Simon Nieborak - the man behind the lens

Simon Nieborak - the man behind the lens

-How did you get into photography?

I had a rather smooth entry into the world of photography. I swear, when I bought my first DSLR camera I had no idea what it would bring to my life. I simply wanted to take some nice shots for myself, that’s all. I always enjoyed looking at photos as a child and so when I was able to finally buy my own camera, I just did it without thinking. The next big step was discovering mountain biking. At first, I was just riding with buddies and shooting for fun but that was the moment when the avalanche of unexpected things started.

-What sort of work do you specialise in?

I am a specialist in cycling photography - mountain biking, road cycling, fixed, BMX - I love all those disciplines and wheel size has never been an issue for me.  Moreover, it’s a great opportunity to meet many more people from different backgrounds, sub-cultures, riding styles and so on.

However cycling is not only thing I enjoy photographing. Music is another huge passion of my life and I really like taking photos of solo artists, bands and live gigs.

-How would you describe your style?

“Step back”. Sounds odd and/or funny, but it’s true. It’s really important to me to show the place, the atmosphere where the photo is being taken. I rely heavily on the foreground. In my opinion this helps to create the mood. Additionally, I never use a flash, meaning that I always use only ambient/available light. It’s not always ideal, but at least I feel like my photos are always “natural”, which is a big deal to me.

-Any memorable shoots?

Well, there’s quite a few! But, if I had to choose one, it would be a trip to Iceland, which was absolutely magical. The country and what it offers is like from another world. The landscape is unreal, people are great and welcoming and obviously I can’t forget the auroras… Strongly recommended to anyone who’s up for an unforgettable journey.

-Which photos are you most proud of? And what are your favourite places/people/moments to shoot?

I’m particularly proud of photos which show perfectly extraordinary moments of riders’ careers. Mostly doing crazy tricks, doing something that scares these almost fearless people. When I perfectly capture a trick which the rider has been thinking about doing for days, weeks or months, I’m really glad I could be there for them and “freeze” this specific moment for others to enjoy.

-Any advice for people wanting to get into the industry?

Stay focused and keep shooting. Pretty much every photographers says it, but it’s so essential.

 -How did you get involved with Restrap?

A few years ago Nathan organised a fixed gear cycling trip to the Yorkshire Dales. That weekend was one of the best trips of my life. I could easily have put it instead of that shoot in Iceland. No joke. It’s when I fell in love with fixed gear riding. Amazing location, fabulous bunch of people full of insanely strong riders.

Back then, I was kind of already established in mountain biking photography and wanted to try something new, something challenging. Nathan didn’t know me at that time, but he gave me a chance to be there and for that I will grateful forever. Since then Restrap has had a very special place in my heart.

Nathan, his company and Yorkshire have had a huge impact and influence not only on my photography, but my whole life.

-What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?

At the moment I am using a Canon 1DX with set of Canon lenses. If anyone’s interested they are: 70-200mm f2.8 mark ll, 16-35mm f2.8 mark ll, 15mm f2.8 fisheye, 100mm f2.8 mark ll and last addition was so called pancake lens - 40mm f2.8

-Where would be your dream destination assignment?

Kamloops, British Columbia in Canada. This place is iconic to mountain biking. In the summer time it changes into a gigantic “dust bowl”. This combined with huge jumps and fast trails makes it a dream place to take photos.

-Is there anything you’re keen to do in the future?

Keep shooting as much as possible in all cycling disciplines. But aside from that, I’d love to get involved in taking stills at movie sets. I have been to a couple already and it’s a fantastic feeling to be around other like-minded professionals who are also stoked on costumes, locations and of course light.

-What are you working on at the moment?

Just finishing a photoshoot for Halo Wheels. It was a fun photoshoot in grim weather at Gisburn Forest. Another thing is actually working with Nathan and shooting studio product photos for Restrap. So yes, expect some awesome new things coming very soon!

Check out Simon’s work – / Instagram @delayedpleasure