Photography has, and always will be, an important element of what we do at Racer X. Words only do so much without a captivating photo. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true around this office. We asked three of our shooters—Simon Cudby, Garth Milan and BrownDogWilson—to narrow down their ten favorite photos from this past year. With plenty of amazing photos to scour through, here’s what they came up with.
Simon Cudby | Racer X Senior Photographer
1.) Justin Barcia | Monster Energy Cup
Since turning professional, Justin Barcia had always been a Honda rider (GEICO and American). The Monster Energy Cup was his first American professional race on a different brand. It didn’t go as planned as he tangled with Blake Baggett.
2.) Ryan Dungey | Glamis
It is much harder these days to get the top pros to head out to the dunes. Fox managed to get Ryan Dungey out to shoot at Glamis in March for their MX15 gear line.
3.) Ryan Dungey | Unadilla
I really like this shot as I think he looks like a 1950s F1 racing driver.
4.) Thunder Valley | Start
This is the best angle to capture the uphill start at Thunder Valley.
5.) Chad Reed | Anaheim 2
A big night for Chad Reed at Anaheim 2 in 2014. It was cool to see him on the podium with his son Tate. It really represents what this sport is all about.
6.) Ken Roczen | Suzuki
Poster photo shoot image of Roczen on his RCH Suzuki. Lots of pressure to perform in 2015, but Kenny takes it all in stride.
7.) James Stewart | Anaheim 1
This is one of those right-place-at-the-right-time shots. James Stewart was going for the lead in the whoops passing Ken Roczen, but things didn't go as planned.
8.) TwoTwo | Florida
Big year ahead for the Chad Reed-owned team. This shot was just after sunrise at Chad's track in Florida.
9.) Ryan Villopoto | Daytona
This about sums up RV's SX season. Full speed at all times.
10.) Cooper Webb | RedBud
This is one of my favorite shots at the Fourth of July weekend race at Red Bud. 'Merica!
Garth Milan | Racer X Photographer-at-large
1.) James Stewart | Florida
This photo of James Stewart scrubbing at his home track in Florida is my favorite picture I’ve taken all year, and possibly in my entire career. Stewart’s scrub has captivated me since the day he started doing it, so to be able to capture my favorite moto move in this setting, with this lighting, has always been one of my dream shooting scenarios. To finally make it happen made for one of the best days of my life. Thanks, James!
2.) Trey Canard | Castillo Ranch
The Castillo Ranch, just north of Buellton, California, is one of the most iconic MX spots in the world. Not only is the track amazing, but the ranch, the views, and the sunsets at Castillo are second to none. Luckily, Trey didn’t mind tossing a few whips for me during one of these epic Cali sunsets at the ranch recently.
3.) Tyler Bereman | Glamis
Tyler Bereman is a relative newcomer to the dunes, but like always, TB attacks anything and everything in his way like a pit bull. Bereman was only back on his bike a few days following a broken femur when this picture was shot, but Tyler didn’t let a little pain stop him from absolutely annihilating this Glamis sand berm.
4.) Ken Roczen | Florida
I love this shot of Ken Roczen whipping his KTM in Florida because of the spot of bright color amongst all of the monochromatic green Florida foliage. Being based in SoCal, this much greenery is almost unheard for me, so when I see it, I take full advantage!
5. Justin Barcia | Florida
This image of Justin Barcia is a strange one indeed, but for some reason, I really like the angle and the eye contact he is making with the camera. Normally, I hate when riders look at the camera and I typically tell them not to do this, but in this circumstance I absolutely love the fact the Justin is looking right at me, almost mad-dogging me. I also like the fact that even though you can see the ground, you can’t quite tell where he took off from or where he is going. Typically, this is not a good thing in MX photography, but I feel that this image is one time where all sorts of photo rules got broken, but it wound up making for a great shot.
6.) Jeremy McGrath | MC Ranch
Jeremy McGrath is one of my all-time MX heroes, so seeing him still killing it to this day make me very happy. MC’s Nac-Nac is one of the most iconic images in our sport, and seeing him throw this coveted trick at his own ranch, on his own jumps, nearly requires me to pinch myself that I am there capturing it.
7.) Justin Hill | Beaumont
Shooting factory riders in the hills is a rare treat, but when it happens, it’s an incredible experience. I was fortunate enough to shoot Justin Hill recently in the hills of Beaumont right after a massive dumping of rain for Spy Goggles. Hill wasted no time whatsoever spotting this right-hand hip, and within a few leaps he was beyond flat, with the bright California sun in the background.
8.) Axell Hodges | The Dunes
When going out to the dunes with a crew of experienced freeriding legends like Twitch, Tyler Bereman, and Jeremy McGrath, you don’t normally expect to see young guys blasting the biggest jumps with the biggest style. Everyone has his day to shine, though, and this day was definitely Axell Hodges’. Axell was destroying this jump every bit as well as, if not better, than the others.
9.) James Stewart | Florida
This shot of James Stewart made my top-ten list for no other reason than the absolutely phenomenal speed and style that James is carrying into this corner with him. The angle of his bike, along with the dirt and roost flying, truly convey in a single split second just how fast James is going around this 180-degree bowl turn.
10. Nate Adams | California
This sunset, combined with Nate Adams, a couple of flashes, and Nate’s insane whip, made for quite a colorful shot. I love the fact that Nate is smack-dab in the middle of that cloud, too. I wish every shoot day concluded with this sunset!
BrownDogWilson | Racer X Contributing Photographer
1.) Davi Millsaps | Monster Energy Cup
Davi Milsaps surprised a lot of people at the Monster Cup when he showed up on his new ride and took the overall. The way the scoring was set up, when I saw Davi up on the podium I had to ask what place he had got—I had no idea he won it all!
2.) James Stewart | St. Louis
This year did not bring the fans a lot of whips for some reason, but any time James came up for his last lap, he was usually good for a gem like this one.
3.) Josh Grant | Glen Helen
I remember back when I watched Josh Grant racing REM every weekend at Glen Helen as an amateur which got him noticed by the boys over at GEICO Honda. It was awesome to see him so many years later pull off a first moto win on his JGR Yamaha.
4.) Tate Reed | Anaheim 1
Tate Reed showed no fear riding his PW50 in front of 40,000 fans. The kid is going to be a rider!
5.) Monster Girls | Monster Energy Supercross
The Monster Girls! What can be said that hasn't already been said? They are always a thing of beauty.
6.) Trey Canard | RedBud
Trey Canard is the ultimate of everything that is good in this world. You will not meet a nicer guy in industry who has repeatedly come back from so much adversity. I thought this shot of him at RedBud pretty much says it all.
7.) Sean Collier | Mammoth
Sean Collier repping the old school Fasthouse line, is the working man's rider. He works five days a week like most of us but shows up at Glen Helen and scores a 12th, beating several factory guys along the way! And you should see the damage he can do on a stock KX500, it's a thing of beauty to watch and hear.
8.) Adam Cianciarulo | Dallas
Adam Cianciarulo started his career off on fire, only to watch injury bring it to an abrupt end. In Dallas the sun broke through into the stadium for about 20 minutes, just long enough to get this shot.
9.) Travis Pastrana | Red Bull Straight Rhythm
When TP199 showed up to race the Red Bull Straight Rhythm on his RMZ500 we all couldn't wait to see him ride. Even though he didn't qualify he was the only one who pulled a backflip off of the finish line.
10.) Jeremy Martin | Glen Helen
Jeremy Martin killed it this year in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. He put a serious whooping on everybody at Glen Helen to start the year off right!