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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Don Thomas cameo in Nat Geo Kids

Don Thomas is making a cameo in National Geographic's new Ultimate Weird But True book for kids--and I couldn't think of a more appropriate title for the book, considering the character selected for the two page opening spread:)  Photo taken in high-desert of Bolivia.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Work with New Clients

It's been a busy Fall season and busy is good in the world of visual storytellers.  With two laps around the world in the past six weeks to amazing destinations like Beijing, Emilia Romagna Italy, New York, Southern Mexico and Olympic National Park--I think that I've become time-zone agnostic.  Some of my images from these assignments are starting to publish in print and online.  Below, I've included some tear sheets from the past weeks.  Enjoy!

Gregg


New Client: Bicycling Magazine - November 11 Issue/The Ride of My Life


New Client: New York Times - October 11/Tour of Beijing


New Client: WIRED Magazine - RAW FILE/Tour de France iPhone


 New Client - Cyclesport UK - October Issue/Tour of Beijing Feature
 New Client: La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy - October 11/Beijing Bike Culture Feature
VELO Magazine: December 11/Tour of Beijing
 




Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paris Brest Paris for La Gazzetta's Sport Week Magazine

La Gazzetta dello Sport is Italy's biggest newspaper and the largest sporting publication in the world.  Each weekend, they publish SportWeek Magazine as special insert in the newspaper.  The magazine recently featured a photo-essay of my work from the Paris-Brest-Paris ultra endurance cycling race.  Held every 4th year, the race was a precursor to the Tour de France and has been running for over 100 years.  I shot the race with my trusted moto-driver, Mr. Stephan Schier, for 90 sleepless hours--rain and shine, along the incredible backroads of Brittany and Western France. 



Monday, August 29, 2011

La Maglia Rosa - Feature Picture Story for September's VELO/VeloNews

September's VELO Magazine (formerly VeloNews) is featuring a picture story I produced about the history of the Giro d'Italia's modern-day pink leader's jersey.  Researching the article took me into the heart and soul of the race with the sport's biggest champions, directors, and business owners--and of course, plenty o' gelato. What a fun gig indeed.






Thursday, August 18, 2011

Backyard

I've been living in the countryside near a small town in eastern Italy.  It's late-summer, the fruit is sweet, it's hot, and most people are on vacation at the sea, the lake, or wherever it is that they go to cool off.  This is what I see when I'm here. 
Next week, I leave for China.
It's been nice to have a backyard.

My pasta class from Grandma down the road



Din Din on top of the ridge


At the lake

Sausage Fest


legs at the station

At the swimming hole

the usual Sangiovese loop ride.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Totally NOT behind the scenes at Le Tour de France


After witnessing the crazy press hordes, photographers shouting at each other, and tales of friends being elbowed in the face in the finish line pit, I decided that the press pass for the Tour de France that allows "behind the scenes" access wasn't really so "behind the scenes" after all.  Here's a video from the photographer at Bicycling Magazine where Frank Schleck gets knocked off his bike by the crazed "behind the scenes" media who are scrambling to get a shot of the moment he hugs his brother after loosing the time-trial (and the Tour itself).

I like my freedom to roam and since this freedom is effectively restricted in the press area, I decided to scrap my press pass and big cameras to wonder around outside the lines and shoot  2011 Tour de France w/ an iPhone--as a fan/spectator. My goal was to convey what it's like to be a "normal person" without a press pass at the Tour de France.  How close can a fan get to the athletes, what's the vibe, and how fun, wacky, wild is it (fans are much more chill than the media)?

Here's a short gallery photos from the 2011 Tour de France:

2011 Tour de France iPhone Gallery - Images by Gregg Bleakney

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Outside Magazine. India, RadioShack and New Frontiers

The August 2011 issue of Outside Magazine back cover "Parting Shot" is an image I made of Team RadioShack during their warm-up ride for the Tour de Nasik cyclothon in India.  I'm fascinated by pro-cycling's recent push to expand into new global frontiers and am equally glad that mainstream, non-cycling magazines are willing to publish pictures of the trend.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Car-Free Tour de Suisse Experiment


For more photos see the VeloNews Tour de Suisse Web Galleries: Lugano Prologue and Car-Free Gallery




Last summer (while in Switzerland researching trips for the VeloNews Ultimate Ride Guide) I discovered the Swiss National Bike Network and its nine cross-country road bike routes with 82 local and regional trails covering 9,000 kilometers.  I also learned that for an extra $10 (above and beyond my train ticket), SwissRail allows travelers to toss a bike onto any Swiss train.  Wonder-twin-power-activate this rail and trail system, sprinkle some heart-thumping terrain on top, and you get a veritable Disneyworld for DIY cycling junkies.

This summer, with 1-month remaining on my annual 50% off Swiss train pass, $7+ per gallon gas prices, and an assignment to photograph several Tour de Suisse stages, I wanted to see how far I could push the Swiss transportation infrastructure.  Would it be possible to shoot the race using only trains and a bicycle?; i.e. no cars or motos.  To find out, I put this “carbon-free as possible” Tour de Suisse experiment in-motion after the stage 1 prologue in Lugano, where I aimed my bars north to Zurich and fully embraced my roots as a steel frame riding, wool sock wearing, earthy-crunchy Pacific Northwestern cycling photographer.

Rather than follow the race from point to point, I based myself in a small village near Zurich with easy access to a train station and feeder lanes to the Swiss National Bike Network.  From this hub, I could hop a train or pedal to the beginning of stages and either hang at the start or spin ahead on the Tour de Suisse race route until I found a scenic spot to shoot the passing peloton.  Next, I would catch a train to the finish or ride a National Bike Network trail back to Zurich. 

In 2010, I somehow overlooked the fact that Switzerland has no open container laws but took full advantage of Heidiland’s public beer drinking tolerance this year by rewarding myself at the end of each day’s photo-shoot with one or more Swiss brewskies.  Prime swilling locations included the grassy slope of stage 7’s 2383 meter Fluelapass and every time I used the rails to get back to my crash pad near Zurich.  In total, I managed 386 kms of cycling with 4630 meters of climbing to cover 4 stages—a far cry from what the racers hammered but much more fun than sitting in a car.

I was never alone on the trains or trails and met meet hundreds of cyclists who were also using this rail/bike combo to follow the race.  South Africans, Germans, Italians, and Swiss, by the end of the race I’d made two-wheeled friends from all over the globe.  It’s truly been a “pinch me this ain’t real” experiment. 

Here's some photography from my car-free 2011 Tour de Swiss gig:


2011 Tour de Suisse - Images by Gregg Bleakney 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giro d'Italia for VeloNews Magazine

In addition to producing daily and theme photography packages for VeloNews.com during the 2011 Giro d'Italia, some of my work from the race is starting to turn up in print too.  First up--a photo-essay and general content images sprinkled throughout the VN July issue.

Some popular galleries and content from my Giro coverage on VeloNews.com:

The Giro was just a super-dreamy gig, when I have a little more time to digest it all, I'll post some light color galleries from my own wild ride around Italy in this blog.








Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Outside Magazine Pacific Coast Cycling Spread


It's nice to see mainstream mags. (i.e., beyond-niche cycling publications) pimpin' travel bike trips and destinations to their readers--so kudos to Outside for featuring this image.

This shot was made two years ago with fellow vagabundos gMack, Hall-Pass Ben, and Sir Scotty M. in the Quinault rainforest, an alternative route option for the popular Pacific Coast Cycling Trail that loops around Olympic National Park and/or the Hood Canal to Astoria, Oregon.  We landed an assignment to test cycling-specific rain gear and decided that it would be appropriate to do the testing in the rainiest place in the Lower 48 at the rainiest time of year.  As luck would have it, nary a rain drop glazed the tarmac during our 4-day shoot and I had to get creative to make it look wet when it was actually sunny and uncharacteristically super-fab November weather.

Regarding the swag test results...for me, bike travel ain't about the gear, it's about traveling differently and experiencing landscapes and people in a more intimate way than possible with a car or plane...but if you just have to know, the article on the topic by Sir Scotty M. is here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ditch Logic - A Podcast from the Dirtbag Diaries

 

I had a great time working on this podcast about how my two year "out in the world" bicycle trip changed my life.  I think that Fitz and Becca did a great job of keeping my thoughts in line--heck, they even got my big bro to speak without mumbling!  This, more than anything I could write in a portfolio bio section, explains my path to photojournalism.

G




Tour de India -- Road Magazine Photo-Essay


Monday, March 28, 2011

Made In Italy - Feature Story for AC Magazine


This month, Adventure Cyclist Magazine is running my semi long-form feature on the Price family bicycle touring company, ExPlus.  Most of my work for Adventure Cyclist to-date has been focused on my personal travels. Since 2010 my photographic projects have grown to include feature writing and I've found that first person format limiting (and overdone quite frankly--I bore myself sometimes).  Initially this piece was slated to run as a fairly standard travel narrative about cycling across Sardinia but I change my mind after meeting the company founder, Rick Price.  I found Rick's story of ditching a small town on the Oregon coast to pursue true love and a life of travel in Italy fascinating and decided to trash my first proposal to focus on his journey instead of my own.  Fortunately, the editors of AC were cool with this (at least as far as I know).  When I first dropped this "change of subject" think on Rick he responded, "that sounds like a bad idea...I'm not very interesting."

I disagree:)





Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cover Shot and 45-Page Feature Story - What I Did Last Summer

Last May, my 11-day assignment to Sardinia accidentally turned into a dreamy four months of scouting Europe for the best routes, trip operators, hotels, and people in-the-know for VeloNews' 2011 Ultimate Ride Guide.  The issue hit the newsstands this week.

For my part, I produced articles on Italy, Switzerland, France, and Spain--45 magazine pages of reviews, short stories, and interviews in total.  I also created a photographic package and podcast for the feature(s).  I'm entirely grateful to the editors of VeloNews, who gave me tons of creative freedom and the authority to stay away from the top-10 list format (usually researched by a cubicle googler who's never done any of the stuff they are recommending) that has become so common in today's toddler attention span, search engine results driven publishing world.  In short, they let me keep it real.

Life's a boomerang.  My former career in software started at the University of Oregon where I founded a digital publishing company called WhereNext.com with a group of college buddies.  We focused on, of all things--travel guides to Europe.  I remember starting that company with dreams of stomping the streets of Europe ala Rick Steves--tracking down fresh new destinations and activities for young, independent travelers.  However, WhereNext quickly scaled to include a full staff of talented writers and as the President,  I assumed the role of working the upper floors of towering office buildings in Seattle, Angel investor meetings in Portland, and unassuming cafes in Silicon Valley to raise multiple rounds of VC funding to finance our growth.  So it was odd, though entirely fulfilling, to find myself doing what I originally set out to do after college--but with a 13 year detour.

A few pages from the article:










Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Client - British Airways Magazine

En route to India a few weeks ago I had a nice surprise when I noticed the passenger sitting next to me flipping through a Twilight feature I worked on for British Air's in-flight magazine, High Life.  I forgot the photo-spread was out this month.  Later, I had a "pat myself on the back" moment when that same passenger asked me what I did for a living and I simply pointed to the image in the magazine he was reading (and the diminutive dude in the bottom corner of the image--tripod self-portrait). But before I could let my ego get carried away with itself--I was quickly reminded of my bottom of the rung coach class status by the olfactory splendor of a freshly reeking bathroom--which was conveniently located just behind my right shoulder in the triple-7's back row--which in retrospect, was a proper warm-up for the streets of India.

Quinault Rain Forest - British Airways High Life Magazine, February - 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Some E-Pubilished Work w/ Patagonia, British Air, and Cycling News

Three online publications are circulating some of my fresh images this quarter.  Two of them are new clients: British Airways and Cycling News. British Air pulled one of my shots of an ancient Maple Tree from Olympic National Park for a Twilight feature on their homepage, CyclingNews is using a gallery of shots of Team RadioShack and Liquigas @ the Tour of Mumbai II, and Patagonia Clothing Company is rotating an image of single-speeding through the Thar desert in Eastern India during my "India on Two Wheels" project. 


Secret Maple Tree in the Quinault, Olympic National Park

My $50 Indian-made fixie at a pit stop in the Thar desert.

RadioShack and Liquigas image gallery on the world's largest cycling web-site