my most favourite photo I’ve taken. A lot of images have small details I love. My favourite photo would probably have to be from either Leogang WC finals 2013 or Fort William Finals 2014. Steve and Troy both making history on those days.
Favourite rider to shoot, and why?
I can’t really put a finger on that one. If I had to however it would be between Troy and Blenki. Some riders have a certain style that looks sick at all times and I think those two are prime examples.