How I Got the Shot – Mountain Biking to Catalog Cover

By Lane Erickson

I love to mountain bike almost as much as I love photography. The problem is it’s not really easy to take a camera with you when you’re out mountain biking. I’ve tried a number of small cameras but don’t feel that they have been built strong enough to take the rigors of a mountain bike ride.

Eventually I got to where I began taking a Nikon D70 with me and a fisheye lens. I used this combination a number of times to get some outstanding photos, many of which have sold well as stock photos.

On this particular day I was out riding by myself in some hills that are about 2 miles from my home, and decided to get some self portraits. I didn’t have a tripod though so I propped the camera up on my camera bag and then maneuvered my bike to the position I thought was right.  This type of photography is really hit and miss because every time you pick the camera up to look at the photos you put it back down again in a slightly different position than it was before.

Taking self-portraits with most Nikon cameras is no problem. You can either use the self-timer and get yourself into position, or you can do like I did and use the small infrared remote Nikon makes that works with most of its cameras.  It is the ML-L3.

ML-L3 Remote
Nikon ML-L3 Infrared Remote Control.  This works with just about all Nikon Dslrs.  I used it with my old Nikon D-70.  I also use it with my D80, D200, D5100 and D7100 cameras.  It has worked flawlessly for almost a decade.  I highly recommend using one.

You can pick one up for about $18.00 at B&H Photo, at Adorama, or at Amazon.  You can also find cheaper non-Nikon versions for $2-$15 at these places or on E-bay.  I haven’t used any non-Nikon versions so I can’t vouch for their quality but I know they are out there.  I have used the Nikon ML-L3 for years and have had no problems with it.  It is reliable and the C2025 battery seems to last for years.

So I held the small remote in my right hand and clicked off several photos.  Here is the one that I liked the most:

Self portrait taken out on a mountain biking ride close to my home.  I used my Nikon D70, and Nikkor 10.5 f/2.8 fisheye lens which provides incredible perspectives.  The shot was taken at ISO 200 on Aperture Priority; 1/250s @ f/11.

I guess I’m not the only one that liked the photo.  I submitted it as a stock photo and it sold quite well.  I always wonder where my photographs that sell as stock are used.  With this photo I got my answer pretty quickly.

I picked up the mail one day to find the Nashbar catalog, with my photo on the cover!


It was both a shock and a surprise to find my photo this way but I happily put the cover photo into my portfolio of published photos.  It is always a thrill to see my photos published.   I love to see my published portfolio grow.

That’s how I got the shot!  I’d love to hear any questions or comments you have.

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