Whether he’s behind the lens or leaning into a turn, Olympus Visionary Marcus Enno loves everything about cycling. [Olympus Promotion]
As a passionate rider himself, Marcus Enno knows all about the fine line between being close or too-close to the action. ‘A rider touched my foot in the Vuelta but I was pushed up against a wall with nowhere to go,’ he said of a rare instance where he came close to crossing that fine line. ‘Mostly I give the riders as much space as I can,’ he added.
Apart from the Vuelta incident ““ and the time a team car ran over his foot — Marcus says his work rarely involves anything more traumatic than a few scratches on his legs from tramping through the scrub in search of dramatic angles.
An Olympus shooter since he started taking pictures at 14, the Sydney-based photographer had been working as a professional for a decade before he turned his lens toward cycling. ‘I had become a passionate cyclist ““ riding my bike every day. Then one day I decided to post a couple of the images of cycling that I’d been snapping on my iPhone to Instagram. I received some good feedback, so I continued documenting my morning rides, but with a better camera, and my following grew from there.’
With an Instagram following now in excess of 50,000 fans and a well-trafficked Facebook page along with a dedicated website (BeardysCaravan.com), Marcus says ‘I think people are drawn to my social media because I am always traveling somewhere or covering a race, so the content is current, interesting and consistent. I only post cycling related images. That way people know what they are signing up for. Social media is a great tool but in my opinion it’s better to keep person and business separate, which is why I created the alias Beardy McBeard. Actually most of my followers don’t know my real name!’
In the last year “Beardy” and his small team have covered the action at Tour Down Under, Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and La Vuelta Espaø±a. ‘I use two OM-D E-M1 Mark II bodies, an 8mm f/1.8 fisheye, a 7-14mm f/2.8, a 12-40 f/2.8, a 25mm f/1.2, a 40-150 f/2.8, a 300mm f/4 IS, and a 1.4x teleconverter. I love the 8mm f/1.8 for tight corners as it extenuates the turns. The 25mm f/1.2 is amazing for riders’ portraits at the beginning of races ““ and to capture exhausted faces at the stage finish. The 40-150 f/2.8 is unbeatable as a fast long lens for action shots out on the road.’
Describing his current gear as having a similar feel to his first Olympus SLR, Marcus explained ‘I use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II because it captures a super-fast 18 frames per second; you don’t miss the action. I work in all conditions ““ snow, rain, hail, dust and heat ““ so I need a camera like the weather sealed OM-D that is made to withstand these conditions. Because the camera is Micro 4/3, it is much more compact ““ both the lenses and the camera itself. I will travel over 180 days this year, so having a lightweight, compact camera bag means I can bring all the lenses I need without having excess baggage.’
Every day is a long day when you’re covering a Tour. On a typical stage he shoots the starting activities, then he and his team take back roads to get ahead of the riders in order to find an eye-catching landscape near the middle of the stage. As soon as the last rider goes by, it’s back in the car to find a vantage point near the finish line. But even when the final rider has rolled to a weary stop, Marcus still has hours of work between him and sleep. ‘I start the moment the race finishes and work until midnight,’ he said. He sorts through 1500 or so images for 50 or 60 ‘hero’ shots to send out to his clients and his social media platforms. ‘A great cycling photo should tell a story about a moment in a race,’ he said. ‘It should convey a sense of emotion, but most of all it should make you want to ride a bicycle and discover the world on two wheels.’
Visionaries & Storytelling, presented by Photo Review and Olympus: