Premier Version – Behind the Lens – Nepal: Steve Shannon

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When we commission photographers to produce the images to use in our magazine features we typically expect to receive anything up to 50 images from them. This large selection then gets filtered down to a final collection of maybe 12 or so to be laid out in the feature alongside the text. This is a process done in house and away from the eyes of the person behind the lens. The selection criteria is guided by the text, which may or may not be also produced by the photographer, and often the physical constraints of the design and the number of pages assigned to the feature. The end result is often a situation where the photographer will be convinced we’ve laid out the wrong images at the wrong size – it is the lot of the humble freelancer that their art is often ignored and those dreadful people driving the desks never pick the best images.

In Singletrack Issue 104 we were spoiled for choice with images, as there were two photographers on the trip. Here we bring you Steve Shannon’s pick and story behind the images.

Words and pictures by Steve Shannon

About The Photographer

Steve has grown up in the mountains, and has been riding bikes pretty much all his life.  Most of his riding and shooting has been around his home in the interior of British Columbia, Canada.  When not mountain biking, he spends his time skiing, dirt biking and climbing.  His favourite rides are long excursions into the alpine, usually involving a lengthy hike-a-bike, some inclement weather and a good dose of adventure.  He’s a freelance photographer and writer, working for a variety of commercial and editorial clients, mostly in adventure sports.

About the trip

Nepal had been high on Steve’s list of places to visit for a while. When he heard about Kathryn and Miranda’s plans to bike-pack the Annapurna circuit and Mustang valley, he knew right away he wanted to join them. Luckily flights were cheap due to the recent earthquake, so after quickly coercing Todd (Weselake) to join him, flights were booked and the planning began. Riding 500 kilometres through the Himalayas was no small feat. During the three weeks on the bikes they climbed over 22,000 vertical metres at elevations up to 5400 metres so careful consideration was given to gear and packing – they’d have to carry everything they took.

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Steve Shannon Nepal
1/640 sec @ f2.2, ISO 1600, 50mm

At the end of our third day we arrived in Chame.  The day had been incredible as we steadily gained elevation and had our first views of snowcapped Himalayan peaks.  After we settled into our night’s accommodation, the owners’ children came out to check out our bikes and gear.  Here Kathryn Whiteside and one of the girls play with our bike lock.

Location: Chame, Nepal

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Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (1)

    Thanks for the great photos, brought back memories of a backpacking trip in 1990. Back then, the challenge was the curfews and street riots brought about by the anti-monarchy movement.

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