South African extreme sports photographer Craig Kolesky has been appointed as the official photographer for team Dormakaba.
A keen mountain biker himself, Kolesky feels his passion for the sport provides him with valuable insights on how best to shoot.
“Trust is crucial when working with a professional cycling team. You need to understand each other and communicate well. Although I enjoy shooting different sports, mountain biking is in my top five. Each shoot has its own unique charm. Having been working with the team since they got off the ground, I am looking forward to being even more involved on the creative side of things,” he says.
Kolesky began his photography journey at 14. Growing up in Cape Town, his dream was to be a full-time surf photographer. However, he realised the importance of expanding into other sports. His hard work, commitment, and talent paid off and he was appointed Red Bull photographer.
“Shooting for Red Bull has given me the opportunity to work on many different sports. I really enjoy the challenge that comes with sport and adventure photography. You only get one chance to get a shot and must think on your feet. But the images totally make up for it.”
He has developed a good understanding of team Dormakaba but that does not mean there are still challenges to overcome.
“One of my most challenging shoots involved Amy and Sam. The setting was Bloemendal (in the Western Cape) but the trails were completely fogged out. We had to shoot in gaps of the fog. Fortunately, we were able to take advantage of the conditions and wound up getting some great pics.”
His love for the sport started a few years ago while working at the Cape Epic.
“I was photographing portraits of the riders finishing at the Cape Epic in 2012 when the weather was so bad. The suffering on their faces was something I wanted to experience. The week following the Epic, I signed on a few sponsors and entered the 2013 event and have been hooked ever since.”
He feels now is an exciting time to be involved with mountain biking in South Africa.
“With all the new trails and parks opening across the country, there has been an increase in riders from all ages. Professional teams like dormakaba who are active in giving back through skill clinics also help grow the sport. It is always good to see the riders, their teams, and sponsors giving back. I am looking forward to building my relationship with team Dormakaba into the future,” he concludes.
Team dormakaba comprises well-known cyclists Nico Pfitzenmaier, Samantha Sanders, and Amy McDougall.