I am Matt Ben Stone and as a commercial freelance photographer I spend a lot of time on the road, working on location. My work varies across the sports lifestyle genre, from shooting cycling apparel within European landscapes to sports beverages in yoga studios. One of my latest ventures has been an amazing assignment in the Salt Flats.
The Fastest Human To Ever Ride A Bicycle
In September this year I was commissioned to photograph Denise Mueller-Korenek’s attempt to become the fastest human to ever ride a bicycle, at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA. It was a fantastic privilege to be embedded as the exclusive photographer for Denise, documenting her and the team’s time on the salt in the lead up and breaking the record.
Incredible Footage From Above
The benefit of the drone is a higher perspective, I was using this as a solution to add some height to the story, as I was flying to the location it meant I could not take a ladder with me. Whilst on location it became clear that the camera angles afforded were not 6ft high; you can get mega aerial height with the drone, giving a completely different perspective and one that I had not explored fully previously. The camera vantages that I was able to produce were incredible and unique to the drone camera.
DJI Mavic Air
The drone I was using was the DJI Mavic Air, which I chose for its key benefits being size and portability, without compromising on image quality. It is an invaluable addition to my camera arsenal, (now without the extra cases, luggage restrictions, weight as on previous non folding drones) I am able to put it in my camera kit and it take up no more room than another lens, image quality is on par with my DSLR Camera – which is a considerable advantage and made it ideal for the situation.
A New Speed Record During Bonneville Speed Week
Denise set the record during Bonneville Speed Week, which is a motorsport bucket list event. The Salt Flats are an incredible place to visit, dead-pan flat and bathed in rich sunlight making for supreme photographic opportunities, if you can stand the heat and lack of shade!
She set the record while drafting behind a specially fitted dragster driven by professional race car driver Shea Holbrook. After being towed up to 100mph, behind the 1000 HP dragster Denise would release herself and bike from the vehicle but stay directly behind it, pedalling the massive gear in the draft created to reduce wind resistance. The bike had a custom drive-chain with double reduction gearing so she could pedal her way to the record speed in the slipstream of the converted dragster.