Best of
Photo feature

Best of 2017: Dave's Favourite Photos

Words Dave Smith
Photos Dave Smith
Date Jan 3, 2018

Based on the diminishing disc space on my backup drive, it was a busy year documenting the parade of bikes that came through the NSMB bunker in 2017. For those not familiar with how we roll, I try get some alone time with every bike for a first look article where every steed is photographed down to the last spoke and bolt. It's a time consuming process because I'm a bit OCD driven but I genuinely enjoy making the bikes look as good as possible before we mess up their hair out in the world. I'm not sure about the riders but the fun part for me is when I get to photograph the bikes when conditions are at their best/shittiest and if it happens to be pissing down rain in black sheets then so much the better. I like my atmosphere dammit and you will get a healthy dose of it in the following selection of images. 

As a disclaimer, I have to say that some of these aren't my best images but they are all my favourite moments of 2017 and want to thank those who made it possible this year so...Thanks to Cam, Pete, Perry, Andrew, Tim and the guest riders who were generous with their mood when I one-more-timed them for 10 times in the pouring rain or asked them to get up at 5am to meet the sunrise with the kind of enthusiasm only 2 double espressos can deliver. I think the effort was worth the suffering and I can promise more of the same in 2018. 



Cover: Secret trails for secret bikes. This spring, NSMB was given a sneak peak of the Nomad Mk4 by Santa Cruz product manager Jack Russell.


Into the dank we go. Cam McRae - North Vancouver, BC


Most of the ISOs were used to capture this photo of Cam McRae...


...what was left over was used here. 


Classic North Shore conditions. It was dark, cold, misty and pissing rain as Perry Schebel put the Spot Mayhem through its paces.


His. Santa Cruz engineer, Jack Russell showing us the Nomad Mk4  in North Vancouver.


Hers. Witchy woman, Hailey Elyse emerging from the mist for the Juliana Strega launch


Rusty bits of logging junk litter the slopes of the Shore. A great reminder of the history here and better props for me to use in photos for the Enduro 29 review. Perry Schebel - Mount Seymour, BC.


The view from inside the bubble of Deep Cove.  


Andrew Major enjoying the view. 


Tim Coleman owes me a beer for every time I have to tell him to keep his whore knees together. He got away with one here but I came out ahead in the rest of the article


A brief reprieve from the darkness with Roggey in Ellijay, Georgia last spring for a Maxxis press event.


The Pinhoti Trail in Ellijay runs right by Mulberry Gap - one of the most bike-friendly retreats anywhere.


If you've ridden Digger's Monster consider donating a few bucks to the cause by purchasing a water bottle from your LBS


Dave Tolnai and I only got to work together once this year while he was penning the Canyon Spectral review. What's up with that Uncle Dave? 


Sunset colours at sunrise due to wildfires.


Pete Roggeman up with the birds to enjoy sunrise over the slopes of Mount Seymour in the distance. 


Like Tim, Roggey owes me a beer every time I have to tell him to close his knees. He dodged one here too. 


This was the first shot of the day for Tim Coleman at Whistler Bike Park. Nice warm up for the B to A-line lap that followed.


Cam's feature on Rocky Mountain's EWS team mechanic, Jeff Bryson was my favourite feature of 2017


Followed closely by watching Whistler local Jesse Melamed take the win in his home town. I hope to cover a few more races in 2017. 


Perry Schebel pushing the 130mm Mayhem through the tech-gnar and on the edge of beer debt.


Sylvain Turcotte and Boreale Mountain Biking played host this year to NSMB. 


While Anthony Delorenzo and Paul Burbidge tore our legs off on every ride. 


Pete Roggeman on the backyard trail at the Boreale Ranch in Carcross, YT. 


I agree with Perry, the NSMBa Fivers were the fun this year. My NY resolution is to race more than I shoot.


Ethan Shandro has the go-fast genes and was a threat at every fiver he entered in 2017.


Kevin Landry gave us a tour of some newish lines in Squamish B.C early this year. 


Pete between a big rock and a slightly smaller but just as impressive rock in Squamish, B.C.


Roggey and Nik VanEgmond came pretty close owing me a beer each that day. 


NSMBa Community Manager, Cooper Quinn took a break from commenting on my photos to help me by modelling for a few this year.


Another winter in the bubble.


And a soaking wet rider. 


Cooper helped provided visual interest between photos of water proof fabrics of the Shimoda Explore 40 Camera Pack


Just after the snow fell a few fat-tired steeds arrived for testing. 


Cam's Salsa Bucksaw review will be coming soon to get you through the winter. 

I'm like any other bike geek and there's not much I like more than a little bike porn. I shot more than a few rides this year in a variety of states of cleanliness but probably the best idea I had all year was to start shooting bikes in breweries. Not only am I able to set up my lighting kit without exposing it to the elements but more often than not I require a beer or two for a prop and it would be a shame to waste the precious down the drain after I was done with the shoot. Here are some of my favourites: 

Thanks to Bridge Brewing, Beere Brewing and Deep Cove Craft Beer & Distillers for letting us have our way with your facilities. Leave a comment below if you want to suggest a brewery we should visit so the journos can pay their debts. 

See ya out there.

Trending on NSMB


+1 Cam McRae
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 2, 2018, 9:38 p.m.

All great shots! My personal favorite is the black and white of Hailey Elyse. What an amazing place you guys get to call home. Having made the pilgrimage a few times over the years, a big piece of my heart is permanent trapped in BC.


Andrew Major  - Jan. 3, 2018, 8:46 a.m.

For 2017 snaps I like this shot you took of Fit-Santa dropping in. Really captures riding the Shore on a nice day for me.

(Although in hindsight Santa may owe you some delicious home brew in your stocking next year).


+2 Cam McRae Tim Coleman
Dave Smith  - Jan. 3, 2018, 8:50 a.m.

It was on the list but knees.


Tim Coleman  - Jan. 3, 2018, 11:05 a.m.

Dave the knees don't lie!


Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 3, 2018, 11:45 a.m.

They're like hips, but lower down.

Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 3, 2018, 2:14 p.m.

And bony.

Dave Smith  - Jan. 3, 2018, 4:12 p.m.

ankles out next?

+2 Cam McRae Dave Smith
thinair  - Jan. 3, 2018, 10:21 a.m.

that bike pic slideshow is sooo sexy...

Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 4, 2018, 9:01 a.m.

How many beers does one growler count for?


Dave Smith  - Jan. 4, 2018, 9:19 a.m.

well, it is technically just one bottle.


Skooks  - Jan. 6, 2018, 1:02 p.m.

Beautiful pictures Dave. Where are those giant rocks in squamish?


+1 Cooper Quinn
Dave Smith  - Jan. 6, 2018, 10:09 p.m.

There's an old saying in these parts about the trails finding you when you're ready.


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