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Photo Story

Deniz's Year in Photos - 2022

Photos Deniz Merdano - Unless noted

Twenty Twenty Boo

As we approach the pointy end of this wild ride of a year around the glowing orb that is literally burning us alive, I can't help but remember some of the rad moments that happened in front of my camera. Especially after the borders opened along with air travel to attend events that had been on hold for so long. It made sense to pack the bags and go for a little stroll on different soils. After going through my shots it's clear I made up for all the travelling I missed out on in the past few 2 years. Some voyages were for work and some were for pleasure but it was a photogenic year. Here are some of my highlights.

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2022 started off green and really close to home and Ryan Walters and I met up for a few early morning shoots on the local trails. We found this little bit of trail that you would normally not consider riding with all the other options nearby. I thought the fallen cedar made for a great visual separation on an otherwise monotonous landscape. I also made sure Ryan rode the log for a photo but the visual impact was lost.


One local line got a massive redo thanks to the crew that hangs out at the local watering hole. Tim Coleman emerged from the winter fog and we ended up with a shot that for me captures Shore riding's essence.


Another shot of Tim on a local favourite we rebuilt multiple times. I found this vantage point that allowed me to include the new path of the trail and it turned out to be one of my favourite shots of the year.

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I somehow roped Karin Grubb into testing and writing for NSMB and I took this picture of her next to the resident gnome twins. This was a challenging shot to pull off mostly because the review was about the shoes she was wearing and normally photos of feet live elsewhere on the internet. I wanted to include the Gnome in the shot and while it may not be a great shoe photo, I am pleased with the overall image.


Another foggy shore day when Yoann Barelli came to visit. This was a fun day of doing some big lines on the mountain with some amazing riders. Yoann had just returned from Freeride Fiesta in Mexico and was hitting big hits like they were nothing. While it was not a day catered to just pictures, I was happy to walk away with a couple of nice shots highlighting great riding skills

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Cam tested a few cool bikes this year and the short travel Canyon Spectral was one of them. What better place than Cypress Mountain to stretch the legs of the little bike? Some sideways riding was on the menu and both Cam and I were quite happy he pulled this move off on the greasy roots.

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Steve Vanderhoek was another amazing human I got to ride and shoot with this year. He popped in front of your screen in so many new edits and photos ,he became a household name. Going for a ride I spotted this amazing tree just off the main trail and tried to figure out how it would photograph. Steve's awesome style and the right lighting made this one work for me .

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More early morning madness with Ryan Walters meant that I could try new ways of shooting and experiment. We were shooting for his Magura Brakes review which meant getting really upclose and personal to get the story across. Unfortunately it meant staying really close to danger zone for the shot. Ryan didn't mow me down but he also wasn't too far off

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Unfortunate injuries sidelined Andrew Major for the year. Which meant other projects to get out for shoots. Rockshox was about to release a whole new family of suspension products so we hunkered down in SRAM office to get the low down from Chris Mandell. It was amazing to nerd out on the tricky bits of what makes these bikes super fun.

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Then just like that, it was April and SeaOtter Classic was on. Boy was is a party that the industry hungry for after 2 years of absence. Walking around the grounds, I spotted the Johhny Players Special paint job Forbidden Druid curated by Crankbrother's Sebastian Salvant. The bike was designed to raise awareness for mental health and ways of coping with it. Money raised was donated to Crisis Text Line and some lucky contributor ended up with a pretty special ride

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The most special part of Sea Otter however, was meeting Mike Ferrentino. The story teller at large has been painting some vivid pictures with words for the past couple of decades. It as a million degrees out in the desert and he still wouldn't give up his flannel for anything.

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We found some green heaven at Ferrentino's Ranch. It was a beautiful drive to get to and a lovely evening of story time. Turns out the Ranch is for sale and you should buy it! BUY NOW

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While in Santa Cruz, it is imperative that one visits the amazing car collection of Canepa. The highlight for me was the impeccable Lancia Delta integrale in canary yellow and the best dashboard design of all time.

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Back from the land of dust and waves, I got busy building a trail I could shoot my own photos on. This was the result of a year of hard work and my buddy Stan Goetz was sweet enough to capture this photo of me riding one of the features.


The massive fallen Hemlock this feature was built on was the most fun part of the whole process. sourcing, splitting and arranging over a 100 cedar slats and designing a log ride with 3 different exit options was super rewarding.

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The Rockshox suspension we dissected was to be put to a test by Cam, Pete and Chris on the Cypress. Light rain at the bottom of the mountain tuned into the biggest flakes I had ever seen up top. Flakes the size of my palm was falling from the sky coating everything in while instantly. The trails were amazing all the way to the bottom.

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Another day, another Slab for Steve Vanderhoek. The man just manifests slabs as he rides and the forest floor turns into solid rock as he passes. This one had a rowdy exit that required a set of skills and muscles few riders possess.

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Another Shore shredder, Caleb Holonko, had a new bike and he needed to get rowdy on it. Caleb is effortlessly stylish on a bike and the moves he can pull off are mind boggling. Here, he kept it pretty technical as the landing of this feature is extremely slippery. Euro table is never a bad choice when it comes to photos.

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Just like the year before, we got the Ride Like a Girl crew out for a day with Andreane Lanthier Nadeau (ALN) Girls rode bikes and got some coaching at the same time. It's always a good time being a part of this crew and I love some of the amazing things these young women are accomplishing on the daily.

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Cooper Quinn realized, he could maximize his time on the bike if he could ride straight from home. So he became our resident gravel grinder. He can't help but do silly things on wrong bikes so it was a joy shooting him on some more technical trails reserved for bikes with actual suspension.

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The gravel bike made for some sketchier than usual riding and I was keen to expand my work by shooting different disciplines of two wheeled transportation.

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If you know, you know... Fraser Newton, featuring, Fraser Newton

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My obsession with bridges peaked when I spotted this beauty in Westfir, Oregon during the Santa Cruz Hightower Launch. Covered, big and old, it checked all the boxes for me...

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Some of my other photographic obligations led me to the sweetest people I've ever met. Marianne Schmidt being one of them. Marianne has been a pillar of West Vancouver community for decades and it was such a pleasure being invited into her home for an intimate portrait session.

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Intimate being the theme, Clayton Wangbichler from WTB also got up close and personal with my lens as he overcooked this steep corner and ended up in the bushes just past me. A funny coincidence is that I only ride with Clayton on the day before I leave for Europe for multiple weeks.

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Cooper on the wrong bike again, riding into the sunset on the slabs. #freetheknee

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Another memorable outing with Tim Coleman when I spotted this window to a small step down on the trail. Usually not a place we stop for photos, I loved the mystery surrounding the rider. I will be exploring this vantage point more in the coming year.

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I had the new Chromag Darco on the back of my car for the drive to Whistler in August. Never have I ever been chased as intensely down the highway with the mystery fully from Chromag in full display on my bike rack. People trying to get my attention and take photos of it at 120km/h, while tailgating me. I had to pull a risky move to take the Tantalus lookout exit at full speed to ditch the tailgaters. It all paid off and I was rewarded with this awesome backdrop for some product shots as I chatted to a bike-clueless German man who had just quit his day job to travel, and have dinners while soaking the views. Pura Vida

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One of my favourite trails in the Whistler valley was built by Ken Melamed. The Thing is all rocks and is once tech move after another. Garen Becker of Santa Cruz Bicycles has been another favourite to ride with this year too

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There is an Incredible amount of rockwork on The Thing, there is so much to love about this trail. Garen Becker on the new Nomad

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Cam, Pete, Trevor and Seb Kemp for a power ride for Pete's birthday in Whistler.

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On of my favourite Pistons and Pivots this year was of Brian Krueckl's Wolf Defender 90. Full on military spec baddassery.

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Alpine days were plentiful with the abundance of sunshine. The backdrop on this one was impossible to pass.

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Our visit to Crankbrother's in Laguna Beach was super fun and meeting all the minds behind the brand was a highlight. Sebastian Salvant here on his Norco Range with a custom link he machined to give it over 200mm travel!

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The abundace of sunshine also meant abundance of wild fires for the most of the continent. This is Oregon's mountains under a heavy blanket of wildfire smoke.

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Another photo of myself having a grand time on the Santa Cruz Hightower. It was a lovely day out this day and this big drop was calling my name. Graham Driedger with the photo on my camera.

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Oh Trevor Hansen. Always a treat riding and joking with the master of excellent hair do. Unfortunately covered by a silly fullface helmet here but imagine the perfect wave of combover, graceful as the ferns he is riding through.

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You saw it on NSMB first. I took the Machina Bikes experiment on the gnarly North Shore trails and loved every minute of it. What a beautiful and unique project coming to life 2 hours drive from my front door!

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The woman who runs the show at my house got a sweet new tester from Juliana and loved every minute of it. You can read her review here while I hit PRINT on this sweet shot of her.

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As the year comes to close, the weather is playing more tricks on us. But everynoe and then the conditions just line up nice enough that we get to have some fun on the snow. Cam found out he could trust the grip on this particular day just like he would with hero dirt. This snow covered Cedar carcass made for a great subject too.

Happy New Year folks!

Deniz Merdano



Playful, lively riding style

Photographer and Story Teller

Lenticular Aesthetician

Tags: Year in Review, 2022
Posted in: Editorial, Features

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+6 Deniz Merdano Niels van Kampenhout Pete Roggeman bishopsmike Tim Coleman Gabriel Barbosa

Cheers to a year of good writing and great photos. Your contributions, whether it's photo, review, or commentary, are an important thread in the fabric of NSMB. Here's to an even better 2023 for you and yours, Deniz!


+1 Tim Coleman

Hey thank you for the nice words. It's so nice to be here and contribute to the most critical audience in the industry!


+3 Tim Coleman cheapondirt Deniz Merdano

Love the riding shots, of course. You capture 'the feel' so well. But, Marianne Schmidt - that is a stunner shot. So good! Makes me want to sit in her kitchen and hear all her stories. Thanks for including it!


+1 Pete Roggeman

Damn Deniz, that's quite the year! So many amazing shots, huge kudos to the work you do behind the lens. 

The shot of the series for me is the first shot of Garen from Santa Cruz in Whistler. The default placement of the subject would be top right, but this works so well. Amazing shot. 

Also all your portrait / close up shots seem to capture the subject so well!


+2 Tim Coleman Pete Roggeman



+1 Tim Coleman

Great shots. Great read. Your words and photos capture just how lucky we all are to live where we do, perfectly.

All the best for 2023!


+1 Deniz Merdano

Great  stuff -- and right back at ya, Deniz. More in 2023!



hell yea dude! Happy new year



Thanks for all of the great photography and reviews that we get to see here Deniz!

I know that you guys have enough to do already but have you ever considered creating an annual wall calendar?  My wife gets me a mountain bike calendar every Christmas and they're consistently full of lousy outdated pictures.  I'd gladly pay for one with some of your spectacular photography.



That is some high praise! Thank you.

I should work on a calendar and add it to my website for purchase. 

Thanks for the nudge to do that. I'll also be adding cheap print purchase option on there. Nothing wrong with affordable printed art for hanging regardless of the month of the year.

thank you again


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