This week’s “How I got the shot” takes us to Williams Lake, British Columbia, where everyone’s collective breath is held awaiting the outcome of a meticulous jump.

James Doerfling dropping in on 40 feet of air; photo courtesy of John Wellburn

James Doerfling dropping in on 40 feet of air; photo courtesy of John Wellburn

Name: John Wellburn
Age: 33
Hometown: Williams Lake, British Columbia
Bio: John’s freelance photography career started in the mountains of his home in British Columbia. Since then, his career has taken him all over the world—from Africa to China. In a recent partnership with Freeride Entertainment and Red Bull Media House, John co-produced one of the biggest films made in freeride mountain biking history, “Where the Trail Ends.” Because of John’s love of travel and culture, he lives half of the year in Canada and the other half in Argentina.
Who: James Doerfling
Where: Williams Lake, British Columbia
Why: We had been looking at this location for years, and when we finally decided to pull the trigger, we had James in mind for the stunt. The site stands alone in the middle of an open area with nothing behind it but a sheer drop into a river valley below. The consequences were pretty steep if James came up anywhere but perfect to the landing. We scraped a bit of a trail out that he could run in on, to gather some speed. The component that made this extra challenging was that James would actually have to pedal slightly uphill before he left the edge of the cliff—he would have to propel himself out just enough and turn himself and his bike slightly in the air as he dropped about 40 feet to the landing. The day of the shoot, he stood on the edge for a long time. When he decided he was ready, he jumped on his bike, pedaled in, and executed it perfectly on his first try. Once was enough, though; he hit it, landed it, and never went back again. I had two cameras on it because I knew I would have one chance to get the shot. I shot a vertical image and a wide horizontal image. This is the horizontal.
What the image was shot with: Nikon D700, 140mm, f 9, 1/1250
Magazine affiliation: Bike magazine
Photographer’s website: www.johnwellburn.com
Facebook: johnwellburnphotography

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