Hanging out of a car in a sandstorm is a great way to exfoliate your skin, but it creates challenging conditions for photography, as Trevor Mould –team photographer for ONE Pro Cycling – discovered. Trevor was in the middle of the Dubai Desert for stage 3 of the Dubai Tour 2017 when the weather turned nasty.
‘Riders don’t usually continue in such conditions,’ he explains, ‘but these guys were out in it for about three hours – by the end their skin was as smooth as a baby’s bum!’ Determined to capture something unusual Trevor continued to shoot with his Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm lens during the storm, and was delighted at how his gear coped. ‘I had absolutely no problems with it,’ he enthuses.
‘I stuck a few filters on the front of the lens and everything was fine.’ Trevor’s relationship with Olympus dates back to the 1970s when his best friend’s dad lent him an OM-1. ‘I really enjoyed using it, but film processing was expensive back then,’ he recalls. After that Trevor mainly shot pictures of his family, until he became involved in sport – cricket, to be precise.
When you’re working by the side of the road and there’s an iconic landmark such as the Wembley arches in sight, a fisheye lens is the perfect companion.
‘A few years ago I was the commercial director at Sussex County Cricket Club,’ he reveals. ‘We used to spend a fortune hiring photographers to cover matches, so I decided to spend the budget on a DSLR and lenses and have a go.’ Trevor shot for the club for four years before turning to cycling. ‘The cricketer Matt Prior is a friend of mine,’ he says. ‘After injuring his Achilles tendon he had to use a bike for his cardio work.
When he retired he let me know he was setting up a cycling team.’ At this point Trevor knew nothing about cycling, but decided to go to the team’s first race – the Perfs Pedal Race in Portsmouth – to see what it was about and take some shots. ‘I didn’t know what I was doing or who any of the guys were,’ he says. But his pictures impressed team manager Becky Frewing, who asked him to join the group the next week. ‘Four years, and some 180 races, later I’m still going,’ he laughs. But the transition from shooting cricket to cycling wasn’t easy. ‘When you’re shooting stadium sports, like cricket, you pretty much know what’s going to happen – the bowler is going to come in from one end, for example – but you can’t predict anything in cycling,’ says Trevor.
• Two Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II bodies and a set of PRO lenses (with the exception of the M.Zuiko 45mm, which he plans to get).
• The M.Zuiko 40-150mm PRO and the M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO are his real workhorses.
Making the change
As he became more involved in the sport Trevor began to find his DSLR limiting, so he decided to switch to a mirrorless system. He used an Olympus OM-D E-M1, then moved to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II six months ago. ‘The team competes in a lot of overseas races, and I like to carry all my equipment in one rucksack on the plane,’ he explains. ‘The beauty of cycling photography is that you are so close to the action that a long telephoto is not essential. I use everything from an Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm Fisheye PRO (16mm, 35mm equiv) to an Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm PRO telephoto (600mm, 35mm equiv).’
The range of lenses Trevor carries reflects the different areas of cycling he covers, from intimate shots of the team preparing, to action on the road, and wider shots of riders set against popular landmarks. ‘During the Tour of Britain the route passes castles, cathedrals and country estates,’ he confirms. ‘There’s a bit of an art form developing in this area.’ This requires a different level of artistry, but Trevor is not fazed by it, partly due to the confidence he has in his gear. ‘Since I started using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, I have always got the shot I need. I have never had an issue where the camera hasn’t done what I expected it to.’ Long may it continue.
“A freak sandstorm hits riders in the middle of the Dubai Desert on Stage 3 of the Dubai Tour 2017”
Trevors’s Three Tips
1. There is a set of tutorial videos on YouTube by Mike Browne – the way he explains the basics is brilliant.
2. Get to know your equipment. Success is about knowing what you’ve got, and what works best for you.
3. Most races take place in daylight, which means you don’t have to worry about high ISOs and slow shutter speeds.
Top features of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
• The M.Zuiko PRO lenses are some of the finest optics I have used when matched with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
• As a photographer who travels extensively, the fact I can pack two bodies and six lenses into a standard backpack, and stay within airline weight limits, is very important to me when I’m flying – plus it’s also kind to my back.
• Speed is critical for sports photographers: speed of autofocus, speed of image processing, and speed of image transfer via the wireless connectivity enables me to give my media colleagues usable pictures almost instantly.
Article featured in Amateur Photography Magazine.