Photographing cyclists may be exhilarating, but it can also prove to be dangerous. From professional cycling to motorcycling, each and every type of biking share the same dangers. There’s really only one factor that can make the job of photographing a biker incredibly safe or possibly deadly. It’s simple: don’t get too close to the person operating the bike. Although it may seem like it’s necessary to get really up close and personal, you can get just as good of a shot by zooming in from the sidelines, or from a safe distance away. In the case of photographers who shoot at cycling competitions, like the Tour de France, it’s easy to get caught up in the crowd and end up in danger of colliding with one of the cyclists. This is where it all comes down to the responsibility of the photographer. When the people shooting cycling races give bikers the space they need, each event can be a fun and safe experience for everyone. However, when photographers disrespect the boundaries of the cyclists, they put both themselves and all of the participating riders at risk of injury.
Photographer Damien Vandamme puts himself and riders in a dangerous position at the Gent-Wevelgem race in Great Britian.
Tejay Van Garderen is obstructed during a cycling race by a fan eager to snap a picture.
Safety can be practiced if photographers take precaution. In these two scenarios, the person operating the bike is aware of the photographer’s presence. Most photographers do not take the time to inform bikers about their presence and purpose, which is an important step to take before snapping shots of the bikers. Another factor that determines danger in these types of scenarios is the skill level of the biker. If there is an event with novice level bikers, it’s probably a good idea to set up photo equipment a small distance away from the path the bikers are taking. Safety in these cases is all about establishing a sense of trust between the biker and the photographer.
Video of a motorcyclist colliding and injuring a photographer.
Video revealing tips for photographing mountain biker shows how safe it is.
There is definitely a possibility for danger when photographing a biker, but the chances of death are highly unlikely. For the most part, people who work as cyclist photographers recognize the bikers as professionals, like themselves, who are trying to get their job done. As long as both parties are aware of each other’s presence and purpose, there’s no reason why the experience can’t be safe and fun for everyone involved.