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The Beta Photo Annual – Behind the Cover

Photographer Robb Thompson takes us behind the cover image of Beta's 2021 photo annual, hitting shelves September 28.

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Before I even glanced at the back of my camera, I knew we had something special. Brett (Rheeder) confirmed it the moment he looked at the shot. In a sense, this photo has roots back in 2015 when we worked on our first major project together filming “This Is Home” for Shimano. It had a very similar set of ingredients: a flat farmer’s field, perfectly sculpted jumps and a two-story starting platform. Not to mention Mother Nature bringing all her best magic. That moment culminated in the cover of Bike magazine’s 2016 Photo Annual, no small source of pride and motivation for both of us.

Brett has an appreciation for these moments and his motivation to capture them rivals my own. A few days before our shoot he mentioned that this photo concept might be a possibility, noting the interesting similarity in this scenario to the one in 2015. However, it wasn’t until the morning of this photo, when the ground was covered by a soft blanket of fog, that we were sure we had a special opportunity in front of us.

What amazes me about Brett is that when it matters the most, when all of the elements align perfectly, he never hesitates to jump into position and drop in cold. At a time when most people are still in bed and the sun hasn’t risen, he brings the final key ingredient—on the first try, with flawless style.

Brett and I have worked together a lot over the years and we both know how rare these moments are. I suspect that the possibility of the next will continue motivating us for some time to come—Robb Thompson

 

Beta is available on newsstands in the U.S. and Canada at Barnes & Noble, Raley’s and Indigo. The quarterly print issue is a perk for U.S. residents who have a Beta Pass or Outside+ membership (international residents receive a digital issue). Find more on membership prices and packages here.