Today we journey near and far as we chat with cycling photographer Marcus Enno aka Beardy McBeard. Beardy’s Instagram takes you around the world and into Australia’s beautiful hidden places. Photography and cycling bring us to new places, and what better way to celebrate our new Crumpler x Pedla collaboration than to dive into Beardy’s world: from the snow-capped mountains and epic winding roads of Europe’s highest peaks, to the gravel and gum trees of Australia’s back roads. Beardy’s work captures the adrenaline of a world-class race and the magic of a solo back roads ride. Read on to hear about his journey and be inspired to get back out exploring.
Tell us a little bit about your background & how you got into cycling photography
Photography came about a long time before my cycling passion. I picked up my first camera at the age of 13 loaded with black and white film. An after school photography class taught me the fundamentals before setting up a darkroom at home helped me further advance my skills.
I grew up in Newcastle NSW and spent most of my free time surfing the local breaks. The bicycle was more of a transport means at this stage, using it to get around and for surf checks.
After finishing school in Newcastle I move to Sydney to pursue a career in photography. I enrolled in a diploma of photography at TAFE. During 4 years of study I learnt the nitty gritty of film and print processing and how to use different types of cameras, studio lighting techniques and business skills.
I had started as a photography assistant by the time I had finished before getting a job with a photography studio shortly after as a junior photographer. It was great experience and I learnt to shoot commercially transitioning into digital photography at the same time.
Commuting into the city daily I decided to cycle instead of sitting on the bus and after a few months, I was hooked. Shortly after I purchased a fixed gear bike enticed by the simplicity and the culture. Fixie riding was as much about hanging at the local pub as it was about riding the local street races called alleys cats.
The passion for cycling continued to grow and led my wife and I to embark on a cycling tour of Europe for 5 months! We traveled from Sweden to Spain on our loaded touring bikes camping out along the way.
On returning to Australia I was officially hooked buying a road bike and getting up early to go cycling every morning before the sun had risen. I discovered a new side to the city and started documenting my rides on Instagram.
It became such a success that I decided to visit Le Tour de France in 2013 to take photos. I returned with hundreds of images so I decided a photography exhibition was the best way to share them. I invited a few members of the cycling media and next thing I knew I was booking cycling photography jobs.
After a while of working in the photography studio and fitting in my cycling photography career around it I received some bad news. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The treatment was 6 months of chemotherapy but I came out the other side with a renewed drive, to pursue cycling photography full-time quitting my job at the Studio and setting off for 3 months on the road Photographing the Giro d’Italia and Le Tour de France.
What are your thoughts on the Crumpler x Pedla collab?
Traveling via bicycle is one of the great pleasures of life for me and I always appreciate products that enable the journey. I’ve had Crumpler messenger bags before and they always fitted the bicycle lifestyle so for me the collaboration makes sense.
When it comes to your photography style, can you tell us a bit about how you hero the cyclist's experience?
Being a cyclist and understanding what makes people so enthralled with this sport helps structure my vision. Being able to ride and carry my cameras to take photos along the ways has made my work stand out.My perspective has always been for the cyclist point of view and I think that riders appreciate this about my work
Where are your favourite parts of Australia to photograph cyclists?
After spending most of my life in NSW, my wife and I made the move to Hobart Tasmania. Her family live just out of Hobart and I discovered this cycling and photography wonderland on a family visit. I was so impressed I started dreaming about leaving the big city behind and riding through the beautiful wildness daily. The stars aligned and we made the move nearly 2 years ago. It’s been a great place to combine my passions.
What are the benefits of having high quality gear when you're out shooting on the road?
Shooting images from a bike is difficult and very testing on gear especially in Tassie where you can have four seasons in one day. Being able to rely on good quality is paramount to me capturing the decisive moment
What is your favourite part about photographing cyclists?
Riding bikes and being about to experience the joy of the journey. The places this job has taken me are unbelievable. Cycling photography has taken me around Europe but also other cycling destinations such as Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canary Islands and much of Australia. I’ve met inspirational people and learnt a lot about myself and the world. The bicycle has a great way of bringing people together.
How have you found the Crumpler x Pedla products to perform?
The Large saddle bags paired with the handle bar bag converts a bike into an adventure vehicle. I can fit all my camera equipment close at hand and in the handle bar bag. A change of clothes and a toothbrush easily pack into the Saddle bag for overnight journeys.
The Backpack is perfect for my mobile office, keeping my MacBook safe so I can work from anywhere my job might take me from airport lounges to hotel rooms.The small saddle bag is small enough to fit discreetly out of the way under the saddle but big enough to fit essential spares and tools for repairs on the go.Crumpler and Pedla have created the ideal luggage solution for cycling be it a daily commute or a multi-day gravel ride in the wilderness.
You can find Marcus as Beardy McBeard on
Instagram and his website .