Red Hook Crit No.10 - Focus on the Photographers - Mike Dann

During this years RHC I decided to take a look beside me and photograph some of the homies that work hard capturing the red hook crit experience. Some say that the race wouldn't be what it is today without the messengers that competed in the past. Well i believe that the race wouldn't be what it is today without the amazing photographers that have the talent to capture all of red hook crit's special moments with the entire world.

I talked to my Perth, Australian homie about his experience photographing the 10th Edition of the Red Hook Criterium series. Check out what he has to say below and make sure to check out his take of the race on instagram & his .com.

IG: @mikedann and his website, Mike Dann Photographics & make sure to checkout his blog too MDann.tumblr


RHC10 portraits - by: Mike Dann

What kind of photographer do you consider yourself? I would call myself a portrait photographer first, but really I just love shooting with people, especially when they're doing or making things. I try my best to bring a candid humane feel to my commercial work. I also have this running theme with people's hands. Before cycling I spent a long time shooting with bands and working in the music industry documenting tours and shooting live. As well as putting together record artwork packaging, and that feeds into how I shoot these sorts of things now, moving forwards into more fashion and lifestyle/culture work.

What Equipment did you shoot with at RHC10? Canon 5D MKII with the 24-70mm f2.8L II. I almost didn't bring that kit all the way with me, and was planning to just shoot with my travel camera, a Fuji X-T1 with a couple of the primes because it's less to fly with when I travel across the world with my bike. I wouldn't have been able to cover everything as well without the battery capacity of the battery grip. (Fuji you gotta get onto them battery grips!). I brought a 600EX and the trigger with me, but I found I didn't really feel like I wanted to shoot anything other than whatever ambient light was around, just to make sure the photos felt and looked exactly as the moment did. Loving the work by those with the strobes though!

What were you specifically looking to photograph? I came out from Australia on my own, so I wasn't working for a team or publication, and I didn't really have any commitments throughout the day, so I initially wanted to shoot a lot of candid portraits of the people racing. But as the day progressed, I was way more interested in what the people around the race were doing. How the photographers were all working differently with their different styles and clients. How people were enjoying themselves. So while I did end up shooting the racing, all my favorite images of the day are from around the race, not of the race. The photographers are working just as hard as the athletes, and put just as many hours into their craft, so they deserve just as much coverage! Besides, secretly I think we all like photos of ourselves working.

How many photos did you shoot in total?
2383, on the dot. I'd estimate at least 95% of that is getting dizzy panning on corners and hoping for the best. I try my best to shoot portraits like I do on film; think first, look, grab a couple of shots, move on. Keep it easy.

How many times have you shot at a Red Hook event? This was my first Red Hook! It's a long way from Perth, but hopefully I'll be in Barcelona in September, and I'll definitely be back here in Brooklyn next year. It was such a great experience, I'm glad I finally made it out.

What was your favorite moment of the race day to shoot and why? Right at sunset, out the back of the VIP area near the food trucks, the light was absolutely incredible, with all these puddles from the rain reflecting the light around. Myself and a friend (@sansomountain, be about it!) were so moved by it, we were desperately grabbing anyone we knew as they walked past so we could shoot them doing track stands or anything we could come up with. Truly nerding out over the light and it had nothing to do with the race. I will say though, having press pass access to the starting grid was incredible too.

 Mike Dann - Photo: Cordell Murray

Mike Dann - Photo: Cordell Murray