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Fixation/AOP Junior Assistant Competition Winners: Chris Lanaway

We chat to Chris Lanaway, versatile photographer of many trades and one of the winners of our AOP Junior Assistant competition

Chris Lanaway’s striking bike-racing portrait was a shoe-in winner for our competition. The judges loved how effectively it conveyed the physical exertion of a bike race, while also being a stunning image in its own right.

For his efforts Chris has won himself a bag filled with everything a budding photographic assistant might need on a shoot.

We caught up with Chris to find out more about his photography and his plans for the future

“The shot was taken on the last lap: the rider expended his last drops of energy to push past the others.”

Fixation: Congratulations on a fantastic prize-winning image! Could you tell us a little about the background of your winning shot – when/where was it taken, what was the process of capturing it?

Chris Lanaway: Thank you! The photo was taken during the final round of the National Trophy Cyclocross series in Shrewsbury.

This being the final round in the series, riders were looking to give it their all to move up in the rankings. The shot was taken on the last lap: the rider expended his last drops of energy to push past the others.

I wanted to capture the grit of cyclocross riding, an incredibly punishing form of cycle sport. The winter sun was setting behind the course, which produced a pleasing atmosphere and provided the yellow and red hues, creating a nice contrast with the muddy riders as they powered past to the finish.

It was taken on a Canon 7D Mark II with 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L at one stop under to retain detail in the sky, and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

© Chris Lanaway

F: Tell us about your photography. How have you developed your varied skillset?

CL: My work primarily focuses on sport. I photograph a fair bit of cycling in its various disciplines during races and for commercial/advertising purposes. Photographing bike racing is pretty full-on; I’ve been developing my skills as a photographer covering bike races, which has helped me in my career massively as the skills are transferable to just about any form of sport.

Bike racing is a unique pursuit for a photographer as you’re often presented with opportunities to create scenic images landscapes and formal portraits as well as the bike racing itself. I feel this has helped the development of my varied skillset and allowed me to satisfy my own personal interests whilst working.

© Chris Lanaway

F: How would you describe your style of photography? 

CL: Portrait photography is probably what I enjoy the most, though, that said, I don’t do that much at the moment.

I’m always looking to capture an emotion or a part of the subject’s personality when creating portrait images. I try to create images that represent the subject as truly as I possibly can. Growing up I spent most of my youth skateboarding with my friends, and I was always taking photographs while we were out, to the point where it was just the norm for me to be taking photos of them all the time.

I’d say this was when I honed my skills in terms of capturing an image of a person that best represents them. Technically I’ve progressed a lot since those days, but the images I create still reflect back on those early portraits of skateboarders.

© Chris Lanaway

F: Who are some photographers you admire? Have they influenced your style?

CL: That’s a really tough question! There are so many good photographers out there. I have a few to whom I regularly turn to see what they’re working on, as their work heavily influences me.

Again I’m going back to my early days of photography whilst out skateboarding: Dominic Marley and Richie Hopson. I’ve been following their work and progression closely since I was first introduced to photography; I’d see their work in Sidewalk Mag back in the day. They don’t really shoot skateboarding anymore but their work still relates to it in some aspects – those that haven’t heard of them should really go and check them out. I guess that they have influenced me to stay true to myself and my own photographic interests, to continue shooting and refining my own practice until people begin to notice.

I’m also heavily influenced by the portraits of Nadav Kander and Spencer Murphy, they always manage to capture a real sense of intimacy from their subjects and their images are always incredibly beautifully executed.

F: What are you plans for your future career? What do you hope to achieve?

CL: I’m planning some of my own personal projects which are already underway, and I’m also looking to continue building my portfolio. I’ll still be photographing cycling and bike races but less so in 2017 and beyond, as I’m hoping to diversify a bit and cover a wider range of sports. I plan to keep developing and refining my practice, network and continue forging my career as a photographer.


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