Anatomy of a Photo: Sir Brad TWC2016

This weeks #TBT - the greatest photograph I have captured so far, positioned in the right place at the right time.


Sir Bradley Wiggins - in the heat of the moment, warming up for the 2016 Track World Championships Team Pursuit semi-final. 

There are two types of champion, those who love destroying the opposition, riders like Hinault and Merckx, then you have riders that love destroying themselves, riders like Sir Brad.

Before taking this photo I witnessed Brad go through his process, arriving at the Velodrome, prepping, feeding, hydrating, etc, waiting for the moment to shoot.

I have become quite disciplined, my old Yashica Mat is slow and cumbersome, I only have 12 frames per roll of film, not the infinity button of a digital camera, nothing is wasted.

The moment arrived, Brad went underground with the team, hidden from the eyes of the press and public prowling the infield, to begin his religious warm-up; I followed, conscious not to overstay my welcome, but you don't get a second chance with moments like this, this guy is one of my heroes.

1. Check the light, “fuck its dark down here", I have to shoot open and slow, If your hand isn’t perfectly steady and focus isn’t within a millimeter, you’ll end up with a blurry mess. (Shutter 1/50th, aperture 3.5, Kodak Portra 400iso 120mm)

2. Frame the shot, fuck I have a fixed lens (80mm), to frame this properly I have to be intrusively close… I step forwards, Brad clocks me, gives the slightest nod, he’s let me in…. Fuck!

3. Wind, focus, shoot and leave before I overstay my welcome. 

4. Anticipation, the beauty of film photography, nothing is certain until its developed.

I got the shot. Phew.

After meeting and talking to a few of the most iconic photographers from the 60s and 70s - Terry O'Neill and Gered Mankowitz (photographed the Stones, Beatles, Bowie etc.), one thing is clear, to capture great photographs you need trust and access; to be there when the moment arises, to be a part of the band, completely forgotten about, but welcome to intervene if necessary.

Unfortunately, the digital and social age has completely invaded the lives of actors, models, athletes, and musicians, privacy is more important than ever - so thanks Brad for allowing me to capture this photograph.


Seven Limited edition Prints available , printed on Giclée Hahnemühle Photo Rag 40x40cm


Gareth Winter