Breathtaking imagery has a remarkable ability to stoke a fire within us. Whether it’s a snapshot of a top athlete pushing the needle of what is possible or a quiet moment in the alpine, a far-flung place we might only ever dream of riding or a backyard trail, the right shot has the profound power to move us. To inspire us to get out and make our own moments. That’s why, at Beta, we’re dedicated to showcasing the finest imagery we can get our hands on, the best way we can. To all the shooters up well before breakfast and out way after dinner, hauling heavy gear, battling ground hornets, poisonous plants and animals, and laying face down in the mud just to capture that one perfect frame, thank you.
Welcome to Chroma, Beta’s home for photographers.
The following selection is from our Spring ’21 issue. We’ve included some behind the scenes commentary from some of the amazing artists behind the shots.
“In 1999, Åre, Sweden hosted the World Mountain Biking Championships. At the time, mountain biking was a fairly new sport in Sweden and just a few people rode bikes in the alpine in the little ski town. Over time, Åre became a bike town as much as a ski town and nowadays, the mountain biking in the alpine is a real draw. Here, local hero Janne Tjärnström enjoys a late August night on Easy Rider, a 4-kilometer-long flow trail from the top of Mount Åreskutan.”—Mattias Fredriksson
“Normally shooting World Champs, it’s all about the winner. Tight, clear, bold action photography works on Instagram. It’s what the brands want a lot of the time, but I like getting up there early in training to give myself a little bit extra time to shoot a bit more creatively. It’s a little more rewarding for the soul and if the weather is bad, it’s often a bonus for the photos. Skulking around under the new big gap for something a little different, I came about this spider web still covered in the previous evening’s rain. This became the shot and the rider, out of focus in the background, is the only thing that made it a mountain bike shot. I was happy to see it in print because you would barely notice the web on silly old Instagram. Cheers Beta.”—Sven Martin
“A favorite image of mine taken at one of my favorite locations: Sol Mountain Lodge. Evening light lines up directly down the valley and illuminates the stunning high-alpine Caribou Pass trail at different points before it drops behind Mount Fosthall. I noticed this particular corner had some incredible contrast that evening. It was one of those ‘right place, right time’ photos as the light lined up exactly on the corner as the riders came into frame. The combination of the peaks, wild flowers, low light and the jacket colors of the riders made for a great photo and a spot that I’d never noticed before this evening.”—Ryan Creary
“Brandon casually aired this T-bog during a standby moment between more technical tricks while filming for his X Games Real MTB part. It was the perfect moment to take advantage of some harsh backlight while awaiting better light on another feature.”—Toby Cowley
“As with every photo or clip we captured on this shoot, there were a lot of steps taken before Calvin (Huth) and I even turned our cameras on. All of us had to first create the setup for Bas (Van Steenbergen) to be able to bar drag, before ever considering documenting it. Once the feature was built, it still wasn’t the most simple image to capture. It took a few mornings of testing and tweaking for Bas to figure things out. Frozen dirt was something we even struggled with for this shot; one particular morning we watered the berms and an ice layer immediately formed on the dirt. Despite all the hurdles, as a team we had a jolly good time with this feature and it turned out to be one of the more memorable moments.”—Peter Jamison
“The original mountain bike superstar, Richie Schley, always knows the best shape to throw for every shooting situation. It also didn’t hurt that we were possibly at one of the world’s best spots for sand-dune shredding.”—Margus Riga