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Keith Valentine 2016 slideshow: Anywhere but there

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  •  Featured, Photography

Keith Valentine is a unique individual on the world cup circuit photo scene.

Independent, unflustered by much – capturing bangers, week in, week out. He let’s his work do the talking.

With a wicked sense of humour, and the ability to give as good as he gets, Keith is a favourite of ours here at Descent-World.


To go with his 2016 showreel, we asked him a few questions about bikes, photography and life in general.

Right then Keith – there’s 10 minutes worth of bangers here. A lot of tog’s on the world cup circuit use editorial work to lift their own profile but you don’t. Yet, you have hundreds of bangers that we don’t get to see to the end of the year. Why so?

Well first of all (I’m the worlds slowest editor) , folks don’t realise I actually also have a full time job as well and this slows my chance to get photos up online, but all my photos can be viewed by anyone on my flickr site here – Keith’s Flickr Site

When most togs tend to use Lightroom or/and Photo Mechanic, I use Adobe browser,camera raw and cs6. The reason for this is each photo is different so I like to edit them all separately (not as a batch). So each photo you folks get to see has had somewhere between 1.5 and 20min worth of work put into it. All my full sets for the year are not usually finished until end of December. The other reason as although I have great clients they are not pushy and all like my finished product. Most togs shoot for money but as I have a full time job I can shoot for love & have zero pressure as well as a freedom to experiment with shots that maybe other togs can’t risk because they have to get the money shot for there clients. The greatest compliment I can get is my photo on a racers p.c desktop as he switches it on in the morning.

What makes you keep going back to the WC DH circuit?

MMMM tricky one that , 50% addiction – when your not shooting races you miss it like photography morphine, the other 50% is combined with wanting to prove to yourself and others that you can take a good photo, plus being single gives me plenty of free time, my work is flexible with my holidays , and you can get such a variety of shots from a downhill race that you can’t get from say Bmx or track/road etc

If you had to pick one race where you loved the action, he racing itself and shooting conditions, what would it be?

Without a doubt this year at Val Di Sole champs, it was unreal , dust , sun , following the light streams down the mountain while shooting in a t-shirt with a cold cider in my pocket – amazing. I was staying in a apartment with Zach about 2 miles from the race track & was lucky enough to have my foldable longboards with me (I got out of the apartment and it was downhill all the way to the pits) so much fun! A crazy journey home on an electric bike in turbo mode towing Zach home in the pitch black with the forks on back to front ha ha . Make every silly memory count folks.

Best moment of 2016?

Best moment of 2016 is either releasing this slideshow to the world (such a buzz) or Sunday October 23rd 8.30am getting to shoot the sunrise & ride down the Old Man of Storr in the Isle of Skye with Euan Brownlie photo attached.

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What teams do you shoot for on the WC circuit?

I shoot for O’neal , Unior Bike Tools team, Norco, Fort William & Leogang world cups and am sponsored by Lowepro also some other smaller clients all are great ,I don’t like to have to many as this restricts my chances to experiment.

Who would win a gun fight between you and Sven Martin (Another world cup photographer)?

That depends if its an OSV-96 in deep cover in Afghanistan or Canon 1dx’s in the open at Fortbill ha ha.. Sven is an entity , a legend. You hear him before you see him, talented for sure , followed by many many many , copied by many , loved by many , paid by many. Very smart chap who knows a good spot when he sees one.

I think I am sometimes like a stone in his shoe, a fly in his ointment ha ha! All good tog banter up the hill though. I tend to keep away from him and his ever increasing posse’s way and do my own thing – every tog has his own style of shooting and editing, it’s taken me years to get where I am now and every race I still learn something new. Can I just add this, you do have to be a little bit crazy to be a MTB tog , lying in the dust or mud, risking life and equipment to get that shot.

What are your plans for 2017?

2017 Well I will be shooting all DH World cup again (still unsure about Cairns world champs as its a long travel and very expensive) . Scottish BDS rounds , some SDA’S, maybe a Crankworx round, a BMX world cup if i can , British DH champs , Scottish DH champs and a few other things I’m looking into……..long may it last I want my last photo to be a banger ha ha.

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